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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.

PHOTOS: Christian Bale, Lindsay Lohan Pose with Their Lawyers

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).

Talent
  1. Karl Austen

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Kleinread more

  2. John Branca

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

  3. Skip Brittenham

    Hollywood’s A-list dealmaker leads a double life as a closet comics...read more

  4. Harold Brown

    Gang Tyre Ramer Brownread more

  5. Melanie Cook

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

  6. Craig Emanuel

    Loeb & Loebread more

  7. Patti Felker

    Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson read more

  8. Sam Fischer

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

  9. Howard Fishman

    Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishmanread more

  10. David Fox

    Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Lightread more

  11. Michael Gendler

    Gendler & Kellyread more

  12. Cliff Gilbert-Lurie

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

  13. Carlos Goodman

    Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodmanread more

  14. Ira Schreck

    Schreck Rose Dapello &Adamsread more

  15. Eric Greenspan

    Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Lightread more

  16. Tom Hansen

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kallerread more

  17. Alan Hergott

    Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodmanread more

  18. Barry Hirsch

    Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishmanread more

  19. Jim Jackoway

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Kleinread more

  20. Craig Jacobson

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newsman Warren Richman Rush & Kallerread more

  21. Matthew Johnson

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

  22. Joel Katz

    Greenberg Traurigread more

  23. Deborah Klein

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Kleinread more

  24. David Lande

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

  25. Linda Lichter

    Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler & Feldmanread more

  26. David Matlof

    Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishmanread more

  27. Kenny Meiselas

    Grubman Indursky Shire & Meiselasread more

  28. Joel McKuin

    McKuin Frankel Whiteheadread more

  29. Jon Moonves

    Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcanoread more

  30. Kevin Morris

    Morris Yorn Barnes & Levineread more

  31. Marcy Morris

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austin Mandelbaum Morris & Kleinread more

  32. Bob Myman

    Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox & Lightread more

  33. Peter Nelson

    Nelson Davis Wetzsteinread more

  34. Jeanne Newman

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kallerread more

  35. Robert Offer

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dernread more

  36. Don Passman

    Gang Tyre Ramer & Brownread more

  37. Lee Phillips

    Manatt, Phelps & Phillipsread more

  38. Bruce Ramer

    Gang Tyre Ramer & Brownread more

  39. Ken Richman

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kallerread more

  40. Lawrence Rose

    Gang Tyre Ramer & Brownread more

  41. P.J. Shapiro

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

  42. Nina Shaw

    Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcanoread more

  43. Jason Sloane

    Sloane Offer Weber & Dernread more

  44. Gary Stiffelman

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

  45. Steve Warren

    Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kallerread more

  46. Alan Wertheimer

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Kleinread more

  47. Bryan Wolf

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

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