Photo of Christine  Steiner

Christine Steiner

Special Counsel
Century City
T: 310.228.3705
F: 310.228.3955


  • J.D., University of Maryland, with honors
  • B.A., Johns Hopkins University, with honors
  • Circuit Court of Baltimore City, Baltimore, MD
  • California
  • Maryland
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court of the United States
Publications & News

Christine Steiner is a special counsel in the firm's Entertainment, Technology and Advertising Practice Group and Art Law practice.

Areas of Practice

Ms. Steiner’s practice emphasizes visual arts, public art, nonprofits, foundations, intellectual property, publishing, and art market and general business transactions.  She represents art collectors, national and international living artists, collectors' and artists' estates, galleries, museums and cultural organizations, foundations, creative businesses, universities, writers, publishers, and other diverse creative clients.

Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Ms. Steiner created an international private practice, dedicated to global issues in art, architecture, culture, museums and intellectual property law.

Prior to private practice, she served as Secretary and General Counsel of the J. Paul Getty Trust, a leading cultural and philanthropic organization which includes the renowned Getty Museum, and as Assistant General Counsel of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex.  She previously served as Assistant Attorney General of Maryland for state colleges and universities and Principal Counsel of the Maryland state public education system.

Ms. Steiner is an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School, where she teaches visual arts law, and has served as a visiting professor of international art law in law school programs in Florence, Italy and Cambridge, England.  She currently serves on the editorial board of the Copyright Society of the United States, and is active in the arts in Los Angeles.

  • Distinguished Service, Office of the Attorney General for Maryland
  • Certificate of Merit, Smithsonian Institution



  • Copyright chapter, Museum Registration Methods 5th Edition (American Association of Museums, 2010)
  • "Fair Use: Legal Issues Involving Speech and Copyright for Artists Using Outdoor Media", Exhibition Catalogue, How Many Billboards? (MAK Center for Art & Architecture, 2010)
  • "So What…About Copyright? What Artists Need to Know About Copyright & Trademarks" (Public Knowledge, 2005)
  • General Editor, A Museum Guide to Copyright and Trademark (American Association of Museums, 1999)
  • "Intellectual Property and the Right to Culture", Intellectual Property and Human Rights (WIPO, Geneva, 1998)


  • "Fashion Designers: Legally Naked?" Law360, February 21, 2012
  • "Art Law: The Year in Review," Law360, January 23, 2012
  • "Caveat Venditor! California Resale Royalty Act Has Important Implications," The Art Economist, December 2011
  • "Model Public Art Commission Agreement," Public Art Network (Americans for the Arts, 2005)
  • Op-Ed Piece, "Lawsuit Barbie Fails for Mattel," Los Angeles Times; January 7, 2004
  • "Copyright in the Digital Age," Museum News; January/February 2000
  • "The Double-Edged Sword: Museums and the Fair Use Doctrine," Museum News; September/October 1997

Art Law Blog Articles

  • "Russian Revolution Redux," February 6, 2013
  • "Public Art Programs: 1% for the 99% - Part Two," November 1, 2012
  • "Public Art Programs: 1% for the 99% - Part One," October 10, 2012
  • "The Studious Studio - Business Practices for Artists," June 11, 2012
  • "My Fellow Californians - Our Long National Nightmare is Over," May 21, 2012
  • "A Murality Play," May 9, 2012
  • "Life After Death - Right of Publicity Law," April 16, 2012
  • "Rastaman Vibration," March 1, 2012 
  • "Fashion Designers: Legally Naked?" February 10, 2012
  • "The Year In Review," January 6, 2012
  • "Cherchez les Catalogues Raisonnés," December 15, 2011
  • "Authentication Board to Death by Lawsuits," November 8, 2011
  • "Artist Resale Royalties--New Cases under California Law," October 26, 2011
  • "Pacific Standard Time - The Artist's Legacy," September 28, 2011

Speaking Engagements

  • American Society of Appraisers
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  • International Bar Association (IBA)
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries (ABA)
  • California Lawyers for the Arts
  • Legal Issues in Museum Administration, ALI-ABA (ALI-ABA)
  • International Foundation on Art Research (IFAR)
  • Speeches on art law issues to various collector, artist and museum groups or councils