Serving the Creative Arts Community Since 1974

OPEN: M-F 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

CALL TOLL-FREE: (888) 775-8995




California Lawyers for the Arts is a State Bar of California Certified Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS). If you're a creative artist, arts organization, independent inventor, or someone with a creative arts legal matter, CLA can match you with a qualified attorney. Call toll-free at (888) 775-8995, or apply online using our easy-to-use Request a Referral Application Form. If you need financial assistance, and want to apply for pro bono or modest means help, call CLA's LRIS toll-free at (888) 775-8995 or apply online using the Financial Screening Application Form.


The Arts Arbitration and Mediation Services (AAMS) has been providing alternative dispute resolution services for the creative arts community since 1980. AAMS was the first alternative dispute resolution service in the country created specifically for the creative arts community. AAMS provides counseling, conciliation, mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation and meeting facilitation. Call toll-free at 888-775-8995 or apply online using our easy-to-use Request AAMS Assistance Form.


California Lawyers for the Arts offers in-person workshops, special events, and seminars throughout California - plus online educational programs, videos, and podcasts. CLA also provides links to useful resources, a glossary of terms, and FAQ's for the creative arts and innovation community. Visit CLA's education pages for more information.

CLA frequently partners with other arts and innovation organizations statewide to present workshops, seminars, and other legal programs and events. Please contact CLA at 888-775-8995 to learn more about partnering with CLA for your legal education needs

If you're an expert in your field, you can volunteer to join CLA's Speaker's Bureau and be referred to major media seeking expert commentary. Also, there are many opportunities to be a CLA speaker for in-person workshops, online programs, videos, podcasts, and more! Please contact CLA at 888-775-8995 to learn more about volunteering with CLA as a speaker

Subscribe to our email list for updates about upcoming workshops events and news!

Subscription form

* Mandatory fields
*First Name
*Last Name
*Postal/Zip Code

Security check

* Code
Type the 6 characters you see in the picture
Captcha code image
Hear the code Try another code


Help CLA launch a full-service YouTube channel. CLA would like to livestream all its in-person statewide workshops and seminars online. This means in-person workshops and seminars could be attended live wherever you are located. Help CLA reach the 1,000 subscriber level which will open-up tools on YouTube to allow CLA to offer a full-service livestreaming product (including live-chat Q&A's, etc.).  Visit CLA's YouTube Channel and subscribe for FREE, or click on the red YouTube button (to the left) so we can reach the 1,000 subscriber level ASAP (ask your friends and family to subscribe too). Thank you for your valuable support for this education initiative!

Upcoming live events


Our community collaborator, the Sacramento Theatre Company presents "The Crucible" from September 26 through October 21, 2018. The themes in Arthur Miller's play about the Salem witch trials are still relevant today.

Visit the Sacramento Theatre Company here:

Call the STC box office at 916-443-6722 and mention that you are "with California Lawyers for the Arts" for a reduced ticket price of $25.

NEW Pro Bono Clinic Pilot Program

California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA) is holding pro bono clinics for creative artists and independent inventors to quickly meet with an attorney to answer simple legal questions. Creative artists and independent inventors are encouraged to apply for the clinic. Act fast as clinic slots are limited and quickly fill-up! All applicants need to be financial screening to qualify for pro bono financial assistance. If your case is accepted to the clinic, an attorney and meeting time will be assigned. Sessions usually last 20-30 minutes and can take place either in person, by video-conference, or by phone. A small admin fee is collected for most clinics (CLA members pay $5, non-members pay $15). If interested in the clinic program, please apply online via CLA's pro bono financial screening application. Describe your legal question(s) and note your interest in the clinic. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018

In our 43rd Fiscal Year

641 Persons were members of CLA

424 Clients received legal assistance from the Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS)

789 persons attended 42 CLA statewide educational programs in-person 

5,526 persons viewed 8 livestreamed programs

52 attorneys received Mandatory Continuing Education Credits (MCLE)

2,469 individuals and organizations participated in alternative dispute resolution services (ADR)

1,169 cases were resolved

32 persons received mediation training

730 youth were trained as peer mediators

50 deserving teens were placed in arts internships and attended 12 job readiness workshops

77 persons confined in 5 county jails participated in demonstration art classes

CLA's website averaged 53,173 page views per month

People from 184 countries visited CLA's website


Addressing mass incarceration and criminal justice reform through the arts. Presented by California Lawyers for the Arts, California State University, Sacramento and the William James Association.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
at the CSUS Alumni Center
6000 College Town Drive
Sacramento, CA 95826

Panels of Experts and Facilitated Dialogues will address Prevention – Intervention – Rehabilitation - Re-entry with Returned Citizens and Attendees. Our dialogue is part of a national series taking place in six states and is funded by the Art For Justice Fund, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Quentin Hancock Fund. Admission is free. Please REGISTER to reserve your spot and to help us plan our catering accordingly. If you reserve a spot but become unable to attend, please let us know so we may offer your spot to someone on the waiting list. For more information, please contact Jody Prunier at 916-441-7979 ext. 101 or by EMAIL

Arts for Justice Fund Grant Awarded to CLA

California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA) was  awarded a grant from the new Art for Justice Fund to support a series of public policy convenings on arts and justice issues in six states during 2018. The goal of the Fund is to reduce mass incarceration by 20% in selected states over the next five years.  

