Law 357 - Navigating through the Entertainment Unions and Guilds

Brian Walton

Brian Walton

Lecturer in Law
B.A. Brigham Young University, 1969
M.A. Brigham Young University, 1971
J.D. University of Utah College of Law, 1974
Course Description:

This survey course examines the entertainment industry through the various unions and Guilds in the creative and production spheres that comprise the industry. Because the entertainment industry is heavily “unionized,” it provides an ideal backdrop to study the intersection of advocacy, negotiation and creative rights that are critical to lawyers and their clients working in the Entertainment business. This course will focus on the most high-profile of the many unions in the entertainment industry which are called the “Hollywood Guilds.”  We will also touch on some of the Guilds that govern work performed outside of the US.

We will cover the creative and production Guilds that represent, the performers, directors, writers and various crew members. For purposes of this course, the Hollywood Guilds are the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees and the Teamsters.

These institutions have a tremendous impact, reach and influence on lawyers and their clients working in the entertainment business.  Entertainment lawyers representing clients on either side of the table in negotiations in the industry will need a working knowledge of the collective bargaining agreements that cover the work done by the many areas that the Unions and Guilds govern.

Although this class is especially relevant to those interested in entertainment law, this class will be informative about the dynamics and relationship between unions and companies in any industry. The intent of the course is to provide students with working knowledge of key provisions in the Guild Collective Bargaining Agreements, while also highlighting key arbitrations and unique practices in the industry. There will also be focus on the changing landscape of the industry due to ever-changing technology and how it is affecting the Unions and their Collective Bargaining Agreements.