Joel A. Katz: Lawyer with Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Joel A. Katz

Atlanta Founding Shareholder; Atlanta Co-Managing Shareholder Emeritus; Chair, Global Entertainment and Media Practice
Atlanta,  GA  U.S.A.

Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

Client Rating

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Global Entertainment and Media
    Contact InfoTelephone: 678.553.2222
    Fax: 678.553.2212
    University Ph.D., Honorary Doctorate, University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, 2014; Ph.D., Honorary Doctorate, City University of New York at Hunter College, 2008; B.A., Economics, City University of New York at Hunter College, 1966
    Law SchoolJ.D., University of Tennessee College of Law, 1969
    Admitted1969, Tennessee; 1971, Georgia

    Professional & Community Involvement

    •Member, American Bar Association, Present
    •Chairman, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, 2000-2001
    •Member, Atlanta Bar Association, Present
    •Member, Georgia Bar Association, Present
    •Member, Tennessee Bar Association, Present
    •Board Member, Berklee College of Music, Board of Trustees, 2014-Present
    •Board Member, Million Women March For Endometriosis, Advisory Board, 2014-Present
    •Board Director, Luxure Media Group, 2012-Present
    •Board Member, MultiplyLive, Board of Directors, 2012-Present
    •Board Member, Hunter College, Music Advisory Board, 2011-Present
    •Board Member, Kiz Toys, Inc., Board of Directors, 2010-Present
    •Board Member, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LLC, Appointed by Michael Jackson and confirmed by the Michael Jackson Estate, Board of Representatives, 2009-Present
    •Board Member, T. J. Martell Foundation, National Board of Directors, 2009-Present
    •Board Member, Advisory Board of Directors, 1995-2003
    •Board Member, TouchTunes, Board of Directors, 2009-Present
    •Board Member, GRAMMY Museum, Initial Board of Directors, 2008-Present
    •Special Counsel, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2006-Present
    •fellow, Royal Society for Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA), 2005-Present
    •Music Industry Representative, State of Georgia, Film, Video and Music Advisory Commission (Appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue), 2004-Present
    •General Counsel, The Recording Academy (NARAS), 2003-Present
    •Former Executive Entertainment Counsel, 2000-2002
    •Founding Chairman, Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI), 1998-1999
    •Chairman Emeritus, 1997-1998
    •Board Member, NARAS Foundation, Board of Trustees, 1995-1996
    •National Chairman, 1995-1996
    •Special Counsel, Country Music Association, 1998-Present
    •General Counsel and Board Member, Farm Aid Inc., Board of Directors, 1985-Present
    •Board Member, 2014 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, Selection Board of Advisors, 2013-2014
    •Chairman, USO, Entertainment Advisory Council, 2010-2013
    •Board Member, Digital College Network, Board of Directors, 2010-2012
    •Board Member, Charity Partners, LLC, 2009-2012
    •Donor, Kennesaw State University, Launch of Entertainment and Music Management Certificate Program, June 2010
    •Board Member, Evergreen Copyrights Acquisitions, LLC, Board of Directors, 2005-2010
    •Board Member, International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, Board Member, 2006-2008
    •Board Member, Natrol, Inc., Board of Directors, 2006-2008
    •Board Member, WhiteFence, Board of Directors, 2005-2008
    •Board Member, The Buckhead Club, Board of Governors, 2004-2008
    •Board Member, The Yellowstone Club, Board Advisory of Directors, 2004-2008
    •Advisory Council, Otis Redding Big O Youth Educational Dream Foundation, 2007
    •Vice Chairman, Baldwin Piano Corporation, 2005-2007
    •Vice Chairman, Gibson Guitar Corp., Board of Directors, 2000-2007
    •Board Member, Gibson Foundation, Board of Directors, 2000-2007
    •Vice Chairman, 2000-2007
    •Board Member, Very Special Arts, Advisory Board, 1994-2005
    •Chairman, America's Junior Miss, Board of Advisors, 2000-2004
    •Board Member, Entertainment & Finance Law Journal, Board of Directors, 1995-1999
    •Board Member, State of Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority, Board of Directors, 1994-1999
    •Chairman, Georgia State University, Commercial Music Program, College of Arts & Sciences, Board of Advisors, 1995-1997
    •Board Member, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Board of Advisors, 1996
    •Board Member, Very Special Arts, Board of Directors, 1991-1994
    •Board Member, Atlanta Songwriters Association, Advisory Board, 1992
    •Member and Chairman, State Bar of Georgia, Entertainment & Sports Law Section, 1992
    •Advisory Council, The Music Educators National Conference
    •Advisory Board, Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, 1991

    BornMay 27, 1944

    Joel Katz, Billboard's number-one-ranked entertainment attorney, has been called the dealmaker who thinks outside the box. The world's most famous entertainers place their trust in him to craft the breakthrough deals that boost their careers, cultivate their talents and safeguard their assets. His star-studded client roster includes music industry legends from an array of genres, as well as music producers, record companies, concert promoters and corporate heavy hitters. A powerful force in the entertainment industry, Katz is an energetic and influential contributor who has played a profound role in shaping his profession and also in spearheading philanthropic endeavors in education and in cancer research.

