Robert Hertzberg

Firm: Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP
Law School: University of California Hastings College of Law
Clients: Declined to name


As a governmental affairs attorney, Robert Hertzberg guides his clients, typically foreign and domestic companies doing business in the state, through the Byzantine world of California regulatory guidelines and statues.
Hertzberg is well suited for the role, since he played a key part in crafting many of those provisions over the course of his six years in the State Assembly, the last two as Speaker.


When his tenure in Sacramento ended in 2002, Hertzberg returned to the legal profession as a partner in the Los Angeles office of Chicago-based Mayer Brown.


"I returned to law as an exciting and vibrant profession where I can use my intense interest in public policy to solve complex problems in an effective, yet quiet and respectful manner," he said.


He was first inspired to pursue a career in law by his father, a lawyer whose practice ranged from precedent setting constitutional cases to generic real estate matters. "My father was a lawyer's lawyer. He loved it and lived for his profession," Hertzberg said. "His enthusiasm for representing the underdog and under-represented was contagious to me."


Hertzberg practiced with his father for several years following his graduation from law school. While Hertzberg's current clients are far from underdogs, his enthusiasm and commitment to the practice of law remains the same.


In addition to counseling clients with California regulatory matters, Hertzberg's practice also includes assisting businesses facing similar regulatory matters in other states and at the federal level.


He hasn't totally removed himself from electoral politics. His post-Assembly endeavors include an unsuccessful run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2005. He also served on the transition team of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, following his recall election victory.


When not practicing law, Hertzberg, a resident of Sherman Oaks, spends leisure time pursuing his interests in local history, writing and abstract art.


Matthew T. Washington


Dario Frommer

Firm: Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP
Clients: Declined to name
Most Challenging Matter: Advising clients on climate change regulation.
Worst Career Moment: Sitting in the living room of a tiny townhouse with 20 other defense attorneys, all waiting to take deposition of a cancer victim lying in bed upstairs. At that point, I decided I didn't want to litigate anymore.
My Colleagues Don't Know: I was a disc jockey at an FM radio station in college.
If I Weren't an Attorney: I'd still be in politics (Frommer served in the Assembly), or singing with a Las Vegas big band.


Phil Recht

Firm: Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP
Clients: Los Angeles World Airports, Prudential Financial Inc. and Razor USA LLC.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: In addition to enjoying the pure intellectual aspects of legal issues and work, being a lawyer enhances my ability to play a role in shaping public policy.
Most Interesting Moment: Negotiating tribal gaming compacts and related labor ordinances on behalf of 70 California Indian tribes in 1999-2000.
Best Career Moment: It was more than a moment, but serving in the Clinton Administration from 1994-99 as Chief Counsel, and then as Deputy Administrator, of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
My Colleagues Don't Know: I once worked as a poker shill in a casino in Katmandu, Nepal.


Darry Sragow

Firm: Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
Clients: American Association of Retired Persons, Los Angeles Unified School District and the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: While I was working on Capitol Hill, I discovered that attorneys thought they ran the place, and I got tired of them trying to intimidate me.
Most Interesting Moment: Passing four LAUSD bonds that raised $13 billion for new school construction, each one requiring a supermajority percentage of the vote.
Most Challenging Matter: Turning around the Department of Insurance's opposition to the Anthem-WellPoint merger.
Best Career Moment: Providing strategic advice that led to the passage in 2002 of the Clean Car Bill, which was the first successful state legislative effort to reduce global warming and paved the way for subsequent, more comprehensive measures.
If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be bored.


Pete Wilson

Firm: Bingham McCutchen LLP
Clients: Declined to name.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: To make a decent living while helping clients both for profit and pro bono.
Worst Career Moment: When the presiding officer at a large convention removed his notes and my speech from the podium after introducing me.
My Colleagues Don't Know: That I ran for governor in 1978. That campaign became a haven for those who hate crowds.
If I Weren't an Attorney: I would spend more time working on public affairs, hoping to benefit my grandchildren's generation. They need to learn that life in America is not free of duty and cannot be taken for granted; and duties to family and community must be honored to earn and secure their birth right.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.