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Power Lawyers 2012

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Meet Tom Cruise's protector, Ryan Seacrest's dealmaker and the woman keeping Lindsay Lohan out of jail as THR reveals the top 100 entertainment attorneys in America.

Austin Hargrave

This story first appeared in the July 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

To mix things up for this year’s Power Lawyers issue — THR’s list of the top U.S. entertainment attorneys — the honorees were asked to answer a short questionaire.

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One query consistently provoked the most interesting responses: “What’s the worst thing someone has said to you?” From the funny (Barry Hirsch: “You mean, besides ‘F—you?’ ”) to the heartfelt (litigator Patty Glaser noted the “unprintable” insults “from the mouths of really insecure men”), Hollywood lawyers put up with a lot of negativity.

STORY: How to Write an Effectively Nasty Lawyer Letter

In fact, if there’s one quality each attorney in this issue shares, it’s the ability to solve high-profile problems against great odds, whether it’s settling a major divorce in less than a week (as Bert Fields and Allan Mayefsky did in July for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, respectively), saving a deal that’s about to fall apart (as Jeanne Newman did for Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner) or being first on the scene when a client dies (as Kenny Meiselas was with Whitney Houston).

In its sixth year, the Power Lawyers issue has become a de facto guide- book to Hollywood’s biggest problems. But after reading about these intelligent, aggressive advocates, it’s hard not to be optimistic about the industry’s ability to solve them.

STORY: Diary of Tom Cruise's Lawyer: 10 Days, 200 Phone Calls and 30 Letters

How the List Was Chosen
To determine Hollywood’s 100 most influential attorneys (in alphabetical order), THR canvassed the biggest deals and cases of the past year. Lawyers were broken down into four categories — talent dealmakers, litigators, corporate dealmakers and “troubleshooters” (divorce or criminal matters) — and evaluated against their peers based on cases won/nature of deals closed as well as their reputation within the entertainment legal community. In-house studio, network or talent agency lawyers are not eligible (it’s too difficult to gauge influence within a corporate structure).

  1. Lincoln Bandlow

    Lathrop & Gageread more

  2. Richard Busch

    King & Ballowread more

  3. Richard Charnley

    Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentleyread more

  4. Scott Edelman

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcherread more

  5. Michael Elkin

    Winston & Strawnread more

  6. Bonnie Eskenazi

    Greenberg Gluskerread more

  7. Steven Fabrizio

    Jenner & Blockread more

  8. Bert Fields

    Greenberg Gluskerread more

  9. Russell Frackman

    Mitchell Silberberg & Knuppread more

  10. Bryan Freedman

    Freedman & Taitelmanread more

  11. Gary Gans

    Quinn Emanuelread more

  12. John Gatti

    Stroockread more

  13. Patricia Glaser

    Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiroread more

  14. Charles Harder

    Wolf Rifkin Shapiro Schulman & Rabkinread more

  15. James Janowitz

    Pryor Cashmanread more

  16. Neville Johnson

    Johnson & Johnsonread more

  17. Martin Katz

    Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hamptonread more

  18. Bruce Keller

    Debevoise & Plimptonread more

  19. Richard Kendall

    Kendall Brill & Kliegerread more

  20. Howard King

    King Holmes Paterno & Berlinerread more

  21. Dale Kinsella

    Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert read more

  22. Adam Levin

    Mitchell Silberberg & Knuppread more

  23. Steve Marenberg

    Irell & Manellaread more

  24. Skip Miller

    Miller Barondessread more

  25. Mark Passin

    Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresiread more

  26. Daniel Petrocelli

    O'Melveny & Myersread more

  27. Michael Plonsker

    Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresiread more

  28. Glenn Pomerantz

    Munger Tolles & Olson read more

  29. Kelli Sager

    Davis Wright Tremaineread more

  30. Robert Schwartz

    O'Melveny & Myersread more

  31. Marty Singer

    Lavely & Singerread more

  32. Orin Snyder

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcherread more

  33. Larry Stein

    Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylorread more

  34. Rick Stone

    Jenner & Blockread more

  35. Gail Title

    Katten Muchin Rosenman read more

  36. Marc Toberoff

    Toberoff & Associatesread more

  37. Howard Weitzman

    Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisertread more

  38. Alonzo Wickers

    Davis Wright Tremaineread more

  39. Jonathan Zavin

    Loeb & Loebread more

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