Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Power of Attorneys

Power Lawyers Jake Bloom, left, Bert Fields and Patty Glaser know that desperate times call for desperate measures. (Illustration by Chris Morris)

Power of Attorneys

A tenacious Hollywood lawyer is more important than ever
July 23, 2009, 06:30 PM ET

"It's really rough out there."
That's a top talent attorney bemoaning the economic sea changes washing over every corner of Hollywood -- yes, even the lawyers are feeling the pinch.
And yet, as studios squeeze star salaries and the credit crunch slows the pace of deal activity, compiling The Hollywood Reporter's third annual list of the 100 most influential entertainment lawyers in America was no easy task.
From high-stakes litigation like the battle between Warner Bros. and Fox over "Watchmen" to the yearlong maneuvering that paired DreamWorks with India's Reliance Big Entertainment and Disney, the industry's most compelling dramas increasingly cast lawyers in the starring roles.
To put together the list, we again solicited nominations from the community on our entertainment law blog, then dove into our own research on the deals closed, the cases won and the clients signed.
Some attorneys are such mainstays in the business that they've made the list each year, others are appearing for the first time based on recent performance.
Only U.S.-based attorneys are eligible, and no full-time law professors or in-house studio or network lawyers are allowed --
except one,
Warner Bros. president of worldwide business affairs Steve Spira, who is this year's Raising the Bar Studio Lawyer Award honoree at THR's Power Lawyers breakfast on July 24.
To mix things up, we asked a few Power Lawyers veterans to give us some free legal advice.
Read closely, this wisdom usually costs hundreds of dollars an hour.
We consider this issue less a power list than a reference guide to 100 amazing entertainment attorneys.
It is really rough out there.
That's why you need a good lawyer.

-- Matthew Belloni

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