Producer’s E&O: Contact a clearance lawyer early to avoid problems!

Posted by Heather Watt and Lori Massini on Feb 17, 2021 7:59:06 AM

Film Producer’s E&O Insurance: Contact a clearance lawyer early to avoid problems during your shoot

Film Producer’s E&O InsuranceSource: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1484401412, Shutterstock

Guest blog post by Producer Essentials

As production counsel – the lawyer for the producer or production company that is creating a film or show – we are often brought onto a project late in the game, after principal photography has already commenced (or wrapped). This is because some producers may only think about hiring a lawyer when they need to secure errors and omissions insurance (E&O) for their production. And sometimes that is fine; there are low-risk productions that can go from development through to distribution without hitting any legal hurdles. However, we commonly see producers come to us because they have encountered problems that, if not resolved, would result in them being unable to secure E&O, but if caught early on, could have been easily avoided.

Some of the most frequent examples that we encounter are problems that arise due to a gap in chain of title. Without clear chain of title, a production will be unable to secure financing, E&O, or distribution, and could open the producer up to legal liability. And this gap is not necessarily because the producer did not seek out the proper permission for the underlying rights to a production, but rather that there was an oversight when creative contributions were made to a script but not properly recorded in contract, or when the creator is the producer, but failed to transfer their rights in the production to their production company. These are just two examples of how gaps can appear in chain of title (there are many more that we could give); however, the point is that by having a lawyer engaged on a project from the development stage, these types of problems would be prevented in the first place.

Hiring production counsel can be an intimidating process when you don’t really know what role they actually play. Couple this with the image of lawyers being an expensive burden on a tight production budget, and the result is that producers will often only hire a lawyer once something has gone wrong on a production. However, we have found that when our clients have a basic understanding of the key areas in the production process that usually involve legal counsel (or that would proceed much more smoothly if they did), they are more aware of what exactly it is that production counsel does and can feel confident in hiring a lawyer.

This is one of the main reasons we wanted to create a practical resource for producers and business affairs professionals. Our goal with Producer Essentials is not to replace the need for legal counsel, but rather to give producers the tools to navigate their own blind spots in the production legal landscape, so that they can issue spot and understand when their lawyer should handle something. This not only provides a level of cost predictability when it comes to the production budget, it takes a lot of stress off the producer, so that they can focus on the actual producing!

 

About Heather Watt and Lori Massini:

Heather Watt and Lori Massini are experienced entertainment and corporate commercial lawyers in Vancouver, BC. They are trusted advisors to their clients and assist with all production-related legal and business affairs needs, including drafting agreements and negotiating the hiring of cast and crew, preparing the appropriate corporate vehicles for various productions, overseeing complex production financing arrangements, and providing guidance on the provincial and federal tax credit systems. Lori and Heather are the co-creators of Producer Essentials.

About Producer Essentials:

Producer Essentials: A Comprehensive Guide to Business Affairs and Production Law for Film and Television is a self-paced course covering all aspects of film and television production, from financing to post-production to marketing and everything in between. Producer Essentials brings together industry professionals from the US and Canada to offer practical firsthand experience and insights into the entertainment industry, giving students the tools to effectively navigate the production landscape. Find out more at produceressentialscourse.com!

Related Posts:

FILM AND TV PRODUCERS ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE COST
THE VALUE OF A LAWYER
CLEARANCE PROCEDURES
E&O INSURANCE 101 FREE EBOOK

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, legal expense

Legal Expense Insurance

Posted by Grant Patten on Jan 13, 2020 8:26:34 AM

Legal Expense Insurance

Legal Expense Insurance

With legal expense insurance, your legal risks are well managed.

We know you’re busy. You’re running your business and working hard at it. But whenever you have an unforeseen legal issue, we know it means more time and work for you – and it takes you away from doing what you love.

Front Row Insurance and DAS have partnered to save you time and effort by offering the option of legal expense insurance (LEI) as a part of your Front Row policy.

How would LEI help you and your business?

A legal expense insurance policy:

  • provides you with financial coverage for a variety of potential legal events,
  • empowers you to pursue or defend your legal rights, and
  • provides you with unlimited access to a general Legal Helpline

Legal expense insurance saves you time and money by helping to:

Defend or pursue your legal rights, such as:

  • Employment Disputes: If you face legal action from an employee or ex-employee
  • Legal Defence: If your business faces criminal charges, a police investigation or an occupational health and safety investigation
  • Contract Disputes and Debt Recovery: If you face a dispute with a client or supplier in regards to a breach of contract or failure to pay an amount owed
  • Statutory Licence Protection: If your business faces a suspension, alteration or cancellation of its business licence
  • Property Protection: If there is trespass or legal nuisance to your business property
  • Bodily Injury: If you or one of your employees is injured on the job as a result of someone else’s negligence
  • Tax Protection: If you face an audit or wish to appeal a decision from the CRA

With policy limits of $100,000 per claim and $500,000 in total per policy year, DAS provides you the financial security to continue your legal action over time and against well-funded foes.

