Profile of Brenda Feigen
Brenda Feigen is an experienced entertainment and anti-discrimination attorney who fights hard for her clients, whether they be individuals who need contracts negotiated for film, TV, music or book deals, who are seeking funding for films, who have experienced discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination or, in general, individuals who need contracts negotiated. She also represents companies that need her firm's services with respect to mergers and acquisitions with and of other entertainment companies or with respect to various types of litigation.
In the entertainment field, she has handled matters involving motion picture, television, literary, music, copyright and other intellectual property areas. Clients range from producers to rights owners, authors, writers, directors, actors, composers and singers. She spent five years in the '80s at the William Morris Agency where she was both a business affairs attorney and a motion picture agent. While at William Morris, she represented producers, writers and talent, such as Jane Alexander, Karen Allen, Loretta Swit and Mike Farrell.
Her practice has also been enhanced by her own experience as producer of a big-budget Hollywood movie, NAVY SEALS (Orion, 1990), and she lectures frequently on subjects ranging from role of the producer in motion pictures and television to the respective roles of agents and attorneys to the contents of different kinds of entertainment-related contracts to deals for television and motion picture writers to contracts for authors with publishers.
Ms. Feigen's reputation as an activist in the Women's Movement has caused her to expand her practice to include all aspects of anti-discrimination law, including gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, disability and age discrimination cases, as well as harassment, wrongful termination and civil rights case, in general. Some of the defendants with whom she has successfully settled matters for her clients include a nationwide insurance company, a national restaurant chain, the Defense Department, a large Hollywood film-processing company and a well-known law firm in a neighboring state. She is presently involved with a number of high-profile cases involving gender discrimination in Hollywood and elsewhere. She recently settled an important copyright case against a large New York publishing house.
Ms. Feigen co-founded the ACLU's Women's Rights Project with now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1972 and then expanded its scope to include the Reproductive Freedom Rights Project, where her attention was focused not only on abortion rights but also, in three different federal class-action lawsuits, on the rights of poor, minority women to be free from unwanted sterilization. She has litigated sex discrimination cases that involved both violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as landmark constitutional cases. She sat at the counsel table as then Professor Ginsburg argued the landmark case, Frontiero v. Richardson, in which it was established that discrimination on the basis of gender would receive more than the cursory review it had previously garnered. That decision was the first in a long line of cases that culminated in a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision (written by Justice Ginsburg), holding that there must be an "extremely persuasive reason" for the existence of any gender discrimination by any government body or in any law or statute. Ms. Feigen brought successful federal class action lawsuits against the Harvard Club of New York City, which had hitherto refused women graduates the right to become full members, and the New York City Board of Education which had routinely denied parental leaves of absence to all fathers but granted them to all mothers.
Ms. Feigen was elected National Vice President for Legislation of NOW in 1970 and then went on to start the Women's Action Alliance, the newsletter of which became MS. Magazine that she co-founded with Gloria Steinem in 1971. That year, she also was a co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus. Throughout most of the 1970s, Ms. Feigen lobbied intensively for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and wrote an article for the Harvard Women's Law Journal on the reasons that a state cannot rescind its prior ratification of a constitutional amendment, namely the ERA. She has written numerous other articles about women in publications ranging from the anthology, Radical Lawyer (how badly women are treated in the legal profession) to Vogue Magazine ( e.g. the rights of actresses not to perform in the nude); from Ms. Magazine (women in sports) to The Village Voice (women at the 1972 Democratic Convention). Her memoir, Not One of the Boys: Living Life as a Feminist, was published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in September of 2000.
Ms. Feigen is an honors graduate of Vassar College where she majored in Mathematics and minored in Economics and Russian. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1969. In 1978, she became an Honorary President's Fellow at Columbia University where she studied international politics. Two decades later, she became the Director of "Entertainment Goes Global", a joint project of USC's Annenberg School and the Pacific Council on International Politics. (Click here to read an article about Brenda In Harvard's Alumni Bulletin)
Ms. Feigen has written numerous articles on entertainment law, as well as women in the law. In 1993, Ms. Feigen was a featured speaker at Harvard Law School's Celebration 40 (celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first class of female graduates). Her topic: "The Expected Impact on the U.S. Supreme Court of newly appointed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg." At Celebration 50, she organized and spoke on a panel on "Developments in Employment Law: Women in the Workplace." In the '90s, Ms. Feigen taught a class on the Role of the Producer in Motion Pictures at UCLA. In 2001, she spoke at Harvard Law and Business and Yale Law Schools on the subject of women and the law and did the same in 2005 at Berkeley's Law School, Boalt Hall, as well as Occidental College. For the past five years, Ms. Feigen has spoken to groups of lawyers at symposia organized by California Lawyers for the Arts on various aspects of entertainment law. In 2005, she also addressed a large audience at the Twyman Creative Los Angeles Film Conference. In 2004, she was on a panel at Harvard Law School, moderated by Harvard Law Professor Arthur Miller entitled "Privacy and Protection." That same year, Ms. Feigen was also a panelist at the Austin Film Festival and addressed a lawyers' symposium there and in Minneapolis, this time on the constitutional issues raised by same-sex marriage. She has authored two articles for the Harvard Women's Law Journal: "May a State Rescind its Ratification of a Pending Constitutional Amendment?" and "Same Sex Marriage" (click here to read). In October, 2003, Ms. Feigen moderated a panel on "Making Deals with Cable Networks" and participated in a panel on "From Book to Film in an Era of Blockbusters and Tent Poles" for the American Bar Association Forum: "Entertainment and Sports Law in the New Economy"(Click here to read Ms. Feigen's article on "Books Becoming Movies.")
In addition to sharing her experiences as a producer, Ms. Feigen has lectured on the law of movies and television for the Practicing Law Institute, California Lawyers for the Arts and numerous other organizations. She also authored a book review for Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, a publications of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, (Vol. 21, No. 4, Winter, 2004) of Peter Dekom's provocative book: NOT ON MY WATCH: HOLLYWOOD VS. THE FUTURE (Click here to read.)
Ms. Feigen is admitted to practice in California, New York and Massachusetts. She is a member of the American, California, Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills and New York Civil and Criminal Courts Bar Associations. She is also a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the National Employment Lawyers Association. She serves on the boards of California Lawyers for the Arts and the Population Media Center and is on the Association of American Screenwriters. She served as Chair of the Board of The National Breast Cancer Education and Legal Center. Ms. Feigen is active in the arts as well as politics, having run for the Democratic nomination for New York's 26th State Senatorial seat. She is listed in many reference books, including Who's Who in America. Ms. Feigen can be reached by phone at (310) 552-0808 and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admitted to Practice in California,
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Brenda Feigen and former colleague, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at Harvard Law School's Celebration 50, May 2003
Attorney at Law
Feigen Law Group
2934½ Beverly Glen Circle
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Tel: (310) 271-0606
Fax: (310) 274-0503