He was the highest-ranking federal law enforcement official in the region, but that doesn't mean his new job will be easy.

Former U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas said he expects to face challenges adjusting to the private sector when he joins Los Angeles-based O'Melveny & Myers LLP Sept. 4 as a partner in the firm's business litigation practice.

"Businesses on both ends of the matter have unique characteristics and different factors that impact them, as opposed to the government pursuing them," said Mayorkas, who headed the largest federal prosecutor's office in the country. "Costs and forces of the market are unique to the private sector."

Meaning, businesses don't quite have the luxury of spending all the dollars they want on a case.

Mayorkas also will be representing businesses, instead of going after criminals. But that may not be altogether that different.

"Many criminal cases I handled involved business dealings," he said. "I specialized in white-collar crime securities fraud, money laundering, crimes committed in the business world."

Watch Those Trailers

Napster-like squabbles are starting to enter the entertainment fold in a slightly different way andnone other than Walt Disney Co. is at the helm of the legal batteles.

The Burbank company filed suit this month against a New Jersey distributor of video movie trailers.

Disney claims that 16-year-old Video Pipeline, which distributes movie trailers to video rental stores and retailers, violated its contracts when it began distributing Web-based trailers to those retailers

The digital version of these trailers was not covered in their contract, say the Disney groups, who are asking for $111 million in damages.

What Downturn?

The economy's crunch on corporate deals may have hampered area law firm business, but haven't stopped Manatt Phelps & Phillips from going forward with its expansion plans.

The Los Angeles firm leased four additional floors, or 72,000 square feet, at the East and West Towers of the Trident Center, 11355 W. Olympic Blvd. The firm already has 128,000 square feet in the center, The firm expects to hire 80 more attorneys and staff to fill the remaining space.

Top Attorney

Morgan Chu, a patent attorney with Irell & Manella in Los Angeles, was named the top attorney in the practice of intellectual property, copyright and trademark law, according to Corporate Board Member, a national magazine for directors of publicly traded companies. Chu was one of 12 area attorneys named in the magazine's first annual survey of best corporate law firms and lawyers in the United States.

Amanda Bronstad covers the legal community and can be reached at 323-549-5225 ext. 225 or abronstad@labusinessjournal.com.

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