About Denise Gibbon
Attorney at Law
After graduating from the Law School at the University of San Francisco, I began my legal career as a litigator in Los Angeles, California. Much of my work in the courtroom involved parties disagreeing about the contents of a contract. I found that my life-long interest in writing was a benefit both in representing clients in contractual relationships as well as in preparing courtroom documents.
Before becoming a licensed attorney in New York, I was a volunteer-attorney for the Author’s Guild, a distinguished national organization that educates writers about their legal rights and the publishing industry. There, I wrote and revised contracts of various kinds but, in particular, those related to publishing. I soon discovered that I enjoyed helping creative people cooperate to achieve a common goal with a contract.
Over the course of representing writers, I persuaded a large New York publisher not to categorize my client’s already-published true-life-non-fiction work as fiction. Additionally, I successfully convinced producers of a popular TV tabloid to remove libelous material about a writer-client from a segment prior to its national broadcast date. I also negotiated two publishing contracts for the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime, a national mystery writers’ organization.
I know what it’s like to be a published writer. My legal column dubbed “The Legal Weapon” explained away the mysteries of publishing contracts for the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime’s monthly publication Ransom Notes for eighteen months. As a reporter and journalist for a New York newspaper, I reported on local news and wrote a number of feature articles based on personal interviews with cultural icons such as Janis Ian, Richie Havens and Cleo Laine.