“The winners never thank their lawyers,” said AmLaw Daily recently in an interview with James Cameron’s attorneys. But some lawyers did get love at the Oscars this year, as noted by Business Insider:
If you paid close attention to last night’s Oscar ceremony, amid the tears and triumphs, a couple of lawyers got their thanks.
If you paid close attention, we’re sorry — because you probably noticed Kristen Stewart hawking up something during her speech, and how scary Judd Nelson looked during the John Hughes montage. Overall, the show was painful to watch.
We stuck around long enough to see Best Supporting Actress Mo’Nique give her lawyer, Ricky Anderson, a nod. But when dancers came out on the stage to “interpret” Sherlock Holmes, we turned off the TV in disgust. Thus, we missed out on Jeff Bridges thanking his power lawyer, Bob Wallerstein.
Let’s take a closer look at these two celebrated attorneys.
Conan O’Brien and NBC parted ways in January. Despite rumors to the contrary, Conan’s attorneys — Patricia Glaser and Leigh Brecheen — told us that their client was pleased with his $32.5 million exit settlement with NBC.
As Leno takes the helm at the Tonight Show, Conan is moving on. He’s joined Twitter, and he’s working on a new show. Apparently, Conan was pleased enough with his settlement to keep working with NBC. The network has picked up a new pilot from Conan’s production company, Conaco.
Conan appears to have been inspired by all the time he spent with lawyers recently. The show is called “Justice.” It’s about a Supreme Court justice going into private practice. It will be filmed in Philadelphia, and — attention, unemployed Philly attorneys — they’re currently looking for “background talent,” a.k.a. extras…
Last week, we spoke with Conan O’Brien’s high-profile attorneys: Patricia Glaser of Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro and Leigh Brecheen of Beverly Hills entertainment boutique Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman and Goodman.
Brecheen is O’Brien’s contracts lawyer and Glaser is the attorney O’Brien brought in when NBC informed him that it wanted to change his Tonight Show to The Next Day Show.
When the Conan-NBC showdown was happening, the media were critical of the contract that Conan had, in large part because there was reportedly no timeslot language. Though subsequently, it’s been suggested by people who have seen the contract that this is untrue, and that timeslot language was in the contract.
On Tuesday, we tuned in to the late night show debacle unfolding at NBC. On his show that night, Conan O’Brien shared insights about the lawyerly wranglings. From US Magazine:
“Hi, I’m Conan O’Brien, and I’m just three days away from the biggest drinking binge in history,” he said during Tuesday’s monologue. “I spent the afternoon at Universal Studios’ amusement park, enjoying their brand-new ride, the ‘Tunnel of Litigation.’”
Noting reports that he is legally prohibited from bad-mouthing the network behind the mess (Jay Leno is taking over O’Brien’s time slot after his prime time show was axed), O’Brien joked in his monologue Tuesday “Nobody said anything about speaking in Spanish.”
He then rails off an insult in Spanish which translates to: “NBC is run by brainless sons of goats who eat money and crap trouble.”
The final deal includes a payout of approximately $32.5 million for Mr. O’Brien and roughly $12 million for his staff, according a person familiar with the matter. The agreement will allow Mr. O’Brien to appear on another network beginning Sept. 1, the person said….
NBC, which is controlled by General Electric Co., will retain the rights to at least some of the comedic material from the show, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal also includes a non-disparagement clause, both for the 46-year-old comedian and NBC, and a provision that was said to bar or limit Mr. O’Brien from appearing on others’ shows for a period of time, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
Jay Leno gets to reclaim his 11:35 p.m. show starting March 1. Meanwhile, David Letterman is probably just happy that Leno and Conan are monopolizing the late night news cycle instead of his own legal troubles.
What impact will this $45-million ruffling of the Peacock Network’s feathers have on entertainment law practices?
Two experts opine on what this means for the entertainment law industry, and the major takeaway lesson for talent lawyers, after the jump.
For the first time in a while, insomniacs are tuning into a late night show that doesn’t star Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert.
Everyone loves a good fight. The Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and NBC squabble may be more entertaining than Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel have both knocked Leno. Even J-Lo has thrown some punchlines.
The National Law Journal has reported on the lawyers that are part of the fray. Patty Glaser and Kevin Leichter, of Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro, are in Conan O’Brien’s corner. Meanwhile, NBC has Gibson Dunn slugging away, having retained power partner Scott Edelman.
The fighters have been trying to figure out what the definition of “The Tonight Show” is — if moved to 12:05 a.m., wouldn’t it be the The Early Morning Show? — and who has ownership of O’Brien’s intellectual property. R.I.P., Masturbating Bear?
The contractual issues may be sorted out any second now, according to the Wall Street Journal….
Why does Florida produce so many TV judges? It is because of their penchant, noted by PD Howard Finkelstein, for being rude and abusive?
The following are former Floridian jurists who left the state bench for the boob tube: Marilyn Milian, of the People’s Court (previously discussed here); Alex Ferrer, a/k/a “Judge Alex”; David Young, the gay TV judge; and the notorious Anna Nicole Smith judge, Larry Seidlin (not on air yet, but rumored to arrive in fall 2008).
