Your Name/Your Practice Name
Sean Etheridge - Attorney at Shefsky & Froelich Ltd. in Chicago, Illinois
Website/Social Networking Profiles (if applicable)
Do You Have a Specialty? (Genres, deal types, etc.)
Sean represents musicians and filmmakers in the entertainment industry, with an emphasis in recording agreements, licensing agreements, management agreements, producer agreements, band member agreements, live performance agreements, publishing agreements and songwriter agreements.
How Can Clients Contact You?
Sean C. Etheridge || Shefsky & Froelich Ltd.
111 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 2800 | Chicago, IL 60601
T: (312) 836-4077 | F: (312) 275-7644
Why Did You Choose Entertainment Law?
My father worked in a record store when I was born and our house was always full of music and albums. MTV became a big part of my life as a teenager and the grunge bands of the 90's sealed the deal. Nirvana's Nevermind and Green Day's Dookie were purchased within an hour of seeing the videos for Smells Like Teen Spirit and Longview. After realizing I had a bleak future as a punk bass player in San Diego after law school, I started helping real musicians with their legal needs so they could concentrate on playing music. It's a very interesting time for music and film and I want to be a part of it.
Share Some Tips for Working with a Lawyer
Talk to a lawyer early on in the process. Even if you don't have the money set aside for legal services or business organization, many lawyers will be willing to have a 30 minute phone call with you to discuss your legal needs. Once they provide you with their recommendations, it's up to you to figure out how much of your budget can be set aside for legal services.
Be organized. Treat your music career like the business that it is and you will save a lot of money on cleaning things up down the road.
Work with a lawyer to copyright your music. It's amazing how many artists don't take the relatively simple step of filing for a copyright.
Don't expect a lawyer to be your manager, booking agent and record label. While the lines between an artist's team members often do blur together, you will have better luck relying on your lawyer for your legal needs and each other member of your team for tasks that fall within their expertise.
Be respectful of your lawyer's time and remember that lawyers bill by the hour. Even if you work out a contingent fee arrangement (generally 5%) with your lawyer, the lawyer has other clients that also have legal needs. Try to avoid calling your lawyer every time you have a small question by keeping a list of legal questions and asking them all at once during a meeting or call. Always be on time and never miss appointments.
Invite your lawyer to your shows. They generally like to listen to live music.
- Keep yourself informed about the new technology shaping the music business. Things are changing rapidly and it's easy to get left behind.
- Keep your ears open for the next Bob Marley or Kurt Cobain.