Texas Star Award


Beginning in 2005, TESLAW has presented the “Texas Star Award” to an individual honoree for “Outstanding Contribution and Achievement in the Field of Entertainment Law.” Potential candidates for the award are suggested, discussed and voted on by members of the Planning Committee for the Texas Entertainment Law Institute (ELI) and presented during ELI’s Annual Conference. Factors the committee considers in its Texas Star Award deliberations include the significance of an individual’s career role in entertainment law, influence as a published author in the field, record of activities as an entertainment law educator in industry and academic settings, and impactful services work in organizations and events relevant to the entertainment law community.  


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2022 - Hon. Suzanne Barnett

The 2022 Texas Star Award was presented to Judge Suzanne Barnett who served as th Chief Copyright Royalty Judge at the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in Washington, DC. 

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2019 - Regan Smith

The 2019 Texas Star Award was presented to Regan Smith for her work related to the Music Modernization Act.

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2018 - Michael Donaldson

 The 2018 Texas Star Award was presented to Michael Donaldson for his tireless efforts representing independent filmmakers. Mr. Donaldson is the industry’s leading expert on fair use and other clearance-related issues. 

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2017 - Nancy E. Wolff

The 2017 Texas Star Award was presented to Nancy E. Wolfe, author of “The Professional Photographer’s Legal Handbook.” 

2016 texas star award chris castle

2016 - Chris Castle

The 2016 Texas Star Award was presented to Chris Castle for his important voice in the national debate over music industry and copyright law policy.

2015 texas star award todd and jeff brabec

2015 - Todd and Jeff Brabec

The 2015 Texas Star Award was presented to Todd and Jeff Brabec, the Deems Taylor Award winning co-authors of the best- selling music business book “Music, Money and Success: The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Business.”

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2014 - Stan Soocher

The 2014 Texas Star Award was presented to Stan Soocher, the Editor-in- Chief of the monthly Entertainment Law & Finance trade publication since its start in 1985.

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2013 - Cindi Lazzari

The 2013 Texas Star Award was presented posthumously to Cindi Lazzari for her tireless efforts on behalf of artist’s rights in Texas.

texas star award steve winogradsky with Amy Michelle

2012 - Steve Winogradsky

The 2012 Texas Star Award was presented to Steve Winogradsky, author of the book, “Music Publishing: The Complete Guide.”

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2011 - Lionel “Lon” Sobel

The 2011 Texas Star Award was presented to Lionel “Lon” Sobel, founder of the Entertainment Law Reporter and entertainment law professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

2010 - Mike Tolleson

The 2010 Texas Star Award was presented to Mike Tolleson, Director of the Entertainment Law Institute (ELI) since its inception in 1990 and co-founder and initial chair of TESLAW in 1989.

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2009 - Shannon Jones, Jr.

The 2009 Texas Star Award was presented posthumously to Shannon Jones, Jr., co-founder of the Dallas based Passman Jones law firm. Attorney Jerry Alexander, a lifelong friend and business partner of Shannon Jones, accepted the Texas Star Award on his behalf.

2008 Texas Star Award Donald Passman

2008 - Donald Passman

The 2008 Texas Star Award was presented to Donald Passman, a University of Texas and Harvard Law School graduate whose Los Angeles-based career has included many years of representing major recording artists. His book, “All You Need To Know About the Music Business,” is one of the most useful and popular books for anyone in the music industry today.

2007 Texas Star Award winner Marybeth Peters

2007 - Marybeth Peters

In 2007, the ELI honored Marybeth Peters, then the U.S. Register of Copyrights.

2006 texas star award winner jay cooper

2006 - Jay Cooper

The second recipient, receiving the 2006 Texas Star Award, was Jay Cooper, an entertainment law pioneer who represents many major artists as well as industry organizations.

texas star award 2007 william krasilovsky

2005 - William Krasilovsky

The first recipient was William Krasilovsky, author of “This Business of Music.” The book was published in 1963 and is considered the first significant book for lawyers about the music business.