Speed Dating the Legal Experts

Start Time:
5:00 pm
Heather Rafter
Friday, Jan 23


Tony Berman, William Coats, Jessica Fajfar, John Given, Ethan Jacks, Kevin Jablonski, David Lowry and Virgil Roberts
Master Class (202 A)
1 hr.

This innovative legal program, consisting of some of the audio and music industry’s leading attorneys, will begin by covering the hottest topics – and thorniest issues –facing audio companies and musicians alike. After the legal overview, the experts will break out into five smaller sessions organized by legal topics: sales & marketing (both US and international compliance), litigation & licensing, IP filings (patent, trademark & copyright), corporation formation &  financing, and entertainment law. You can pick your session (or drift between them), ask the experts or listen into questions underway.

Tony Berman (tony@beat-law.com) is the founder of Berman Entertainment and Technology Law, a law firm focusing on issues implicated by the convergence of technology and the entertainment industry. His primary practice areas involve negotiation of entertainment contracts and advising clients on legal issues involved in the formation of entertainment-related organizations and protection of copyrights and trademarks. Tony’s clients include record and management companies,  management companies, music venues, as well as writers, performers and artists. Tony is also an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University School and has served on the board of governors of The Recording Academy San Francisco Chapter

William Coats (william.coats@novakdruce.com)‎‎ is a partner with Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP, concentrates his practice on intellectual property litigation that specifically involves patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secret disputes for the electronics, entertainment and movie industries. Among other companies, he has represented Lucasfilm, Mesa Boogie, Pioneer and Apple.  He was appointed by the U.S. government to the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business Task Team on Intellectual Property Rights and Related Issues in 2008 and previously served as the chair of the Science and Technology Law Section of the American Bar Association.  Bill plays bass in the Los Trancolizers and uses Mesa Boogie amplifiers and cabinets exclusively.

Jessica Fajfar (Jessica@raftermarsh.com) has practiced before the USPTO for over five years and is an Assistant Professor and Supervisor of the USPTO Trademark Program at the University of San Francisco School of Law (USF). She also helps oversee a pro bono start-up program at USF that assists new companies with handling many legal aspects, including business entity formation, numerous template contracts and general IP consultation. She is also Of Counsel at a boutique Silicon Valley firm, RafterMarsh, which specializes in licensing and IP matters for technology companies, where she handles the trademark prosecution practice and other matters. Jessica graduated summa cum laude from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and received her LL.M. in IP & Technology Law from USF.

John Given (john.given@avid.com) is an intellectual property attorney providing legal counsel and support for all aspects of the audio, video, networking, storage and other high technology industries.  John is Corporate Counsel for Avid Technology, Inc., developer of the Pro Tools and Media Composer lines of audio and video editors and is based at Avid’s Silicon Valley facility in Mountain View, California.  He is an active musician and recording engineer and has received album credits for songwriting, guitar and mixing.  John received his J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an A.B. in International Relations from University of California, Davis.  

Kevin Jablonski ‎(JablonskiK@LanePowell.com) is a registered patent attorney with Lane Powell PC in Seattle.  He has a comprehensive intellectual property practice, which includes patent procurement, copyright and trademark. He is experienced in technology areas such as digital control circuits, digital signal processing, interactive software and computer architecture solutions. In addition, Kevin has developed a technical focus in the audio arts and audio-related technologies. He manages and performs (drums) with two Pacific Northwest bands:  Whiskey Gaels, an Irish/Celtic band, and The Soul Proprietors, an 11-piece Motown soul band. Kevin received his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, his B.S. in electrical engineering from Gonzaga University, and he also has an A.A. in audio production from Art Institute of Seattle.

Ethan Jacks (ethan@mediabridgecap.com) has been involved in M&A and corporate law and finance for over 25 years. As a corporate lawyer Ethan represented buyers, sellers and investors in a wide range of high-tech industries. In 1991, Ethan co-founded a groundbreaking environmental technology company. ​ Ethan moved to Avid Technology in 1999, and served ​as ​EVP of Corporate Development, CLO and CFO, while Avid's annual revenues grew to $1 billion. Since 2006, Ethan has worked as a venture capital investor and investment banker, co-founding MediaBridge ​Capital Advisors​ in 2012, a​ boutique investment bank focusing on digital media, with offices in Boston and Los Angeles. Ethan holds a BS and MBA from MIT, and a JD from Georgetown University.

David Lowry (david.lowry@izotope.com) is Legal Counsel at iZotope, Inc. He has several years experience as a software engineer developing artificial intelligence languages and applications; and has been Of Counsel for several Boston law firms.  His practice includes intellectual property law, patent and trademark prosecution and litigation, technology law, licensing technology and music, artists’ agreements, startups, and mergers and acquisitions.  He plays bass and pretends to play guitar.  David holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Boston University and a J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center.


Heather D. Rafter (heather@raftermarsh.com) founded her law firm, RafterMarsh US in 2009, after fourteen years as the General Counsel of Digidesign. RafterMarsh offers both general and specialized legal services to the pro audio, digital media and entertainment industries. The firm represents a variety of clients ranging from start-ups to well-established companies, including Slate Digital, Gobbler, PreSonus, Brainworx and Ableton. Heather is active in the American Bar Association and served as Chair of the Section of Science & Technology Law. Heather received her A.B. degree from Princeton University, magna cum laude, and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. When not practicing law, Heather is frequently found at concerts and festivals, often with her kids.

Virgil Roberts (vroberts@bobroblaw.com) is a well-known entertainment lawyer. His accomplishments include serving as President of Solar Records, one of the most successful African American-owned record companies. Virgil subsequently founded the law firm of Bobbitt & Roberts, which specializes in representing entertainment industry clients, such as Usher, Kanye West, Chaka Khan, and MTV. He has been widely recognized for his community service, including by the Los Angeles Urban League, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, UCLA Black Alumni Association and the Chaka Khan Foundation. Roberts graduated from UCLA and Harvard Law School. Virgil is married to writer/editor Brenda (Banks) Roberts, award-winning author of “Jazzy Miz Mozetta” and is the proud father of two daughters.