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Attorney Bios

Andrea E. Friedman

Andrea Friedman’s principal practice is marketing law. Her expertise covers advertising, claim substantiation, public relations, trade practice, sweepstakes, and promotions in traditional, digital and emerging platforms, as well as event, sponsorship, and other entertainment marketing matters, including extensive counseling with respect to compliance with the SAG/AFTRA Collective Bargaining Agreements and compliance with FTC regulations and guidelines.

Ms. Friedman’s practice areas encompass marketing-related aspects of “green” marketing, privacy, publicity, trademark, and copyright law. Additionally, her extensive experience includes such marketing practices as pricing, packaging and labeling, warranties, as well as the structure and documentation of home services and other brand licensing programs for products and services. She counsels clients with respect to state laws governing deceptive pricing practices and popular marketing devices including gift cards, reward programs, and rebates.

Ms. Friedman drafts and negotiates contracts for a variety of advertising and marketing arrangements, including Client-Agency agreements across all areas of advertising, public relations and marketing services, spokesperson and celebrity talent agreements, music licenses, sponsorship, joint marketing and co-promotion agreements, media agreements, brand licensing agreements, and vendor contracts of all stripes and hues.

Additionally, Ms. Friedman represents companies in disputes and regulatory matters involving advertising and marketing issues before the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD) and broadcast networks, and trademark matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She has served on trial teams in U.S. Federal and state court litigation on various matters of marketing and trademark law.

Ms. Friedman is recognized by her peers as a leading lawyer in the fields of Advertising and Media Law, Arts Entertainment and Sports Law, and Intellectual Property Law. In April 2015 she was recognized as one of the Top 10 Women Leading Lawyers in Intellectual Property in Illinois.

Past Experience

Ms. Friedman is a business lawyer who has chosen to focus her talent serving the legal needs of the marketing and advertising industry. She was a founding partner of the Chicago office of Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood, a partner at Schiff Hardin, and the Associate General Counsel for Marketing Practices at Sears, Roebuck and Co. She began her advertising law career with True North Communications as counsel for its U.S. advertising, media, and promotions agencies, including Foote, Cone & Belding. Immediately prior to establishing Friedman Law Group, Ms. Friedman’s practice was affiliated with the intellectual property and advertising boutique firm of Neal & McDevitt. Prior to specializing in advertising law, Ms. Friedman spent eight years practicing business law (mergers and acquisitions, banking law, real estate, and corporate and securities law) at the Schiff Hardin law firm in Chicago.

Education
  • JD - University of Chicago (1985)
  • BS - University of Illinois (1979)
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Kimberly W. Alcantara

Kimberly Alcantara focuses her practice on marketing programs, sponsorships, sweepstakes, contests, publicity events, and social media campaigns. She negotiates and drafts contracts to support all aspects of her clients’ marketing objectives, including Client-Agency agreements, spokesperson and celebrity talent agreements, and joint marketing and co-promotion agreements. Ms. Alcantara also advises clients on advertising review and claim substantiation, trademark clearance, and brand licensing.

Ms. Alcantara has worked with Friedman Law Group since 2012.

Past Experience

Ms. Alcantara has been practicing in the areas of intellectual property and advertising law since 1993. She began her legal career with the Chicago intellectual property boutique law firm of Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson, where she counseled clients on and handled litigation for trademark, copyright, false advertising, and Lanham Act matters. She moved to in-house legal practice in joining True North Communications, where she served for six years and rose to Associate General Counsel. She returned to private practice as a partner at the Pattishall firm. Ms. Alcantara later joined McDonald’s Corporation as in-house Marketing Counsel, where she worked closely with the company’s marketing team to execute co-branded advertising and promotions as well as celebrity talent and sports marketing campaigns.

Education
  • JD – University of Michigan Law School, cum laude (1993)
  • BA – University of Michigan, with high distinction (1990)
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Melissa A. Brenner

Melissa Brenner focuses her practice on a wide range of marketing matters. She is particularly skilled in advising clients at the ideation and initial stages of complex promotions and advertising campaigns, with the goal of promoting legal compliance that best supports her clients’ creative executions.

Ms. Brenner structures Client-Agency relationships, reviews advertising for legal compliance, and structures and reviews a wide range of promotions including sweepstakes, contests, coupons and rebates. She drafts and negotiates marketing contracts including Client-Agency agreements, joint marketing and co-promotion agreements, media agreements, intellectual property licenses, sponsorships, spokesperson and celebrity talent agreements, and promotion fulfillment agreements, among many others. Ms. Brenner also advises clients regarding their marketing campaigns in traditional, digital, and emerging platforms.

Ms. Brenner has worked with Friedman Law Group since its inception in 2007.

Past Experience

Ms. Brenner began her career in the Intellectual Property group at the Winston & Strawn law firm, where she counseled advertising agencies and advertisers on a wide range of intellectual property and marketing matters. She then served as Associate General Counsel at True North Communications and, after True North’s acquisition by Interpublic Group, Ms. Brenner assumed primary responsibility for the legal affairs of FCB Chicago.

While in law school, Ms. Brenner participated in Law Review, worked as a research assistant for an Intellectual Property professor in her school, served as a student extern at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and was awarded the prestigious Dean’s Scholarship each year of her studies.

Education
  • JD - DePaul University College of Law, with honors (1994)
  • BS - University of Illinois, with high honors (1991)
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Tracey L. Fletcher

Tracey Fletcher focuses her practice on corporate philanthropy, cause marketing, client-agency relationships and IT, digital, and social media matters, including software and SaaS licensing, mobile marketing, and behavioral advertising. She has considerable experience in structuring, negotiating, and documenting Client-Agency relationships across a broad range of services including advertising, public relations, media planning and buying, digital marketing, print and video production, and market research/consumer insights. She also has experience with sponsorships, branded entertainment, publishing, loyalty programs, and gift cards/prepaid cards. Ms. Fletcher regularly handles general commercial transactions and nonprofit matters.

