Ethical dilemmas can arise in all areas of law, but the entertainment field can be fraught with them.
If they’re not careful, attorneys can run afoul of rules governing the attorney-client relationship, conflicts of interest, attorney compensation, and simultaneous representation, among others, speakers said Friday during a South by Southwest continuing legal education session.
That’s especially true if an attorney is wearing a second hat—agent, manager, even band member, said Austin entertainment and media lawyer Lawrence Waks, a partner with Jackson Walker LLP.
“I know a lot of folks in Austin, generally solos, that are both lawyers and agents, or lawyers and managers, or lawyers and musicians,” Waks said. “What hat are they wearing at any particular time? … It’s very difficult to discern that kind of thing.”
Speakers sounded notes of caution throughout the hourlong session, which focused on ethical issues in entertainment law. Along with Waks, the panel featured former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and Austin trial lawyer Steve McConnico.