Sadly, the world is now down two Miami TV judges. One of them, Judge David Young (pictured above), was trying to be The Gay TV Judge.
The country may be growing more receptive to gay marriage. But when it comes to television judges, it seems we like ‘em straight. Courtroom TV: Two of Miami’s TV judges get the ax [Daily Business Review]
If you’re leaving Biglaw and moving to New England to innkeep is not your thing, maybe you should consider moving to Los Angeles to promote music.
The American Lawyer has an interesting piece on a laid-off first-year associate, Brandon Dorsky. He was among the batch of Pillsbury Winthrop associates whose departures were inadvertently leaked by a garrulous partner on the train from D.C. to New York.
Dorsky was doing IP work in Pillsbury’s Los Angeles office. The Ohio native had moved to California with the intent to get into the entertainment industry and so he seized the opportunity provided by being laid off:
After leaving Pillsbury, Dorsky decided to build a practice geared to entertainment clients, while also managing musical acts. He e-mailed friends and business contacts looking for leads. Just three days after leaving the firm, he landed his first client, TRG Sports and Entertainment. A friend from the University of Michigan recommended him to the management company, which was looking for a lawyer to draft a recording contract….
“I’m out most nights,” Dorsky says. “I see five concerts a week. I’m out there looking for new clients and looking for opportunities for existing clients.”
Unlike yesterday — and by the way, we’ll keep the reader poll open for a few more hours — today we have no difficulty picking our Lawyer of the Day. Hollywood lawyer James Jackson maltreated his Filipino maid. We do not like it when you mess with our peeps.
From the AP (via Law.com):
A former Hollywood studio attorney and his wife were sentenced Monday for abusive treatment of their Filipino maid in a case federal prosecutors said “amounts to modern-day slavery.”
James Jackson, the former vice president of legal affairs at Sony Pictures, was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 fine. His wife, Elizabeth, was sentenced to three years in prison after her attorneys unsuccessfully pleaded for her to receive home detention.
These Hollywood types are ruthless (we’ve watched “Entourage”). Studio lawyers make Biglaw partners look like social workers. Consider the treatment alleged by the former maid in her civil suit against the couple:
[Former maid Nena] Ruiz claimed in her civil lawsuit that Elizabeth Jackson regularly slapped her and pulled her hair. She also said she was forced to sleep on a dog bed and was given three-day-old food to eat even as she was expected to clean and provide fresh fruit to the Jacksons’ pets. The Jacksons only paid her $300 for her work….
We wish we knew how to quit… finding legal angles to every story under the sun. One such story is the recent, tragic death of Heath Ledger, the celebrated young actor.
We’ve noted the news inpassing. Now we offer more substantive, law-related discussion (beyond fleeting references to NYU law students who went from their seminarsaboutJesus to join the crowd of gawkers assembled outside Ledger’s apartment).
1. Rights to remains. Sometimes this can become an issue, as it did in the case of Anna Nicole Smith. Earlier this week, the Ohio Supreme Court heard a case about a law providing that body parts removed during an autopsy are classified as medical waste (which usually results in the incineration, rather than burial with the body).
It fortunately appears this won’t be an issue in Ledger’s case. Although additional blood and tissue testing still needs to be done, his family will be taking custody of his body, according to the NYT’s City Room blog.
2. Pending projects. Heath Ledger’s sudden passing raises issues with respect to projects he was involved with. From the Hollywood Reporter:
Of particular importance to Hollywood will be the future of Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which had very recently begun shooting. After dealing with the shock of losing Ledger to unfortunate circumstances, the film’s producers and lawyers will have to consult with their production lawyers and the insurance firm that indemnified the film to decide whether to recast, restage and/or rewrite the film to work around Ledger’s absence, or whether Ledger’s death presents an irresolvable barrier to completion of the film.
More analysis, including discussion of insurance recovery issues, over here.
3. Funeral protestors. Exact funeral plans for Heath Ledger are not yet known. But when it does happen, it could get ugly. A tipster raises a legal question:
Check out this story [about how members of the antigay Westboro Baptist Church plan to protest at Heath Ledger's funeral, because of his work in "Brokeback Mountain"].
Here’s my question. These [SOBs] are saying horrible, offensive, disgusting things. When does the fighting words doctrine come into play, and does the fighting words doctrine protect me if I punch out one of these bastards? Because I would really like to.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
Ms. JD is hosting their 2nd annual cocktail benefit to raise money for the Global Education Fund. The event will be held on August 21, 2014 at 111 Minna in San Francisco. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to fund the legal educations of four dedicated law students in Uganda who count on our support to continue their studies at Makerere University during the 2014-15 academic year.
The Global Education Fund enable womens in developing countries to pursue legal educations who otherwise would not have access to further education. According to the World Bank, investment in education for girls has one of the highest rates of return to promote development. In Uganda, more than 45% of women over the age of 25 have no schooling at all, and men are more than twice as likely as women to have access to higher education. Together, we can work to end educational inequality. For more information about the program, please visit http://ms-jd.org/programs/global-education-fund/
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.