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Lita Rosario-Richardson is widely recognized for the legal advice she provides for creators in the arts and entertainment arena.  Most recently the principal of Lita Rosario, PLLC, a boutique entertainment and intellectual property law firm in Washington DC, Lita now joins Shulman Rogers to lead the Firm’s Entertainment Practice. 

Lita began her career in entertainment law as a co-founder/owner and VP of Business and Legal Affairs for University Music Entertainment, a music production company that produced multi-platinum recording artist Dru Hill, Mya and ultimately SisQó. She went on to represent such artists as Missy Elliott (and is responsible for Missy owning her copyrights), Crystal Waters, Tank and Robin S. She has secured back royalties for many artists and songwriters including, Peaches & Herb, Mr. Cheeks, Das EFX and Big Pun.

Lita has negotiated distribution and publishing agreements with all of the four major record distribution/music publishing companies including Warner Music Group, Sony/RCA, Universal Music Group and EMI/Capital Records as well as major television and cable companies including, Disney, UPN, TV One, BET, VIACOM/MTV, DISCOVERY CHANNEL, E! NETWORK and Universal Pictures.

An expert in copyright recapture, Lita was successful in securing the ownership rights for Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force for arguably the most sampled song in hip hop, “Planet Rock,” and all songs that sampled “Planet Rock.”  She has represented members of Parliament Funkadelic, including Garry Shider (Diaper Man) and George Clinton, to regain ownership of their catalogs, including the iconic hits records “Atomic Dog” and “One Nation Under A Grove” and the estate of a founder of KC & the Sunshine Band. 

She has acted as an expert/consultant in litigation matters involving Lauryn Hill and NE-YO, as well as the Zapp Estate, Wayne Wonder, Sean Levert Estate and Gerald Levert Estate matters. Rosario has represented clients in songwriter and author disputes for the mega-hit records “Who Let The Dogs Out,” “Blame It On The Alcohol” and “Thong Song.” She has secured ownership rights for her clients in all cases.

An outspoken advocate for artist rights, Lita has lobbied Congress on artist rights issues and has served on the Washington D.C. Chapter of the Recording Academy (Grammy) Board of Governors and serves on the Board of Directors for the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA). Lita previously served as Chair of the DC Bar’s Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section.

Lita has secured favorable decisions in the 2nd Circuit and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeal on copyright issues involving Justin Timberlake’s multi-platinum hit Suit & Tie and KC & The Sunshine Band; assisted with a 9th Circuit appeal by George Clinton in connection with the copyright ownership dispute of the Funkadelic Masters; was a contributing author for an amicus brief with the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for the case involving infringement of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke in “Blurred Lines”, and authored a Petition for Writ of Certiorari before the United States Supreme Court on a statute of limitations issue involving copyright renewal ownership claims under Section 304 of the Copyright Act.  She also recently contributed to an amicus brief in the Supreme Court along with Public Knowledge and others regarding Section 304 Termination Rights.  

After graduating from Howard University Law School, Lita began her legal career as a corporate/securities law attorney at Gaston Snow & Ely Bartlett in Boston and then Shearman & Sterling in New York. She is an adjunct professor at the University of the District of Columbia’s Department of Mass Media, Visual, and Performing Arts and American University’s Kogod School of Business.  Lita is admitted to practice in New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, as well as the federal Court Bars for the Southern District of New York, the District Court for the District of Columbia, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. 

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), Board of Directors
  • DC Bar Association, Member, Former Chair of the Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section
  • National Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

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