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Attorney, Author & Journalist

Don Franzen’s practice focuses on the entertainment industry, including recordings, live entertainment (concerts and stage), film and television, celebrity rights, business formation, and copyright and trademark. In addition to his legal work he has acted as a producer on video and audio recording projects involving major performing artists. His legal career has also included exclusive experience in civil litigation, state and federal, on both trial and appellate levels.

He is an adjunct professor in the Music Industry Program at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA, and also at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, where he lectures on music industry law and copyright issues. He has also lectured on entertainment law for the Santa Monica Academy of Entertainment and Technology, the Colburn School of Music, the Berklee School of Music (Valencia, Spain), the Eastman School of Music, and the California Institute of the Arts.  He was the Founding Director of the Los Angeles Opera, and has served on its board of directors since 1986. He organized the Operalia Foundation in 2000,  and serves as an officer of this organization.

He is a fellow at the USC Institute for the Humanities, a member of the Board of Heyday Books, a member of the Board of the Denyce Graves Foundation, and the legal affairs editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the co-editor of “Your Inside Track,” a monthly newsletter on law, music, and technology, and the author of articles and reviews on legal topics. 

In addition to his native English, he also speaks Spanish, Italian, and conversational German. He is married to Dale Franzen and proud father to three children. His hobbies include photography and painting, and he recently illustrated a personal memoir written by Dale Franzen, “Sea Fever,” available on


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