Patricia Glaser

Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil, & Shapiro

Specialty: Business litigation

Law School: Rutgers, 1973

In Disney's view, it was a Mickey Mouse deal that did not deserve serious attention. The entertainment giant had agreed to turn the cartoon character Marsupilami, already a hit in Europe, into a full-fledged international star.

But for years, the Burbank-based entertainment giant did nothing to promote Marsupilami, leading to a breach-of-contract suit by the character's creator, Marsu (who only uses his first name professionally). Going up against a giant corporation that employs some of the most talented lawyers in the business is never easy, but Marsu had an ace up his sleeve: Patty Glaser. Last year, she won a $10.4 million settlement for Marsu and raked in $1 million in legal fees for her firm.

Glaser is often involved in entertainment-industry litigation, but it's by no means her only specialty. She is known as a top-flight litigator with a history of winning big-money judgments for her clients.

"Sometimes I start a case wondering whether it will be interesting," Glaser said. "I'm always reminded how fascinating each area of the law is."

Most recently, she helped her client Sherman Oaks Galleria reach a settlement with May Department Store Co., whose leases the mall was trying to terminate. Terms of that deal were not disclosed, but the settlement means that the mall's owners can finally proceed with their ambitious plans to redevelop the property.

Other high-profile cases include her successful defense of Paramount Studios against slander charges by singer Michael Jackson, her victory in a complex real estate suit on behalf of the creators of the hit sitcom "Murphy Brown," and the much-publicized case against Kim Basinger for breaking a verbal contract to star in a film.

Born in West Virginia, Glaser took a job in Los Angeles with Wyman, Bautzer, Christensen, Kuchel and Silbert in 1973. When not working and she works about 80 hours a week she manages to put in time with various philanthropic organizations and even produces live theater.

Glaser recently had to serve her firm, where she co-manages litigation, on the other side of the table, as a key witness. A former non-equity partner asserted she had not received bonuses because she had become pregnant. Glaser's testimony was critical in convincing the jury to dismiss the case.

Scott Smith

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