Law Offices of John F. Lang - Judgment, Experience, Dedication

Emily M. Bass

Emily M. Bass
Tel: (212) 260-3645
Fax: (212) 672-1501

Emily Bass is a highly acclaimed attorney whose practice, encompassing both domestic and international matters, focuses on intellectual property law, employment law, trusts and estates law controversies, and cutting edge issues concerning social media and privacy rights.  Her practice is divided among counselling clients in areas such as patent, trademark, and copyright law; protecting her client’s rights in trial courts of original jurisdiction, and handling appeals in all practice areas.  In addition to her New York practice, Ms. Bass has appeared in venues as varied as the United States Supreme Court, a trial court in Curacao, and state courts (appearing pro hac vice) in California, Florida, Minnesota, and Oregon.  She has represented clients as diverse as an overseas airline, a famous jazz musician, the director of a foundation, authors and playwrights, faculty members, the public-sector union for professional employees of the City of New York, and a fishing pole parts supplier.

Emily Bass is rated 5.0 out of a possible 5.0 by Martindale-Hubbell and 10.0 out of 10.0 by AVVO—in each instance, the organization’s highest rating.  She was included in the inaugural edition two years ago of the Registry of Preeminent Women Attorneys in the United States and, for several years, has been named by Martindale-Hubbell as one of the top women trademark and copyright attorneys in the Northeast for 2013.  Recognized as one of 10 “Stand-Out Appellate Attorneys” by the National Law Journal in 2001, her current passions range from the legal issues surrounding social media to the privacy rights of individuals in a world saturated with chat and digitally-reproduced sound and images.

Below are descriptions of the some of the areas of Ms. Bass’s practice, including descriptions of a few of the major cases that she has handled.


Emily Bass handles appeals in both federal and state courts in New York, and to prepare petitions for certiorari, and merits or amicus briefs addressed to the United States Supreme Court.  She is available to assist qualified local counsel with appeals in other jurisdictions.  Among her appellate successes was obtaining a unanimous decision of the highest court of the State of New York, the New York Court of Appeals, on an issue of national significance. Niesig v. Team I et al., 76 N.Y.2d 363 (1990).  This case established the principle that a plaintiff and his or her lawyer have the right to speak with the employees of a corporate defendant, so long as they are not the corporation's alter egos. The decision is still cited today.

Arbitration and ADR

Bass is available to represent parties in a similarly wide range of arbitrations:  international arbitrations, arbitrations involving intellectual property law issues or entertainment law issues, domestic commercial arbitrations, labor or employment arbitrations and sports law arbitrations.

Intellectual Property Law

Copyright Issues—copyright terminations, licensing agreements, copyright registrations, copyright infringement, e-commerce, application of copyright principles to the internet, fair use, parody, publishing agreements, digital rights, new media, derivative works, work-for-hire, public domain, actual and statutory damage models, application of copyright principles to the fashion industry, to architecture, interior design, publishing, the music industry, graphic arts, co-authorship issues, ghostwriting issues, reversions of copyright, the interplay between copyright and trusts and estates issues; the interplay between copyright and divorce; between copyright and employment issues; and between copyright and academia, etc.  Among her successes in the copyright area is the first digital copyright case to be taken up by the United States Supreme Court, Tasini v. The New York Times. The case involved the question of whether articles written by freelance writers could be copied and incorporated into on-line databases and CD-ROMS without the freelance authors' permission. Ms. Bass represented freelance writers who claimed that such activities constituted copyright infringement. The publisher defendants claimed that all they were doing was reproducing their print collective works in digital format. The District Court ruled for defendants on this issue.  On appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed and the United States Supreme Court then affirmed the Second Circuit in a 7-to-2 decision, ruling in the freelance writers' favor.

Trademark Issues—questions regarding the validity of marks, whether trade or service marks have been infringed, what remedies are available; who has prior, earlier and/or superior rights to certain marks; the interplay between state and federal trademark regimes; whether there is infringement on someone else’s mark; questions related to trademark searches and/or USPTO proceedings; UDRP proceedings; whether trademark law protects characters or expression that have fallen into the public domain under copyright law; obtaining protection in other jurisdictions; digital rights issues, etc.

Patent issues—patent eligibility; patentability; exhaustion; extraterritoriality; patent infringement; remedies for patent infringement; theories of valuation; the interplay between patent law and other areas of the law, including antitrust and unfair competition law, etc.

International Law – issues pertaining to sovereign immunity; treaties and international conventions; customary international law; jus cogens; comity; standing; forum non conveniens, the act of state doctrine; conflict of laws; whose law should determine the damages that are available; the relationship between supranational tribunals and national law; international extradition, etc. Ms. Bass successfully represented an overseas airline in a series of cases in several jurisdictions over a period of ten years in complex commercial litigation. The cases involved complex issues pertaining to RICO, standing and sovereign immunity. Obtained eight-figure judgment on client's behalf in one suit and multi-million dollar settlement in another.

Complex Issues Pertaining to Federal Practice – issues pertaining to federal-state relations, comity, full faith and credit, preemption, federal jurisdiction (subject matter jurisdiction), federal jurisdiction (personal jurisdiction); standing to sue; whether there is an Article III “case or controversy;” forum non conveniens; venue; exhaustion of remedies; whether given statutes have extraterritorial effects and/or retroactive application, statutes of limitations; issues pertaining to arbitrability, who decides arbitrability, etc.

Constitutional Law – issues pertaining to standing to sue in federal courts; federal-state relations; preemption; relations between states; comity; full faith and credit; First Amendment issues; Fourth Amendment issues; Commerce Clause issues; takings; issues pertaining to section 1983 actions; privacy issues; issues under ECPA and SCA, etc.

