Brian Walton has been a member of the California State Bar for more than 40 years. He is an expert on Hollywood guilds, and teaches a course called Law and Practice with the Hollywood Guilds.
Walton earned both his B.A. (with honors) and M.A. degrees in Political Science from Brigham Young University. He received his J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law, where he was a Roger J. Traynor Moot Court Competition finalist and served on the Senior Moot Court Honors Board. After law school, Walton clerked for the Honorable J. Allan Crockett. From 1974 to 1982, he was an attorney for the Los Angeles firm Reavis & McGrath, and was a partner at Selvin & Weiner from 1982 to 1985.
Walton’s expertise on the Hollywood guilds began in 1985, with his position as Executive Director of the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA). He held this position for thirteen years, serving as de facto chief executive, chief operating officer, chief negotiator and primary spokesperson for the WGA. During this time, Walton negotiated numerous national collective bargaining agreements in television, film and radio. Among his many accomplishments there, he also developed and advanced international, national and local legislative initiatives; directed the Guild’s financial growth from a budget of approximately $4 million to over $20 million; oversaw the development of internal and external public relations and communications programs; and, oversaw creation of the guild’s first affirmative action/diversity department. From 1998 to 2001 Walton acted as an independent consultant for the WGA, during which time he also consulted for the Producer’s Guild of America, and served as chief negotiator for the Screen Actors’ Guild.
Brian Walton continues occasionally to practice law, to teach regularly as an adjunct law professor, and to serve as a consultant and expert witness. He spends much of his time in the nonprofit world, including as Deputy Chair of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (where he sits on the board of directors), as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Gardens Hospital and Medical Center and as co-director of the Freedom Light Prison Ministry of the AGAPE International Spiritual Center.
Walton is a frequent invited speaker and lecturer in the U.S. and abroad on negotiations, intellectual property, labor relations, media and entertainment industry subjects at venues including law schools, courses for continuing education of the bar, and business roundtables. He is also an occasional guest, commentator, source or background provider for print, radio, TV and electronic media reporting on the entertainment industry.