Ken Thayer Podcast with guest Melissa Jaffe (1)

Transactional and Intellectual Property Law with Melissa Jaffe


In this week’s episode of Attorney Talk, Ken Thayer interviews Melissa Jaffe, who is an attorney in California and is also licensed in Oregon and Washington. Melissa predominantly practices in transactional and intellectual property law, which is geared toward creative individuals and businesses. Melissa has worked with international creative companies as well as startups and individual artists. Outside of the law, Melissa is a yoga instructor and practices meditation, which plays an important role in how she operates her law practice. During the show, Ken and Melissa discuss the concept and practice of holistic law, the role of technology, and how to approach dealing with creative clients.

Main Questions Asked:

  •  In what respect does online business allow for more creativity?
  • How do you help a small business transition into the larger business they want to become?
  • Why do you label it holistic law?
  • How do you bridge the gap between creative people and the law?
  • Where does the client’s trepidation come from with regards to contracting?
  • How do your clients like the holistic approach?
  • Talk about how yoga and meditation play into your practice of law.
  • Why did you make the decision to go to law school?
  • How do you think technology helps and/or hurts the solo practitioner in today’s legal field?
  • Do you think the 9 to 5 workweek will be a thing of the past in the next 20 years or so?
  • What is the biggest misconception that the general public has about lawyers in general and the practice of law?

Key Lessons Learned:

  • Melissa believes it is important to mirror the client’s communication style throughout the business, such as in contracts and emails.
  • Recent technology has changed how business is done. The typical infrastructure within a Fortune 500 company is now available for those doing business online.
  • The most valuable asset to a client isn’t always money, so there are certain provisions in contracts that can be favored over others.
  • Everyone runs a business to make money, but some people have other goals that they want to reach, which need to be laid out in the beginning stages before moving to the actual creation and protection of the business.
  • The business structures we have relied upon previously have deteriorated, so there is opportunity to utilize the foundation of law in a creative way.
  • There is a way for multiple businesses to exist simultaneously and think about how they will overlap and benefit each other.


  • This give structure to the amorphous idea and covers the following:
  • Do you have an entity?
  • Do you have the correct entity?
  • Is your entity operating correctly and efficiently?
  • Is there a need to create holding companies?
  • What is the ultimate vision to figure out how many entities?
  • Considerations are taxation and accounting.


  • How is the entity exchanging with others?
  • In lieu of long contracts, some of Melissa’s clients opt for a long series of email exchanges that cover the legal points.
  • Some creative clients have an aversion to contracts, so there is the option to have the conversation and talk about confidentiality or intellectual property ownership without feeling too legalese.
  • For artists it can seem distrusting to present someone you’re working with a contract.
  • A lot of people take a contract they found online or that someone else has provided, change a few terms, and use it; however, this doesn’t always reflect what they do.
  • Contract discussion means provision is allowed for many ‘what do you really want’ conversations.

Truth & Misconception About Lawyers

  • Lawyers are perceived as dishonest, not wanting to be transparent, and only interested in extracting money.
  • It doesn’t take many attorneys to sour the perception of the general population.
  • If more people sat down with lawyers they would see that the lawyer is there for the client.
  • Lawyers don’t exist without clients, so the benefit of the client has to be looked out for.

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review in iTunes!

Links to Resources Mentioned

Phone: (503) 780-6565



Click To Tweet

Have you heard of holistic law? Find out more w/ @MelissaBJaffe & Ken Thayer @gaylordpoppllc


What is the best way to manage creative clients? Find out more w/ @MelissaBJaffe & Ken Thayer @gaylordpoppllc

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