Board of Directors

John D. Mason WEB PROPER ONEJOHN D. MASON (President) of Copyright Counselors, LLC is an art, entertainment and intellectual property attorney, and literary agent. He is based in the Washington DC/Maryland area. His practice focuses on copyright and trademark transactional matters, litigation, publishing and media issues, contracts, and commercial matters. He works with writers, artists, filmmakers and people and companies in creative industries to protect, promote and exploit their work. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Mason is adjunct faculty teaching Entertainment Law at UDC Law School, past adjunct teaching Art and the Law at George Mason University, Board President of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, and past Advisory Board member of the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington. His email is and his firm website is


Fries_Janet_1881_pr copyJANET FRIES (Vice President) is of counsel in Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and pro bono project coordinator for the Washington, DC office. Her practice focuses on copyright and trademark law, entertainment law and Internet law.  Janet has represented numerous authors, artists, collectors, estates, art organizations, musicians, producers and Internet companies in connection with issues involving contract negotiation and preparation, Web site review, copyright and trademark protection, and enforcement and related matters.  Janet is a frequent lecturer and is currently co-teaching “Legal Issues in Arts Management,” a graduate seminar at George Mason University.  She has published a number of articles on copyright and related topics.  Janet is an active member of the IP Section of the ABA: she is the Chair of the Copyright Division, a member of the Continuing Legal Education Board and a member of the Copyright Reform Task Force.  She is fellow of the American Bar Foundation and vice chair of the Arts and Cultural Law Committee for the Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section of the DC Bar.  In addition to her legal practice, Janet is an experienced professional editorial and fine art photographer.  Her work has been published and exhibited widely and has been acquired for the permanent collections of museums including the National Portrait Gallery, the Oakland Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Sharon Nokes

SHARON NOKES (Treasurer) Earned her B.Mus. from the Eastman School of Music; her M.Mus., from the Manhattan School of Music; and her J.D. magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, where she is currently on faculty. As Of Counsel at Caplan & Drysdale, in Washington DC, she advises a broad range of nonprofit organizations—including some of the nation’s largest private foundations and publicly-supported charities, as well as educational institutions, cultural organizations, supporting organizations, and healthcare organizations—on tax, corporate governance, and other compliance issues. She has represented clients before the IRS in complex audits, ruling requests, exemption applications, and other matters. She has also represented clients before the Treasury Department and Congress with regard to new or pending law and regulations.  Professor Nokes is Senior Officer, Legal Affairs, and Associate General Counsel at The Pew Charitable Trusts.  She also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Taxation of Exempts (ThomsonReuters), a bimonthly publication that provides tax analysis and guidance to professional advisors to, and managers of, charities, foundations and other complex nonprofit organizations.  While a student at Georgetown, she served as a Legal Writing Fellow and Senior Writing Fellow in the Legal Research and Writing Program, and Managing Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.  Her publications include E-Rated Movies: Coming Soon to a Home Theater Near You?, and several articles on tax issues affecting tax-exempt organizations.

Nasar Abadey PromoDrummer and Composer NASAR ABADEY is the founder, leader and driving force of SUPERNOVA,® an award-winning, internationally renowned eleven-piece (11) chamber orchestra that performs music from the threshold of jazz to beyond space and time, while expressing their compositions through African rhythms, bebop, fusion, Afro-Cuban, Afro Brazilian, modal and free form.  Mr. Abadey began playing drums at age five, drawing influences from powerhouse drummers such as Tony Williams, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones and his cousin, Frankie Dunlop. Based in Washington, DC, Mr. Abadey has built a solid reputation as a sideman with several groups, and has recorded and/or performed with many national artists throughout his career.
To date, SUPERNOVA® has released two CD projects, “Mirage” and “Diamond in the Rough,” and was voted DC’s Best Large Ensemble by the Washington City Paper in 2014.  Mr. Abadey and the band can be found travelling the world creating and sharing multi-dimensional, multi-directional music that is inspired by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and many others.  Mr. Abadey is currently Professor of Jazz Percussion in the Jazz Studies department at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.  Mr. Abadey joined the WALA Board in 2002.


