Hirsch holds court
The lawyer jokes began early and continued throughout the evening as the Beverly Hills Bar Assn. honored Barry Hirsch during its annual Entertainment Lawyer of the Year dinner, held Wednesday at the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel. Toasting Hirsch were some of the industry's top lawyers, as well as Hirsch clients including Garth Brooks, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sean Penn, writer-producer Steven Bochco, director Antoine Fuqua and the evening's emcee Rob Schneider, who quipped, "The great thing about Barry is he cares as much about his small clients, like Julia Roberts, as he does about his big ones, like me." CAA's Kevin Huvane and Shelly Sroloff and ICM's Richard Levy also were among the 400 guests who dined on lobster and chicken and watched a tribute video featuring Roberts -- who thanked Hirsch for keeping her out of jail -- as well as longtime clients Bernie Mac, director Francis Ford Coppola and Jane Fonda. Hirsch was introduced by screenwriter Ronald Bass, who began his career as a lawyer with Hirsch's firm until Hirsch convinced him to take a shot at writing professionally. "The only loyalty that's greater than that which Barry has for his clients is the loyalty they have for him," Bass told the crowd.