Sam Lipshie practices in the areas of entertainment, music, intellectual property and commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Chambers USA 2020 lauds his "superb entertainment practice which includes representing individual talent and corporate entities in high-stakes disputes and transactional matters." He has extensive experience in connection with the acquisition and disposition of media, broadcast and other intellectual property. As head of the firm's Media and Entertainment Practice Group, Sam has handled high-profile copyright, royalty (publishers, producers and talent), sports, entertainment, media and intellectual property litigation, as well as a multitude of cases involving trade secrets, trademarks, covenants not to compete, interference with contractual relations, and other business and commercial issues. Clients note "His attention to detail is second to none" and describe him as "very attentive, knowledgeable and easy to work with." -Chambers USA 2020
Sam has practiced before Tennessee trial and appellate courts, as well as federal, district and appellate courts across the country. He has spoken at the Vanderbilt School of Law and before numerous professional audiences on topics related to entertainment, media and intellectual property among others. Sam also served as a visiting faculty member for Entertainment Litigation at the University of Tennessee College of Law.
Sam has received national, regional and statewide recognition for his work in litigation, appellate, intellectual property, and entertainment and sports law, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation, Benchmark Appellate, IP Stars, Who’s Who Legal, Mid-South Super Lawyers, and the Nashville Business Journal.
Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment, 2016, 2018, 2019 Listed in Benchmark Litigation, "Local Litigation Star," Tennessee, 2008-2021 "Litigation Star", 2023-2024 Listed in Benchmark Appellate, "Appellate Star," Tennessee, 2012-2013 Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® Entertainment Law, 2003-2013 Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television, 2011-2024 Entertainment Law – Music, 2011-2024 Media Law, 2016-2024 "Lawyer of the Year," Nashville, Entertainment Law-Motion Pictures and Television, 2018 "Lawyer of the Year," Nashville, Media Law, 2022, 2024 Listed in Chambers USA Litigation: General Commercial, 2005-2009 Media & Entertainment, 2010-2023 Listed in Managing Intellectual Property, "IP Star," United States, 2014-2016 Listed in Managing Intellectual Property, "IP Star," Tennessee, 2014 Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, Entertainment & Sports, 2006-2023 Listed in Nashville Business Journal, “Best of the Bar," 2012, 2014-2018 Martindale-Hubbell® AV Rated since 1985 Javon Marshall et al. v. ESPN, Inc. et al., 111 F. Supp. 3d 815 (M.D. Tenn 2015). Acted as co-counsel in a high profile putative class action antitrust case filed by former major conference collegiate football and basketball players alleging violation of Tennessee’s right of publicity statute and common law, federal and state antitrust laws, and the Lanham Act. Coordinated the collective defense of 26 defendants, which included major entertainment companies, major football and basketball conferences, and licensees, in obtaining a stay of discovery pending the successful briefing and argument of motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim based on a number of statutory and constitutional arguments. Affirmed in its entirety by Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in August, 2016. Representing Tascosa Films, LLC Retained by Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, one of America’s largest privately funded child and family service providers specializing in both residential and community-based services, as entertainment counsel for Tascosa Films, LLC. Representative tasks included script analysis and copyright registration, copyright recordation of script assignment documents, insurance coverage (including E&O coverage), film title clearance, assistance with completion of the SAG-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists pre-production paperwork, drafting and negotiating all talent contracts, drafting name, image, and likeness releases, and providing general legal counsel during all stages of the pre-production and production process. Telos Holdings, Inc. v. S.A.A.R. SrL et. al, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Case No. 3:14-cv-0957 Represented an Italian record label in a complex copyright infringement suit brought against it in federal district court. The case involved other parties from the U.K. and France. Our client entered into a license with one of the co-defendants to exploit a catalogue of classical music sound recordings owned by the plaintiff, but unbeknownst to our client, the applicable license between them had terminated, so the co-defendant no longer had the rights to sublicense or exploit the sound recordings. Filed motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and obtained a favorable ruling dismissing our Italian client from the case with prejudice. Represented the National Hockey League for 2016 All-Star Game Retained by the NHL to be Tennessee counsel in conjunction with the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. Provided general legal advice on ticketing statutes and policies and reviewed, negotiated, and secured venue contracts and building agreements, insurance and liability coverage, as well as advised on specific law and provisions required by state law to help the client navigate issues with third-party contractors and vendors. Represented Major Copyright and Royalty Portfolio Company Represented an entertainment company that specializes in purchasing historic portfolios of copyrights and royalty interests of prominent American music. Provided analysis of its complex royalty acquisition contracts to determine whether they were insulated against future claims that copyright termination principles are applicable to royalty stream purchases. Conducted extensive and complex research involving the intersection of state contract law and copyright termination, and provided recommendations on better contract language that the client can use in future royalty acquisition purchases. Represented BBR Music Group Represented BBR Music Group in a variety of entertainment and corporate transactional and litigation matters, including minority shareholder disposition actions, jury trials, and novel joint venture record label and publishing agreements with major entertainment companies. Also filed federal and state trademarks on a multitude of different marks in the BBR corporate family. Gudmar2, LLC v. Charles Sussman and Michael Kraski v. Equity Records, Inc., Clint Black et al., Williamson County Circuit Court, Case No. 36442 Represented client Clint Black in matter involving investment vehicles, bank loans and guaranties, and claims of contribution and indemnity between guarantors. Case settled on the eve of trial, on terms favorable to our client.