Donald Valdez - Music Faculty

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Donald Valdez (

Mr. Valdez teaches courses related to the music industry. Mr. Valdez holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Memphis, attended the University of South Carolina Graduate School of Communications and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Memphis.

He recently retired as "Of Counsel" with the law firm of Decker, Jones, McMackin, McClane, Hall & Bates where he practiced entertainment and intellectual property law. In 2006, Valdez retired as Vice-President, Anti-Piracy Legislation and Senior Counsel, Anti-Piracy Legal Affairs for the Recording Industry of America, Inc (RIAA). His previous work experience includes eight years as a Field Investigator and Regional Director for RIAA; four years as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); a Captain in the United States Air Force; and two and a half years as an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at the University of Memphis.

He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association, and belongs to the Criminal Justice, Intellectual Property Law, and Entertainment and Sports Law Sections of both bars. Recent legal awards include being chosen a Top Attorney by Fort Worth Magazine in 2006 and 2009; and in an independent poll of attorneys conducted by Fort Worth Magazine, he was voted Top Entertainment Attorney 2010. Mr. Valdez has twice served as Co-Chair for the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition's International Conference, and served on the Legislative Drafting Committee for the same organization. He is a former recording artist, writer, and producer; and a member of the Country Music Association and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.

Mr. Valdez has also served as a Vestry Member at St. Peter & St. Paul Episcopal Church.


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