Charles Colman founded Charles Colman Law, PLLC, in January 2011 in order to provide cost-effective, industry-specific legal representation to individuals and companies in fashion, music, art, film, media, and new technology. Charles was previously a litigation associate at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where he worked on cases involving breach of contract, fraud, false advertising, trademark, patent, and copyright, among many other areas of law.
Charles has been an active voice in the emerging field of "fashion law." From 2010 to 2013, he served as the Co-Chair of the Fashion Design Legislation Subcommittee at the American Bar Association. Charles is also the sponsor of the Fashion Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association.
Charles often speaks on panels where legal issues in fashion (as well as music, art, and technology) are discussed and debated. He has appeared before audiences at the New York City Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers' Association, the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., the International Association of Lawyers, and the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School, as well as at the American University Washington College of Law, the CUNY Graduate Center, Michigan State University, Brooklyn Law School, Cardozo Law School, Columbia Law School, Howard Law School, LIM College, Marquette University Law School, NYU Steinhardt, Penn Law School, the University of Québec at Montréal, and the University of Virginia School of Law. Over the next several months, Charles will deliver presentations and/or participate in conferences and symposia in the United States and abroad, including a three-day seminar on fashion and the law at the University of Vienna in January 2016.
In 2011 and 2012, Charles was invited to deliver a series of guest lectures to BFA students at Parsons, The New School for Design. In Spring 2013, he co-taught an undergraduate course, "International Business Strategies and Fashion Law," at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, alongside FIT's Director of Entrepreneurship (and former CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels) Henry Welt. In June 2013, Charles joined the full-time faculty of NYU Law School, teaching litigation and transactional skills through the school's innovative Lawyering Program. In January 2014, he took on the additional role of Faculty Fellow in NYU's Costume Studies M.A. Program, where he teaches an original seminar on fashion and design theory.
Charles regularly posts on the blog LAW OF FASHION, addressing legal issues of interest to individuals and companies in fashion, media, and art. (The blog's affiliated LinkedIn group, also called LAW OF FASHION, counts among its over 4,700 members many leading law firm partners and in-house counsel from around the world.) Charles has also written for Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science, and Technology, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online, the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology Digest, as well as Law360, Intellectual Property Magazine, the ABA's LANDSLIDE Magazine, and Vestoj: The Journal of Sartorial Matters.
Charles is the author of a chapter on intellectual property law in West's Navigating Fashion Law: Leading Lawyers on Exploring the Trends, Cases, and Strategies of Fashion Law, and contributed a section on copyright law to the recently published second edition of Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys. His writing on IP law has also appeared in Professor Alan Nemeth's undergraduate textbook v. (versus): Case Law, Concepts, & American Society (Cognella 2012). Charles' first scholarly monograph, analyzing the sociocultural history of design-patent law, is slated to be published by Cambridge University Press in late 2016.
Charles has been profiled by Forbes and leading legal industry blog Above The Law; he has also been quoted by fashion- and jewelry-industry trade publications, as well as general practitioner journals, periodicals for IP attorneys, and mainstream media outlets, both in the U.S. and abroad. His firm's matters have been covered by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, and Time, among many other publications.
Charles graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in Linguistics (cum laude, distinction in major), and received his J.D. from Columbia Law School (James Kent Scholar; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar), where he served as an Articles Editor for the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts. Charles is admitted to practice law in New York State and before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Naveen Thomas is Of Counsel to Charles Colman Law, PLLC. Naveen began his legal career in the New York, London, and Paris offices of Shearman & Sterling LLP as an associate in the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions group. In 2012, he took on the role of Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, where he co-directed the nation’s largest transactional clinic and taught courses on contract drafting and other subjects in corporate law.
Since 2014, Naveen has been a Supervising Attorney in the Business Law Transactions Clinic at NYU School of Law. He is also a Visiting Professor at India's Vellore Institute of Technology Law School.
Naveen holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from New York University, a J.D. from Columbia Law School, and a Master of Global Business Law from Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Institut d’Études Politiques (“Sciences Po”) in Paris. He is admitted to the bar of New York State.