The Law Practice of Christopher Schiller
Contact: -- cell/L.A. 213.804.5905 -- phone/NY 518.489.1691

Areas of Practice

All lawyers, by virtue of passing their respective bars, are general practice attorneys. But because the law has broadened so widely over the centuries it is natural that each lawyer will find areas of practice within which they can focus their knowledge and interests. These are not specialities, per se, but areas from which information and advice can flow more readily and reliably than general law knowledge from other areas.

The following are the areas within which I have a keen interest and attempt to remain current with the latest legal developments in order to serve my clients better. The links to these areas (in the menu to the left and within the text) provide more specific (verbose?) discussions of the area topics.

My Areas of Concentration

As in most things, there are very few areas of law that do not overlap with many others and so speaking of a particular single branch of law implies understanding and use of the requisite other areas of law as well. While some areas of law are defined within statutes or case law with particularity, some legal nomenclature (e.g. "Entertainment Law",) does not refer to a distinct, separate legal field of study but incorporates a myriad of related legal fields. The name just gives a handy perspective from which to describe the bundle of legal theories involved. In either case the name used provides a handy touch stone to understanding a concentration of legal problems.

Below is a list of areas of demarcation within which I have focused my studies and perspectives in order to be best available to help clients resolve their issues. Further detail in each area can be found through the links within the text or from the shortcut menu provided on the left.


Copyright, one branch of intellectual property, in the United States is a statutorily distinct, intricate property right that can easily be overlooked or mishandled without care and attention to detail. Broadly defined, copyright is held in an expression of ideas fixed in an at least semi-permanent medium. Of course this definition is too vague to be immediately useful and leads to much confusion. My Copyright focus is mainly derived from the interests of making sure that writers, movie makers, artists, photographers and any other creative endeavors receive and maintain the greatest values for their efforts possible.

Other Intellectual Property and related areas

Because a concern with one area of Intellectual Property is quite often tied with several of the other overlapping IP issues my interests in Copyright have lead to a familiarity with other traditional IP and tangential areas of close relation. These concentrations include Trademarks, Rights of Privacy and Publicity, Trade Secrets, and, at least in international concerns (for now) Moral Rights.

Entertainment Law

Entertainment Law is not a distinct branch of law, but, a conglomerate of all the areas of law that deal with relations in the entertainment fields of commerce. These areas of law can include such diverse issues as: Intellectual Property, Labor Law, International Commerce, Equity Financing, First Amendment and Anti-Trust. My particular interests in Entertainment Law derive from a perspective of independent film production and writing for screen and stage, but, as everything else in this field, the border lines are quite blurred.

Media and Telecommunications Law

Media and Telecommunications Law are two areas of very specific, usually statutorily constructed law dealing with television, radio, satellite, computer communications and telephones. Because of my technical knowledge and background my interests in Media and Telecommunication Law are suited to keep abreast of these constantly changing and highly specialized, jargon laden fields of law.

Art Law

United States' Art Law is another area of conglomeration of areas of law that intersect with the business and creativity of art, but, there are certain laws which are specific only to the creative artist itself. Only some of these areas of law are statutory in the U.S., such as the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), but because of international commerce in art there are still issues of interest that require a knowledge of things such as Artist's or Author's Rights and Moral Rights. My interests in Art Law come mainly from the perspective of the artist and his or her dealings with dealers, museums, galleries and collectors.

Cultural Property

Cultural Property is the shared property of an ethnic group or country that is part and parcel of the makeup of and identity of that group. Because of its unique nature the usual laws of property and possession do not easily apply. It is a newly evolving and dynamic area of law in most countries today. These issues are constantly hitting the headlines with the legal dilemmas they face. Examples you may have heard of are the Elgin Marbles, Indian burial artifacts, and Tibetan Monk Sand paintings. My interests in Cultural Property extend to identifying areas where the property in question may have cultural aspects and looking to existing law for responses and where there is no applicable law, formulating resolutions to create a legally equitable solution making sure the cultural values of the property in question are not disserved.

International Aspects

There is no actual "International Law" in reality to be used in the courts of the world. What the term usually encompasses is the intersection of national laws, treaties and multinational understandings which ebb and flow with the tide of international commerce and politics. There are trade organizations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) for example, who try to standardize dealings that cross national borders but not all countries interpret these "standards" equally or at all. An understanding of how domestic law is different or conflicts with other nations' laws will help when dealing with property that crosses into the international marketplace (e.g. movie distribution.) My International Law interests are mainly concerned about the border crossing of the other aspects of legal interests discussed above, recognizing the differences between nations and identifying when potential difference may cause problems.