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Power Lawyers: THR Unveils America's Top 100 Entertainment Attorneys

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From Ben Affleck's dealmaker to Keith Olbermann's (Republican) pit bull, The Hollywood Reporter's definitive list of the best in the business.

Mark Leibowitz

This story first appeared in the May 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Behind nearly every dustup, bust-up, big deal and boldfaced name in Hollywood are the 100 behind-the- scenes players on the following pages. Although diverse in their legal practices (Disney corporate lawyer Brian McCarthy probably never has been mentioned on the same pages as celebrity divorce maven Laura Wasser), what they have in common is influence over how Hollywood operates.

Consider the ability of dealmakers Jim Jackoway and Alan Wertheimer to keep up with serial multitasker J.J. Abrams as he transitions from Star Trek to Star Wars and balances four TV shows. Litigator Patricia Glaser's $50 million lawsuit for Keith Olbermann extricated him from Current TV and positioned him to move to another network. And even moguls need lawyers, as CBS' Leslie Moonves proved when he posed for a photo with his dealmaker Allen Grubman (who calls Moonves "a star in the business arena").

PHOTOS: Power Lawyers: 'Star Trek's' JJ Abrams, Michael Bay and Les Moonves Pose with their Attorneys

Think of THR's Power Lawyers list, now in its seventh year, as a handbook featuring the industry's most effective problem-solvers.

How the Power Lawyers list is chosen

To determine Hollywood's 100 most influential attorneys (listed in alphabetical order -- it's impossible to rank them), THR researches the biggest deals and legal cases of the past year. Lawyers are identified as talent dealmakers, litigators or corporate dealmakers 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 legal executives are not eligible (it's too difficult to gauge influence within a corporate structure). Music and Broadway lawyers are evaluated separately against their peers.

Profiles written by Matthew Belloni, Alex Ben Block, Paul Bond, Tina Daunt, Stephen Galloway, Eriq Gardner, Shirley Halperin, Jonathan Handel, Brandon Kirby, Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock, Lacey Rose, Tatiana Siegel
 and Rebecca Sun.


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  1. Daniel Black

    Greenberg Traurigread more

  2. Christopher Brearton

    O’Melveny & Myersread more

  3. John Burke

    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feldread more

  4. Joseph Calabrese

    O’Melveny & Myersread more

  5. Robert Darwell

    Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hamptonread more

  6. Josh Grode

    Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitzread more

  7. Michael Hobel

    Katten Muchin Rosenmanread more

  8. Mickey Mayerson

    Loeb & Loeb read more

  9. Schuyler “Sky” Moore

    Stroockread more

  10. Stephen Saltzman

    Loeb & Loebread more

  11. Stephen Scharf

    O’Melveny & Myersread more

  12. Matthew Thompson

    Stroockread more

  13. Stephen Tsoneff

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcherread more

  14. Susan Zuckerman Williams

    Loeb & Loeb read more

  15. Ken Ziffren

    Ziffren Brittenhamread more

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