Profiles

Ted F. Gerdes

Ted F. Gerdes possesses nearly 30 years of legal experience and currently assists clients throughout the United States and around the world in a variety of entertainment-related matters, including clearance and vetting, copyright, titles, trademark and E&O insurance.  Ted's goal is to help his clients prevent costly litigation by performing thorough clearance on all projects and negotiating and drafting all of the necessary rights acquisitions and license agreements.  Prior to founding his own firm, Ted served as outside counsel to producers, studios, advertising agencies, and authors, where he was involved in defending numerous important copyright and entertainment law cases involving films, television properties and music, including Buchwald v Paramount and Waits v Frito Lay.  He now draws on that wealth of experience to prevent the same claims that he used to defend.

Mr. Gerdes's commitment to providing the best possible representation to each client has earned him Martindale-Hubbell's prestigious "AV" rating, indicating that peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence and ethical standards.  Additionally, Los Angeles area law schools and industry organizations frequently invite Ted to speak about his areas of expertise.  He has published numerous articles in major publications, including Los Angeles Lawyer, Billboard Magazine, New Technologies 101, and Music Connection.  In addition, Mr. Gerdes has served as Chair, Board Member, and Special Editor of the Entertainment Law special editions of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine, many of which earned the Western Publishing Association's prestigious "Maggie" Award.

A musician since age 10, Ted still finds time to play one of his several guitars and attend concerts.  He has also loves his Nikon, a hold over from his days as a journalist, which he often carries with him, always looking for that perfect photograph.  In recent years Ted has developed a reputation for his unique holiday cards featuring his original photographs, sent to friends and clients. For exercise he took up cycling. In 2008 he did the 100 mile Solvang Century, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

Admissions

Education

Memberships

Recent Projects (Partial List)

  • "Never Say Never: The Elm Street Legacy"  (Documentary)
  • "8: The Mormon Proposition" (Documentary)           
  • "Behind the Burly Q" (Documentary)
  • "Faire: An American Renaissance" (Documentary)
  • "Blood Done Sign My Name" (Feature Film)
  • "Younger Than That Now" (Book)
  • "Solved" (Television)
  • "Alpha Dog" (Feature Film)
  • "The People Speak" (Documentary)
  • "Humble Beauty" (Documentary)
  • "Journey to Palomar" (Documentary)

Publications

  • The Unbearable Likeness of Being: Recent Court Decisions Highlight the Tension Between Entrepreneurs' First Amendment Rights and Celebrities' Rights of Publicity, Vol. 25, No. 3, Los Angeles Lawyer, May 2002
  • "Legal Tips for Interactive Multimedia Producers," Vol. 17, No. 13, Los Angeles Lawyer, May 1994
  • "Shelly Duvall: Portrait of Multimedia Pioneer," Los Angeles Lawyer, May 1994
  • "The Legal Do's and Don'ts of Producing for Interactive Technology," Billboard, August 7, 1993
  • "Clearance Strategies for New Technologies," New Techniques 101, Los Angeles County Bar Association Entertainment and Intellectual Property Section Annual Symposium, 1992
  • "Special Problems of Docudramas: No Short Cuts in the Clearance Process," Vol. 13, No. 2, Los Angeles Lawyer, April, 1990
  • "The Trademark Behind The Curtain: The use of trademarks as metatags"
  • "Music Biz By Degree: Era of the College Educated Executive," Music Connection
  • "Catch 22: The Talent Agencies Act," Music Connection
  • "Publishers vs. Administrators: Song Placement Over Paperwork," Music Connection
  • "TV: Untapped Medium for Exposing New Artists," Music Connection
  • "SRS: A Writer's Bridge to the Music Business," Music Connection
  • "Performance Rights in Sound Recordings," ASCAP Sponsored Nathan Burkan Memorial Copyright Law Competition, Prize Winner

Speaking and Teaching Experience

  • Speaker, Prize Indemnity, North American Contingency Association Symposium and Convention, April 2000
  • Speaker, Film & Video Law Seminar, California Lawyers for the Arts, April 1994
  • Speaker, Intellectual Property for the General Practitioner: Handling Everyday Copyright and Trademark Matters, March 1992
  • Speaker, Creative Restraints on the Entertainment Industry, Los Angeles County Bar Association Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Section Symposium, 1991
  • Speaker, Media Law, UCLA Extension
  • Guest Lecturer, Loyola School of Law, Entertainment Law, April 1999
  • Adjunct Professor, Legal Research and Writing, Southwestern Law School, 1988-89

Terri Zaneski

Office Administrator

Terri Zaneski is the Office Administrator for Gerdes Law and brings a wealth of experience to the job.  After spending twelve years in management at AT&T, Terri decided to take her organizational and management skills and use them in a totally different environment.  She put her expertise to use as the office manager of Women In Theatre, a small non-profit arts organization.  She also served on its Board of Directors.  After a number of years, Terri moved on to become an assistant to small business owner, managing the sales and day to day operations of her retail establishment.  In her spare time, Terri enjoys the theatre-from small 99 seat productions to the spectacles at the Ahmanson.  Terri estimates she attends over thirty productions a year.


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