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News & Events


Former Lane Powell Attorney Suzanne M. Barnett Appointed as New Chief Copyright Royalty Judge

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Former Lane Powell attorney, Suzanne M. Barnett, has been appointed by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington as the new chief copyright royalty judge and head of the Copyright Royalty Board. Barnett is a superior court judge of King County in Seattle, Wash. She was first elected to the court in 1996. Barnett officially begins her new role on May 20 and succeeds Chief Copyright Royalty Judge James Sledge.

The copyright royalty judges are charged by statute with facilitating efficiency of transactions required by law between copyright holders and distributors. The judges conduct proceedings between parties when the parties are unable to reach agreement on royalty terms, and facilitate distribution of royalties in concert with the U.S. Copyright Office. …

Before taking the bench, Judge Barnett practiced law for 16 years. Her private practice career began at Lane Powell in Seattle. She was recruited by the Houston office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges where she worked for three years. Upon her return to Seattle, Judge Barnett co-founded a law firm, Barnett MacLean, and continued with that firm until her election to the bench.