Lisa A. Callif

Lisa A. Callif, named by Variety as one of “the best and the brightest” (2011), is an entertainment attorney whose primary focus is on representing independent filmmakers in all aspects of their moviemaking, including development, production, and distribution. As part of her practice, she does a significant amount of clearance work for documentaries, including rendering fair use opinion letters, which permit her clients to use limited amounts of unlicensed material in their films under the fair use doctrine as codified in U.S. copyright law. In addition to her work with independent film, Lisa is one of the few attorneys in Los Angeles to represent live theaters. Donaldson Callif Perez represents the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, the Geffen Playhouse, and other Los Angeles–based theater companies, as well as playwrights and composers. Prior to working with her now-partner Michael C. Donaldson, Lisa spent four years at Proskauer Rose. Lisa graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a BS in communications, and worked in the music indus-try in New York and Los Angeles before obtaining her JD from Southwestern School of Law. In law school, she participated on the moot court team (where she placed first in both writing and oral advocacy in a national competition), served as a Lead Articles Editor on the Southwestern Law Review, and wrote an article about online distribution of motion pictures that was published by Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal. In 2010, Lisa co-wrote The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking: Contracts, Copyright, and Everything Else You Need to Know with Michael Donaldson. Lisa is an adjunct professor at Southwestern and a frequent speaker on panels sponsored by Film Independent, the American Pavilion, and UCLA (where she also teaches “legal basics” at the UCLA Professional Producers Program). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Dustin, and their sons, Dylan and Liam. 

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