    Areas of Concentration

    •Entertainment law
    •Executive compensation agreements
    •Entertainment related corporate acquisitions and mergers
    •Consultation of multi-national and multi-media entertainment companies

    Awards & Recognition

    •Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television; Entertainment Law - Music, 1989-2015
    • Lawyer of the Year, Entertainment Law - Music, Atlanta, 2014
    •Named, The Hollywood Reporter, Power Lawyers: Top 100 Most Influential Entertainment Lawyers in America, 2007-2015
    •Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Georgia Super Lawyers, 2004-2015
    • Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia, 2008, 2012-2015
    •Listed, Chambers USA Guide, National - Intellectual Property, 2008-2015
    •Named, Billboard magazine, Music's Most Powerful Attorneys, 2015
    •Named, Billboard magazine, Top 50 Nashville Players, 2015
    •Recipient, Honorary Doctorate, University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, July 29, 2014
    •Named, Billboard magazine, The Power 100, Top-ranked attorney for Entertainment Law - Music, worldwide, 2012-2014
    •Listed, Variety, Dealmakers Impact Report, 2010-2011 and 2014
    •Selected, AlwaysOn, Power Players in Digital Entertainment, 2013
    •Recipient, Icon of the Industry Award, The Technology Association of Georgia Entertainment Society, September 19, 2013
    •Listed, Variety, Legal Impact Report: 50 Game-Changing Attorneys, 2012-2013
    •Listed, Georgia Trend magazine, Legal Elite, 2009 and 2011-2013
    •Selected, a Law360 MVP, 2012
    •Listed, Major Label News, Most Powerful List, Music Edition - Top Entertainment Lawyer, October 2012
    •Named, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers Law Firm of the Year, Entertainment Law - Music, 2011-2012
    •Listed, New York Times' Supplement: Georgia's Best Lawyers, Top Entertainment Attorney of the Year, 2011
    •Recipient, ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Department's 2011 Atlanta Legends Award, September 28, 2011
    •Recipient, Commitment to Education Award, ORT Atlanta, December 4, 2010
    •Recipient, Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, September 10, 2010
    •Recipient, Service Award, Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI), The GRAMMY Foundation, January 29, 2010
    •Recipient, Middelton-Candler Millennium Gate Prize, The National Monuments Foundation, December 5, 2009
    •Selected, Benchmark Litigation Guide, one of the 40 Litigation Stars in Georgia, 2009
    •Recipient, Bridge to Achievement Award, Hunter College, October 23, 2008
    •Recipient, Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree, Hunter College, June 4, 2008
    •Dedication, Governor Sonny Perdue renamed a portion of Northside Parkway in Atlanta as JOEL KATZ PARKWAY in recognition of his many contributions to the State of Georgia, May 2008
    •Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Media and Entertainment - Film, Music and TV, 2007-2008
    •Recipient, Chairman of the Year and Business of the Year, The Mexican American Business Chamber, 2007
    •Recipient, Outstanding Georgia Citizen, Secretary of State, The Mexican American Business Chamber, 2007
    •Recipient, Spirit of Excellence Award, T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research, 2007
    •Recipient, Ed Ruben Award for distinguished service and scholarship, ABA Entertainment and Sports Law, 2006
    •Listed, Lawdragon 500, Leading Lawyers in America, 2005
    •Inducted, Hunter College Hall of Fame, 2003
    •Recipient, Spirit of Music Award, UJA Federation of New York and The Music for Youth Foundation, 2003
    •Recipient, Heroes Award, Atlanta Chapter of the Recording Academy, 2002
    •Named, Georgia Trend magazine, 100 Most Influential Georgians, January 2002
    •Dedication, Joel A. Katz Law Library, University of Tennessee College of Law, 1999
    •Recipient, University of Tennessee Founder's Day Medal, 1999
    •Inducted, Georgia Music Hall of Fame, 1995
    •Listed, Who's Who in America
    •Listed, Who's Who Among Outstanding Americans
    •Listed, Who's Who in Entertainment
    •Listed, Who's Who in Executives and Professionals
    •Listed, Who's Who in Georgia
    •Listed, Who's Who in the World
    •Team Leader, Investment Dealers Digest, Deal of the Year
    •Rated, AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5

    AV, BV, AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

    Articles, Publications, & Lectures

    Joel is an active participant at industry events, having served as a speaker or panelist at The Recording Academy's Grammy in the Schools Program, the Atlanta Downtown Partnership's Music Industry Symposium, as well as various lectures and panels for the Entertainment and Sports Industry Forum of the ABA and the Entertainment and Sports Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Joel has also authored and co-authored many articles and commentary on various topics concerning entertainment law.