Brennan_Mark_H08640MARK W. BRENNAN is a Partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP, where his practice encompasses communications and consumer protection.  He represents clients on a wide array of regulatory and commercial issues involving new technologies, wireless and international telecommunications, and data privacy and security.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center.


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Prior to launching Cassidy Law, MARGARET CASSIDY held positions as PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Government Ethics & Compliance Leader and GE Transportation’s Global Ethics & Compliance Counsel.  She also prosecuted at the state and local level handling investigations and prosecutions involving fraud and public corruption as well as a variety of other crimes.  Along with loving the law, Margaret is an engaging and sought after speaker.   In addition to holding an adjunct faculty position at George Washington School of Law, she has developed and conducted seminars for both business executives and employees as well as organizations such as the American Bar Association, the DC Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Association of Corporate Counsel National Capital Region Chapter and Today’s General Counsel on conducting investigations; implementing ethics and compliance programs; FCPA and anti-corruption; the False Claims Act; government procurement; political activity; and ethically interacting with governments.  Active in her profession and in her community, Margaret is Vice-Chair of the ABA Business Law Section Corporate Compliance Committee and an elected member of the D.C. Bar’s Law Practice Management Steering Committee.  She is the former Global Issues Forum Co- Chair for the Association of Corporate Counsel National Capital Region Chapter. Margaret serves on the board of the Washington DC Area Lawyers for the Arts and as a hearing officer for the Washington D.C. Lawyer Board of Professional Responsibility.  Margaret earned a B.S. in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Upon graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, she clerked with the Ohio Court of Appeals. She is a member of the D.C., Pennsylvania, Ohio (inactive) and New York (inactive) bars. A proud native of Ohio, she currently lives in D.C. with her law school sweetheart (now husband) and worthy adversary both on legal and non-legal issues and a crazy mutt they got at the pound.


John D. Mason WEBJOSHUA CARPENTER serves as Counsel in the Legal division of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), where he    provides legal guidance in connection with issues related to content production and licensing, original programming, copyrights, and digital distribution across all AOL platforms, including, among others,, AOL On, and The Huffington Post. Prior to joining AOL, Mr. Carpenter served as Counsel to BET Networks, a unit of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), advising about issues related to broadcast production, licensing, and acquisitions; domestic and international programming; and brand marketing and promotion.  Before transitioning in-house, Mr. Carpenter served a portfolio of media industry clients while an associate attorney at The Roberts Law Group, PLLC.  Further reflective of his love of the arts, Mr. Carpenter has had substantive experience working closely with literary agents at Folio Literary Management in a volunteer capacity to review, critique, and pitch book proposals and also participates annually in the GRAMMY Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition as an essay contest grader. Mr. Carpenter graduated from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA with a Bachelor of Arts in English and received his Juris Doctor from the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA.  He is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar, where he also is a member of the Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Sports Section. Mr. Carpenter resides with his wife, Shejal, and their beloved beagle mix, May, in Alexandria, VA, where he has proudly served on the City of Alexandria Commission for the Arts and as a Committee Member of the Alexandria Film Festival.

BRian FrankelBRIAN A. FRANKEL is an award-winning independent filmmaker and attorney who helps companies and creative professionals achieve their goals. Through his practice as a business, entertainment, and intellectual property attorney in Washington D.C., he represents film & video producers, media distribution companies, screenwriters, Fortune 50 companies, technology startups, government sub-contractors, online marketplaces, social media & marketing firms, a professional athletic team, consultants, freelancers, podcasters, live event producers and talent. Mr. Frankel is active and engaged in the creative community. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Education Committee for the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, the Executive Director of D.C. Filmmakers and D.C Media Makers, the Festival Director for the Wheaton Film Festival, and is the past Vice-President of the University of Florida Law Alumni Group for D.C. Mr. Frankel has produced and/or directed music videos, films, television shows, commercials, and multi-media projects for clients including MTV, Spike TV, Motorola, M Audio, Def Jam South Records, the Merchant Marines, and the Independent Feature Project. He was also honored as a Kodak Emerging Filmmaker. Mr. Frankel hails the great state of Florida.  He is the managing member of the Brian Frankel Law Firm and Of Counsel with Copyright Counselors, LLC.  Mr. Frankel is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Florida, and before the D.C. Federal Court. He has served on the the Board of Directors for the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts since 2013.

