Entertainment Law Initiative

The GRAMMY Foundation, in concert with some of the nation's most prominent entertainment attorneys, has established the Entertainment Law Initiative to promote discussion and debate about the most compelling legal issues facing the music industry today. ELI also endeavors to support future careers in entertainment law by seeking out the nation's top law students and giving them invaluable networking and educational opportunities.

Three major components comprise ELI: an annual breakfast program in New York City called "Breakfast with ELI," a national writing competition for law students, and a high-profile luncheon during GRAMMY Week.

ELI Executive Committee Members

Henry Root
ELI Executive Committee Chair

Ken Abdo

Jay Cooper

Sandy Crawshaw-Sparks

John Frankenheimer

Susan Genco

Jeff Harleston

Robin Mitchell Joyce

Joel Katz


Michael Kushner

Chuck Ortner

Don Passman

Michael Reinert

Bobby Rosenbloum

Nancy Taylor

Ron Wilcox

ELI Service Award Recipients

  • 2006 – Al Schlesinger
  • 2007 – Paul Marshall
  • 2008 – David Braun
  • 2009 – Jay Cooper
  • 2010 – Joel Katz
  • 2011 – John Frankenheimer
  • 2012 – John Branca
  • 2013 – Chuck Ortner
  • 2014 – Don Passman
  • 2015 - Russ Frackman
  • 2016 – Julie Swidler

2016 Entertainment Law Initiative Scholarship Recipients

Caitlin Michelle Kowalke

(ELI Competition Winner)
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Survey Says: “Blurred Lines” Call For Reliable Aid in the Adjudication of Composition Infringement Actions

Gabrielle Peters

George Mason University School of Law
DANCING WITH THE DEVIL(S): The Dance Industry’s Endless Struggle to Maintain Relevance and How Vigilant Copyright-Protection Measures for Musical Works Are Further Damaging Its Odds

Lisa M. Field

Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Beginning with the End in Mind: A Proposal for a Jury Instruction for the “Substantial Similarity” Analysis for Music Copyright

Scott M. O’Brien

Duke University School of Law
Of Blurred Lines and Baffled Juries: Williams v. Bridgeport Music and the Unrealized Potential of Survey Evidence in Music Copyright

Alfred Ashu

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
If You’re Tweeting This, It’s Too late: The Unauthorized Use of Lyrics in 140 Characters or Less

See past winners »

For information about upcoming events, visit the Entertainment Law Initiative Facebook page.

ELI is co-sponsored by the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.