Attorney - Karl  Braun

Attorney:

Karl Braun
Partner
HBS Nashville Office

P: 615-313-9911
F: 615-313-8008
E: kbraun@hallboothsmith.com
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Overview

A partner in the HBS Nashville office, Karl Braun specializes in entertainment litigation and a wide array of transactional work. His personal experience in the entertainment industry, including more than 15 years working as a professional musician and songwriter, gives him unique understanding of entertainment law, including intellectual property and international business litigation. Mr. Braun is also highly experienced in insurance coverage, construction, products liability, family law and appellate work. He is admitted to practice in both Tennessee and Georgia.
Mr. Braun launched his litigation practice with HBS in 1995. Early on, he practiced extensively in general liability and medical malpractice litigation, and still practices in those areas to this day. As his practice expanded, he developed distinct expertise in assisting businesses with formation, formalities, dissolution, acquisitions, transactions and related matters. His extensive transactional practice focuses primarily on the entertainment industry, and also encompasses legal malpractice, transportation, business litigation and retail liability cases. Mr. Braun also has significant trial experience in a wide array of areas.  
His music career gives Mr. Braun a unique, first-hand understanding of the "real life" dynamics between the entertainment industry and creative professionals. He works with a variety of clients in entertainment-related business litigation and transactional work: publishers, record companies, film and video production companies, entertainment conglomerates, songwriters, artists, administrators, entertainment entrepreneurs/investors, managers, emerging and established businesses, and others. 
Mr. Braun regularly speaks at the annual North American Law Summit, and is frequently invited to speak about pressing business and legal issues facing the music and entertainment industries. He also frequently interacts with leaders in the entertainment world on cutting-edge topics like social networking, music and video streaming, downloading and subscription services, and analyzes the impact of these technological advances on the industry. His helps clients effectively utilize social networking and web development for business marketing and promotional purposes to develop sustainable independent careers. Mr. Braun teaches a copyright class for Nashville Community Education and is annually featured in the prestigious Music Row publication "In Charge," which highlights "Nashville's Music Industry Decision Makers." He is a voting member of the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences and the Country Music Association. Mr. Braun also represented one of the nominees for the 2012 Presidential Campaign in a nationally publicized copyright litigation involving music performing rights. 
Mr. Braun studied music at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing. He attended Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta, and received his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, in 1992. In law school, he was Associate Editor of Notes and Comments, Georgia State University Law Review, and a member of the Outer Barristers Guild. He published reviews of selected 1991 Georgia Legislation in the Georgia State University Law Review, Vol. 8, No. I, Jan. 1992.

Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution/Arbitration

Mr. Braun offers general and family law mediation services. He is trained as a Rule 31 family law mediator in Tennessee. His practice includes experience in many mediation settings as an advocate, and he offers alternatives to litigation that afford clients effective compromise and decision-making empowerment. His clients are fully engaged and involved in resolving their own disputes and matters using a cost-efficient alternative to litigation.

Business Litigation

Mr. Braun has deep experience representing a wide variety of clients involved in business disputes. He offers personalized, skilled attention to business clients in many different industries to help solve their business transactional and litigation issues. Having been a small business owner and entrepreneur himself, Mr. Braun recognizes barriers to compromise in the business environment and strives to achieve resolution short of costly and counter-productive litigation.  However, if the courtroom is inevitable, Mr. Braun is a zealous and aggressive advocate for his clients.

Construction

In the fast-paced construction industry, business success depends on efficiency, cooperation and completion on schedule. Setbacks hurt the bottom line whether you are a developer, property owner, construction manager, contractor, subcontractor, engineer or architect. Mr. Braun’s experience in business litigation, alternative dispute resolution, copyright and contract law serves the diverse needs of his many construction industry clients.
Mr. Braun offers his expertise to help clients navigate complex industry rules and regulations, and contract terms and conditions, while facilitating communication during all stages of a construction project. Issues range from contract compliance, delay, extra work, payment issues, liens, change orders, unexpected contingencies, human interaction and communication breakdowns. He guides the resolution of project disputes before they become significantly costly delays. If necessary, Mr. Braun will aggressively and zealously litigate construction disputes in both state and federal courts.  
He also has experience in protecting and litigating intellectual property rights associated with architectural plans. Since passage of the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (AWCPA), which amended the Copyright Act to specifically include "architectural works" among the list of protected works, architects have enjoyed protection of their intellectual labor. Since protection of pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works is also established under the Act, architects may secure complete protection for their works. Mr. Braun assists his architectural clients not only in the protection of their designs, but also of the diagrams, models and technical drawings created for their projects.

Family Law / Domestic Relations

Mr. Braun brings a personal, conciliatory approach to dealing with clients in all family law matters, and employs aggressive litigation skills when necessary. He has over 22 years of litigation and trial experience with HBS, as well as Rule 31 Family Law Mediator training and past certification. He combines an in-depth understanding of current family law with creative, individualized problem-solving strategies developed with each client. In any family law matter, Mr. Braun offers his clients efficient legal and practical solutions to these uniquely personal conflicts.

General Liability

During his years with HBS, Mr. Braun has litigated numerous general liability cases on behalf of insurance companies and private entities. He has trial experience in both state and federal courts, handling cases of all levels of exposure, and involving a wide array of allegations and issues. Mr. Braun offers consultation services on legal issues concerning customer and workplace safety for all types of businesses, and his clients have included retail establishments, hospitals, Travel Centers, restaurants, hotels and private entities. In addition to general premises liability, Mr. Braun has litigated and tried issues involving the private security industry: In March 2016, he litigated a high-exposure wrongful death claim which resulted in a defense verdict in Tennessee for one of the largest security companies in the world.

