Richard Idell

Counsel

  • Biography

    Richard Idell practiced law with the Honorable Judge Carlos T. Bea of the Ninth Circuit from 1977 to 1986. From 1986 to 2018 he was senior and founding partner of The Idell Firm, A Professional Corporation. He became Of Counsel to DPF January 1, 2019.

    Richard is a veteran trial lawyer having litigated a wide range of trial matters in State and Federal Court over the last 43 years, including copyright, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret, contracts, internet law, domain name disputes, complex business and investment banking transactions, real estate, corporate, limited liability company and partnership issues, tax shelters, construction, professional negligence (including complex attorney-client fee disputes, attorney, accountancy, architectural and insurance broker malpractice claims), insurance matters and other tort claims.

    Richard is also a seasoned entertainment lawyer handling both trial and transactional entertainment matters, including live entertainment performances where he is considered one of the leading practitioners. His entertainment career has included representation of Bill Graham, Bill Graham Presents,  Another Planet Entertainment, Shorenstein Hays-Nederlander Theatres, BottleRock and the San Francisco Symphony. His entertainment practice includes trial and transactional matters concerning venue leases, land use and permitting, artist agreements, tour agreements, joint ventures, sponsorship, publicity rights, force majeure issues, patron claims, insurance, indemnity, ADA compliance, venue development, CEQA matters, real estate and tort matters. Richard has a specialty in legal issues concerning production and promotion of large outdoor music festivals and events, having been counsel to numerous such projects, including the San Francisco Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival®, the Treasure Island Music Festival® and the BottleRock® Music Festival in Napa Valley.

    Richard and his wife are grape growers and vintners in Sonoma Valley, and, in addition to his entertainment practice, his law practice includes a variety of real estate, land use and wine industry issues. He represents wineries and growers in litigation, administrative matters and transactional matters with a significant emphasis on purchase and sale of vineyard and winery properties, easements, water issues, Williamson Act and environmental issues. He also counsels on general wine business and operational issues. His practice includes representation of wine bottle suppliers, barrel purveyors, on-line wine retailing and others in the industry. His practice includes representation regarding permitting for events and ABC and TTB regulatory issues. Richard is on the board of Sonoma County Vintners and a member of its Government Relations Committee on county, state and regulatory issues. Richard has been a Lecturer at Sonoma State University, including as Lecturer in the Wine Executive MBA Program teaching: “Leadership, Compliance and Governmental Relations”. His many years handling trademark, copyright and other branding issues has provided a foundation for counseling in the wine industry on branding issues and he represents wine producers in their trademark, branding and labeling. In 2015 Richard authored legislation which permitted a Tied House exemption for the BottleRock music festival. Also, in 2015, Richard authored legislation which permitted exemption from Tied House restrictions for Weill Hall and Schroeder Hall at the Green Music Center.

    Richard also has an active mediation and arbitration practice with an emphasis on entertainment and wine industry issues. He is a neutral with the American Arbitration Association, the Superior Court of Marin County and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

    Richard is a frequent lecturer on both entertainment and wine industry issues. He is a member of the American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries and was Chair of that Forum from August 2013 to August 2015. He is currently a member of the board of the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation and the California Film Institute which presents the Mill Valley Film Festival and Sonoma County Vintners. He was formerly on the advisory board of Weill Hall at the Green Center.

  • Education

    J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law (1975)
    A.B., University of California at Berkeley (1970)

