Jose Martinez Jr. and Nikki L. Barbanell, co-founders of Martinez Barbanell LLP, have joined the Jones Walker firm as special counsel in the Entertainment Law Practice Group.
"We are thrilled to have Jose and Nikki join the firm," William H. Hines, managing partner at Jones Walker, said in a statement. "They bring with them extensive industry experience that will be of great value to clients at a time when the growth of the entertainment industry in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast is booming."
Martinez Barbanell is a boutique law firm representing distributors, investors, lenders, producers and talent in the entertainment industry.
Movies the firm has represented have competed at the Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and Cannes film festivals. Recent properties include The Lifeguard and Ass Backwards, premiering at Sundance 2013.
"We are excited about joining Jones Walker given the firm's prestige, resources, and growing footprint," Mr. Martinez said. "The film industry is expanding rapidly in Louisiana, and it is the perfect time to augment the practice with our film production and distribution experience in New York and Los Angeles."
Martinez Barbanell has offices in New York and Los Angeles.
Prior to joining Jones Walker, Mr. Martinez worked as special counsel for The Marshall Firm and worked with Palm Pictures as co-founder of Arthouse Films. He also co-founded a mini studio dedicated to producing, acquiring and distributing Hispanic-themed entertainment.
He has produced a number of movies and is co-founder of the Santa Fe Film Festival.
Ms. Barbanell began her legal career at Paramount Pictures, where she worked on titles such as J. J. Abrams' Star Trek and M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender. Later, she was an attorney for an independent production and distribution company, where she helped produce a Sundance 2010 pick for dramatic competition.
Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre LLP has more than 375 attorneys providing a comprehensive range of legal services to a national and international corporate client base through offices in Alabama, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, and Texas.
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