No envelope mix-up here! Meet the attorneys behind the ‘Moonlight’ Oscar winner, Melania’s litigation, Bill O’Reilly’s downfall, the year’s biggest media megamergers and pretty much anything that matters in Hollywood
Extortion. Messy divorces. Nine-figure deals with Chinese media conglomerates. It’s been a busy year for Hollywood’s power attorneys, who once again gather in THR‘s pages for the magazine’s annual Power Lawyers issue. The men and women on this list handle a range of cases, from simple talent contracts to complex corporate mergers that take months to iron out, but they all have things in common. They all love working in the entertainment industry. They all play a vital role in keeping Hollywood’s wheels turning. They’re all at the very top of their field. And — judging from THR‘s survey — they all drink too much coffee (an average of 5.5 cups a day, if calculations include the guy who claimed to down 97 cups).
Below, the Power Lawyers of 2017 discuss their biggest cases, reveal their private political beliefs (only 14 percent think Donald Trump will get impeached) and answer the age-old question, “Which superhero would you most want to represent?”
Profiles written by Ashley Cullins, Mia Galuppo, Eriq Gardner, Natalie Jarvey, Borys Kit, Andy Lewis, Pamela McClintock, Brian Porreca, Bryn Elise Sandberg, Patrick Shanley, Tatiana Siegel, Kate Stanhope and Rebecca Sun.
Freedman & Taitelman
Alma mater: McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
Why he matters: Freedman specializes in inside-baseball industry disputes, from agency wars to idea theft. He’s repping UTA in its agent-poaching fight with CAA and beat an antitrust lawsuit over UTA’s packaging practices. He’s also representing Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and hidden-camera magician Michael Carbonaro of The Carbonaro Effect (who are each being sued by individuals claiming they’re owed a stake in those series) as well as Silicon Valley’s T.J. Miller, who’s countersuing a cab driver he says used bogus assault claims to extort him.
Supervillain I’d most want to represent: “Anyone from CAA.”