Reluctant author?

Attorney Daniel Petrocelli, who represented Fred Goldman in the O.J. civil trial, swore it would be business as usual after his highly publicized victory in the wrongful-death case. There would be no hosting of talk shows, book deals, or any of the other glamorous pursuits embraced by participants in the O.J. criminal trial.

But as any good lawyer knows, nothing is ever set in stone.

True to form, Petrocelli was on the road in Miami Beach last week, working on two cases when the Business Journal contacted him in his hotel room about a reported book deal. He still swears he’ll never become a talk show host, but the pledge about no book deal is starting to look a little shaky, he conceded.

“I wasn’t considering a book at first, but there’s been so much encouragement to do a book that I’ve given it some serious thought,” he said.

But he insisted the book if there is one will hardly become a full-time vocation and take him away from the legal work that he loves and made him famous in the first place.

But then another sign popped up last week that the earnstwhile esquire may be “going Hollywood.” A half-page ad featuring Petrocelli and three other partners who worked on the O.J. case appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of Daily Variety.

But still, it’s all business as usual, he swears.

Botched tribute

Given that real estate super-broker John Clydesdale Cushman III’s name along with his bloodline is intimately tied to two of the nation’s premier commercial property service firms, it’s no secret that he’s sensitive about the distinction between the two.

That would be Cushman Realty Corp., the downtown L.A.-based company he founded and heads, and Cushman & Wakefield Inc., which his grandfather and great uncle founded from which John III departed on less-than-amicable terms two decades ago.

Cushman received two “broker of the year”-type awards on back-to-back weeks last month one in current hometown L.A. and the other in his native New York.

While the presenters here got the company name right, the publisher of a leading trade magazine inadvertently added the dreaded W word (Wakefield) when honoring “JCC III” at the Gotham ceremony.


But in typical Cushman fashion, he faced the 500-strong shock-hushed crowd and graciously accepted the award not mentioning the embarrasing error despite his presumed irritation.

Port villian

In an apparent effort to boost its competitive spirit, the Port of Los Angeles screened a video spoof of “Mission: Impossible” with a bunch of harbor-area mucky mucks in starring roles at a recent employee assembly.

The story’s bad guy? The Port of Long Beach, of course.

“There are a number of villians who will try to oppose your plan,” former port chief Eze Burts says in the video. “But even more feared is another scoundrel who strikes terror and trepidation into the hearts of many” a warning accompanied by a picture of Long Beach port boss Steve Dillenbeck, replete with a villian’s moustache.

The employees’ make-believe mission in the video is to work out a plan so that any wave entering the Port of L.A. is automatically diverted to Pier J in Long Beach. It’s an inside joke; so far, the Port of Long Beach has spent more than $25 million trying to block a pesky ocean surge that disrupts operations at the facility.

Silenced movies

One more old L.A. theater has bit the dust. The Four Star Theater on Wilshire Boulevard closed its doors last week, marking the latest blow to the long-struggling Mid-Wilshire district.

Emblematic of the theater’s problems, its final marquee came up short announcing the closure with “hat’s all folks.”

On a brighter note, the NuArt Theater on Santa Monica Boulevard in West L.A. has managed to stay alive in part by showing “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for the last 15 years.

Every Saturday, the theater shows the cult flick and presents a live cast that simultaneously performs the movie. And yes, there are people who actually still go to see the movie about 150 people each week, says theater manager Jim Nicola.

When these moviegoers dance the “Time Warp,” they mean it.

Terms of love

In an effort to attract first-timers and boost repeat sales, Los Angeles-based Princess Cruises is hawking a Love Boat Loan. For just pennies a day, the company says, almost anyone can afford a romantic trip on an ocean liner.

“(Our) real competition is with all the other businesses seeking a consumer’s discretionary dollars big-screen TV companies, personal computer manufacturers, stereo equipment makers, refrigerator and washing machine companies, even automakers,” said the cruise line’s President Peter Ratcliffe.

So like those retailers, the cruise line has decided to offer easy financing. For the price of a fast-food lunch or about $6 a day a couple could finance an 18-day African safari cruise tour. Of course, that’s a fast-food lunch every day of the week for the next three years.

“We know that the key issue for consumers today is affordability,” Ratcliffe said. “The Love Boat Loan addresses this head-on.”

No posts to display