Cartoon of Filmmaker in Court

VLA offers a variety of programs and workshops, which are listed below. We also offer a selection of on-demand, online recordings of previously held education programs for those unable to attend or want a refresher. Click here to access and view these presentations.

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Self-Defense for Writers and Filmmakers with Mark Litwak (CLE)

April 29, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - April 30, 2021 @ 4:30 pm

Cartoon of Filmmaker in Court

This program is a two-day online seminar offering up to 7 Continuing Legal Education credits to attorneys. 

Dates and Time (Participants should attend both days):
Part I: Thursday, April 29, 1 – 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
Part II: Friday, April 30, 1 – 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time


Writers and filmmakers need to understand their legal rights and how to defend themselves from those who may seek to exploit them or falsely claim their rights have been infringed. This seminar explains how writers and filmmakers can prevent problems from arising by properly securing underlying rights, and by encouraging other parties to live up to agreements with performance incentives, audit rights, default penalties, and arbitration clauses. In the event of a dispute, participants learn what remedies are available to enforce their rights.

Other topics include defamation; invasion of privacy; protecting your stories and avoiding being sued when portraying others; typical compensation and terms of contracts; merchandising deals; and negotiating tactics and strategies.

This seminar includes more than 100 pages of useful contracts, checklists, forms, and materials. This class is for writers, filmmakers, content producers, attorneys, arts professionals and whoever is interested in the topic.

This program will be taught by Mark Litwak, Esq., Law Offices of Mark Litwak and Associates.

Continuing Legal Education through VLA: Seven (7) New York Continuing Legal Education credits awarded for attorneys: 4 Areas of Professional Practice Credits, 2 Skills credits, and 1 Ethics credit. This program qualifies as “transitional” for newly admitted attorneys.


Mark Litwak is a veteran entertainment attorney with offices in Brentwood, California. His practice includes work in the areas of copyright, trademark, contract, multimedia law, intellectual property, and book publishing. Litwak is an adjunct professor at USC Law School, and functions as a Producer’s Rep, assisting filmmakers in the financing, marketing and distribution of their films. Litwak is the author of six books including: Reel Power, Dealmaking in the Film and Television Industry (winner of the 1995 Krazna-Kranz Moving Image Book Award), Contracts for the Film and Television Industry, Litwak’s Multimedia Producer’s Handbook, and Risky Business, Financing and Distributing Independent Film.

Membership Discount Code:
For members, please contact to receive your discount code, which will allow you to access and purchase your ticket.

$100 Full-Time Student (student must present proof of full-time status with registration)
$100 Artists Over Sixty
$150 Arts Professional VLA Member
$200 Arts Professional Non-Member
$400 Legal Professional VLA Member
$500 Legal Professional Non-Member
$300 Young Associate Members & Associate Board Members

Attorneys seeking CLE credit must purchase an attorney ticket (i.e. Legal Professional Member, Legal Professional Non-Member, or YAMS)

Please note you are not registered until full payment is received. For attorneys, there are various scholarships available. To view our Financial Aid Policy Guidelines and for more information on how to apply, click here.


April 29, 2021 @ 1:00 pm
April 30, 2021 @ 4:30 pm
Event Category:


NY United States


Event type
CLE Class
Event Cate
CLE Class