Ms. Fletcher has worked with Friedman Law Group since its inception in 2007.

Past Experience

Ms. Fletcher's experience includes having founded the legal department for Daniel J Edelman, Inc., the public relations company. Earlier, she served as Senior Assistant General Counsel for the American Hospital Association, where she handled transactional, litigation, and regulatory matters before U.S. Federal and state agencies. She has prepared testimony for U.S. Congressional hearings, represented clients before state and federal agencies, and drafted appellate briefs for submission to U.S. Federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Fletcher previously served as adjunct faculty at Loyola University School of Law.

Education
  • JD - University of Michigan, cum laude (1987)
  • BA - University of Michigan, with distinction (1984)
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Debra L. Hutchings

Debra Hutchings focuses her practice on marketing law, e-commerce, data privacy and data security management. She advises clients regarding advertising and promotions in traditional, digital and emerging media. Ms. Hutchings reviews advertising and marketing materials for legal compliance, and negotiates and drafts domestic and international marketing agreements including Client-Agency agreements and those involving spokespersons, celebrity talent, music licensing, sponsorship, joint marketing and co-promotions, and brand licensing, among others. She also reviews and negotiates general commercial contracts for software licenses, consulting services, and purchase and sale transactions, among many others.

In the data privacy realm, Ms. Hutchings counsels clients regarding website privacy policies, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, HIPAA (including its security breach obligations), PCI compliance for retailers’ credit and debit card transactions, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and its Red Flags Identity Theft Regulations, as well as numerous states’ security breach laws and regulations concerning data privacy and security. She is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Ms. Hutchings has worked with the Friedman Law Group since 2009.

Past Experience

Ms. Hutchings began her career in the law department of Navistar, and later served as an associate at the Reed Smith, LLP law firm, where she provided counsel primarily to two of that firm’s clients, Leo Burnett Advertising and AT&T.

She also served as a Judicial Extern for the U.S. Federal Judge Ronald Guzman (Northern District of Illinois) as well as for Illinois Circuit Judge John Madden (Illinois Circuit Court, Cook County, Chancery Division).

Education
  • JD - John Marshall Law School (2002)
  • BS - North Central College (1992)
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Joan M. Richman

Joan Richman’s practice at Friedman Law Group primarily involves advising clients with respect to marketing campaigns. These programs typically include influencers, talent, or other spokespersons and their performance on various social media platforms. She assists clients with all aspects of the negotiation and drafting of agreements for their marketing campaigns, such as: Client-Agency agreements, talent/influencer agreements, event hosting, event sponsorship, sampling programs, and more. Ms. Richman also counsels business clients on day-to-day contractual matters.

Ms. Richman joined Friedman Law Group in 2016.

Past Experience

Ms. Richman has been engaged in a transactional practice since 1992. Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Richman became an associate and later a partner at the world’s leading global law firm of Baker McKenzie, where she counseled a diverse group of U.S. and non-U.S. companies. She provided corporate advice on entity formation, corporate structure, and various legal issues arising from day-to-day operations, such as: purchases, sales, distribution and related contractual matters. As a client manager, Ms. Richman coordinated a variety of U.S. and non-U.S. legal services for clients. Ms. Richman developed a specialty practice in the entertainment industry, where she negotiated and drafted deal memoranda, co-production agreements, option agreements, and television distribution agreements.

In 2011, Ms. Richman co-founded Sway Group LLC. Sway is an Inc. 500, award winning content marketing service for social media platforms utilizing a network of 90,000 influencers. Serving as General Counsel with this start-up for 5 years, Ms. Richman was responsible for all legal matters, including negotiating, drafting, and coordinating all day-to-day contracts, including public relations agency agreements, talent/influencer agreements, and general commercial contracts (employment, leases, vendor, etc.) Ms. Richman also advised, negotiated and drafted various strategic partnership agreements, including multiple letters of intent, joint ventures, and mergers. Additionally, Ms. Richman developed legal processes and precedents, trained staff on legal matters, and managed outside counsel.

Education
  • JD - Georgetown University Law Center (1992)
  • BS - McGill University (1988)
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Marlo Serritella

Marlo Serritella counsels clients, drafts and negotiates contracts in support of a variety of advertising and marketing arrangements including spokesperson and celebrity agreements, co-promotion agreements, vendor contracts, social media campaigns and related licensing.  Ms. Serritella also advises on advertising review and claim substantiation in order to support clients’ creative endeavors across various platforms.

Past Experience

Ms. Serritella joined the Intellectual Property and Advertising Law group at the firm of Winston and Strawn in Chicago as a first year associate, where she advised both agencies and advertisers on the legal compliance and structuring of a wide range of promotions and marketing campaigns including national sweepstakes programs, as well as related NAD challenges and Trademark clearance.  She then transitioned to the in-house legal department of True North Communications (now IPG) as Associate General Counsel, where she served as primary legal counsel across a variety of brands.  In this role, Ms. Serritella helped to develop extensive legal education materials for the company’s various advertising and public relations agencies throughout the country. Ms. Serritella has also parlayed her background and experience to excel as a freelance writer, and as an independent consultant for the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar.

While in law school, Ms. Serritella acted as Co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, served on the staff of the Northwestern Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, and worked as a legal intern for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.  

Education
  • JD - Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude (1997)
  • BS - Northwestern University, with highest distinction (1994)
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