Jerry Juste is a partner with the firm’s Entertainment, Sports and Media Department. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law and representing several of the world’s most iconic record labels, including Republic Records, Island Records, Def Jam and Motown Records, Jerry brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in intellectual property, entertainment and corporate law.
Jerry spent the first few years of his career as a litigation associate at a Massachusetts-based corporate firm. He later moved back home to New York City to practice at a boutique entertainment law firm with A-list clients such as LL Cool J, Notorious B.I.G., and Lil Kim, among others. There Jerry began to develop a profound understanding of the music industry’s core disciplines.
After a few years, he transitioned to an in-house counsel role at PolyGram Records and then Universal Music Group. Jerry spent close to 18 years drafting and negotiating record deals and overseeing clearances and compliance on scores of multi-platinum and Grammy-award winning projects, such as those from Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne, Drake, Amy Winehouse, and Stevie Wonder, to name a few. His demonstrated ability to close deals and to resolve legal issues quickly and meticulously in the fast-paced, high volume entertainment world caused him to rise through the ranks of the Business & Legal Affairs departments relatively quickly.
At 31, Jerry became one of the youngest to ever serve as Vice President of the legal department at Universal Music Group where he focused mainly on the signings and renegotiations of superstar artists, distribution deals and joint ventures. He also served as the legal point person on several of Universal Music Group’s most important partnerships, such as those with Bad Boy Records, Cash Money Records, and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music.
After becoming Senior Vice President, Jerry’s role increased to supervising and training junior attorneys and overseeing outside litigation counsel. Here he also made one of his longest lasting contributions to the record industry by serving on drafting committees within Universal where he helped create the company’s standard contracts, legal provisions, and new business policies, many of which were eventually adopted by other major record companies and are now standard throughout the industry. Jerry’s role at the company required him to have the leadership ability and diplomatic sensitivities to regularly advise some of the most legendary record company executives of the past few decades, including Monte & Avery Lipman, Sylvia Rhone, Kedar Massenburg, and the late Andre Harrell.
In 2013, Jerry entered private practice and began counseling within an even wider array of areas including film and television, music publishing, merchandising, branding and licensing, executive employment, digital streaming, intellectual property disputes, and rights acquisitions. His client base has been a mix of creative individuals, entrepreneurs and small to midsize companies where he serves in an outside General Counsel capacity.
Jerry’s ability to communicate effectively throughout multicultural and multinational environments with everyone from the most inexperienced creative to the most seasoned executive is legendary, along with his expert ability to provide solution-oriented approaches to resolving disputes and distinguishing issues of real importance from minor ones.
Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyer’s Association
National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences
New York State Bar Association
YMCA of Greater New York