The Business Journal occasionally checks in with Los Angeles executives and asks them to describe their daily routine. This week attorney George Caplan, partner at Kaye Scholer, describes his duties:
I wake up at 6:30 and work out; I have a home gym. My wife fixes breakfast, usually juice and cereal, for my youngest son Jake and me. I see him off on the school bus and then I start my commute from Woodland Hills to my office in Century City.
The workday begins when I get on the freeway. I have a 45-minute commute and I'll spend virtually all of it on the phone. This morning I was settling an accounting dispute with a music publisher and that took almost the whole drive.
I get to the office about 9:15 and the first thing I do is get a cup of coffee. I'll drink about a quart of coffee before the day is over.
I have a desk, but I don't work at it very often. Usually I'm at my conference table and I have a constant stream of people coming in and out, talking about cases and upcoming court appearances I'm in court at least once a month.
It seems like people are available more in the morning, so that's when I do a lot of my negotiations. My day is really a mix of large, complex litigation.
For instance, today I'll probably devote at least two hours of my day to two cases where we're representing some large operators of wind turbines. It's an environmental litigation issue having to do with birds running into the turbines in Altamont Pass near Oakland. We'll have an extended phone call with the other side of the case today.
My colleagues and I are also working on two appellate briefs in two major cases involving the commissioner of insurance; a large litigation against the United States government involving the breach of a contract to develop a large wind turbine project at the Nevada Test Site; and inverse condemnation litigation against the state of California involving Gov. Gray Davis' commandeering of the energy contracts from the California Power Exchange. These cases are pending in Oakland, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Sacramento.
My lunches are usually business lunches. Today I'll be having lunch with the fellow who runs the Jewish TV network and we'll be discussing Jewish public policy.
I try to mix sophisticated, interesting litigation practice with public service. Right now I'm on the board of governors for the California Community College. The board deals with a budget greater than $6 billion and the community college system handles more than 2.5 million students. So that'll take up part of my day.
Just a few weeks ago El Camino Community College was voting on whether or not to partner with Compton Community College and run an education center there for the next five to eight years. And I testified in favor of that.
I usually spend my afternoons reviewing filings and briefs. Before I leave for the day I try and prepare for the next day's negotiations, but sometimes I'll take a brief home with me.
I try to be home by 7:30. My wife, youngest son and I have dinner together. My youngest daughter is in law school. I have six children and I talk to all of them a few times a week, so I'm constantly catching up with them in the evenings.
I don't watch much television, sometimes CNN, but I do subscribe to the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and two Jewish papers. The ones I don't get to in the morning, I read at night. Then it's lights out at 11.
As told to Leslie Jones
Kaye Scholer LLP
Hard Worker: "I had over 1,800 chargeable hours last year. For a 63-year-old litigator that's a damn good schedule."
Hobbies: "I try to play a little golf, see movies. We also go out to dinner with friends and clients a lot."
Education: Political science A.B., UC Berkeley, 1965; LLB, Columbia Law School, graduating in 1968
Music: "All '70s rock of course."
"I grew up in Ohio in an area called Shaker Heights. I was the only kid in Ohio that came to
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