Hollywood’s New Leaders: Law

Variety‘s Hollywood’s New Leaders profiles those to look out for in the worlds of film, TV, digital and more. For more of the New Leaders, click here.

Tiffany A. Dunn, 39
Senior counsel and office manager of administration, Nashville, Loeb & Loeb
Dunn attended Nashville’s Belmont U., majoring in music business and minoring in classical voice. “I thought it would be fun to dip my toes in both ends of the pool,” she says. Today, she’s a standout at Loeb & Loeb’s Nashville office, working with B.B. King, Carrie Underwood, the Civil Wars, Vince Gill, the Grand Ole Opry and the John R. Cash Revocable Trust. “There’s so much to be garnered from the (Cash) brand, not only with respect to copyrights but also the right of publicity and trademarks,” she says.

Uri Fleming, 40
Partner, Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo
Fleming’s resume includes mega-deals such as the sale of DreamWorks to Paramount and the sale of DreamWorks’ library to Dune/Soros. He’s a key player on teams repping “Harry Potter” author J. K. Rowling in her dealings with Warner Bros.; production companies including Marza Animation Planet, ThinkFactory Media, Intuitive Entertainment and 2C Media; and up-and-coming talent such as actress Karla Souza (ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder”) and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (“American Horror Story”). “I like that it’s a changing industry with new technologies and a lot of disruptions,” he says. “The day never turns out as I planned.”

Aaron Gafni, 34
Associate, Greenberg Glusker
With his talent for argument, Gafni’s parents thought he should be a litigator, but instead he found his calling as a dealmaker. Today, he works with digital content providers and platforms, handling everything from corporate structuring and equity financing to alliances and acquisitions, as well as pairing celebrities with brands. His proudest accomplishment is serving as lead corporate counsel on the $2 billion sale of the L.A. Clippers to Steve Ballmer. “We needed NBA approval and all the lawyers and the clients ready to close once we got the order from the probate court,” says Gafni. “We got the order at 8:31 a.m., right after the court opened, and at 8:33 we had closed.”

Bradley Garrett, 32
Associate, Cohen Gardner
During his early college days, Garrett sang in punk bands that played the Sunset Strip, and was awed by the overtly unfavorable contracts they were presented. “That sort of piqued my interest,” he says. “Once I knew I wasn’t going to have a real future as an artist, I thought, ‘I’m going to go to law school.’” Today, he uses those skills for clients such as Bernie Su, Milana Vayntrub and Ari Shaffir. He is adept at helping them use digital platforms as incubators for traditional media projects, as he did for Shaffir with his Comedy Central series “This Is Not Happening.”

Danny Passman, 39
Partner, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown
The son of noted music attorney Don Passman (R.E.M., Janet Jackson), the younger Passman worked as a musicvideo director after studying at Harvard and AFI. But when the music industry began to shrink, he decided to follow in dad’s footsteps, enrolling in UCLA Law School in 2002. At Gang, Tyre since 2007, he works with clients such as Michael Mann, Cameron Crowe, Heidi Klum and Julius Onah. “Having been a director, I understand the process of what clients go through in terms of neurosis,” says Passman, who stands 6’8”. “Perhaps that makes clients feel I’m simpatico with them.”

Erin R. Ranahan, 36
Partner, Winston & Strawn
The San Francisco native began her career litigating intellectual property matters on behalf of EMI, Smokey Robinson and Marvel Comics. Lately, she’s been working the bleeding edge of copyright law, scoring victories that include a summary judgment for defendant Veoh against UMG that’s considered a landmark Digital Millennium Copyright Act decision. She’s also litigated for Wolfgang’s Vault/Bill Graham Archives in disputes against the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, the Doors and the Grateful Dead. “There are always new and exciting things happening in this area,” she says.

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