Allison Hushek

Lecturer

Background:

Allison Hushek has worked in the media industry for twenty-six years – twenty-one of those in the business and legal sector. During these years, she has negotiated and closed business deals domestically and internationally, developing an extensive list of contacts worldwide. Ms. Hushek specializes in business, legal and operational affairs in the television, sports & e-gaming/esports industries. She has performed work for major companies and government agencies, such as ABC, Universal, Screen Actors Guild (SAG), MTM (Mary Tyler Moore) Entertainment, Chambers Cable (now AT&T), the White House and currently, WPT Enterprises, Inc. (currently owned by Ourgame International Holdings Limited, listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, and recently merged with Allied Esports International, Inc., soon to be traded on NASDAQ under Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc.).

Ms. Hushek joined WPT Enterprises in September of 2004, serving as Legal Counsel for the World Poker Tour® television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments that airs on Fox Sports Net (FSN), FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 and has aired on Travel Channel, Game Show Network, CBS Sports and Velocity in the United States and in more than 150 countries and territories globally. WPTE became a publicly traded company on NASDAQ (WPTE) at that time, raising $32,000,000 in its initial public offering. In March of 2006, Ms. Hushek was promoted to Senior Counsel, and in July of 2008, she was again promoted to Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, where she became the head of the department in November 2009. As the AGC, she negotiates and drafts deals around the world for all of WPTE’s divisions, including Sponsorship, Studios, TV Distribution (Domestic and International), Licensing, Social Gaming/Media, Online/Mobile Gaming, Online Services (Web, Software), PR/Marketing, Tour Event/Player Management, Human Resources and WPT Corporate Events. She also serves on the company management team, coordinates outside counsel, supervises litigation matters, facilitates company operations (including mergers & acquisitions), manages the business and legal department’s staff, workflow and budget, and manages WPTE’s intellectual property portfolio -- currently consisting of almost 30 trademarks and 5 patents worldwide, and copyrighted episodes of the World Poker Tour, Professional Poker Tour, ClubWPT and WPT Alpha8. WPTE headquarters are based in Irvine (with satellite offices in Los Angeles and London), with its parent company having offices in Beijing. In 2009, Ms. Hushek was part of a small team that lead the company through an acquisition by an entity affiliated with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment plc, one of the world’s top online gaming and sports betting companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with over 3,000 employees throughout Europe. In 2015, Ms. Hushek lead the company through another acquisition by an entity affiliated with Ourgame, one of Asia’s top social gaming companies.

Prior to joining WPTE, Ms. Hushek was the Director of Business Affairs for three and a half years at Chambers Communications Corp. – a media corporation based in Oregon consisting of a film and television production company, three ABC-affiliate broadcast stations, a cable system and Internet service provider. She was responsible for negotiating and drafting film and television contracts from acquisition through production and distribution. She also advised Chambers management on intellectual property issues (copyright, trademark, right of publicity), web and software issues, labor relations, corporate structures and insurance matters. On behalf of Chambers’ broadcast stations, cable system and internet service provider company, she drafted and reviewed a wide range of agreements and coordinated with outside counsel to provide guidance on issues ranging from commercial leases and human resources to FCC regulations, performance rights issues and media law. Notable productions include We The Jury (syndicated), Smart Gardening (PBS), State Police (syndicated), Puerto Vallarta Squeeze (feature film based on novel by Robert James Waller, who also wrote The Bridges of Madison County), and Fire on the Track (documentary which two feature films, Without Limits and Prefontaine, were based on). Ms. Hushek served as an on-air legal consultant for the local ABC-affiliate broadcast station, and performed work for the station’s University of Oregon “Ducks” athletic programming which aired on Fox Sports Net NW.


Before working for Chambers, Ms. Hushek spent two years at Screen Actors Guild (SAG) headquarters in Los Angeles, initially as legislative consultant before moving on to head up the Union’s state legislative program. She joined SAG in early 1998 to work on a passage of the controversial California Personal Privacy Protection Act. When it was signed into law by then Governor Pete Wilson, the bill created the first ever protections against stalkerazzi who trespass – actually or constructively – onto private property. In July of that year, she joined the Government Relations Department as Associate Director, working on state and national legislative issues. During her tenure at SAG, Ms. Hushek was a member of the management team responsible for the SAG-DGA Monitor Reporter on The Economic Impact of U.S. Runaway Production, which required an analysis of international tax schemes for the entertainment business. She also contributed to a number of key legislative initiatives, including a revision of the California Coogan Law, which protects the earnings of young performers by setting aside a percentage of gross revenue into trust accounts. Furthermore, she worked on SAG’s annual production, the Screen Actors Guild Awards® show, televised on TNT prior to the airing of The Oscars®.

While working at SAG, Ms. Hushek took an active role in the Los Angeles County Bar Association, serving as the Legislative & Political Monitor for the LACBA Executive Committee on Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law.