CLA is collaborating with arts and justice reform leaders to produce one-day Art for Justice Forums, which will include videotaped symposia, facilitated networking dialogues and art exhibitions in Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, New York and California. These states were selected because they have large numbers of incarcerated persons or high per capita rates of incarceration according to statistics provided by the federal Department of Justice.  For more information, please send inquiries to

CLA Executive Director Alma Robinson described the goal of these forums: "We will facilitate dialogues between arts leaders, justice reform advocates, corrections departments and legislators that will result in an enhanced role for the arts in increasing measurable rehabilitation outcomes for incarcerated persons while raising awareness of their humanity and supporting the reentry of returning citizens." In addition, she said, "the process of collaborating to organize these forums in different states will provide opportunities for arts organizations to work with each other and to align with organizations committed to justice reform that will result in heightened awareness of the value of the arts for community and economic development." 

CLA was awarded one of 30 grants from the new Art for Justice Fund to facilitate six Art for Justice Forums in  Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, California and New York during 2018. These one-day forums are designed to engage the arts in justice reform efforts and increase support for arts in corrections and re-entry programs.  A total of 200 persons, including elected legislators, artists, returned citizens, educators, arts and justice reform organizations, and others participated in our first two forums at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on April 3 and at the Houston Museum of African American Culture on July 14. A short video that recaps the Michigan Art for Justice Forum is linked HERE.  Additional project funding has been contributed by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Quentin Hancock Fund as well as the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Georgia Council on the Arts (Register for the Georgia event HERE).

CLA's Arts in Corrections Initiative, which was started in 2011 in collaboration with the William James Association, resulted in the successful restoration of state funding for arts programs in California prisons starting with a $2.5 million pilot project for two years in 2014.  An $8 million/year contract from the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the California Arts Council now provides arts programs in all 35 state prisons.

CA Resale Royalties Act Preempted by Copyright Act

On July 6, 2018, a panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that California’s Resale Royalties Act only applies to art sales conducted prior to 1978.

​See this 
article about the decision from The New York Times: California Tried to Give Artists a Cut. But the Judges Said No

See below a synopsis of the opinion. BYBEE, Circuit Judge:

The California Resale Royalties Act ("CRRA") grants artists an unwaivable right to 5% of the proceeds on any resale of their artwork under specified circumstances. To that end, the CRRA requires the seller of the artwork or the seller's agent to withhold 5% of the resale price and pay it to the artist or, if the artist cannot be found, to the California Arts Council. If the seller or the seller's agent fails to pay the 5% resale royalty, the artist may bring an action for damages.

Plaintiffs are artists and their successors in interest seeking resale royalties under the CRRA from the statute's effective date of January 1, 1977, to the present. The issue in this case is whether plaintiffs' claims are preempted by federal copyright law. The district court held that they are, as a matter of both express and conflict preemption.

We affirm in part and reverse in part. Plaintiffs' CRRA claims covered by the 1976 Copyright Act—i.e., those concerning sales postdating the 1976 Act's effective date of January 1, 1978—are expressly preempted by 17 U.S.C. § 301(a). We therefore affirm dismissal of those claims.

The 1909 Copyright Act, however, has no express preemption provision. As such, plaintiffs' CRRA claims covered only by the 1909 Act—i.e., those concerning sales that occurred between the CRRA's effective date of January 1, 1977, and the 1976 Act's effective date of January 1, 1978—cannot be expressly preempted. Nor are they preempted by conflict preemption. See Morseburg v. Balyon, 621 F.2d 972, 977-78 (9th Cir. 1980). Accordingly, we reverse dismissal of those claims and remand them to the district court for further proceedings.

National Resale Royalties for Visual Artists?

In a law review article published in the Cybaris Intellectual Property Law Review, CLA Executive Director Alma Robinson makes the case for federal legislation, which would allow US artists to receive resale royalties in more than 70 countries around the world.

11th annual artistic license awards

Thanks to everyone who supported CLA's 11th Annual Artistic License Awards (ALA) held on May 5th, 2018 at the University of San Francisco, California. Celebrating 40+ years of service throughout California, and 25 years of Spotlight on the Arts Youth Programs, the ALA recognizes individuals and organizations who have had an extraordinary impact on our communities by inspiring participation and increasing support for the creative arts community in California. This year, CLA was honored to present Artistic License Awards to Recology; Senator Lori Hancock; Donn K. Harris; and Lowenstein Sandler. CLA would also like to extend a special thank you to our 2018 ALA major sponsors, including: Carol and Merit Hancock Memorial Fund; The Quentin Hancock Fund; Fish & Richardson; Keker Van Nest & Peters; Lowenstein Sandler; Orrick; and Recology.

All photos by Kaz Tsuruta.


Support California Lawyers for the Arts and its many programs and services with a donation today! CLA is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law. 


MemberS SAVE!

  CLA Members save $15 on every referral admin fee.

  We're proud of the feedback we get from our customers.

  Members save 50% or more on education programs.

  Members enjoy the results of CLA's advocacy.



California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law. 

The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

Copyright © 2018. California Lawyers for the Arts. All Rights Reserved. 

Terms of Service

Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software