Volunteer Lawyers-Arts & Culture

Created in 2005, the ELLA Project has provided free, personalized legal assistance to over 500 Louisiana artists and cultural organizations.

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Local musicians score victory in 4th Circuit

ELLA Project supervising attorney Ashlye Keaton helped Wardell Quezergue and Smokey Johnson achieve a victory in the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.Though not an ELLA case (the case actually predates ELLA), Ashlye has provided years of pro bono representation to these New Orleans musical legends in a royalty dispute with Tuff City Records. The case is complex, and has involved copyright, sampling, royalty payments and contract disputes among other issues tackled by Ashlye and co-counsel. The recent victory was a potentially precedent setting win for not only these two musicians, but countless others. For an explanation of the case from Offbeat, please click here:

Please join the Arts Council on congratulating Ashlye, Wardell, Smokey, and the rest of their legal team on this victory.
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LawHelp: Sample Forms

The ELLA Project makes simple forms available for download. These are for general information purposes, and do not constitute legal advice. Click here to download ELLA’s Sample Work for Hire form.

Full disclaimer below…  Continued »
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Ashlye Keaton wins Best of the Beat Award

ELLA Project Supervising Attorney and Project Co-Founder has been named Best Music Attorney in the 2008 Best of the Beat Awards presented by Offbeat Magazine. Congratulations to Ashlye for this well deserved honor!

Click here for the full list of award winners.
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Law Help: Getting Paid in the Digital Age

The ELLA Project presents “Getting Paid in the Digital Age: Record Labels”, a how-to article on selecting the best record deal for your music career. This article was conceived and written by ELLA Project Intern Holmes Rackleff, under the supervision of attorney Ashlye Keaton.

This document is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Legal advice depends on the specific facts of each situation. The information on this web site cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your state.

Click here to read a PDF version of this document.
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ELLA Project Wins Governor’s Arts Award

The Entertainment Law Legal Assistance (ELLA) Project, a partnership of the Arts Council, Tipitina’s Foundation, and Tulane Law School, has been awarded a 2008 Governor’s Arts Award for Cultural Economy Development.Created in 2005, the ELLA Project has provided free, personalized legal assistance to over 500 Louisiana artists and cultural organizations. The Arts Council congratulates all the project partners, with special applause going to supervising attorney Ashlye Keaton, and thanks Lt. Governor Landrieu and the staff at Culture, Recreation and Tourism for this exciting honor.
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ELLA Project Non Profit Library

In an effort to provide you more information about effective legal management of your existing or proposed non-profit, the ELLA Project has prepared and compiled the following documents and links.

  • Interested inwhat political activities your 501c3 can engage in? See this document from Americans for the Arts.
  • Wondering whether your artist co-op can be a 501c3? See this opinion from the IRS
  • See this clever tutorial from the IRS on rules and regulations governing 501c3 organizations.
  • If your organization is not a 501c3, you may need a fiscal agent to be eligible for many funding opportunities. Click here to read a great tutorial Guide to Fiscal Sponsorship from the Foundation Center.

Please keep reading below to read our disclaimer.  Continued »
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Law Help: Before You Sign a Contract

The ELLA Project presents “Before You Sign a Contract” a primer for aritsts, musicians, performers, and others in the arts, conceived of and written by ELLA Project Intern Holmes Rackleff, under the supervision of attorney Ashlye Keaton.

This document is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Legal advice depends on the specific facts of each situation. The information on this web site cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your state.

Click here to read a PDF version of this document.
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Workshop Recap: Copyright and Trademark

On May 23rd, 2007, ELLA Project Lead Attorney Ashlye Keaton presented a Copyright and Trademark workshop to a sold out audience at Palma Gallery in New Orleans. The Arts Council feels this is an important topic, so we are posting a PDF of Ashlye’s presentation for free download.

And remember, if you are a Louisiana artist with a question about Copyright or Trademark, call the Arts Council’s ELLA Project at 504-523-1465.
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ELLA Project Offers Legal Clinics every Friday!

The ELLA (Entertainment Law Legal Assistance) Project offers pro-bono legal assistance to low-income artists musicians, and grass roots non-profits in Louisiana. ELLA provides assistance with copyright and intellectual property, business incorporation, non profit incorporation, contract review, contract disputes, and other civil law matters. Unlike many Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts programs which only offer 30 minutes of assistance, the ELLA Project can take your legal matter from concept to completion, and work with you until the matter is resolved.

A partnership of the Arts Council, Tipitina’s Foundation, and Tulane Law School Community Service Program, the ELLA Project holds intake sessions by appointment every Friday. Sessions are held from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Arts Council at 818 Howard Ave, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Tipitina’s Co-Op at 4040 Tulane Ave. Tulane Law School interns assist supervising attorney Ashlye Keaton in delivering legal services.

To request an appointment call The Arts Council of New Orleans: 504-523-1465 or email to gmeneray@artscouncilofneworleans.org A Project of the Arts Council of New Orleans in partnership with the Tipitina’s Foundation and Tulane Law School Community Service Program. The ELLA Project is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Bar Foundation

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