USC Gould Search

Jonathan Handel

Jonathan Handel

Lecturer in Law

Telephone: (323) 650-0060
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: July 3, 2018

Jonathan Handel ( practices transactional entertainment and technology law at TroyGould in Los Angeles and is a contributing editor for The Hollywood Reporter, where he covers entertainment labor and select other matters. He is also a former computer scientist and was involved in local politics for a decade.

Handel is the author of the forthcoming book Entertainment Residuals: A Full Color Guide, which describes the union reuse/royalty payments that are common in the entertainment industry, and the 2011 book Hollywood on Strike!, which chronicles and analyzes the Hollywood writers strike of 2007-2008 and the ensuing Screen Actors Guild stalemate that lasted through mid-2009.

Handel is a lecturer in law at the USC Gould School of Law in Fall 2013, his second year. He has also been an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School and UCLA Law School. Handel has previously worked as a talent lawyer; as associate counsel at the Writers Guild; and as a litigator.

Handel is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and was named by the Daily Journal as one of the top 100 lawyers in California in 2008. He has been profiled in the book, social.lawyers, by Jayne Navarre, and by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College in applied Math and Computer Science, Handel worked in the computer industry before, during and after college. He was also involved in local politics as an elected delegate and Democratic party committee member and in gay politics; drafted and lobbied for passage of the Cambridge, MA, human rights (civil rights) ordinance; and served on the human rights commission that the law established to investigate and adjudicate discrimination claims. Handel then attended Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 1990, and then clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. During 1992-1993, while a litigation associate at a Los Angeles firm, he concurrently served as a federal Associate Independent Counsel (special prosecutor) investigating alleged misconduct in the Bush administration.


  • On the Record: 101 Tips for Working with the Media (planned for 2014).
  • Entertainment Residuals: A Full-Color Guide (Hollywood Analytics, forthcoming 2013).
  • Entertainment Unions and Guilds: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography (Hollywood Analytics, 2012).
  • The New Zealand Hobbit Crisis: How Warner Bros. and the Kiwi Government Crushed an Attempt to Unionize "The Hobbit" (2012).
  • Hollywood on Strike! (Hollywood Analytics, 2011).
  • How to Write LOI's and Term Sheets (Createspace, 2009) (short book).

Book Chapter

  • "Attorneys," in Ask the Pros: Screenwriting (2004) (primary author of chapter).

Journal/Professional Articles

  • "Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown: Why Content's Kingdom is Slipping Away," 11 Vanderbilt J. Ent. & Tech L. 597 (2009).
  • "Hollywood Under Siege," 26 ABA Ent. & Sports Lawyer no. 3 10 (Fall 2008).
  • "Mark My Words: While Single-Work Titles May Not Be Federally Registered, Other Legal Strategies are Available to Protect a Movie Title," Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine  (April 2008).
  • "AFMA International Censorship Rider: Some Suggested Revisions," The AFMA Model International Licensing Agreements 2nd (February 1994) (co-author).
  • "Recent Publication," 24 Harv. C.R.-C.L.L. Rev. 611-19 (Spring 1989) (reviewing Richard Mohr, "Gays/Justice: A Study of Ethics, Society, and Law").

Popular Articles and Op-Ed Pieces

  • Numerous articles for The Hollywood Reporter on entertainment labor and other subjects (July 2010 to present).
  • "Book Review," Los Angeles Times (October 23, 2009) (review of William Patry, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars).
  • "There's a Lot of Residual Pain Ahead if Current System Isn't Remedied," The Hollywood Reporter (July 23, 2009).
  • "Copyright Enforcers Must Overcome Internet's Free Content Culture," Daily Journal (July 21, 2009) (available in slightly different form on Huffington Post as "Culture Clash on the Internet").
  • "SAG Contract is Ratified, but Drama is Likely to Return Quickly," Daily Journal (June 30, 2009).
  • "SAG Contract Ratified; Now What?," 15 Century City Lawyer no. 15 (June 2009).
  • "New-Media Distribution Giving Hollywood a Makeover," Los Angeles Business Journal (June 15, 2009).
  • "Why the Film Biz Still has Far to Go," (June 11, 2009).
  • "The Struggle Over Content and Technology Will Define Hollywood's Future," Daily Journal (June 9, 2009).
  • "SAG's Strange Voyage," 15 Century City Lawyer no. 14 (May 2009).
  • "Actors Strike a Deal, but is a New Compensation System on the Horizon?," Daily Journal (April 7, 2009).
  • "Economy, New Media are Conspiring to Make Things Tough on Actors," Daily Journal (March 24, 2009).


  • Huffington Post - over 100 articles
  • AlwaysOn - several dozen articles, including cross-posts from Huffington Post
  • - approximately 250 articles, including cross-posts from Huffington Post
  • IMDb  - automatic feed of articles from


The Hill
November 12, 2019
Re: Scott Altman

Scott Altman published an op-ed on whether non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in sexual harassment and assault help or hurt women. "NDA bans like California’s give victims a choice to come forward, either immediately or later, without compromising their privacy. In this sense, NDAs undermine, rather than enhance, victim choice," he wrote."California’s experience suggests that NDA bans can protect victims and still root out the worst problems associated with NDAs. For our antidiscrimination laws to work, justice needs to be done and to be done visibly."


Nomi Stolzenberg
July, 2019

Nomi Stolzenberg, "Anne Dailey and the New Fictionalism," 36th Annual Congress of Law and Mental Health, Rome, Italy.

Thomas D. Lyon
July, 2019

"Effects of the Putative Confession Instruction on Perceptions of Children's True and False Statements" (with Jennifer Gongola and Nicholas Scurich), Applied Cognitive Psychology 33 (2019): 655.

Thomas D. Lyon
July, 2019

"Children’s Concealment of a Minor Transgression: The Role of Age, Maltreatment, and Executive Functioning" (with Shanna Williams and Kelly McWilliams), Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.