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Linda Edell Howard

Entertainment and New Media Team Leader
Entertainment and New Media

Linda Edell Howard joined Adams and Reese in 2001 and opened the firm’s Music Row office. She has almost 30 years of experience in the areas of entertainment, new media and technology, and domestic and international intellectual property law and is the leader of the Entertainment/New Media team. Her transaction-based practice focuses on entertainment and new technology contracts, practices and procedures, as well as new platform strategies, social network business transactions, advocacy for creators and protection for copyright and other rights holders.

Following a judicial clerkship with the New Jersey Supreme Court, she practiced law in New Jersey and then in Manhattan, where she handled matters involving international intellectual property rights for the estates of Elvis Presley and George Gershwin. She later joined PolyGram Music Publishing Group as the Vice President of Operations, and in 1994 joined the Nashville office of Loeb & Loeb LLP. She is a Leadership Music alumna and is a member of the Country Music Association, and National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Linda Edell Howard is proud to count among her clients members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame JI Allison (of Buddy Holly and The Crickets) who wrote “That’ll Be The Day” and Sonny Curtis (also of Buddy Holly and The Crickets) who wrote “I Fought The Law,” Fats Domino who wrote all the hit songs he recorded other than “Blueberry Hill,” and Don Everly (of The Everly Brothers); Songwriter’s Hall of Famer Desmond Child one of music’s most successful creative forces who wrote Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer,” Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” and KISS’ “I Was Made For Lovin’ You;” Canadian Music Songwriter’s Hall of Famers Mars Bonfire who wrote “Born to be Wild” and Eddie Schwartz who wrote “Hit Me With Your Best Shot;” Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Famers Dickey Lee who wrote “She Thinks I Still Care,” Tom Douglas who wrote “Love’s the Only House,” “Little Rock” and “The House That Built Me,” the Estate of Wayne Carson who wrote “The Letter” and “Always On My Mind,” the Estate of Kent Robbins who wrote “Write This Down,” Jerry Kennedy (Roger Miller, Roy Orbison, Statler Brothers, etc.) and Gordon Kennedy (Peter Frampton, Ricky Skaggs, Garth Brooks) in the Musician’s Hall of Fame (in addition to those in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame); Country Music Hall of Famer the Estate of Tennessee Ernie Ford, and many Grammy winning producers and artists including Chuck Ainlay (Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits, Miranda Lambert, George Strait), Vocal Group Hall of Fame member (Estate of) Jimmy Griffin (BREAD).

Other representative clients include GrabGreen, Anderson Merchandisers, TouchTunes Digital Jukebox, the critically acclaimed educational program If I Had A Hammer and numerous key industry executives, social and business entrepreneurs, independent music publishers, songwriters, recording artists, producers, social media celebrities, Latin record labels and related industry players such as banks, unions, inventors and investors. She has closed more than 50 asset-based copyright acquisitions/sales and multi-million dollar loans and has counseled hundreds of start ups in the entertainment, educational and emerging technology fields.

She is a tireless and passionate advocate for the protection of intellectual property rights and the recapture of United States copyrights by creators and their heirs. Close to her heart is representing the family members of deceased creators.

Her other significant experience includes:

  • Leading a team with deep intellectual property experience who have curtailed the unlawful use of celebrity names on the Internet and reduced piracy in the karaoke industry.
  • Participating in ground-breaking new deals between creators and music companies to address the changing times and technologies of music distribution.
  • Closing reality TV deals ranging from American Idol, The Voice, and The Next to other TV deals for documentaries and network series.
  • Closing multi million dollar national sponsorship and advertising campaigns.
  • Representing a top merchandising company for deals with various celebrities. 
  • Buying and selling multi million dollar catalogues.

Linda is a frequent speaker on various intellectual property topics and has often informed the creative community about new legislation and trends in the marketplace at forums such as the New Music Seminar, SXSW, Leadership Music Digital Summit, Billboard Country Music Summit and EAT'M. She serves on the AFTRA Advisory Committee (to create fairness in recording contracts), the Board of Advisors for Songs of Love (a children’s charity), the Advisory Board for the Future of Music Coalition, Board of Directors for the Music Health Alliance, Board of Directors for Ordinary Hero (child advocacy program), and the Board of Advisors for FLO{thinkery}. She has served as a mentor for the NARAS mentoring program and Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business One on One Mentorship Experience.

Her pro bono work includes work for Ordinary Hero (a child advocacy program) and the legendary ragtime pianist Johnny Maddox for the placement of his historically significant sheet music and recorded music collection.

She was profiled in November 2012 Super Lawyers, and had articles featured by and about her in Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, and The L.A. Times. She has one of her karaoke cases in a law school text book where her actions impacted the judge's decision.

Linda was named to Billboard's Women in Music 2016 honorees among the 100 Most Powerful Executives. She was also named a Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" in Nashville in Entertainment Law - Music in 2016 and among the Best Lawyers in Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Law from 2006-2017. Nashville Business Journal has recognized Linda for the 2014 and 2016 Women in Music City Awards; ranked her among “Best of the Bar” in Entertainment Law in 2004 – 2007, 2011 - 2012 and also 2015; and recognized her as a “Woman of Influence” in 2010. She is listed in Chambers USA as a leader in the area of Media and Entertainment, and has been recognized among Mid-South Super Lawyers – Entertainment and Sports for 2006-2016. She was selected by Business TN magazine as one of the “2010 Best 150 Lawyers in Tennessee” (a peer review, editorially selected list). Linda was recognized as one of Nashville’s “101 Top Lawyers” in 2011 by the Nashville Post and U.S. News Best Lawyers® in Law and Entertainment Law - Music. She maintains an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

The Tennessee Supreme Court recognized Linda as an "Attorney for Justice" for her pro bono work in 2013, providing more than 50 hours of pro bono legal service to those in need, and she is the recipient of the Firm’s HUGS award (in 2011 and 2014).

Ms. Howard was born and raised on the Jersey shore, rich in music tradition, where she was a rock photographer for the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi in the late 1970s and late 1980s. While in law school and for a few years afterwards, she held one-on-one legal clinics in a dark booth at the back of the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, where any artist or songwriter on a Sunday night between 10pm and 2am could bring in any contract and she would help them out for the payment of a slice (of pizza) and a beer.

She’s married to Music Row’s Doug Howard and lives in Bell Buckle with their daughter Gracelyn.