Verna Polutan is a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. Govt.) and New York Law School (J.D. 1997). Attorney Polutan practices primarily in the areas of business and family immigration law, business law and entertainment law.
She has been engaged in the practice area of immigration law since 1998. After graduating from law school, Attorney Polutan worked in private practice for an immigration law firm in New York City. She moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and worked as an associate at one of the largest immigration law firms in the West Coast. Attorney Polutan established her law office in 2002. In the area of business immigration, Attorney Polutan specializes in the representation of foreign nationals who are in specialty occupations. The latter also includes employees of multi-national corporations, international entertainers and athletes, scientists, medical and scientific researchers, computer engineers and healthcare workers. She has done work for companies such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, Qantas Airways Limited, Columbia Artists Management, Inc., Disney and American Media Inc. She has also done legal work for multinational executives, former Olympic athletes, world-renowned artists as well as entertainers in the recording and entertainment industry, which enabled them to obtain legal permanent residence as artists of extraordinary ability.
She has written for the Manila Times, Asian Journal, Diaryo Pilipino and The Filipino Reporter on immigration issues. Attorney Polutan is licensed in California, New York, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), American Bar Association (ABA), the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), the District of Columbia Bar Association (DCBA), the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA) and the Cornell Club of Los Angeles (CCLA). She is a Board Member since 2013 of the American Friends of the School of Oriental and African Studies (AFSOAS), University of London.
Deborah Lazarus holds a Bachelor of Arts (1991) and a Bachelor of Laws (1994) both from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is licensed as an attorney in The State of California and in South Africa.
Attorney Lazarus has over 15 years of experience working in the entertainment law field (film, music and television). Deborah’s entertainment law career started in 2002 when she landed a job as an assistant at the boutique law firm Barnes Morris Klein Mark Yorn Barnes & Levine. Attorney Lazarus worked at Barnes Morris for 4 1/2 years and during this time took the California Bar exam. She was admitted to practice as an attorney in The State of California in 2005. In 2006 Attorney Lazarus saw an opportunity to use the skills she had learned in Hollywood in South Africa’s burgeoning film industry and she returned to South Africa to set up an entertainment law consultancy practice in Cape Town. Since then she has advised and represented feature film and television production companies, independent producers, screenwriters, directors, actors, agents, composers, musicians, bands, artists, models, film commissions, completion bond guarantors and financiers throughout the world. She has worked on many independent feature films as the film’s production legal advisor and has negotiated cross-border financing and co-production deals for numerous co-productions.
She created and taught a certificate course on Entertainment Law at the University of Cape Town’s Law @ Work programme to film producers and attorneys in South Africa. She has also given lectures to creative individuals (writers, directors, producers and artists) about intellectual property law (copyright law and trademark law).
Attorney Lazarus also advises clients regarding US immigration law and South African immigration law. She has worked with South African companies and citizens and assisted with visa refusals at US Consulates in South Africa and with applying for temporary US work visas or for permanent residency in the US. She also assists foreign companies and foreign citizens with obtaining work visas and temporary residency permits for South Africa.