After Criticism of Excessive Spending, Recording Academy Looking to Hire In-House General Counsel

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Katz (who now works at Barnes & Thornburg) and Ortner were listed as advisors to the academy in the program book that was distributed at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards in January 2020. Katz was listed as general counsel; Ortner as national legal counsel. Two other lawyers were also listed as advisors — Bobby Rosenbloum (deputy general counsel) and Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks (deputy national legal counsel).

No lawyers were listed as advisors in the program book for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in March 2021.

In a roundtable conversation that appeared in the Sept. 19, 2020, issue of Billboard, Mason (who was then interim president/CEO) spoke to the issue of what consideration had been given to hiring an in-house counsel.

“We’ve considered it for probably the last five or so years,” Mason said. “[But] it’s not something where I can just say, ‘We’re hiring in-house counsel.’ The finance committee, the trustees — these are decisions that would go beyond just the CEO or even the chair. It is something that we are evaluating…. I’ve always been one to try to cut legal costs, but as I get into it, I see that the needs of the academy are very diverse. There’s employment law. There’s corporate law. There’s intellectual property law.

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