Lunch with Creatives: Art Attorneys Talk


Attorneys Melissa A. Passman
and Daniel McClean

Friday, April 9, 12noon


Join a Lunch with Creatives talk led by Roski Professor Ruben Ochoa with art attorneys Melissa A. Passman and Daniel McClean who will share important topics for those in the creative fields. The Art Attorneys Talk would cover the following topics including Q & A:

  • The artist-gallery relationship including artists' rights in relation to consignment agreements, representation, control over work sold (rights of first refusal, pre-approval of collector, etc).
  • Intellectual Property/Image Licensing. -Distinguishing types of intellectual property
  • (Copyright, Trademark, Patents, Design Patents). - Fair use analysis/appropriation.
  • Business structure and managing a studio - LLCs, S Corps, etc; income tax planning including deductions for trade and business expenses and establishing business intent.
  • Employment issues around using studio assistants - employee vs. independent contractor.
  • Participation in charity auctions and tax deductibility.


Register in advance for this meeting here.


Melissa A. Passman, Esq.

Melissa Passman is an attorney based in New York and Los Angeles specializing in the intersection of tax and art law. She works closely with artists, collectors, and nonprofits in areas including income and transfer tax, state and local tax, and charitable planning. Prior to law school, Melissa was an associate with Gagosian Gallery, where she worked closely with leading artists and estates, collectors, and institutions. Her experience also includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Estate of David Smith.

Melissa remains an active participant in the contemporary art world as a founding board member of JOAN Los Angeles, and is closely involved with Artists 4 Democracy and Cassandra Press. She is an avid collector of contemporary art.

Melissa studied art history at New York University. She received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University. She is admitted to practice law in California and New York.


Daniel McClean, Cypress LLP

Daniel specializes in art and cultural property law working with different sectors of the international art market. He is admitted by the state bar of California and is a qualified solicitor in England, where he is a consultant to the London law firm, Howard Kennedy LLP. He advises clients in the following core areas: transactions and agreements, dispute resolution and litigation; due diligence and intellectual property and artists' rights. He is actively involved in the art world as a writer and independent curator. He is the commissioning editor of "Artist, Authorship & Legacy: A Reader" (2019) as well as 'Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture' (2002) and 'The Trials of Art' (2007) and co-wrote 'Commissioning Contemporary Art: A Handbook for Curators, Collectors and Artists; with Louisa Buck (2012). He contributes regularly to leading art magazines and lectures at the Sotheby's Institute of Art (London).