Jerry Juste is a highly experienced attorney in the Entertainment & Sports practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law, most of which was spent in senior business affairs positions at several of the world’s most iconic record labels, including Republic Records, Island Records, Def Jam, and Motown Records, Mr. Juste brings with him a wealth of knowledge in entertainment, corporate, and intellectual property law.
After graduating from law school at Boston University, Mr. Juste spent the first few years of his career as a litigation associate at a large corporate firm in Boston, Massachusetts. He later moved home to New York City to practice at a boutique entertainment law firm, where he began to develop a profound understanding of the music industry’s core disciplines on A-list clients such as LL Cool J, Notorious B.I.G., and Lil Kim, among others.
After a few years, he joined the Business & Legal Affairs department at Motown Records, then under the PolyGram Records umbrella, and then on to the largest record company in the world, Universal Music Group. In all, Mr. Juste spent close to 18 years drafting and negotiating hundreds of deals for Universal at all levels and overseeing clearances and compliance for scores of multi-platinum and Grammy-award winning projects, including from Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne, Drake, Amy Winehouse, the Bee Gees, and Stevie Wonder, to name just a few. His demonstrated ability to close deals and resolve legal issues quickly and meticulously in the fast-paced, high-volume entertainment world allowed him to rise through the ranks quickly.
At 31, Mr. Juste became one of the youngest to ever serve as Vice President of a Business Affairs department at Universal Music Group, after which he focused mainly on the signings and renegotiations of superstar artists, and the company’s more complex distribution, label and joint venture deals. He remained legal guardian for years on several of these deals, which were some of Universal Music Group’s most important partnerships, such as Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records, Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, Cash Money Records, and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music.
After being promoted to Senior Vice President, Mr. Juste’s responsibilities expanded to training and supervising the department’s attorneys and managing outside counsel. His role required him to develop the leadership ability and diplomatic sensitivities to regularly advise some of the most legendary record company executives of the past few decades, such as Monte & Avery Lipman, Sylvia Rhone, Kedar Massenburg, and the late Andre Harrell. Here he also made one of his longest lasting contributions to the record industry in general by serving on committees within Universal that developed the company’s new business policies and contract templates, many of which were adopted by other major record companies and are now standard throughout the industry.
In 2013, Mr. Juste entered private practice and began counseling within an even wider array of areas, including film and television, music publishing, merchandising, branding and licensing, executive employment, intellectual property disputes, and rights acquisitions. His client base has been a mix of creative individuals, entrepreneurs, and small to midsize companies, where he serves in an outside General Counsel capacity.
For several years, Mr. Juste has taken an active role in shaping the entertainment law community in New York. Currently, he serves as a member of the Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyer’s Association, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and the New York State Bar Association. Additionally, for his commitment and dedication to serving the community, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Communications & Media by the YMCA of Greater New York.
- New York
- J.D., Boston University College of Law, 1994
- B.S., Wesleyan University, 1991
Professional and Community Involvement
- Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyer’s Association, Member
- National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Member
- New York State Bar Association, Member
- YMCA of Greater New York, Member
- U.S. News & World Report, “Best Lawyers in America,” Entertainment Law, 2023
- YMCA of Greater New York, Presidential Award for Excellence in Communications & Media