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Overview

Denise Stevens focuses on entertainment, copyright and trademark transactions, and has particular experience in the music, publishing, touring, television and motion picture industries. Her principal clients include recording artists, songwriters, producers, authors, music industry executives, record labels, music publishers, motion picture and television production companies, and television personalities.

In addition to counseling leading talent in the music industry, Denise also has a significant body of institutional transactional work. She has participated in both small- and large-scale music catalog sales and acquisitions, including acquisitions by Reservoir Media Management, Rezonant Music Publishing and Parallel Music Publishing, as well as advised on intellectual property aspects of Warner Music Group’s $3.3 billion sale to Access Industries. Denise also has experience in the negotiation and renegotiation of recording and publishing agreements, and agreements related to international touring, merchandising, sponsorships and endorsements for major label recording artists and preeminent songwriters. Additionally, she has educated groups and assisted individuals with the exercise of copyright recapture and statutory termination of transfers.

Among her noteworthy representations, Denise was instrumental in assisting the Nashville Songwriters Association in drafting and achieving passage of the Songwriters Capital Gains Tax Equity Act, which was designed to help American songwriters receive fair tax treatment upon the ultimate sale of their creations.

Added to Denise’s broad spectrum of entertainment industry clients, her multi-genre and multi-platform talent representation includes Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina, Loretta Lynn, Amy Grant, Chris Tomlin, Michael W. Smith, Robert DeLong, Anthony Hamilton, Robin Meade, Chip Esten and Remi Adeleke.

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Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of Law, J.D., Dean's Scholar,

    Senior Note Editor, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly
    American Jurisprudence Award in Trial Advocacy

  • University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., cum laude

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • Tennessee State Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • California State Supreme Court

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • California

Recognition

  • Appointed by Tennessee State Governor, Bill Haslam as “Colonel, Aide de Camp,” the highest honorary commission granted to a citizen of the state of Tennessee (2018)
  • Awarded "Women in Music City Award" by the Nashville Business Journal (2017-2018)
  • Named in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, in Tennessee Media & Entertainment (2015-2019 editions)
  • Named in Variety's "Music City Impact Report" (2014)
  • Named "Mid-South Super Lawyer" in Entertainment and Sports by Thomson Reuters (2014, 2016-2018)
  • Honored by MusicRow as a "Rising Woman on the Row" for her substantial contributions to the Nashville music industry (2012)
  • Named "Best Lawyer" in Entertainment Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2010-2020) and recognized among "Women of Influence" by Best Lawyers (2015-2017), published by Woodward White, Inc. 
  • Recipient, Nashville Songwriters Association's President's Choice Award (2007)
  • Extern, Honorable Charles Legge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 1992

Affiliations

  • Board of Directors, Crescendo Foundation
  • Co-Chair 2010 Program and 2009 Alumna, Leadership Music
  • General Counsel, Nashville Songwriters Association International
  • Member, Past Board of Directors and Secretary, Gospel Music Association Foundation
  • Member, Academy of Country Music
  • Member, Country Music Association
  • Member, Gospel Music Association
  • Member, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
  • Member, Association of Independent Music Publishers
  • Member, SOURCE
  • Member, Tennessee State Bar Association
  • Member, Nashville Bar Association
  • Major, Civil Air Patrol (United States Air Force Auxiliary)
  • Former Member, Board of Directors and Past Chairman & Treasurer, Copyright Society of the South

  • Former Member, Board of Directors, T.J. Martell Foundation

  • Former Member, Board of Directors, FilmNashville