VLA | 1 East 53rd Street, 6th Floor | New York, NY
(212) 319-ARTS | www.vlany.org
Updated as of Thursday, December 12, 2013, 5:20 PM
To request a case, please click the appropriate case number below to email VLA Legal Fellow & Pro Bono Coordinator Josephina Tapia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please remember that cases are sometimes unavailable as already on review by another attorney. The Case List marks these cases as "On Review." Occasionally, these cases may return to the list if not placed with the reviewing attorney, who has one week to accept or return the case. As many VLA cases are placed very quickly, we encourage you to include at least two cases in your case requests.
Who We Serve
VLA serves low income and indigent artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in every imaginable discipline. For example, theater, dance, fashion, the visual arts, performance, music, journalism, crafts, textiles, architecture, film, design, literature, and poetry are only a few of the artistic disciplines we service. Whether artists are looking to start a nonprofit dance company, copyright their manuscript or produce an independent film, VLA is available to assist them. Before cases are placed on this list, VLA meets with the applicant for pro bono services to confirm that they meet VLA’s financial and substantive guidelines. Further explanation of our financial and substantive qualification guidelines is available upon your request.
Table of Contents
Contract - Back to Top
13672 - On Review
an attorney to assist them in a dispute with a former partner regarding the ownership of a film, whether
the film was a work -for-hire and payment due for filmmakers' services under de-facto contract.
13695 - On Review
Client is a
photographer seeking payment from a company who employed client for three photo shoots pursuant to
written agreements, and after partial payment, refused to pay the remainder of the balance, citing
dissatisfaction with photographer's work. Portions of the contract were orally modified. Adverse parties
have threatened to pursue a restraining order if photographer continues to contact them, and have alleged
that photographer's interest rate is usurious.
Contract/Copyright - Back to Top
Client is a fine artist who
created a video piece and seeks legal assistance assessing her claim against the Adverse Party, who
publicly distributed a commercial feature film that is similar to a film that client created. Client has sold
limited copies of the video with contract restrictions not to release video to third parties, and believes one
purchaser may have given access to Adverse Party. Client seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney
to assess and pursue a copyright infringement action.
Copyright - Back to Top
Client is seeking legal
assistance to remove YouTube videos containing Client's registered copyrights that were uploaded by
Adverse Party, a New York resident. There are five videos; Client appears in four videos and the remaining
video shows Adverse Party mocking Client and ridiculing Client's work. Client never signed a contract
with Adverse Party.
Client is a New York-based
songwriter who claims a new song by a famous artist samples one of his songs without consent. Client
seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to receive writer’s credit and possible compensation for the
song. Client is interested in pursuing litigation if necessary.
13684 - On Review
Client needs an
attorney to help him with cease and desist letters for infringing uses of his designs and to recover designs
from a printer that has been making unauthorized t-shirts with his designs.
Dispute/Litigation - Back to Top
13670 - On Review
Client needs an
attorney to recover monies owed to him by a film production company for filming 5 episodes of a TV
13423 - On Review
Client, a visual
artist, was commissioned by a museum in Rome, Italy to create a sculpture for an exhibit. Client gave
his design for the sculpture to a fabricator in Connecticut to complete the work. The fabricator failed to
deliver the work in time for the opening of the exhibit, and the work was poorly executed and incomplete
when it was finally delivered. Client seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney who can represent him in
New York and Connecticut to assess his claim for damages against the fabricator.
Dispute/Litigation/Negotiation - Back to Top
13590 - On Review
Client is a
costume designer who seeks to collect fees for costumes she designed for two singers.
Client is an award winning
filmmaker who recently completed a critically acclaimed feature film, largely sponsored by a non-profit.
The sponsor showed support through the film's development, but later required changes to be made after
the film received political criticism and placed the non-profit executive director in a light he did not agree
was accurate. Client seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to confirm his rights over the film and
solidify his ability to distribute the film.
Client, a background actor, was
terminated by Adverse Party. Client then contacted Adverse Party via email to pitch a course; a course
outline was included in the email. Adverse Party then created their own course with the same title,
allegedly using the course outline. Client seeks payment for use of the course. He filed a pro se lawsuit
against Adverse Party for wrongful termination and copyright infringement and needs counsel to amend or
withdraw the complaint.
Clients are four principals of a
performing and visual arts collective that formerly operated out of a commercial space. There was no
written lease, certificate of occupancy, or permits, and the landlord collected the rent in cash. After the
Fire Department and Police barred Clients from the premises, the former landlord sued Clients for costs
incurred for remediating the premises, code violations, clean-up, and legal fees. Clients seek the
assistance of a volunteer attorney to respond to the former landlord's lawsuit .
Immigration - Back to
13614 - On Review
Client is an artist
who seeks to obtain a Green Card after her marriage to a U.S. citizen. She completed most of the
application, but has two specific questions regarding nuances in her application, and is seeking the
assistance of a pro bono attorney to help her with these issues and assist her in submitting the
application in its entirety.
Non-Profit - Back to Top
13639 - On Review
Client is a non-
profit organization who seeks legal assistance recovering funds that were improperly withdrawn by one of
its board members.
13415 - On Review
Client is a New
York-based not for profit organization which hosts classical music concerts on Long Island. The board of
directors has agreed to dissolve the organization voluntarily.The organization has assets in cash and
plans to donate the cash to another non-profit community concert association. Client is seeking pro bono
assistance with the voluntary dissolution.
13601 - On Review
An ensemble of
artists seek to form a not-for-profit theater company. Client seeks assistance incorporating as a not-for-
profit and apply for tax-exempt status federally and in NY.
13483 - On Review
Client wants to
incorporate a not-for-profit company in support and educational furtherance of the revival of the music of
lost artists from 1830-1930. Client seeks assistance incorporating as a not-for-profit corporation and filing
for tax exempt status federally and in New York.
Estate/Landlord/Tenant - Back to Top
The Client is a non-profit
organization that has been operating for several years and is seeking to build a museum. The donated
property on which the museum would be located is historically significant to the mission. Several years
ago, the City of New York proposed taking the property for its own purposes under eminent domain. The
Client seeks legal assistance with preventing the City from unduly taking their deeded property.