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Linda Edell Howard

Entertainment and New Media Team Leader

I possess a deep-rooted motivation to help people – that’s what led me to the practice of law and keeps me committed to my clients and solving their problems. My clients know me for my decades of almost ruthless representation of their interests.

Recognized and honored by highly regarded publications and attorney rating services, Linda Edell Howard opened the firm’s Music Row office in Nashville in 2001 and leads the entertainment/new media team. In service to her clients, Linda draws on more than 30 years of experience to add value to her clients and their teams in the areas of entertainment, new media and emerging technology, business strategies, and domestic and international intellectual property law. Her transaction-based practice focuses on entertainment and emerging technology contracts, practices and procedures, as well as new media platform strategies, social media business transactions, television and film matters, advocacy for creators, and protection for copyright and other intellectual property rights holders.

Linda advocates tirelessly and passionately for the protection of intellectual property rights and the recapture of US copyrights by creators and their heirs. Representing the families of deceased creators is also close to her heart.

Following a judicial clerkship with the New Jersey Supreme Court, Linda 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 then joined the Nashville office of Loeb & Loeb LLP. She is an alumna of Leadership Music, and a member of the Country Music Association, and National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Linda is proud to count among her clients many members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Canadian Music Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Grammy Award-winning producers and artist, and other legendary and upcoming creative talent, including:

  • JI Allison of Buddy Holly and The Crickets (“That’ll Be The Day”); Sonny Curtis, also of Buddy Holly and The Crickets (“I Fought The Law”); Fats Domino; Don Everly of The Everly Brothers; the Estate of Mel Tillis;  the Estate of Jimmy Griffin of the band Bread;
  • Desmond Child, one of music’s most successful creative forces (Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer,” Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” and KISS’s “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”); Mars Bonfire ( “Born to be Wild”); Eddie Schwartz ( “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”); Dickey Lee (“She Thinks I Still Care”); Tom Douglas (“Love’s the Only House,” “Little Rock” and “The House That Built Me”);  JD Souther (“Best of My Love,” “Heartache Tonight,” “New Kid In Town”);  and Dallas Frazier (“Elvira” and “There Goes My Everything”);
  • The Estate of Wayne Carson (“The Letter” and “Always On My Mind”); Tom Paxton (“The Last Thing On My Mind”); the Estate of Kent Robbins (“Write This Down”); the Estate of Nat Stuckey; the Estate of Ben Peters; and the Estate of Tennessee Ernie Ford;
  • Chuck Ainlay (Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits, Miranda Lambert, George Strait); Paul Brandt; Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, Tin Machine); Larry Gatlin; Gretchen Wilson; Rick Springfield;

Other representative clients include GrabGreen, TouchTunes Digital Jukebox, The Listening Room, Topgolf Media LLC and the critically acclaimed educational programs If I Had a Hammer and Muzology. As well, Linda advises numerous key industry executives, social and business entrepreneurs, independent music publishers, songwriters, recording artists, producers, social media celebrities, record labels and related industry players such as banks, unions, inventors and investors.

Speaking frequently on various intellectual property topics, Linda keeps the creative community informed about new legislation and trends in the marketplace at forums such as the SXSW, Leadership Music Digital Summit, Billboard Country Music Summit and Music Biz. She serves on the AFTRA Advisory Committee (to create fairness in recording contracts), the Board of Advisors for the children’s charity Songs of Love, the Advisory Board for the Future of Music Coalition, the Board of Directors for the Music Health Alliance, the Board of Directors for the child advocacy program Ordinary Hero, 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.

Linda’s pro bono work includes service to Ordinary Hero, as well as to the legendary ragtime pianist Johnny Maddox and the placement of his historically significant sheet music and recorded music collection. The Tennessee Supreme Court recognized Linda as an "Attorney for Justice" for her pro bono work in 2013, when she provided more than 50 hours of complimentary legal services to those in need. She also received the firm’s HUGS award in 2011 and 2014.

Profiled in November 2012 Super Lawyers, Linda has written and been featured in articles in Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter and The Los Angeles Times. A law school text book features one of her karaoke cases and how her actions affected the judge's decision.

Born and raised on the Jersey shore, rich in music tradition, Linda was a rock photographer for the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi in the late 1970s and 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. On Sunday nights between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., any artist or songwriter could bring in a contract and she would help them out for the payment of a slice of pizza and a beer.

Closest to my heart are clients who are pleased with a job well done at a reasonable cost.

Education

  • Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • Douglass College at Rutgers University, B.A., 1982

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Tennessee

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee

Acknowledgements

  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Women in Music City Honoree, Nashville Business Journal, 2014 and 2016
  • Best Lawyers® - Copyright Law, Entertainment Law - Music, Media Law, Intellectual Property Law
  • Best 150 Lawyers in Tennessee - BusinessTN Magazine, 2010
  • Best of the Bar - Nashville Business Journal, 2004-2007, 2011-2012, 2015, 2017
  • "Leaders in Their Field" in Media and Entertainment - Chambers USA, 2006-2016
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers® - Entertainment & Sports
  • Pro Bono "Attorney For Justice" - Tennessee Supreme Court, 2014
  • Women of Influence - Nashville Business Journal, 2010 
  • 101 Top Lawyers - Nashville Post, 2011
  • "In Charge" - Music Row Magazine
  • Adams and Reese LLP’s 2011 and 2014 HUGS Volunteer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" in Nashville – Entertainment Law - Music, 2016
  • Women In Music 2016, 100 Most Powerful Executives, Billboard
  • Women in Music City - Nashville Business Journal, 2018

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Nashville Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Interested Parties Advancing Copyright (IPAC), Member
  • Ordinary Hero Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Music Health Alliance, Board of Directors
  • Nashville Chamber Music Industry Advisory Group, Member
  • Closing more than 50 asset-based copyright acquisitions/sales and multi-million dollar loans and counseling hundreds of startups in the entertainment, educational and emerging technology fields;
  • 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, as well as other TV deals for documentaries and network series such as Turtleman (Animal Planet), Lonestar Restoration (History) and Masters of Flip (Corus);
  • 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.