Ms. Hushek has worked extensively in government, and in the entertainment and medical industries. She began her career on the east coast, working at the White House for President Clinton in the Office of the Executive Clerk, preparing bills and nominations from Congress for the President’s signature. Notable legislation passed in Washington, D.C. in 1994 includes the Omnibus Crime Bill, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Improvement Act, Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and Gun-Free Schools Act.

Ms. Hushek returned to California in 1995 and interned at a series of entertainment and legal posts, including the Assignment Desk at the ABC Affiliate in San Diego and the Business & Legal Departments at MTM Entertainment and Universal Studios. At MTM, she drafted contracts for episodic writer and director deals and digested talent contracts, overall deals, pilot/series deals, blind scripts and underlying rights deals. MTM’s library consisted of original productions such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS), The Bob Newhart Show (CBS), Rhoda (CBS), Hill Street Blues (NBC), The White Shadow (CBS), WKRP in Cincinnati (CBS), Remington Steele (NBC), St. Elsewhere (NBC), The Pretender (NBC); and its distributed shows included America’s Funniest Home Videos, Rescue 911 and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

The foundation at MTM Entertainment was helpful when she moved on to the Concerts Division at the Universal Studios Amphitheatre, where she revised contracts for artists and promotion partners, among others. Notable concerts/productions held at the amphitheater in 2007 were Sheryl Crow, Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, Barry Manilow and the MTV Music Awards.

Ms. Hushek gained valuable additional experience working as an editor for John W. Cones, Esq., an entertainment securities attorney and literary author. Mr. Cones has authored several books, including Film Finance and Distribution – A Dictionary of Terms, Film Finance Industry Contracts, 43 Ways to Finance Your Film, The Feature Film Distribution Deal, and How the Movie Wars Were Won. Ms. Hushek also gained experience in the medical field as an assistant and copy editor for Theresa L. Crenshaw, M.D., a world-renowned doctor and therapist who specialized in sexual pharmacology and served on President Reagan’s AIDS Commission. Dr. Crenshaw authored books such as The Alchemy of Love and Lust: How Our Sex Hormones Influence Our Relationships, Sexual Pharmacology: Drugs That Affect Sexual Functioning, and Bedside Manners.

Ms. Hushek received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego and graduated with Honors and a Juris Doctorate from the California Western School of Law. Ms. Hushek earned the top grade in her legal writing, music industry and professional responsibility courses. She also received honors awards for moot court Oral Advocacy, as well as her thesis paper on the Talent Agency Act. She was nominated via the Orange County Business Journal as General Counsel of the Year. Ms. Hushek is licensed to practice law in California (active) and Oregon (inactive).

Commencing in fall 2019, Ms. Hushek will teach legal courses at UCI School of Law pertaining to the gaming, technology, entertainment & sports industries under her GaTES™ program. Recent speaking engagements include the ACC-SoCal DoubleHeader (“Music Licensing Basics: How to Legally Use Someone’s Music in Your Business”), Chapman University School of Law (“Negotiating & Drafting Media Industry Contracts”), Troutman Sanders’ GC Panel, Orange County Bar Association’s (OCBA’s) Entertainment, Sports & Marketing Law Section Meetings (“Poker on the Go: A World Flush Full of Multi-Media Options” and “Pay to Play: Legal Issues in the Virtual Currency, Tech & Esports Industries”), Chapman University School of Law (“Where Sports and the Law Collide”), Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Litigators Forum (WLALA) (“It’s A Wrap… Cutting Edge Issues in Entertainment Litigation”), Chapman University School of Law - Entertainment & Sports Law Society (“Legal Issues Facing In-House Counsel”), University of Oregon School of Law (Entertainment Law Student Group) and Lane Community College (Media & The Law Course).

Ms. Hushek was a Member of the Board of Directors for Engineering Services Limited from 2005-2008 – a company that supplied nuclear engineering services for the federal government. Her BOD role included duties such as reviewing and approving strategic plans and budgets; approving significant matters and expenditures such as acquisitions, divestitures, financing and debt level; monitoring company policies to ensure compliance with financial accounting standards, legal and ethical standards and applicable laws and regulations; and providing general advice and counsel to management. Ms. Hushek is a member of the Coalition Against Online Video Piracy (CAOVP).

She currently resides in Laguna Beach with her husband, Steve Hushek - who works in the smart capture software industry and is a former television sports reporter – and their son. With her son, Ms. Hushek founded Ridley the Seal, a grassroots organization to rid single-use plastic straws. She also provides charitable services to NonToxic Laguna Beach, a nonprofit group to eliminate the use of pesticides in schools. She speaks conversational Italian, Spanish and French.

Allison.Hushek@wpt.com

Current Courses:

Entertainment & Sports Law