Robert F. Levine
Robert F. Levine graduated from Cornell University (B.S., 1960) and Harvard Law School (L.B., cum laude, 1963) and spent a year as a Knox Fellow at the London School of Economics.
Mr. Levine’s practice spans over 35 years, and he has represented clients in virtually all major areas of the media/entertainment industry. He has particular expertise in the publishing industry, where he acts both as an attorney and a literary agent for many celebrated authors and provides strategic counseling on the development, purchase and sale of literary and magazine properties. He also negotiates employment agreements for prominent media figures, many of whom have been clients of the firm for more than a decade.
Mr. Levine possesses an in-depth expertise in the film and television industry and produced the motion picture That Championship Season, based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
His practice is characterized by a humanistic approach to business and professional relationships.
- Named “New York Super Lawyer” in Entertainment and Sports, Intellectual Property, by “Law and Politics” (2010)
- Highest “AV” Professional Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
- SAN MIGUEL WRITERS CONFERENCE (2013): Bob will lead a workshop entitled THE EBOOK REVOLUTION AND HOW E-PUBLISHING AFFECTS YOU which will focus on the ebook revolution and the rise of self-publishing as a viable alternative to traditional publishing.
Conrad M. Rippy
Conrad M. Rippy has practiced entertainment law since 1995, and has been a partner of the firm since 2000. Although his practice encompasses a number of the principal entertainment industries, Mr. Rippy concentrates in the areas of book publishing, particularly for young readers, and Broadway and off-Broadway theater. He also works extensively in the music industry, in film and television as his clients’ projects develop across media platforms, and in media- and fashion-related executive employment transitions.
Mr. Rippy graduated from Brown University (A.B., magna cum laude, 1986) and the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1992), where he served as Notes Editor of the Virginia Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Rippy clerked for Hon. John D. Butzner, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Mr. Rippy’s clients include authors and illustrators working in picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction; composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in theater; both established and developing popular recording artists; film and television score composers; publishing and fashion executives; and theater producers.
Kim G. Schefler
Kim G. Schefler joined the firm in 2001 and became a partner in January 2009. She represents clients in the media and entertainment industry, with special expertise in the areas of literary publishing, licensing and celebrity endorsements, and executive employment.
In Ms. Schefler’s literary practice, she represents authors, literary agents, publishing executives, independent publishing companies and others in the publishing industry. Her counsel involves all aspects of the development and exploitation of literary properties across the media spectrum, including various aspects of digital and new media. She also negotiates employment agreements for many senior publishing and other media executives and advises literary agents in their own professional relationships and transitions within the literary agenting world.
Ms. Schefler’s licensing practice focuses on counseling prominent designers and other creative individuals in the fashion industry on general business and legal matters with an emphasis on the negotiation of licensing agreements, and on protecting and maximizing the value of intellectual property and the celebrity persona.
Ms. Schefler graduated from Barnard College (B.A. 1979, cum laude) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1982). She is a member of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law section of the New York State Bar Association, and has previous experience in media, sports and general corporate law. Immediately prior to joining the firm, Ms. Schefler took some time off from the practice of law to do non-profit work in support of autism and autism education.
In our literary representation group, we offer specialized services both as attorneys and agents to our clients in the book publishing industry, who include celebrity best-selling adult non-fiction authors and children’s book authors, collaborators, illustrators, journalists, literary agents, senior publishing executives, book packagers and independent book publishers. Our breadth of experience in the book publishing business and our entertainment practice in general, together with our extensive professional contacts and knowledge of current publishing issues and trends, enable us to provide comprehensive counseling to our clients.
As literary agents and attorneys, we represent authors, collaborators and illustrators through the publishing life of their books. For adult non-fiction authors, we work with the client in crafting a strong book concept, developing a comprehensive book proposal for presentation to the premier publishing houses, engaging a collaborator and negotiating a collaboration agreement, securing and negotiating a publishing agreement, identifying and engaging publicists and providing ongoing support in the licensing of subsidiary and ancillary rights, such as motion picture, live theater, television, and merchandising, as well as developing emerging new content opportunities. Our books include memoirs, personal finance books, health books, cookbooks, self-help books, business books, inspirational books and other narrative non-fiction books. In order to maintain our focus and expertise in the adult non-fiction arena, we do not act as agents for adult fiction authors.
We also represent best selling children and young adult book authors and illustrators in all genres in developing their book ideas and in structuring and negotiating single or multi-book publishing agreements, forming creative partnerships with collaborators and other professionals, managing the book’s content into other platforms, such as audio/visual, live performance and merchandising uses, and all other aspects of the exploitation of a book. Our authors and illustrators have written numerous New York Times #1 bestsellers, and have been honored with Caldecott, Zolotow and BEA Booksense awards, among others.
For our literary agenting work, we charge a customary percentage of author revenue arising out of the exploitation of a project. Our services include legal representation associated with the project, such as the negotiation of collaboration agreements and agreements for the disposition of rights in the book. In some situations, such as where an author has already identified an agent or publisher for his or her work, we represent author-clients on a fee basis in the negotiation of their agency, publishing and other agreements.
We also represent, on an ongoing basis, many leading literary agents in the negotiation of sophisticated agreements for their clients, such as unique collaboration or publishing relationships, film option agreements and other special agreements for the exploitation of rights in their clients’ works. In addition, we counsel literary agents in their business relationships, including structuring and negotiating their relationship with a current agency, advising them in the transition from one agency to another and guiding them in the establishment of their own agency business. We also work with literary agents to resolve disputes with current and former clients or co-agents.
Our literary representation practice also includes the ongoing representation of book packagers and independent book publishers in the structuring and negotiation of creative publishing and other agreements with partners and authors.
We also assist clients in navigating the evolving world of self-publishing. We advise clients on creating strategies for their self-publishing projects, including establishing an individualized plan for bringing the specific project from creation to market, recommending and evaluating third-party service providers and negotiating agreements on behalf of our clients with such service providers, and analyzing distribution alternatives and implementing a distribution and marketing program.
Additionally, we represent many of the high level executives at the premiere publishing houses in the negotiation of their employment agreements, including counseling such executives on their continuing employment relationships, in their transitions from one company to another, and in the establishment of new imprints.