Insurance Coverage

Mr. Braun’s experience includes insurance coverage and bad faith issues from both the insured’s and insurer’s perspective.  In addition to providing coverage opinions and guidance to carriers and clients, Mr. Braun litigates coverage disputes when necessary. In doing so, he focuses closely on policy detail, coupled with close analysis and comparison of existing applicable precedent, in determining the client’s obligations and potential options.

Intellectual Property / Entertainment

Growing up in Nashville gave Mr. Braun a natural familiarity with the music industry and culture in America’s Music City. He opened the Nashville office of HBS in 2002, developed the first entertainment practice at the firm, and now represents record companies, publishing companies, film and video production companies, entertainment conglomerates, artists, songwriters, producers, managers, agents, entertainment entrepreneurs and investors in all aspects of the entertainment industry. 
With deep knowledge of music catalogue acquisitions, Mr. Braun advises industry clients in all aspects of valuation, purchasing and exploiting music catalogues including through bankruptcy proceedings. He offers intellectual property valuation services for estate and gift tax planning purposes as well. Mr. Braun's practice includes advising clients regarding the establishment and maintenance of various entities, including corporations, LLCs and partnerships. He represents artists in all facets of career development, nurturing and fostering independent sustainability. 
In addition to his work in the U.S., Mr. Braun offers a wide array of transactional negotiation experience and intellectual property expertise having worked in the past with international clients in Tbilisi. His international practice includes, among other areas, transactional work in the entertainment and technology industries.
From negotiating complex international agreements to offering copyright and trademark services across a broad spectrum of media, branding and global licensing platforms, Mr. Braun provides client support and effective guidance through intellectual property protection and exploitation for businesses and individuals. He also assists with intellectual property based investment and entrepreneurial ventures, innovative transactional solutions and maximizing new technologies to help facilitate private sector business development and growth.

International Business

Mr. Braun's experience and practice includes representing clients and interests on the international stage both in conjunction with, and independently of, the Tbilisi office of the firm.  His international practice includes, among other areas, transactional work in the entertainment and technology industries.

Products Liability

Mr. Braun works with many high-profile clients in assessing risk and defending products liability matters. He assists clients with understanding possible risks and defending claims asserted and/or filed in state and federal court. He has great knowledge of the federal and state courts and their decision trends, helping him evaluate clients’ exposure, and defending claims for personal injury or property damage in the products liability arena.Mr. Braun works with many high-profile clients in assessing risk and defending products liability matters. He assists clients with understanding possible risks and defending claims asserted and/or filed in state and federal court. He has great knowledge of the federal and state courts and their decision trends, helping him evaluate clients’ exposure, and defending claims for personal injury or property damage in the products liability arena.

Professional Malpractice and Ethics

Mr. Braun’s broad base of experience in underlying issues makes him especially suited for defending fellow practitioners facing allegations of legal malpractice. Realizing the impact of these claims, Mr. Braun always explores resolution through dispositive motion practice and alternative dispute resolution. However, if trial is inevitable, Mr. Braun’s trial experience positions him to aggressively try legal malpractice cases.  He represents professionals sued for negligence, fraud and fiduciary breaches in nearly every area of professional practice and has experience in every facet of malpractice litigation, from pre-claim assistance through trial and appeal.

Professional Negligence / Medical Malpractice

Mr. Braun has been litigating and trying medical malpractice cases with HBS since 1995. His comprehensive practice includes clients in both Georgia and Tennessee. During the past 22+ years, he has represented hospitals, physicians, nurses, other health professionals in all aspects of healthcare liability.

Transactional

Mr. Braun's entertainment litigation and transactional specialties were born from personal experience in the complex music industry. He now represents a wide variety of entertainment industry clients, including publishers, record companies, film and video production companies, entertainment conglomerates, songwriters, artists, administrators, entertainment entrepreneurs/investors and more. 
He has also advised, facilitated and participated in many new business ventures on behalf of transactional clients, and provided professional expertise on a wide variety of business needs, including forming entities, structuring partnerships, facilitating acquisitions and assisting with due diligence.

Transportation

Mr. Braun has experience litigating cases involving the transportation industry in both Georgia and Tennessee. He has represented over-the-road operators, transportation companies and full-service Travel Centers in these two important transportation business states.

Education

Georgia State University, J.D. (Magna Cum Laude) 1993

Eckerd College, B.A. 1980

Admitted

Georgia, 1993
Tennessee, 2002
U.S. Supreme Court
11th Circuit Court of Appeals
6th Circuit Court of Appeals
Northern District of GA
Eastern District of TX
Eastern District of TN
Middle District of TN

Membership

Rotary Club
Copyright Society of the South, Board of Directors
State Bar of Georgia (Entertainment & Sports Law Section; Intellectual Property Section)
National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences, Voting Member
Outer Barristers Guild
Associate Editor of Notes & Comments, Georgia State Law Review, 1991-92 (1990-92)
State Bar of Georgia
Tennessee Bar Association
Atlanta Bar Association
Tennessee Bar Association
Nashville Bar Association
Country Music Association, Voting Member since 2004
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Voting Member since 1993
American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers
Included in the annual Music Row publication “In Charge: Nashville Music Industry Decision Makers” since 2009

Presentations

Regular speaker at the ABA Annual North American Entertainment, Sports & IP/Law Conference on a wide range of intellectual property litigation and transactional issues.

Awards

AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Best Lawyers in America, Entertainment Law since 2010

ALM and Martindale Hubbell, Tennessee Top Rated Lawyers in Construction Law, Commercial Litigation, and Intellectual Property, 2012

2014, 2016, 2017 Mid-South Super Lawyers Magazine – The top attorneys in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi

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