After graduating from Princeton University in 1981 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and from Yale Law School in 1984, and after spending a year in Israel, Jessica Friedman started her career in the fall of 1985 as an associate with the Wall Street firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where she did commercial litigation.
In January 1989, she became an associate at Linden and Deutsch, which later became Deutsch Klagsbrun & Blasband. There, she represented clients in copyright and trademark infringement litigation, including the plaintiffs in Childress v. Taylor, 945 F.2d 500 (2d Cir. 1991) (joint works) and Branch v. Ogilvy & Mather, 16 U.S.P.Q. 2d 1179 (S.D.N.Y. 1990) (total look and feel), and defendant Houghton Mifflin in Eisen, Durwood & Co., Inc. v. Tolkien, 794 F. Supp. 85 (S.D.N.Y. 1992), aff’d, 990 F.2d 623 (2d Cir. 1993), which held that the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy had not fallen into the public domain in the United States. She also handled various kinds of entertainment transactions, from book publishing to music publishing and theatre, and helped build up the firm’s growing trademark practice.
Ms. Friedman left Deutsch Klagsbrun & Blasband in the fall of 1993 to build up her own practice. Her clients included book and magazine publishers, as well as individual creators, and she expanded her practice to include advertising matters. In addition, she began to represent Internet start-ups and to handle electronic licensing, domain name disputes, and other Internet/new media matters.
In January 1999, she became counsel to the entertainment firm of Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman, providing niche expertise in the still-new area of Internet law. When that firm dissolved in December 1999, Ms. Friedman moved to Reboul, MacMurray, Hewitt, Maynard & Kristol. There, as the firm’s sole intellectual-property attorney, she worked with the firm’s corporate attorneys on venture-capital and M&A deals; handled software licenses and hosting, network and other technology agreements for the firm’s hi-tech clients; and continued her practice in literary property and other areas for other clients.
In February 2003, shortly before Reboul, MacMurray merged with Ropes & Gray, she opened this office, which offers the benefit of her 29 years in these fields to clients of all sizes, but in particular to smaller companies and individuals who want individual attention and an alternative to big-firm rates and fee structures.
Ms. Friedman has two sons, Aron (24) and Jonah (20), who keep her on her toes even though they are both out of the house. In her so-called spare time, she reads some fiction and a lot of American history, since, despite having majored in history, she never took a single American history course, and occasionally re-reads a favorite mystery or novel. She also sings in her synagogue choir, occasionally reads Torah, skis whenever she can, goes to various Princeton and ski club events, hangs out with friends and family, and works out at home while watching various series that everyone else has already seen. (As of spring 2017, she had just just finished The Man in the High Castle and was watching The Americans.)