  • Writings
    •  “Venues: Festivals” for the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers Publication “Live Entertainment – An International Handbook” presented at MIDEM, Cannes, France, January 2011
    •  “Compliance Issues Heat Up With Outdoor Summer Concerts”, Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 16, 2009
    • “Must the Show Always Go On? Better Check the Contract”, Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 12, 2009
    • “Indemnity Policies Are Crucial To Setting The Stage For A Smooth Live Show”, Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 5, 2009
    •  “A Concerted Effort”, Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 21, 2009
    •  “Online Marketing Campaigns and Legal Considerations,” Website Magazine, August 3, 2007
    • “Dos and Don’ts of Online Marketing Campaigns”, 2007
    •  “Insurance and Indemnification Issues in Live Performance Agreements,” Multimedia & Entertainment Law Online News, Vol. VI, Number 603, 2000
    • “Listen to What the Man Said: L’Anza and Section 602 of the Copyright Act, ” Multimedia & Entertainment Law Online News, Vol. 402, 1998
  • Presentations
    • Panelist, “American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting: Plenary Session: Past Chairs Roundtable: Recipient of Past-Chair Recognition for 2013 to 2015 Term as Chair and Participation on Past Chairs Roundtable”, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 5, 2018
    • Speaker:, “Wine/Beer/Spirits Law Seminar: “Attracting your DTC Customers: Sales and Marketing Issues in the 2018 Land-use and Regulatory Environment: Events, Promotion and Sponsorship”, Sonoma County Bar Association, Santa Rosa, California, April 27, 2018
    • Panelist, “Careers in Business Law focusing on Entertainment Law”, Golden, Gate University Law School, San Francisco, California, March 14, 2018
    • Speaker, “The Business of Wine”: “IP, Trademarks and Licensing: Protecting Your Winery Name, Brand and Identity”, The Seminar Group, Napa, California, November 16, 2017
    • Panelist, “Duke University Law School: 7th Annual Duke Sports and Entertainment Law Symposium: “Lawlapalooza: Contracts, Negotiations, and other Legal Issues in the Music Festival Industry”; Duke University Law School, Durham, North Carolina, January 27, 2017
    • Speaker, “Sonoma County Vintners Education Series: “Winery Permits 101: Events At Wineries And Tastings Rooms – Conditional Use Permits, Sponsorship, Music Licensing”; Santa Rosa, November 16, 2016
    • Lecturer, “Sonoma State University Wine Executive MBA Program: “Leadership, Compliance and Governmental Relations”; June – July, 2016
    • Speaker, “Creative Sonoma Next Level Music Business Education Series: “Music Industry Legal Issues – What every band and musician should know”, Santa Rosa, September, 2016
    • Panelist, “Wine & Craft Beer Symposium: Legal Issues in the Wine & Craft Beer Industry: From Start-up to Succession: Introduction & Top 10 Things to Know About Your Wines Business”; Sonoma County Bar Association, Fountaingrove Inn, Santa Rosa, California, April 19, 2016
    • Moderator, Panel discussion regarding: “Getting Your Music Heard” as part of the Music Industry Conference for artists and members of the music industry sponsored by Creative Sonoma, an agency/division of the County of Sonoma, including Al Evers from A-Train talking about licensing and Julie Schuchard from Tricycle Records talking about marketing and fan base development, Santa Rosa, CA, April 17, 2006
    • Guest Speaker, UC Davis School of Law: Entertainment and Sports Law Society: “Careers in Entertainment Law and Sports Law”, Davis, California, March 30, 2016
    • Moderator and Presenter, “Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance Symposium on licensing of music for public performances in tasting rooms and wineries”, featuring Todd Brabec as co-presenter, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Sonoma, California , February 26, 2016
    • Guest Speaker, Berkeley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law, Lunch Symposium: “How to Build a Career in Entertainment Law”, University of California at Berkeley Law School (formerly Boalt Hall), Berkeley, California, February 24, 2016
    • Panelist, 2015 Napa Wine Industry Financial Symposium® 24th Annual Event; “The Wine Game With New Rules: Pressure From The Neighbors: A Panel Dealing With The On- Going Debate In Sonoma And Napa Counties On Winery Events And Proposed Regulation”: Moderator, Phillip Kalsched of Carle, Mackie, Power and Ross, and co- panelists Beth Painter, Napa Planner and Tony LeBlanc from Silver Oak Winery; Napa, California, September 21, 2015
    • Panelist “Best Practices in Winery Operations: Cutting Edge Concepts and Practices: Charity, Sports & Concert Events”; co-panelists: Drea Helfer of DH Wine Compliance and J. Daniel Davis of Law Offices of Daniel Davis, Napa, California, March 20, 2015
    • Lecturer, Founding Partner, Richard J. Idell, was once again a lecturer in the Wine Business Institute, School of Business and Economics Sonoma State University, presenting a one-day seminar on: “Setting up Your Wine Business from a Legal Perspective”, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, March 12, 2015
    • Moderator and Panelist, State Bar of California Business Law Webinars 2014: “How To Series: Business Entity and Tax Planning for the Entertainment and Sports Client”, Webinar, December 18, 2014
    • Moderator, American Bar Association Section of International Law, 2014 Fall Meeting, “Global Distribution of Entertainment Content in the Digital Era: Rights, Action, Roll ’em”; Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 22, 2014
    • Chair, American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, California, October 9 – 11, 2014
