My Services

Music Entertainment

I represent clients in entertainment industry transactions. I assist musicians, managers, producers, actors, photographers and models with all aspects of their careers.

Core Services: evaluate business opportunities, structure deals and review and negotiate all types of contracts.  I form entities and draft bylaws and operating agreements. I foster  my clients’ long-term creative vision and productivity.

Recent representations:   Music licenses for French’s mustard.  Production Agreement for a hip hop music label.  I am defending a rock band in a multi-million dollar breach of contract lawsuit.


I advise corporate and individual copyright owners on all aspects of copyright law under the 1909 and 1976 Acts, related amendments and treaties.  I draft licensing and rights acquisition agreements for copyright owners and users.

Clientele: authors, artists, illustrators, photographers, musicians, composers, songwriters, tech programmers, directors, designers, copyright-using companies and their executives.


I provide advice and counsel about trademark rights acquisition, maintenance, and preservation. I conduct clearance searches, prepare and file applications for registration and responses to USPTO office actions. I send and respond to cease-and-desist letters, have experience in anti-counterfeiting and infringement litigation, and have worked on dozens of opposition and cancellation proceedings before the U.S. Trademark Trials and Appeal Board (TTAB). I am versed in the TTAB’s niche procedural rules.

Recent representations:

• Numerous federal trademark registrations obtained

• Trademark counsel for a $25M international confections company

• Trademark counsel for importer of Spanish artisanal beer



Clientele: business owners, artists, musicians, executives, and employees.

I provide advice and counsel on rights enforcement, conflict resolution and all phases of litigation.

Whatever your controversy, parties should avoid litigation. I approach conflict resolution with a view to compromise, without compromising our ability to litigate effectively later.

However, when your rights are willfully trespassed the most effective response may be swift, deliberate and compelling. While no result can be guaranteed, if retained I will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your case and proceed in consultation with the client to achieve the desired result. Usually the leverage available to be applied against a particular adversary will reflect the given facts and the strength of a client’s existing rights.

Recent representations:

  • I cured a $14,000 breach of contract in eight hours, basing my strategy on empathy with the adversary. The breach cured, that rare item now sits in its new home in Finland and both parties avoided the cost of litigation.
  • Counsel in a matter where the United States filed a position statement regarding an issue of first-impression; the matter settled privately prior to appellate review.
  • Counsel in a multi-party litigation involving highly adversarial members of a $30,000,000 community association.


I am licensed to practice law in New York and Connecticut. I graduated cum laud from Pace University School of Law in 2006.  My Bachelor’s degree is in music from the University of Bridgeport and I was, for a decade, a reputable professional musician while simultaneously working days at major advertising agencies (for example, I was Executive Assistant to the Chairman of Advertising for Revlon Consumer Products, in my 20s, and manager of the sub-agency’s office.)

As an attorney at the international IP firm Ladas & Parry LLP in New York, I worked on trademark litigation matters.  I worked full-time throughout law school at a leading national law firm, and in my final semester interned at the Connecticut State’s Attorney’s Office.

My law practice straddles two widely disparate communities – Brooklyn, NY (Bushwick) and Greenwich, CT.  Bushwick is the fastest emerging center of music and art in the country, and Greenwich is a prominent business and celebrity enclave.

I have served on the Board of Directors for Creative Arts Workshop for Kids (  I am also a reliable provider of what I call “service” music – that is, live music for extraordinary events, and my clients include top luxury hotels, Fortune 100 corporations, and even world leaders like a past U.S. President and foreign diplomats.

The sum total of my deep legal and business experience makes me an asset for clients.

If you think we may be a good fit, call 917-693-2089 or email me at      I look forward to continuing the conversation.



Welcome to my soapbox. Gather round and read or listen to my opinions about a number of things that interest me (make sure your volume is at a comfortable level before clicking ‘play’).

Concerning purposeful creativity

Audio #1: narration on handling criticism, a key skill for any creative player.

ROUGH TEXT: How To Deal With Criticism by Alan Johnson. (c) 2012 (PDF, 356 KB)

Trademark Trials and Tribulations: Do I Use TM or (R)?