Headshots Template LucyLUCY GEBRE-EGZIABHER is an award winning, independent filmmaker and educator.  She earned a MFA degree in Film from Howard University. As an Assistant Professor in Film Studies at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Alexandria campus, in the Communication Studies and Theater Department, Lucy teaches in the critical studies area as well as Screenwriting and Directing.  She developed film courses and built student enrollment of film classes for that campus. She produced & directed narrative films as well as organizational videos for Teret Productions, a production company she founded in 1999.  Her filmmaking background is complimented by over 10 years experience in International Development (area of specialization is education and curriculum design), working on USAID funded projects.  For more information please visit her faculty site:



PhillipsVICTORIA PHILLIPS teaches communications and intellectual property law and is the Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic. She also helped found and is a faculty director of the law school’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP). Before joining the WCL faculty in 2001 to help launch these programs, she was Chief of the Legal Branch of the Mass Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission and counsel in the Office of General Counsel. There she worked on a wide range of media policy proceedings including those related to broadcast ownership, broadcast public interest obligations, digital television conversion, children’s television, public television and political programming. Before joining the FCC she served as the Assistant General Counsel of the National Endowment for the Humanities, practiced communications and intellectual property law at Wiley, Rein and Fielding in Washington D.C. and clerked for Edward S. Northrop, U.S. District Judge in Baltimore, Maryland.



Laura Possessky_04LAURA POSSESSKY is a managing member of Gura & Possessky, PLLC. With a practice in entertainment, media and intellectual property law, she counsels clients on media and digital content transactions and on First Amendment issues relating to fair use of third-party content and intellectual property.  Laura also provides general counsel to associations, nonprofits and digital content start-up businesses on strategies for intellectual property protection and management, information technology, and other activities related to business operations. Prior to being in private practice Ms. Possessky worked as an attorney advisor in the Contracting Office at the Smithsonian Institution, and managed the legal services and education programs at Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts. She served two terms as Board Chair of WALA and serves on the boards of Docs In Progress and Center for the Creative Economy.  Laura received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Maryland.


Mariessa Terrell WEBMARIESSA TERRELL, an intellectual property attorney, is the founder of SBC Law Group (, a boutique brand management and intellectual property law firm located in Washington, DC. Through her firm, Mariessa provides docketing, marketing, licensing and intellectual property law services to a variety of clients including, defense contractors, fashion designers, artists and beauty professionals. After drafting legislation (Bill 17-173) to create a Fashion Commission in DC, Mariessa was appointed by DC Mayor Vincent Gray to serve as a Fashion Commissioner in 2013.  Mariessa has lectured on branding and trademark law throughout the US and has taught fashion and marketing courses at Southeastern University and the University of the District of Columbia. Mariessa is a published legal and style writer whose work has recently been featured in the IP and Technology Law Journal, Navigating Fashion Law, Best of DC and MidCity DC, Washington Life, DC Magazine, etc.  Mariessa is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and writes a fashion lifestyle blog entitled, Yoo Hoo Darling featuring the fictional character Simone Butterfly, Fashion Investigator.

DAVEY S. YARBOROUGH is a dynamic bandleader, musician, and educator with more than 30 years of performance experience on national and international stages.  Throughout his career, Mr. Yarborough has performed with numerous bands and in countless venues and festivals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, but has also had the pleasure of performing background music for the famed “Bill Cosby Show” and performing and recording with famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Mr. Yarborough’s impact and influence are not confined to the stage. He is also a distinguished educator with over 30 years of experience shaping, mentoring, and launching the careers of young musicians.  He created the Jazz Studies program at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts where he currently serves as the program Director.  In 2016, Mr. Yarborough was recognized for excellence in the classroom when he received the Kennedy Center’s Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award.  Mr. Yarborough also serves as the Artistic Director of The Washington Jazz Arts Institute.  He has served on the Board of Directors for the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts since 2010.


