Charles Gardner

Charles Gardner

Much Shelist, PC
  • Communications & Internet Law, Entertainment & Sports Law, Intellectual Property
  • California, District of Columbia, Illinois, New York
Claimed Lawyer ProfileSocial Media

Charles H. Gardner serves as Special Counsel in the Intellectual Property & Technology group and head of the firm's social media practice. With extensive experience as a media executive, in-house counsel and litigator, Charles represents a broad range of clients on technology, social media, business and intellectual property matters, with a particular eye toward navigating the legal challenges and opportunities arising from the intersection of new media technology with traditional business issues.
In addition to a focus on traditional business law and intellectual property protection, Charles works with clients to develop and document policies, create and implement procedures and programs, and conduct compliance audits related to the use of the Internet, new media and social media technologies and to stay on top of the ever-evolving regulations and best practices. He assists clients with intellectual property protection and claim management (including DMCA claims, copyright claims, trade secret protection, and protection of underlying source code and software integrity), as well as matters involving phishing, spamming, trolling, malware and spyware infections, hate speech, personal attacks and identity theft.
Charles has significant experience negotiating and drafting agreements that cover software licenses, Internet services, content sharing and advertising, as well as retail agreements involving e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. He advises clients on employment issues, including the development and implementation of legal and practical policies that minimize liability relating to a company's employment practices and the activities of its employees at and outside of work.
As an experienced trial and appellate attorney, Charles handles intellectual property and media-related disputes; tort and other types of claims (including defamation, invasion of privacy and misappropriation of names or likenesses claims); and FCC/FTC regulations and compliance. Drawing on his extensive network in the legal and entertainment industries, Charles offers clients an insider's perspective on the business, economic and regulatory issues they face every day.
Charles has served as an executive, in-house counsel and outside counsel for a number of the country's top media companies, including Harpo Studios, Inc. (producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show) and Warner Bros./Telepictures. Charles is a member of the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the American Inns of Court, Chicago-Lincoln Chapter (Master of the Bench). He has received Martindale-Hubbell's AV(R) preeminent(TM) peer review rating.*

Charles is a frequent author and lecturer on topics related to social media, new media technologies, professional responsibility, entertainment law and privacy law. He has authored articles for publications ranging from The National Law Review to Electronic Design Magazine and has been featured in multiple publications including The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine. Recent speaking engagements include CLE lectures, "The Laws of Social Media" and "From Nuisance to Necessity: How to and Why to Embrace Social Media", "Social Media and Litigation" and "Ethics for Attorneys using Social Media." Charles will also be co-presenting a more detailed two-hour CLE course for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education with James Grogan, Deputy Administrator and Chief Counsel for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, on the Rules of Professional Conduct and Social Media this coming June. Charles also serves as a frequent panelist and keynote speaker for social media marketing events such as, most recently, "The E-Factor presents: Social Media Marketing."
While in law school, Charles was a member of the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review. He is a National Member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the recipient of two Emmy Awards (1998 and 1999). Prior to entering law school, Charles garnered more than 50 national television production credits.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell(r) certification procedures, standards and policies.

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
J.D. (2000) | Law
Activities: Staff Writer, Entertainment Law Review
University of California - Berkeley
B.A. | Liberal Arts
Honors: Departmental Award (1987) for Technical Theatre (Department of Dramatic Art)
Professional Experience
Special Counsel, Intellectual Property Group and Head of Social Media Practice
Much Shelist, PC
- Current
Privacy, Social Media, Entertainment and Intellectual Property Counsel. Head of social media practice group. Frequent CLE lecturer and writer.
Director of Legal and Business Affairs and Senior Attorney
Harpo Studios, Inc.
Director of business and legal affairs for Harpo and Oprah Radio,, company retail (on-line and brick and mortar), and television production and development (including union negotiations and collective bargaining agreements).
Senior Associate
Bennett & Erdman
Senior associate at civil litigation and transactional law firm. Argued successfully to have a California law struck down as un-constitutional (against the California Constitution).
Business and Legal Affairs Counsel
Warner Bros./Telepictures
Business and legal affairs counsel to busy reality television production company. Programs includes "The Bachelor", "The Bachelorette", "High School Reunion", "Trista and Ryan's Wedding", and "The Real Gilligan's Island".
Litigation Associate
Harrington, Foxx, Dubrow & Canter
Litigation associate at busy downtown Los Angeles law firm. Managed heavy caseload and complex litigation.
Production Counsel
Freelance Television Production (Legal)
Production Counsel for reality television series "The Mole" and "Rivals".
Production Supervisor, Post Production Supervisor, Script Supervisor, Stage Manager and others
Freelance Television Production (Non-legal)
Freelance television production/executive. Over 50 national credits. Recipient of two Emmy awards.
Articles & Publications
Law Firms Adapt to Changing Social Media World
Chicago Lawyer Magazine
Social Media and the Law: simple How-To Navigation (starts at page 44)
Developments Magazine
SOPA and PIPA: It's Not Over
Electronic Design Magazine
Electronically Stored Information, Social Media and the Rules of Professional Conduct
The National Law Review
Lawyer Goes From Harpo to Much Shelist to lead social media practice
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
Emmy Award
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Emmy Award
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Professional Associations
Chicago Bar Association
- Current
American Inns of Court, Chicago-Lincoln Chapter
Master of the Bench
- Current
Illinois State Bar
- Current
New York State Bar
- Current
District of Columbia
Member (Inactive)
- Current
American Bar Association
- Current
California State Bar
- Current
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
New York
Practice Areas
  • Communications & Internet Law
  • Entertainment & Sports Law
  • Intellectual Property
Additional Practice Area
  • Social Media and New Media Law
Social Media
Contact & Map
Much Shelist P.C.
191 N. Wacker Dr.
18th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
Telephone: (312) 521-2762