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NYWIFT board member and moderator Thea Kerman
NYWIFT board member and moderator Thea Kerman
The Company You Keep:
Protecting Your Documentary's Outtakes

Do documentary filmmakers have the same rights as journalists when trying to protect their sources and prevent their outtakes from being subpoenaed? Two recent cases involving the documentaries The Central Park 5, directed by Sarah Burns, Ken Burns and David McMahon, and Crude, directed by Joe Berlinger, interpreted the rights of documentary filmmakers in the process of protecting their sources and material. 

Attorneys involved with those cases will explain the courts' decisions and what you can do to protect your film.  Be sure to bring your legal questions for this exceptional panel of legal experts.

Maura J. Wogan
is a partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz and has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of sophisticated intellectual property law, including First Amendment, copyright, and entertainment litigation, counseling and the pre-publication review of content.  She has litigated numerous high-profile cases. Among them was her representation of Berlinger when Chevron attempted to obtain a court order requiring the release of more than 600 hours of unused film footage from his documentary film Crude. She also worked on behalf of  Tribune Media Services when Warren Beatty sued the company over motion picture rights to the Dick Tracy character. 

Michael C. Donaldson
is a Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney who has filed several briefs in support of indie filmmakers on a pro bono basis. Recently, to help Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, Donaldson worked with New York lawyer Andrew Celli to file an amicus brief to fight New York City's subpoena for all the outtakes from The Central Park 5. He also filed an amicus brief when Chevron subpoenaed filmmaker Joe Berlinger’s outtakes of his film Crude. Donadlson is the author of Clearance & Copyright, a standard industry reference book used in over 50 film schools, as well as The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking

John Siegal
is a trial and courtroom advocate in the state and federal courts of New York and across the country. He handles private business disputes and transactions in the media, financial services and real estate industries, as well as matters involving public agencies and controversies. Siegal serves as BakerHostetler's New York Litigation Coordinator, with practice management responsibility for approximately 100 attorneys in the firm's New York office. He represented Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns in defending against a subpoena served by the City of New York seeking the outtakes from their film The Central Park 5. 

Moderator Thea J. Kerman is of counsel at Beigelman, Feldman, Golionksi, Reedy and Senouf. She has over 25 years of legal experience and is an expert in the entertainment, publishing and licensing industries. Kerman represents a wide range of creative clientele that includes producers, writers and directors.  She is licensed to practice in New York and California.

Produced by Thea Kerman

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