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Harper Lee’s Estate Sues

Producer Aaron Sorkin is being sued by the estate of the late Harper Lee concerning the rights to her famous book, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Harper Lee’s estate sues Aaron Sorkin and Broadway over To Kill a Mockingbird. Hello, my name is John Pankauski, I’m an estate litigation attorney with Pankauski Hauser. So Harper Lee the author of To Kill a Mockingbird is no longer with us but she has an estate. And Harper Lee’s estate has very valuable property rights, notably copyright and perhaps even trademark or other intellectual property to that famous novel. Aaron Sorkin, a director, producer on Broadway is making a play and is now being sued by Harper Lee’s estate over evidently a contract between Mr Sorkin and the estate and his adaptation of the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. This is important for two reasons. One, if an estate is going to have a contract with somebody over intellectual property or other property that the estate has you want to make sure that that contract spells out exactly what they can do or not do with the property you are letting them use. Two, you need to understand that in many times, you have an estate usually of artists, performers, musicians, authors, people who do a lot of writing who have very very valuable property rights and these property rights can continue on even after your dead. So you want to talk to your estate planning attorney about your intellectual property rights and who gets that when you pass away. Is it in a trust, do you create a corporation who gets those shares because in many cases those intellectual property rights can be very very valuable. My name is John Pankauski and this concludes my remarks about estate litigation.