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Counsel (I or II)

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Department: Legal
Posted: 09-15-2017
Location Name: Los Angeles
Wage: Depends on Experience
Position Type: Regular, Full-Time
Shift: 9:00am - 5:00pm (generally)
Position Title: Counsel (I or II) Position Type: Non-Represented
Department: Legal FLSA: Exempt
Shift: 9:00am - 5:00pm (generally) Minimum Starting Salary:
Posted: 09/15/2017 Location: Los Angeles
Job ID 757

*Two (2) openings currently available*


POSITION PURPOSE: To protect the interests of SAG-AFTRA and its members by enforcing SAG-AFTRA contracts through arbitration and state/federal litigation; to provide timely and detailed advice to SAG-AFTRA departments regarding issues that implicate state and/or federal law, federal labor law, and SAG-AFTRA contractual negotiations; to participate in contract negotiations and, where appropriate, to negotiate certain provisions within such contracts on behalf of SAG-AFTRA; to support the Board of Directors and Member Committees by providing legal advice and formal opinions.



(This section provides a general summary of the most significant job duties performed and the average percent of time spent on each function.  It does not explain in detail every single duty performed.)


Counsel II work will be similar to Counsel I, but the level of independent discretion and complexity of work will increase.



Manage caseload of arbitration matters (both simple and complex), concerning contract and NLRA-related member grievances against signatory producers and distributors;

  • Represent SAG-AFTRA and its members in state and federal court regarding various litigation matters, including but not limited to disputes between members and producers/distributors/agents, based on state and federal law, and SAG-AFTRA contracts;
  • Represent SAG-AFTRA in administrative proceedings, and state and federal court regarding litigation brought by or against SAG-AFTRA, including but not limited to disputes with members, vendors, and/or employees;
  •  If Counsel II, provide guidance and advice to Counsel and Case Managers.

Advising Departments

  • Advise departments as to legal rights pursuant to relevant contracts (e.g.., non-disclosure agreements, real-estate documents, etc.), state and federal law (labor and otherwise), and other legally relevant issues (HR-related issues, website privacy policy, etc.);
  • Advise SAG-AFTRA board of directors and Member committees on issues related to labor laws, SAG-AFTRA contracts, and other matters that may implicate state and federal law;
  • Prepare legal opinions and documents that interpret applicable laws, rulings (arbitration and other), the SAG-AFTRA constitution and contracts, and various regulations related to applicable law;
  • Prepare agreements and contracts pursuant to departmental requests;
  • Conduct legal and factual research regarding specific departmental issues;
  • Assess internal documents, policies, etc., for legal compliance, and advise SAG-AFTRA personnel appropriately;

Negotiations and Advice

  • Negotiate terms and provisions of various contracts (i.e.., vendor contracts, etc.);
  • Resolve informally disputes between SAG-AFTRA (for itself and on behalf of SAG-AFTRA members) and third parties, in an effort to preempt litigation;
  • Provide general information and assistance to SAG-AFTRA members in areas related to their work under SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreements;

Legal Secretary/Interns

  • Supervise, direct and develop support staff.
  • Administer year-round internship program, monitor work flow and assignments given to interns, supervise work product of interns, and evaluate performance.
  • Other duties as assigned



(The individual must possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities and be able to explain and demonstrate that he or she can perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities)

  • Negotiating skills - able to negotiate with diplomacy
  • Able to use PC applications
  • Detail oriented
  • Able to work under pressure and independently
  • Able to professionally deal with irate, hostile, and/or difficult personalities
  • Able to respond to member and third party calls in a timely manner
  • Proficient on Lexis Nexis
  • Able to communicate effectively in English, both orally and in writing
  • Able to organize, prioritize and coordinate multiple tasks under daily deadlines
  • Superlative interpersonal skills: high degree of patience and tact. Must be able to cultivate respectful, strategic and collaborative relationships with people from diverse backgrounds, both internally and externally
  • Have an understanding and awareness of worker rights impacting SAG-AFTRA members
  • Hold yourself and others accountable for a high level of performance and integrity
  • Capable of taking direction from more than one supervisor
  • Must be able to work in a challenging environment where constructive feedback from others is encouraged
  • Must maintain regular and acceptable attendance at such level as is determined at SAG-AFTRA’s sole discretion
  • Must be available and willing to work extended hours (and/or overtime for applicable non- exempt positions) per day or per week, including weekends and holidays, as SAG-AFTRA determines is necessary to meet its business needs
  • Must be available and willing to travel to such locations and with such frequency as SAG-AFTRA determines is necessary or desirable to meet its business needs



Education and/or Experience:

  • A Juris Doctor or LLB degree from an ABA accredited law school or equivalent and:
    • For Counsel I at least one year’s experience as a practicing attorney or its equivalent.
    • For Counsel II at least four years as a practicing attorney or its equivalent, preferably in a litigation environment.
  • Background in labor or entertainment law preferred
  • Must provide a substantive legal writing sample

Certificates, licenses, and/or registrations:

  • Active membership in the State Bar of California