Robert C. Harris
Robert C. Harris
EDUCATION / BAR ADMISSION
Robert Harris is a founding partner of the New York City law firm of Lazarus & Harris LLP and has been practicing entertainment and intellectual property law in New York City for more than three decades, representing clients in a broad range of entertainment media: counseling and handling transactional matters for theatrical producers and creative personnel on various Broadway and Off-Broadway productions; and representing publishers, authors, and agents in the publishing and theatrical fields. Mr. Harris counsels clients regarding the protection, licensing, acquisition, use and misuse of content in a broad range of contexts and media and has substantial experience in copyright and trademark law, including clearance, prosecution and licensing, and advises clients regarding ownership of copyright, licensing of copyrights, and analysis of rights under copyright in both traditional media and new media. In the area of trademarks, Mr. Harris advises clients regarding the selection and use of trademarks, service marks, and Internet domain names, in prosecuting trademark applications, and in negotiating and drafting licensing agreements. He also has had extensive experience negotiating and drafting programming and network affiliation agreements for cable television, and represents producers of television programming. He also offers counsel in the areas of the right of publicity, the right of privacy and defamation.
Mr. Harris has represented the heirs of both Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald with respect to trademark prosecution and merchandise licensing, and has supervised copyright and trademark enforcement and prosecution for a number of properties, including the stage musicals Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and Miss Saigon. He has acted as production counsel or counsel to talent on numerous acclaimed Broadway productions including Beauty and the Beast, Crazy for You, Monty Python's Spamalot, Spring Awakening, The History Boys, August: Osage County, The Book of Mormon, War Horse, Kinky Boots, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, All the Way; revivals of Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, Annie, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess; and most recently Hadestown, Ain’t Too Proud, The Ferryman and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two. His renowned writer clients in various media include John Irving, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Burt Bacharach, Dorothy Fields and William Goldman, as well as other accomplished fiction and non-fiction authors, and actor Stacy Keach.
Mr. Harris is a graduate of New York University School of Law, former Chairman of the Entertainment Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, a member of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law, and a member of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. For a decade he served as special professor at Hofstra University School of Law, where he taught entertainment law; has been a lecturer for PLI and Commercial Theater Institute; and has appeared as a guest commentator on Court TV. Together with his partner, Scott Lazarus, Mr. Harris authored the chapter entitled "Legal Aspects of Producing in the Commercial Theater" in the third and fourth editions of “Entertainment Law,” published by the New York State Bar Association, and reprised that role for the current edition. Under his auspices as Chairman of the Entertainment Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the committee published "Music Rights Primer" (2003), explaining music and sound recording rights.
Mr. Harris has achieved the highest AV Preeminent (5 out of 5) Professional Rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, has been recognized as a SuperLawyer since 2008, and was selected by Best Lawyers as one of their “Best Lawyers in America” for their 2020 edition.