    • Moderator, American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries CLE Symposium in Conjunction with the Americana Music Festival and Conference, “Lawyer Doing Business With Clients and Taking on Other Roles: Manager, Agent or Partner: Ethical Considerations and Pitfalls”, Nashville, Tennessee, September 18, 2014. Panelist: American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries, 5th Annual International Legal Symposium on the World of Music, Film, Television and Sports, in Miami, Florida, “Success Stories in the Entertainment Industry”, May 1 and 2, 2014
    • Instructor, Sonoma State University, Wine Business Institute: “Navigating the Regulatory Process for Obtaining a Use Permit for a Winery and Tasting Room”, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, March 2014
    • Chair, Mid-Year Meeting of the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Sonoma, California, March 6 – 9, 2014
    • Lecturer, Annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference, “Trademark Law and Procedure and Branding Your Cheese”, February 24, 2014
    • Chair, American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries, Annual Meeting, New York, New York, October 3-5, 2013
    • Panelist, American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries CLE Symposium In Conjunction With The Americana Music Festival and Conference, “An Update on Conflicts of Interest Issues for Entertainment Lawyers”, Nashville, Tennessee, September 19, 2013
    • Moderator, American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries CLE Symposium In Conjunction With The Americana Music Festival and Conference, “Live Performance Issues: Concerts, Tours, Festivals”, Nashville, Tennessee, September 20, 2013
    • Moderator, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries, “International Culture Clash Litigation: Round-Up Of IP, New Technology and Privacy Cases Every Practitioner Needs To Know”, San Francisco, California, August 10, 2013
    • Panelist, American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law, 4th Annual International Legal Symposium on the World of Music, Film, Television and Sports, “Beyond the Glare of the Press and Paparazzi on the Red Carpet: The Creation, Development, Financing, Production and Distribution of a Successful Independent Motion Picture or Documentary in the United States and Abroad”, Miami, Florida, May 3, 2013
    • Panelist, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Law Industries, “Ethics Panel: Is Your Business Card a Professional Licensure Complaint?”, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 4-6, 2012
    • Moderator, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Law Industries, “Bankruptcy/Collections-Enforcement of Rights”, New York, New York, October 13-15, 2011
    • Panelist, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Law Industries, “Entertainment Litigation: An Update, Domestic and International”, New York, New York, October 13-15, 2011
    • Panelist, Webinar, “Concerts, Festivals, Touring and Personal Appearances Update”, American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law Industries, June 22, 2011
    • Panelist, Copyright Society of the USA, Mid-Winter Meeting, Creativity and the Law: Life of a Creative Project: Collaboration from Concept to Copyright, Santa Fe, February 3-5, 2011
    • Moderator, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Law Industries Annual Meeting, “Cloud Based Content: Business and Legal Issues”, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 8, 2010 Moderator: American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Law Industries, “From Music, Film and Art to Motorcycles and Other Sports: Hot Issues and Disputes in Entertainment, Art and Sports Licensing Deals”, San Francisco, California, August 6, 2010
    • Panelist, Gamer Technology Law, “Top 10 Litigation Matters of 2008,” Los Angeles, California, March 9 and 10, 2009
    • Program Chair, ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sport Industries, 2008 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California, October 16 to 18, 2008
    • Moderator, ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, “Ethical Considerations and Obligations of Lawyers Who Counsel Artists and Athletes on Investment Management Issues”, Los Angeles, California, October 17, 2008
    • Moderator, ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Law, “Rights of Publicity and Privacy”, Los Angeles, California, October 17, 2008
    • Moderator, ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Law, “Agents, Managers and Representatives”, Los Angeles, California, October 17, 2008
    • Moderator, Mill Valley Film Festival presented by the California Film Institute, “Independent Film: Why the Panic?,” Mill Valley, California,  October 4, 2008
    • Panelist, Online Market World, “Fraudulent Trends and What to Do About Them,” October 2, 2008
    • Panelist, MusicTech Summit II, “Copyright Issues in Music Law”, San Francisco, California, May 8, 2008
    • Panelist, Gamer Technology Law, “The Litigation Horizon: What People Need to Know about Product Liability and Class Action Suits; Potential Plaintiff Theories; Tips for Calculating your Exposure; Defensive Strategies”, Los Angeles, California, March 27 and 28, 2008
    • Panelist, International Association of Entertainment Lawyers 2008 MIDEM Presentation, Legal Update, Cannes, France, January 27, 2008
  • Associations and Recognition
    • Sonoma County Bar Association
    • Napa County Bar Association
    • Lawyer Friends of Wine (“LFW”)
    • Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (“SVVGA”)
    • Sonoma County Vintners (“SCV”)
    • Marin County Bar Association
    • San Francisco Bar Association
    • American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries
    • State Bar of California (Business Law, Intellectual Property, Real Estate and Litigation Sections)
    • The Copyright Society of Northern California
    • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (“SFTLA”)
    • Former ad hoc “Chair” of Bay Area Gastronomique Entertainment Lawyers Societé (“BAGELS”)