Four veteran attorneys have joined forces to launch an entertainment law firm.


Gary S. Raskin, Arnold P. Peter, Barbara M. Rubin and Jody Simon have created Raskin Peter Rubin & Simon LLP, with offices in Century City.


Initial clients include BBC Worldwide Productions, Maverick Films, Mercedes Benz USA, the National Association of Television Program Executives and New Line Television Inc.


"We decided to create a one-of-a kind firm with people we've known and respected for many years in the entertainment industry," said Peter. "And what we're very excited about is the prospect of providing not only excellent legal services but strategic business advice to all of our clients."


The partners all have experience in the business side of entertainment in addition to their legal expertise.


Peter and Simon come from Lord Bissell & Brook LLP, where they represented Black Entertainment Television Inc., GRB Entertainment and the University of Southern California. Raskin left Garfield Tepper & Raskin, where he represented Western International Syndication Corp. and Wright Digital Entertainment. Rubin spent three years in independent practice after running the business and legal affairs departments at Aaron Spelling Television and the A & E; Network's West Coast office.


Working It Out
Some of the overcrowding in Los Angeles Superior Court, notorious for its huge case backlog and three-year trial waits, is being reduced by an increased emphasis on mediation and arbitration.


During fiscal 2005, the court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Center heard 32,111 cases in mediation and 3,650 in arbitration. That's up sharply from fiscal 2004, when 22,000 cases went through mediation and arbitration combined.


The center is not only working more, it's apparently working more effectively. Of the 2005 cases, 48 percent in arbitration were resolved and 63 percent of those in mediation were resolved. A combined 57 percent of the fiscal 2004 cases were resolved. The court also has a family law division that presides over non-custody-related matters. That division heard 818 cases in 2005, of which 68 percent were resolved.


The number of cases going to a jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court dropped to 4,722 jury trials in 2005 from 5,908 the year earlier.


New Partner
Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP has promoted Loryn Dunn Arkow, raising the number of partners in the firm to 56.


Fifty-year-old Cox Castle specializes in the California's real estate, construction, and financial services industries. It has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco.


Arkow, whose clients include real estate developers, investors and lenders, specializes in complex entity restructuring for risk management and estate tax planning purposes.


*Staff reporter Emily Bryson York can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 235, or at eyork@labusinessjournal.com .

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