Manatt Phelps and Phillips LLP
Law School: Georgetown University Law Center
Clients: Cast & Crew Entertainment Services LLC, Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. and Mark Burnett Productions
When labor and employment attorney Alan Brunswick attended Georgetown Law School he took one labor law class and "didn't particularly like it."
But after graduating he accepted a job offer from the National Labor Relations Board because "it made the job search easier."
Some 35 years and a change of coasts later, Brunswick is a leading labor and employment attorney with clients hailing from many different industries including healthcare, construction and garment. But the Manatt Phelps partner is probably best known for his extensive experience with entertainment industry related labor and employment matters.
Not long after leaving the Los Angeles regional office of the NLRB, Brunswick took a position as in house counsel at the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (now called the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers). The organization is a coalition of the movie and TV studios and negotiates the industry contracts with the writers, actors and directors guilds and the crafts workers.
Brunswick said his three-year tenure at the alliance gave him "an opportunity to really learn the contracts and meet people on both sides of the table."
Many of Brunswick's current clients are studios and television production companies and are members of the alliance. Most labor and employment attorneys have seen the traditional labor aspect of their practice decline along with the number of unionized workers in America. Brunswick noted that his practice is unaffected by that trend, because "the entertainment industry is so heavily unionized."
"It is not a dwindling practice area," he said. "It would be a good area for kids coming out of law school to get into." That might be true, even if they don't particularly like it at first.
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Clients: Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc., Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I kind of fell into it, because law school seemed like a better idea than going to work after graduating from college.
Most Interesting Case: Representing multiple defendants in age discrimination class action alleging that television writers are discriminated against on the basis of their age.
Most Challenging Case: Representation of major motion picture studios in arbitration claim brought by the WGA, DGA and SAG seeking tens of millions of dollars in residuals.
My Colleagues Don't Know: If I told you, then they'd know.
Littler Mendelson PC
Clients: International Coffee & Tea LLC, Tenet Healthcare Corp. and Axium International Inc.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I enjoy solving problems and achieving results in complicated cases on behalf of my clients.
Most Interesting Matter: A vessel was loaded by non-union laborers in Melbourne and set sail for Long Beach. I represented the shipping company that wanted the vessel unloaded in Long Beach by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The ILWU initially refused, but we managed to reach a compromise resolution.
Best Career Moment: Convincing a federal judge to enter a national injunction prohibiting an unlawful work stoppage by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
My Colleagues Don't Know: Being a grandfather is my greatest joy in life.
If I Weren't an Attorney: I would love to be the president or CEO of the Green Bay Packers.
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Clients: Whole Foods Market Inc., California Hospital Association and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: Since I was a teenager I have wanted to practice law.
Most Interesting Case: Successfully defending Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in a class action case before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court involving employee scheduling flexibility.
Best Career Moment: A unanimous jury trial verdict is highly exhilarating and gratifying.
My Colleagues Don't Know: I have authored over 30 publications.
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Clients: Citigroup Inc., Trader Joe's Co. and Korn/Ferry International.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I was too slow at math and science to be a doctor.
Most Interesting Matter: Representing the state of California in a class action filed regarding the California Constitution's requirements for a free and equal education.
Most Challenging Case: Litigating and resolving multiple class actions filed against a financial services client in state and federal courts across the nation.
Best Career Moment: When the verdict came in a jury trial in which I was co-counsel with a good friend representing an indigent defendant on a pro bono basis. It was the re-trial of an alleged rape case where he had been wrongly accused and convicted. He was acquitted after spending several years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
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