CHARLESTON -- Kay Casto & Chaney has opened a new branch office in Charleston called the Entertainment Law Group, which is headed by attorney L. Kevin Levine.
Levine has practiced entertainment law since joining the firm in 2002, but it was not until this year that the firm officially formed the Kay Casto & Chaney Entertainment Law Group.
Current entertainment clients include songwriters, musical artists, independent record labels and music publishers, music producers, independent film producers, independent film directors and authors.
Levine, who is a Huntington native and lifelong musician, has performed and recorded with bands in Charleston and Huntington. He uncle and father, Chuck and Larry Levine, founded The Pied Piper in Huntington in 1967, feeling the area's music market was not being well-served.
"I've always been around music," Levine said. "It was just a natural progression that I would go into entertainment law since I grew up surrounded by it."
Levine said he hopes the Entertainment Law Group will expand and that he would like to open a satellite office in Nashville, Tenn., by the end of the year.
"Nashville is the entertainment center of the world," he said. "All music genres are represented well in the area."
Levine said there is something special about Nashville that makes it so alluring to musicians.
"There is this creative energy that exists in Nashville," Levine said. "You can just feel it when you're there."
Levine is one of three attorneys that are members of Kay Casto & Chaney's Entertainment Law Group.
Ann L. Haight and Robert L. Bandy are also members of the group.
Levine, who is serving as the group's chair, said they each bring something different to the table.
"Robert's background is in film and television, mine is in music and Ann has a passion for music and song writing," Levine said.
A large part of Levine's practice is transactional and includes assisting clients with contract negotiation and drafting, he said.
Levine said West Virginia has a wealth of talented musical artists, songwriters, record producers, record labels, music publishers, film producers, directors, authors and others who frequently need legal assistance with entertainment and intellectual property issues.
"We are unaware of any other West Virginia-based law firm that has a group dedicated to entertainment law," Levine said. "We want to help expand entertainment law and this just seemed like the right thing to do."
Levine graduated from Marshall University with a bachelor's degree in business and marketing in 1993 and a master's in business in 1996, received his law degree from West Virginia University in 2002 and holds a specialist certificate in Music Business from the Berklee College of Music's extension school. He is currently the drummer of Lost Cause, which will be performing at the West Virginia Symphony Fundraiser June 4 at the University of Charleston.
The Entertainment Law Group is located in the Levine Professional Building that also houses The Pied Piper of Charleston at Corridor G. In addition to office and conference room space for the Entertainment Law Group, the facility also features a 45-seat auditorium for seminars and workshops.