Labor and Employment Law – issues pertaining to collective bargaining agreements; grievance and arbitrations; unfair labor practice proceedings; disciplinary matters; terminations; Title VII; EPA (the “Equal Pay Act”); FLSA (“Fair Labor Standards Act”); FMLA (“Family & Medical Leave Act”); ADEA (“Age Discrimination in Employment Act”); HIPAA (“Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act”); wage and hour laws; sex discrimination and sexual harassment; severance packages; non-competition clauses, privacy issues, breach of fiduciary duty; etc.


Rutgers Law School (Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, G.A. Moore Prize awarded in honor of contributions to the development of the theory of “comparable worth” or “pay equity”)

Bar Admissions

New York State
The Supreme Court of the United States
Second Circuit Court of Appeals
Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
New Jersey (inactive)

Representative Honors and Distinctions

  • Given Martindale Hubbell’s Highest Peer Review Rating, “AV 5.0 Preeminent,” throughout career
  • Rated 10.0 out of 10.0 by AVVO
  • Included in “Registry of Preeminent Women Attorneys,”Inaugural Edition, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named One Of The Top Trademark & Copyright Attorneys in The Northeast, Martindale Hubbell 2010, 2011, 2012 (??)
    Named to AVENUE Insider Legal Elite “Top Women Attorneys” List, under the category of “Intellectual Property Lawyers,” Avenue Magazine, October 2011,
  • Named to “Top Women Lawyers InThe Northeast,” under the category of “Intellectual Property Lawyers,” Arrive Magazine, July/August 2011,  
  • Selected to Sit As Judge On “Mock” Supreme Court in Round of Competition Held in New York, Chosen by Panelists to Serve as “Chief Justice,” National Appellate Advocacy Competition, 2012
  • National Appellate Advocacy Competition, 2011; selected to sit as judge on “Mock” Supreme Court in Round of Competition Held in Washington D.C., Chosen by Panelists to Serve as “Chief Justice,”
  • Named one of Ten Stand-Out Appellate Attorneys by The National Law Journal in 2001

Representative Publications

Emily Bass and Einer Elhauge, “Even the Most Conservative Supreme Court Justices Have Already Declared Mandates Constitutional,” The New Republic, June 21, 2012

Bass, Emily M., “Health Care Reform: Has the Supreme Court Already Embraced the Individual Mandate?,” May 29, 2012, available at SSRN: or

  • “Catch 411: Does Section 411 of the Copyright Act Restrict the Subject Matter Jurisdiction of Federal Courts over Copyright Actions,” November, 2009, Legal Scholarship Network,
  • “Pennies for Their Thoughts?”: The Value of Writers’ Digital Rights,” Case Western Reserve Law Review, vol. 53, No. 3, Spring 2003
  • “When a Copyright Ends: The Tasini Case Demonstrates How Infringing Works in a Digital World,” Legal Times, April 16, 2001
  • “Copyright Protection in a Digital Age: Freelancers Fight for Equal Protection as Creations Go Online,”, April 24, 2001
  • “Argued and Lost: Publishers Are Still Pushing Already Discredited Legal Theories,” Legal Times, May 14, 2001
  • “Tasini v. New York Times: Scourge? Or, Straightforward Statutory Construction?”, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, N.Y. State Bar Association, 2000
  • “Free-lancers Ride Again,” Legal Times, October 16, 2000
  • “The Electronic Pie Must Be Shared,” Legal Times, October 25, 1999
  • “The Tasini Case: Micro-Film and Macro-Questions,” Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Journal, New York State Bar Association, vol. 10, No. 1 (Fall, 1998)

Ms. Bass has also been quoted on the intellectual property issues in: The National Law Journal,,, The Village Voice, The New York Post, Publishers Weekly, and CCM – The American Lawyer’s Corporate Counsel Magazine

Speaking Engagements.

  • Invited to Present Appellate Argument in Mock Trial, LEL Annual CLE Conference, Nov. 7-10, 2007, Philadelphia, PA, 2007
  • Panelist, “Trends and Developments in Internet Litigation,” 6th Annual
  • Conference on Doing Business Online: e-Business & Information Technology Law, Nov. 4, 2002, San Francisco, CA
  • Panelist, “Copyright in The Digital Age: Reflections On Tasini & Beyond,” The Law, Technology & The Arts Symposium, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Nov. 1, 2002, Cleveland, OH
  • Panelist, “Trends and Developments in Internet Litigation,” 6th Annual Conference on Doing Business Online: e-Business & Information Technology Law, Sept. 30, 2002, New York, NY
  • Panelist, “Tasini and Beyond: Authors’ and Publishers’ Digital Rights, Remedies & Strategies,” 26th Annual Intellectual Property Institute, Intellectual Property Law Section Of the California State Bar Association, Nov. 16, 2001, Anaheim, CA
  • Panelist at the 57th General Assembly of the Inter American Press Association on “The Internet and Intellectual Property,” October 15-16, 2001, Washington, D.C.
  • Panelist, “Copyright’s Cyber-Future After The Tasini Case,”  2001 Fall Meeting of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, Oct. 11 – 14, 2001, Bolton Landing, N.Y.
  • Co-Chair and Panelist, “Electronic Rights after Tasini,” a day-long Symposium held on October 3, 2001, Los Angeles, CA,
  • Co-Chair and Panelist, “Electronic Rights after Tasini,” a day-long Symposium held on September 24, 2001, New York, N.Y.
  • Presentation, “Digital Fast-Forward,” Life after Tasini Symposium, New York, N.Y., Sept. 12, 2001
  • Panelist, “Who Controls Electronic Rights in the Digital Marketplace,” “Copyright Law 2001” Conference, held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 18-19, 2001.  Invited at the suggestion of the then Register of Copyrights of the United States Copyright Office, Marybeth Peter


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