5 About My Legal Work for the Arts
As an attorney, I’ve worked for the arts in a host of ways. I began my practicer in Chicago, with the firm of Sonnenschein, Carlin, Nath & Rosenthal, and I did pro bono work for Creative Lawyers for the Arts. After moving to Connecticut, from 1986 to 1990 I served as Chairman of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Committee on Arts and the Law, serving also, as part of my duties in that position, as the Legal Director for the Connecticut Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. From 1986 to 1989, I worked as Director of the Connecticut Arts Law Conference, an annual day-long event held at Yale University, which educated members of the arts and legal communities about the laws affecting art and artists. In 1991, after reviewing hundreds of outreach projects, the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association chose this event as one of twelve Model Attorney Outreach Projects to be honored at the Division’s annual conference.
I’ve given speeches, lectures and workshops on arts law for such groups and institutions as the National Conference of State Legislatures, Inner City Cultural Development (a pilot program of the National Endowment for the Arts), the National Writers Union (Fairfield/Westchester chapter), and the Connecticut Arts Education Association. I’ve also represented and counseled scores of artists and arts groups as a private attorney, and as a volunteer lawyer for the arts. After switching from private practice to public service law, in my position as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, I’ve also done work of state and national significance in the field of historic preservation.
In 1987,at the request of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, I drafted a bill for an “Act Concerning Art Preservation and Artists’ Rights, and, with lobbyist Brian Anderson, led a successful two-year campaign for passage of such legislation by the Connecticut General Assembly. The Bridgeport Post described me as an “[a]rtists’ champion… a leader in the fight to protect their rights.”