Joel Katz Appointed General Counsel to the Recording Academy

By | October 4, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Widely respected entertainment attorney Joel Katz has been appointed General Counsel to the Recording Academy(R), it was announced today by Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Garth Fundis. Katz – a member of the Georgia, Tennessee, American, and Atlanta Bar Associations – will serve the Academy in a volunteer capacity, overseeing its legal matters and coordinating the work of various outside counsel.

“It is a great pleasure to appoint Joel Katz as General Counsel to the Recording Academy,” said Fundis. “He is a longtime member of the Academy’s volunteer leadership, former Chairman, and one of the founders of the Academy’s very successful annual Entertainment Law Initiative. Joel has long been recognized as a leader in entertainment law and we have benefited tremendously from his efforts. He continues to be an incredible asset to the organization.”

An Atlanta resident, Katz started his law practice in 1971 when he founded what became one of the country’s largest music entertainment law firms, Katz, Smith & Cohen. In 1998, he merged his practice with the international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, where he is now Co-Managing Shareholder of the firm’s Atlanta office and Chair of the firm’s National Entertainment Practice. His client roster includes B.B. King, Collective Soul, Jimmy Buffett, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Bow Wow, Sheryl Crow and Christina Aguilera.

Throughout his career, Katz has consistently remained active in educational, philanthropic and industry-related associations. He is currently on the Advisory Council for The Music Educators National Conference, on the Advisory Board for the Atlanta Songwriters Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia Research, and a member of the Board of Directors of VSA arts, an International organization that creates learning opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities, among others.

His professional and personal endeavors have earned Katz many accolades. In 1999, he was awarded the University of Tennessee Founder’s Day Medal by his law school alma mater; that same year the University of Tennessee Law Library was dedicated as the Joel A. Katz Law Library. Katz is the only attorney ever inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. He can be found in all editions of The Best Lawyers in America, and most recently, Georgia Trend named him one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians.”

Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. An organization of 18,000 musicians, producers and other recording professionals, the Recording Academy is internationally known for the GRAMMY(R) Awards, and is responsible for numerous groundbreaking outreach, professional development, cultural enrichment, education and human services programs. For more information, please visit

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