Power Lawyers 2012
Eskenazi handles high-stakes cases like the ongoing battle among the J.R.R. Tolkien estate, Warner Bros. and producer Saul Zaentz over The Lord of the Rings revenue. But she’s also representing Itzhak Perlman and other giants of classical music, a passion of hers. “They have the same issues as rock stars; the dollars just aren’t quite as enormous,” she notes. Eskenazi negotiated a more favorable deal for the estate of Bob Marley. The reggae legend was getting 20 percent of revenue from a CD sale but 60 percent from a licensing deal, and Eskenazi, in a case with wide-ranging implications, argued that deals Universal Music has with iTunes are more similar to the latter. She won’t say what the new arrangement calls for, but “20 percent compared to 60 percent is a big swing,” she says. “There are many cases like this now, and we were among the first.”
➻ My first client “I was a firstyear lawyer assigned to Marlon Brando. He figured out I was the young kid on the block who knew everything about the documents, so he’d call every day at lunchtime. One time I was sick, so he calls me at home and tells me to have my people get me some Lysine. I was 25; I didn’t have people. Several hours later, my husband walks out the front door, and on the step is a portly gentleman, and he’s thinking, ‘Looks familiar. …’ There I am in my sweats, no makeup, I have a fever, and Marlon Brando walks in.”
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