Areas of Focus
“My aim is to understand what the client is ultimately hoping to achieve, and to help ensure that every piece of the puzzle fits together to reach that goal.”
Agencies and brands exploring innovative ways to produce and use marketing content trust Samantha Rothaus to balance legal risk with business objectives. She helps clients launch collaborative projects, understand their contract rights, and negotiate talent deals and production agreements.
Often involved at the earliest stages of a client’s project, Samantha brings an attentive and practical approach to avoiding problems and crafting solutions. Her thoughtful and individualized guidance supports brands, creative agencies, and communications firms launching marketing campaigns in traditional and emerging media, in addition to sponsored influencer content and branded entertainment produced by media partners.
Samantha routinely counsels clients seeking to explore new technologies such as Web3 and generative artificial intelligence. She is also well-versed in guiding clients through legal requirements and best practices in running contests, sweepstakes and other prize-related promotions. Whether companies are collaborating through co-branded promotions or sponsored events, or engaging influencers, celebrity spokespeople or content production vendors, Samantha helps them find strategies to achieve their goals and serve their best interests, even during contentious, high-pressure negotiations.
Samantha maintains a particular focus on production and talent agreements, and often assists advertisers and agencies in identifying and understanding complex SAG-AFTRA union obligations. She also regularly counsels independent film and television producers in connection with the development and production of entertainment and documentary projects.
With a background in intellectual property litigation and trademark prosecution, Samantha recognizes the value companies place on protecting their IP rights. She evaluates potential benefits and consequences of sharing or promoting content so clients can make sound business decisions. When companies seek to understand or expand upon their scope of use for a particular piece of content, they benefit from her contract analyses of their legal rights, obligations and required permissions, and the practical solutions she offers.
Negotiated with a major streaming platform on behalf of a creative studio engaged in producing digital videos promoting the streamer’s live sports programming, and negotiated talent agreements and team licensing agreements for the celebrity athletes and mascots appearing in the videos. Advised client and streamer’s legal team regarding SAG-AFTRA union obligations and provided guidance in negotiating with celebrity talent.
Advised a leading advertising agency in conducting unique experiential activations featuring high profile celebrity talent, including an interactive animation project with a leading Hollywood actor, and an immersive, augmented reality experience with a leading Hollywood director.
Represented a luxury jewelry brand in negotiating a multi-year endorsement agreement with an A-list celebrity actor to serve as the face of the brand in a global, multimedia advertising campaign.
Advised an advertising agency in connection with a campaign involving a high-value worldwide contest. Counseled client and sponsor regarding contest rules, operational guidelines, and marketing strategies. Negotiated agreements with contest developers and with celebrity spokespeople appearing in online commercials promoting the contest.
Advised a leading children's publisher on the development and production of a 3D CGI television series based on a best-selling children's book series. Advised and negotiated production agreements, writer agreements, producer agreements, and voiceover talent agreements and helped navigate the demands of both the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Writers Guild of America.
Represented a major advertising agency in negotiating licenses for existing film footage and rights to a featured celebrity's likeness in connection with a Super Bowl advertising campaign.
Advised a major automobile company in developing and implementing a marketing strategy for online pre-sale and reservation programs to promote the launch of new product lines. Routinely provided guidance for structuring and marketing retail sales events, including financing, lease, and cash-back offers, and special promotional programs, including limited offers, cash-back initiatives, contests and sweepstakes, to ensure compliance with appropriate state and federal laws.
Advised a top advertising agency and its clients on handling last-minute shoot cancellations or postponements due to COVID-19. Ensured production vendors implement and adhere to health and safety protocols consistent with laws and regulations where the production shoot occurs and helped clients re-start commercial production with a greater sense of certainty.
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- University of California, Los Angeles School of Law (L.L.M., 2011)
- Boston University School of Law (J.D., 2010)
- Boston University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2007)
- Best Lawyers®* “Ones to Watch” 2021-2024, Intellectual Property Law
- New York Metro Super Lawyers® “Rising Stars” 2016-2023, Media and Advertising
- The Legal 500 United States® “Recommended Attorney” 2023, Advertising and Marketing: Transactional and Regulatory
- New York
- U.S. District CourtSouthern District of New York
- U.S. District CourtEastern District of New York
- U.S. District CourtDistrict of Massachusetts
- U.S. District CourtEastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District CourtWestern District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of AppealsSecond Circuit
- U.S. Court of AppealsThird Circuit
Member, New York State Bar Association
Member, New York City Bar Association