    • I Got a Phone Call That Changed My Life, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 27, 2015
    • James Brown's Longtime Lawyer Remembers the Godfather, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 29, 2014
    • KATZ - The Mouth of the South Opens Up, Hits magazine, March 28, 2014
    • MUSIC MAN Buckhead's Katz is One of Nation's Top Entertainment Lawyers, Northside Neighbor magazine, October 2012
    • A Tale of Two CEOs, Men's Book Atlanta magazine, Fall 2012
    • Joel Katz: Strategist to the Stars, Southern Seasons magazine, Fall 2012
    • Serving the Stars with Class and Conviction, Attorney At Law magazine, Metro Atlanta Edition, August 2012
    • An Entertaining Collection, Wine Spectator magazine, January 2011
    • Can't Touch This, Atlanta Magazine, June 2007
    • Katz Meow, When Joel Katz Sings, the Music Industry Listens, Sky Magazine, June 2002

    Speaking Engagements
    •Keynote Speaker, Modern Day Music Pioneers, Midem 2015, June 5, 2015
    •Panelist, Making Magic Happen - Talent in the World of the Internet and Social Media, University of Tennessee Law School Entertainment Law Conference: Metamorphosis - How Technology is Reshaping Entertainment, Knoxville, TN, March 31, 2012

    Associated News & Events

    Press Releases

    07.24.15 Billboard Recognizes 3 Greenberg Traurig Entertainment Attorneys
    05.22.15 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys, Practices Included in the 2015 Chambers USA Guide
    04.29.15 Four Greenberg Traurig Entertainment and Media Attorneys Recognized by The Hollywood Reporter
    02.27.15 42 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Listed in 2015 Edition of Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine
    02.23.15 Greenberg Traurig's Joel A. Katz Named Top Entertainment Lawyer in the 2014 Billboard 'Power 100' for Fourth Consecutive Year
    12.09.14 Four Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Profiled in Variety Magazine's 2014 Dealmakers Impact Report
    09.02.14 17 Greenberg Traurig Atlanta Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America
    08.04.14 Greenberg Traurig's Joel A. Katz Awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Kennesaw State University
    06.13.14 Fourteen Greenberg Traurig Atlanta Attorneys Included in 2014 USA Chambers Guide
    05.23.14 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys, Practices Included in 2014 Chambers USA Guide

    Previous Employment

    •Founder, Katz, Smith & Cohen, 1981-1998
    •Senior Partner, Galkin, Katz & Tye, 1971-1981
    •Lawyer, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 1969-1971
    •Law Clerk, Medium-sized Atlanta law firm, 1969-1971
    •Law Professor, Georgia State University, 1969-1971

    Reported CasesSignificant Representations: Negotiated and participated on George Strait' s The Cowboy Rides Away Tour by structuring the CMT televised broadcast of the tour's final concert and on the contract package of Universal Music Group' s CD and DVD release of The Cowboy Rides Away; Live From AT&T Stadium, Deluxe Edition. This concert hosted at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (home of the Dallas Cowboys) set the record for the largest indoor concert ever in North America and the most watched CMT television concert. Negotiated and participated in structuring the Atlas Music Publishing (Atlas) acquisition of the catalog of one of Nashville music's most successful independent music publishers, Combustion Music. Negotiated and participated in the first outside-the-United States television contract for The Recording Academy' s Moments in Music television program with Channel 4, the UK publicly-owned and commercially funded public service broadcaster. Negotiated, participated in and concluded a RCA Production Agreement for Gee Roberson's The Blueprint Group and their new recording artists. Concluded and sold Blueprint Management for Gee Roberson to Live Nation Entertainment. The sale included the management agreements with artists Dwayne Michael Lil Wayne Carter, Jr. and Onika Tanya Nicki Minaj Maraj. Structured and negotiated the fifty percent sale of Jason Owen's artist management firm Sandbox Management to the music business investment venture between investment firm Waddell & Reed Financial and Scooter Braun' s Silent Media Group. Negotiated and participated in the acquisition of Keith Wortman' s Blackbird Production Partners television production company by Guggenheim Digital Media. Negotiated and participated in representing TLC in the Viacom Media Networks production of the TLC biopic, CrazySexyCool; The TLC Story.; Negotiated and participated in structuring the recording contract between Dick Clark Productions, the producer of ABC's singing competition television seriesRising Star and Universal Music. Negotiated and concluded on behalf of Randy Phillips in the establishment of the Global USA. Negotiated with John Branca of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, on behalf of the estate of Michael Jackson, the affiliation agreement between the estate and the Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) for representation of the public performances of Jackson' s music catalogue. Negotiated and structured multi-year television contracts for The Recording Academy, Country Music Association and Latin Recording Academy which are national non-profit entertainment companies. Negotiated The GRAMMY Nominees Album, a compilation album of Grammy nominated artists released before the airing of the annual Grammy Awards, between The Recording Academy and the Big 3 record companies. Negotiated complex financial arrangements between music superstars and recording companies. Organized the inaugural USO - Entertainment Advisory Council and served as the first Chairman of the Executive Committee.

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    Office Information

    Joel A. Katz

    3333 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 2500
    AtlantaGA 30305


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