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Bar News - January 21, 2015

Legal World Often an Awkward Fit with the Arts

The fall issue of the Bar Journal, now available online in PDF or for purchase as a printed copy, looks at “Arts and the Law” as it touches several practice areas.

The new issue also includes several artists in the law, including Portsmouth attorney Haden Gerrish, whose watercolor painting graces the cover. Inside are profiles, with samples of their works, of attorneys Paul Durham (children’s book author), and Lynne Guimond Sabean (photographer), and Melissa Anne Miller, a painter whose studio is located at the offices of Orr & Reno in Concord.

Articles in the Issue:

In “Fashion Design and Intellectual Protection,” Leigh Willey, a Devine Millimet attorney, argues that, despite the documented economic importance of the fashion industry, US designers do not enjoy the same intellectual property protection granted other artists such as authors and musicians, or designers in other countries.

Amanda Nelson, whose practice aims to address the unique legal needs of artists, looks at the special nature of business relationships among artists, dealers, and consigners in “Protection for New Hampshire’s Art Market: Revision of RSA 352 to Reflect Market Reality.” Nelson, along with co-author Peter McGovern, a law professor from the University of Connecticut School of Law, look at how bankruptcy and Uniform Commercial Code provisions, along with specific New Hampshire business laws, do not provide sufficient protection. The article also discusses a potential artist consignment statute that New Hampshire could adopt to protect ownership of artwork.

Tawny Alvarez of the Verrill Dana law firm, in “Employing Creativity: Art, Law and the Employment Relationship,” considers aspects of employing or contracting with creative professionals under both federal and state laws. Profound questions of “what is art” or “what is creative” can crop up in a variety of situations where creative professionals, whether they write, create websites, or dance in nightclubs, are compensated or employed by businesses.

The digital era has wreaked havoc on traditional notions of authorship and creation. In “Copyright Protection: from Monkey Selfies to Cezanne,” Kimberly Peaslee, a NH-based patent lawyer admitted in three states, looks at copyright law, raising issues that few of us would anticipate.

Lorne Fienberg, our issue editor and an immigration law practitioner, wryly writes about the United States Customs and Immigration Service’s forays into the interpretation of art to make determinations about a specific type of visa for artists and performers. He traces the torturous path of the agency’s various levels of review, until an appellate board emerges from the aesthetic thicket with a valid interpretation.

Visit to read or download the issue as a single, 40-page PDF, with links to PDFs for individual articles. Or go to the Online Store to purchase a printed copy for $10.

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