You also receive unlimited access to the DAS Legal Helpline

You will not need to search the internet or pay out of pocket for answers and assistance to your legal questions or issues. Legal information is provided, even if the issue or question is not covered by the policy. We make it easy for you as our Helpline lawyers are available:

  • 8:00 a.m. to midnight local time
  • 24/7 in an emergency situation

To learn more, please contact us.

Related Posts:


About: DAS Legal Protection Inc. is the Canadian market leader and managing general agent specializing exclusively in Legal Expense Insurance. Working with brokers and corporate partners, we create access to justice solutions so Canadian individuals, families, and business owners can exercise their rights, preserve their budget, and be confident when facing an unforeseen legal event. DAS Legal Expense Insurance policies are underwritten by Temple Insurance Company, and both companies are members of Munich Re (Group). To learn more, please visit www.das.ca.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Workers Compensation, legal expense

Why Does a Film Producer Need E&O Insurance?

Posted by Remy Khouzam on Jan 3, 2020 6:35:17 AM

Why does a film producer need Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance?

Why is E&O necessary from a legal perspective?

E&O insurance film | errors and omissions insurance film:


Remy Khouzam (Lawyer)
: The reality of the North American market, at the very least, is that E&O insurance is required and producers must obtain it because broadcasters, distributors, public sector financiers, etc. will require it.

So, why is it a good idea for a producer to get E&O insurance apart from the fact that they have to? It protects them in case of a claim under trademark infringement, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation issues and these claims can be very expensive and costs can rise quickly. Having the E&O insurance in place will allow you to cover those costs.

Related:

About: Lussier & Khouzam is a Canadian law firm specialized in Arts and Entertainment law. Visit their website at https://lussierkhouzam.com/.

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Script Clearance reports, defamation insurance, Trademark, legal expense

Protecting your script with Producers E&O insurance

Posted by David Hamilton on Oct 2, 2018 2:27:48 PM

Producer's E&O Insurance

Ensure Your Story is Told. Protect your Script.

Your team has recently secured the rights to a popular book, and you’re ready to make it into a feature film. You’re excited to get started bringing the concept and promise of the book to life, and you hire a respected screenwriter to adapt the book for the screen. You’re working on revisions when suddenly a letter arrives from another screenwriter who claims that he pitched a very similar script to the director not long ago.

All of a sudden, things aren’t going to plan...

Legal counsel to defend such cases is costly, and even if the matter is resolved without a lawsuit it will still drain valuable time from your production schedule.

No amount of preparation can totally eliminate the risk.

That’s why even when you know you’ve covered your bases, you still need insurance to protect you if something goes wrong. That’s where Errors & Omissions insurance (“E&O”) can help.

Among other things, it offers protection against:

  • Claims of plagiarism
  • Libel/slander accusations
  • Accusations of defamation of character or invasion of privacy
  • Lawsuits arising from alleged unauthorized use of:
  1. Titles
  2. Formats
  3. Ideas
  4. Characters
  5. Plots

The policy will pay for legal defense if a third party sues you for the above reasons, even if the claim has no merit, and provides peace of mind after your initial due diligence is completed. Finally and perhaps most importantly, many distributors require that you have this coverage in place prior to green-lighting release of your film.

Don’t let your film get derailed before it even gets on track; contact us to ensure you have the right coverage.

Related Post: Best Practices When Reviewing Scripts

 

RELATED LINKS:

E&O Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

E&O: What You Need to Know

E&O: Cost

Are you paying for the coverage you need?

Steps to Obtain

Producer Errors and Omissions

E&O: Reviewing Scripts

Distributor Errors and Omissions

Documentary E&O Insurance

Copyright Reports

How much of your film is copyright-able?

Copyright Infringements

Title Reports

Script Clearance Reports

Clearance Procedures

Claims Made vs. Occurrence

Fair Use

False Light Accusations

The value of a lawyer

To get or not get permission: The Social Network

A production lawyer's guide to obtaining E&O insurance and preventing litigation

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, legal expense