Phillips Lerner Lauzon & Jamra LLP
Law School: Columbia University
Clients: Corina Villaraigosa, Bobby Brown and Darryl Strawberry.
Stacy Phillips said if she weren't practicing law, she might try hosting a talk show.
But very few talk shows could match the drama or even the star caliber of her Century City-based family law practice.
The attorney currently finds herself in the middle of the city's most publicized divorces of the summer, that of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his wife Corina, whom Phillips represents.
Guiding prominent Angelenos and their spouses through marital dissolution and child custody proceedings is a role that has become quite familiar to Phillips. Her client roster has included movie actors, sports figures, rock stars and prominent local executives.
Phillips says that practicing law is about much more than famous names and tabloid headlines, and that she sees her main duty as "helping people get through what is typically one of the most traumatic times in their lives and also to assist them in charting a course for a better future."
And in some instances it takes a lot of work and time to get to the point where that new course can be charted.
Phillips said her most challenging case has been a custody dispute that went on for 12 years and, despite a recent resolution, "I have this gnawing feeling that it is not over yet."
She said there is a weariness that comes from practicing for 23 years in what is one of the most emotionally intense fields of law. Phillips saw a four-year custody battle that was nearing a conclusion favorable to her client blow up when the client allegedly made an unfortunate comment to his former wife.
In an effort to help others avoid making a similar mistake and some of the others she has seen over the course of her career, Phillips wrote "Divorce: It's All About Control; How To Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars."
Ironically, the book last year received a certificate of commendation from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Phillips Jessner LLP
Clients: Mark Hughes, Sen. Alan Cranston and Marsha Mason.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was a single mother with two children and wanted a job where I could support my children well and have flexibility in my schedule. So I went to law school.
Most Interesting Matter: It's very hard to pick one case, although one that comes to mind is the Antonio Banderas-Ana Leza Banderas divorce, which had many fascinating issues, including the existence, and valuation of, celebrity goodwill and very complex date-of-separation issues.
Most Challenging Matter: Assisting a young woman who was offered a full ride at MIT and wanted to take her year-old baby with her. I was called in when the father (in fact the father's family) decided to contest the temporary move-away. I was able to help create a plan whereby the father would visit the child at MIT.
My Colleagues Don't Know: I dislike talking on the telephone, even though I spend most of the day doing it.
Trope and Trope
Clients: Nicole Kidman.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: It has been too long to remember. As improbable as it sounds, during the 1930s, I went to double features (no television at the time) and was very impressed with the portrayal of lawyers in those motion pictures.
Most Interesting Moment: In family law, no two cases are the same, and the "interesting factor" is based, to a great extent, on the personality of the litigants, as well as the opposing counsel. Most cases are interesting.
Best Career Moment: Obtaining a result that pleases the client.
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