Joseph A. Bahgat
When people ask me if I’m an “entertainment lawyer,” I’m never sure how to answer, because in reality, there’s no such thing. There isn’t a particular body of entertainment law, and there aren’t specific courts or judges designated to hear and try entertainment-related cases. There’s just the law. Much like the entertainment industry, my practice revolves around the law of contracts. I negotiate and draft them; I review them; and when all else fails, I litigate them. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go to court, but I see litigation as a means to an end, not an end in or of itself. The better the contract is written usually means the less likely it is to end up in court.
Before I became an attorney, I played the saxophone for a living. Over the years, I played with the likes of Grammy-award winners Ray Charles, The Four Tops, and Tom Harrell. Before moving to New York, I studied jazz improvisation with the late, great Joe Henderson. I lived in Brooklyn, Manhattan, eventually New Jersey, and oftentimes out of a suitcase. After several years of that life I made the decision to go back to school, to become an attorney. Two things factored into that decision: first, I had dreamed about becoming an attorney since I was nine years old; second, I felt like my life experience had given me an incredibly unique perspective to offer to my clients.
My favorite color happens to be gray, much like the world of law. Ironically, however, I’m a very black-and-white person. I am passionate, convicted, and oftentimes sarcastic (which is readily apparent if you follow my blog, or Twitter feed).
Organizations & Memberships
- American Bar Association, Law Practice Division, Past-member #ABATECHSHOW Planning Board; Past-Chair, GP|Solo Division Intellectual Property Committee
- New Jersey State Bar Association; Young Lawyers Division Executive Committee, Privacy Law Committee, Appellate Practice Committee
- Cooperating Attorney Member, Electronic Frontier Foundation
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
The Ohio State University College of Law, J.D. (with honors)
- National Moot Court Team; Associate Editor, Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution
- Concentrations: Intellectual Property; Internet & Media Law; Sports Law
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, M.A. (high academic honors)
- Concentrations: Etymology in journalism; civil rights movement’s impact on the music industry
- Assistant Director, Rutgers University Jazz Ensemble
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, B.A. in Jazz Studies