• J.D., New York University School of Law, 1971
  • B.A., Haverford College, 1967

Bar Admissions

  • New York (1972)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1974)
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (1973)




James A. Janowitz

7 Times Square
New York, NY 10036-6569
Direct Tel:
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James Janowitz is Chair of the Entertainment Group and a senior partner in the Litigation Group. He has been selected for the last several years by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in media and entertainment. In 2011 he was selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area by peer review in Super Lawyers. In 2011 he was also named by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the top 100 lawyers in the entertainment field for his work as a litigator.

Together with an interdisciplinary team assembled from the firm’s entertainment, finance and corporate groups, Mr. Janowitz has led numerous complex multi-picture financings as well as the financing of individual pictures and other assets. He devotes significant attention to representing senior executives of major studios and major film companies in connection with their employment agreements, the structuring of benefits and disputes which may occur.

Pryor Cashman’s film practice, headed by Mr. Janowitz, covers a wide variety of film production and finance. Within the past year, Mr. Janowitz has represented both producers and lenders with respect to film financings which typically include both senior and subordinated debt as well as monetization of tax benefits. Other representative matters include:

  • Structured finance transactions including complex capital structures involving equity, sub-debt and senior debt
  • Assisted in launching new film distributors 
  • Representing lenders in connection with bridge loans and collateralization of multi-picture transactions
  • Representing lenders in connection with library acquisitions and collateralization of library assets
  • Various joint ventures between distributors and investors for both live action and animated films
  • Mergers and acquisitions of film companies
  • Negotiation of studio out-put deals
  • Negotiation of employment agreements for high level studio executives and executives at major independent film companies
  • Purchase of complex film rights in bankruptcy

Mr. Janowitz' litigation practice focuses on complex commercial litigation. His practice is broadly based and he has experience in a wide variety of class action and RICO litigation, as well as entertainment litigation. He is currently representing institutional investors in a securities fraud action against Paramount Pictures.

Mr. Janowitz recently successfully represented Fox Broadcasting, Dick Clark Productions and 19 Entertainment in a litigation asserting a claim against the defendants in connection with the hit television show So You Think You Can Dance. He is also currently representing the owner of an important work by Egon Schiele in a litigation concerning its provenance. Other representative matters include:

  • Representation of defendants in class action litigation
  • Representation of television producers and broadcasters in connection with claims asserting misappropriation of creative ideas and formats
  • Litigation representing joint venture partner in a real estate development transaction
  • Representation of major director with regard to contractual disputes
  • Litigation involving the provenance of major works of art
  • Representation of numerous high profile film executives in contractual disputes with employers
  • Product liability class actions
  • Trademark and copyright litigation

Mr. Janowitz is a 1971 graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was an Editor for the Journal of International Law and Politics. He is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.

Previous Positions

  • Reavis & McGrath, Associate

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, Employment Issues Affecting The Entrance And Exit Of Attorneys From Private Firms And Corporate Environments, New York State Bar Association 2010 Annual Meeting, Corporate Counsel Section, New York City (January 27, 2010)
  • Guest Lecturer on Hedge Fund Investment In Media at SJ Berwin’s Media Asset Financing Conference (June 2007)
  • Guest Lecturer on Latin Films Funds and Financing at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival (September 2006) 

Teaching Positions

  • Instructor, Entertainment Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • Guest Lecturer, Columbia University joint program class offered by the Law, Film and Business Schools

Professional Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association


  • Named by The Best Lawyers In America as one of the leading attorneys in Entertainment Law (2010-2015 editions)
  • Named a “Super Lawyer” in Entertainment by New York Super Lawyers – Metro (2007-2014 editions)
  • Named by Chambers USA as one of the top attorneys in Media and Entertainment (2009-2012)
  • Named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the “100 Most Influential Attorneys in Entertainment” (2007-2009, 2011, 2012 editions)
  • Named among the “Best Of The Best” attorneys in Entertainment by Best of the Best USA 2009
  • Named by Legal 500 – Intellectual Property, Technology, Media & Telecoms US as one of the top attorneys in the areas of Film Production and Finance, Media and Intellectual Property (2007-2008 editions)