Featured campaign: Morgan’s Rum – “To Life, Love & Loot”

Trademark Law Enthusiasts,

The current campaign for Captain Morgan’s Rum – “To Life, Love & Loot” demonstrates the proper use of a “TM” symbol by a trademark rights claimant. Do the following:

1) the next time you see Diago’s commercial, watch for the TM notice placed to the upper right of its slogan, “To Life, Love & Loot”™.

2) Click here to view Diagio’s trademark application…filed February 4, 2011. (PDF, 160 KB)

Diagio’s concern back in February: a broadcast television commercial and print campaign takes four months (or less) from conception to airing on TV/cable/etc., while a trademark application takes eight months or more to process.

Assuming a knock-out search revealed no obvious trademark conflicts, should Diagio wait for an official registration before airing the campaign using their catchy slogan? No! Diago announced its claim of rights with a “TM” bug, properly placed in a trademark signifying fashion to the upper right of the slogan. This is the proper use of a TM bug.

You’ll note Diago’s filing basis in its application is “1B” – this means they filed on an “intent-to-use” basis. Clearly they are now using the mark in commerce, so pending the resolution of any conflicts not publicly disclosed, the application will be converted to a USE-based application soon.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit of trademark law fun, intended for educational purposes only; always consult your own attorney for actual legal advice.



LIVE WORKSHOPS  –  new and improved!  Attend in 2016


The Whole Music Business

“The Whole Music Business: Everything you should know about the music business”

A high-impact, focused training on the music business.  Twenty hours of retina damaging reading and research, seasoned and tenderized into a palatable 6-hour live workshop program. Request an outline in PDF form via


If you’re an aspiring singer, songwriter, band, rapper, manager or producer, The Whole Music Business(tm) workshop may be right for you.  Six hours of intensive business training.  The best explanations I give to clients about how the whole industry works. You’ll learn about income streams and strategies for musicians, songwriters and producers; how managers and agents do their jobs and how to build a good team; and how, with a little effort, you can dramatically increase your chances for catching somebody’s ear with your band or song – all packed into a three-hours that could transform the way you approach your craft.

Perfect Pitch

Perfect Pitch: An intensive, full-day workshop for people serious about releasing their own record.

An intensive, full day workshop on the music business, presented by Alan Johnson, Esq.

When: TBD, 2016

Time: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: Roger Smith Hotel, NYC

This is two day, premium event is limited to twenty participants. We’ll go twice as deep into the publishing, recording, and touring businesses as I do in the 6 hour program. Registered attendees submit a written business plan two weeks prior to the event. I review the plan (as a business consultant rather than as an attorney) and share my thoughts with you at least four days prior so you have time to revise. This step will dramatically increase your learning and retention during the full-day session. You and I will keep your business plan confidential but I can tell you with a high degree of certainty, that no two plans are alike.

We’ll spend an hour discussing the most successful record launches of the last five years, and learn how the best minds in the business create excellent record and talent launches.

SPECIAL BONUS – DEFINE AND REFINE: we’ll spend the last hour meeting top creative talent from New York – a creative director, an A&R strategist, a producer, and a top photographer – four people from each essential discipline to share their thoughts on the launch process and save you time and money. They’ll share how they define and refine an artist’s image and convey it in words, imagery, and stunts that bring – and keep – an artist in our attention. Special guests to be announced in mid-June.

My goal for this day is to clarify, amplify, and optimize the best of what exists in your plan – and ultimately, your talent.

Important note: you will implement your own plan based on your own abilities and resources, but results may vary from person to person. Please see other disclaimers related to the educational intent of this workshop. In this business, there are no guarantees – but leading authorities on human performance seem to agree that your chances for success are improved if you express where you’re going in a written plan.

FREE Trademark Law Education Series:  Do I Use (R) or TM?

Got a Brand or Company Name?

Then you have a trademark. Learn trademark law basics that can help you protect this valuable asset.

Who Should Attend?

Business owners, creative people, and entrepreneurs. Group sizes are limited to eight participants, so reserve your space in advance by emailing

For educational purposes only. Always consult your own lawyer for legal advice.

Where & When?

Thursdays in June 5:45 pm –7:00 pm
Le Pain Quotidien — Greenwich
382 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT

Location subject to change, call or email in advance to confirm.

To reserve a seat and receive a confirmation, email