Russell "Mick" Spence

Partner

Phone: 612.355.4100
Fax: 612.355.4101
Email: spence@parkerdk.com
Address: 888 Colwell Building
123 Third Street North
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

Professional Experience

  • 2 years and partner at Parker Daniels Kibort
  • Established reputation as a go-to attorney for national and local clients, and other attorneys who want their legal matters handled well and properly resolved.
  • Sought after as a trusted business advisor and a zealous legal advocate.
  • Clients range from multi-million-dollar national corporations, their officers, shareholders, financiers and employees, to new companies, creatives, artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, media, broadcasters, producers, advertisers, filmmakers, and other internet-based and entertainment-related businesses and individuals..
  • Clients include high level executives, fortune 500 companies, class claimants and matters involving nearly any corporate or commercial issue or venture. His entertainment industry clients include household names, well-established legacy artists, creatives and professional athletes as well as those on their way up to becoming one of those, themselves.
  • Prior to joining Parker Daniels Kibort, he founded the Spence Law Firm, a Minneapolis-based litigation boutique, focused on entertainment law, intellectual property, business/corporate and estate matters.
  • Worked at a nationally recognized trial law firm, Meshbesher & Spence, Ltd and partnered in a suburban general practice firm.
  • Known for his ambitious, aggressive, creative and dedicated client representation.

Areas of Practice

  • Business & Commercial Litigation
  • Art, Entertainment and Sports Law
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Licensing Transactions & Litigation
  • Trademark/Copyright/Contract & Business Transactional Advice

Courts Admitted

  • Minnesota
  • United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (pro hac vice)
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (pro hac vice)
  • California (pro hac vice)
  • New York (pro hac vice)
  • Florida (pro hac vice)
  • Utah (pro hac vice)
  • Virginia (pro hac vice)

Education

  • University of Southern California: B.S. in Business
  • William Mitchell School of Law

Representative Cases

  • NPG Records, Inc. et al. v. Roc Nation, LLC et al., Represented Jay-Z co-owned record label in copyright infringement and related claims by Prince estate.
  • Negotiated termination of record label contract for recording artist & performer Lizzo.
  • Epic Games, Inc. et al. v. Vraspir, Successfully negotiated expedient settlement in copyright infringement, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and breach of contract claims involving video game Fortnite.
  • Lead counsel representing corporate seller in multi-million-dollar acquisition by Japanese multi-national corporation.
  • Mills v. Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, Represented on-air talent in broadcast employment contract and fraud litigation.
  • Transactional, intellectual property, publicity rights and litigation counsel for model, producer , Internet influencer and spokesperson Halima Aden.
  • Lazover v. Clifford and City of Minneapolis, Represented individual in trial and appeal of police brutality/excessive force claim against Minneapolis police officer and city employer.
  • Advised estate counsel for U.S.A. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks regarding intellectual property and contractual issues related to Disney movie Miracle, book publishing and rights of publicity.
  • Kern v. Lilly Singh, represented copyright claimant against Internet YouTube broadcaster and current host of NBC’s A Little Late with Lilly Singh.
  • VelleBe, LLC v. Uzi Vert, LLC et al., Represented promotor in breach of contract claim against performer Lil Uzi Vert.
  • Giant Client Publishing, LLC v. Heyday Media Group, LLC et al., Represented national music publisher in contract and copyright litigation.
  • Stueve o/b/o St. Jude Medical, Inc. v. Starks, et al., Represented shareholder and corporation in derivative shareholder action against corporate board of directors.
  • Nyhus v. City of Blaine et al., Represented television anchor and reporter in federal privacy lawsuit against numerous municipalities, law enforcement agencies and private entities.
  • H2Joe v. Lund Food Holdings, Represented inventor and entrepreneur in contract and IP claims against grocer.
  • Rowe, et al. v. The St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc. et al. Represented shareholder in derivative action against board members for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment.
  • HK Productions, LLC v. McNally Smith College of Music, Inc. et al., Represented producer in contract and publicity dispute involving The Daily Show production and broadcast during 2008 Republican National Convention.
  • Oarfin Distribution, Inc. v. Nora, Represented record label and distributor, including peripheral litigant Entertainment One, in copyright and contract dispute.
  • Royal “Bud” Chapman v. Ford Motor Company, Served as expert witness in copyright litigation claim involving Ford broadcast and print advertisements.

Other and various contract negotiations, advising and drafting for artists, athletes, broadcasters, entertainers and entities, involving Elton John, Billy Joel, NBC Universal, Joan Jett, Lionsgate, Royce White, Martin Zellar, Leah McLean, Mint Condition, Propellant Media, Gluek’s, and many, many more.

Publications & Awards

  • Martindale Hubble’s highest rating of AV, for preeminent legal experience and ethical practices
  • Repeatedly named Superlawyer by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Twin Cities business Monthly and Law & Politics magazines
  • Prior to that, repeatedly named Rising Star by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Twin Cities business Monthly and Law & Politics magazines
  • America’s Top 100 Attorneys: Minnesota
  • Presentations:
    • Copyright Law, From Creation Through Litigation
    • Protecting Trade Secrets & Drafting Non-Disclosure Agreements

Community Involvement

  • Twice elected President of the Minnesota Music Academy, a non-profit corporation which produced the Annual Minnesota Music Awards.
  • Chair of the Art & Entertainment Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, also serving as Chair of its Music Law Committee.
  • Appointed to the Minneapolis Arts Commission, where he advised the Mayor and City Council on arts-related matters.
  • ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries
  • National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences (the “Grammys Organization”)
  • Former Chair of the ABA’s Art & Entertainment Committee of the Young Lawyer’s Division.
  • Developed and taught courses in Copyright, Contracts and Music Publishing, at McNally Smith and Musictech College of Recording Arts.
  • Author of regular Arts & Entertainment Lawyer column for City’s Tone magazine.
  • Board Member, Tangletown Neighborhood Association
  • President, Board Member, Grade Coordinator and Coach, Edina Football Association
  • Board Member, World Voices
  • Head Usher, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church
  • Frequently writes and lectures on business and entertainment law matters, nationally and locally, and is regularly requested by media outlets for comments and quotes on entertainment industry, business and legal issues or current events.
  • Spence volunteers and contributes to many non-profit, community-based and arts-related causes.