Mark ZaidMARK S. ZAID is the Managing Partner of a Washington, D.C. based law firm that specializes in innovatively handling simple and complex administrative and litigation matters relating to national security, international law, foreign sovereign and diplomatic immunity, defamation (plaintiff) and the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOI/PA). Mr. Zaid represents former/current federal employees, particularly intelligence and military officers, defense contractors, Whistleblowers and others who have grievances or have been wronged by agencies of the United States Government or foreign governments, as well as members of the media. He has been named as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer annually, as well as a “Best Lawyer” by Washingtonian Magazine (bi-annually), since 2009. He is also the Executive Director and founder of the James Madison Project, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, with the primary purpose of educating the public on issues relating to intelligence gathering and operations, secrecy policies, national security and government wrongdoing. Additionally, Mr. Zaid is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Global Security Studies program where he teaches national security issues. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Albany Law School of Union University, the latter for which he serves on the Board of Trustees.


JCG Podium ShotJOHN C. GOOD (Executive Director) has enjoyed a successful career as a non-profit executive with premiere arts presenters including The John F. Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Farm Park, the Washington Performing Arts Society, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Galveston Island Outdoor Musicals, and Blues Alley.  He is the founder of the Virginia Jazz Service Organization, and is President of GMG Events, an entertainment and special events production group.  On the legal side, John was a senior meeting planner and CLE coordinator for the American Bankruptcy Institute, and Director of the award-winning financial literacy organization, CARE (Credit Abuse Resistance Education.)  Often sought-after as a consultant, John has worked with, among others, The Washington Ballet, The Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, and Funding the Future Live, and has executive produced the University of Virginia JAZZFEST, the Association for Independent Music 1992 through 1998 INDIE Awards, and the 1997 and 1998 JazzTimes Conventions.  An enthusiastic speaker, he has presented many lectures and seminars on the music business at conferences, colleges, high schools and at The Brookings Institution. John has served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Area Music Association, Capital Area Performers Organization, and Community Arts Agencies of Virginia, and was an Advisory Panelist for the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the DC Commission on the Arts And Humanities.  As a performer, John can frequently be heard playing trombone and bass in many of the area’s symphony orchestras, chamber groups, jazz big bands, and pit orchestras.  He is a founding member of the Brass Menagerie Quintet; the Indubitable Equivalents, a touring rock tribute band composed completely of bankruptcy practitioners and judges; and Those Meddling Kids, an experimental rock power trio.  John earned his Bachelors of Music Management from James Madison University.  He currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with this wife, Trina, and their four children, Kaspar, Scott, Mina and Zara.

headrocVANCE “HEAD-ROC” LEVY (Arts Ambassador, Outreach and Education Director) is a recording artist, multimedia producer, and publisher from Washington, DC with more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. During the span of his career, Head-Roc has received numerous awards for his exceptional lyrical ability, unprecedented song writing and live performances. Head-Roc’s contributions to the development of the DC Hip-Hop community and culture, passionate onstage presence and courageous artistic articulation of contemporary challenges have earned him the distinction of being known worldwide as the ‘Mayor of DC Hip Hop.” His unique ability to reach music fans across diverse genres has secured Head-Roc’s reputation as a successful Indie Artist and D.I.Y. entrepreneur.  Head-Roc has enjoyed performing and promoting his music domestically and abroad, and is consistently celebrated for delivering life changing performances for thousands of socially progressive, conscious, and independent music lovers. Along with his artistic work, Head-Roc’s arts based activism is well respected in global progressive and social justice communities. He is regularly invited to participate in panel discussions and public events at colleges and universities nationwide and appear at important rallies and gatherings alongside some of the most prominent icons in the movement.  Head-Roc is currently serving as the first ever Arts Ambassador for the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA). As a cultural leader, he also serves the Washington, DC music community authoring Head-Roc’s Mouth, his opinion blog column published by the Washington City Paper. Head-Roc also writes a blog that is published on Huffington Post DC.

13592160_10210287713330492_5225074485568519175_nMAGGIE GLADSON (Legal Services Director) began her collaboration with Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts when she first served as a WALA volunteer attorney in 1996.  Since that time, she has worked as an attorney contractor to the Department of Justice, as a trial graphics consultant in the private sector, and as WALA’s Marketing and Education Director.  Maggie became WALA’s Legal Services Director in 2006, acting as a liaison between member artists and volunteer attorneys and law clinics.