Lawyers of Los Angeles:
Selected Book Excerpts

 


Lawyers of Los Angeles Book, Kathleen Tuttle
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From the Foreword by Hon. Ronald M. George:

What an unexpected pleasure it is to pick up a volume titled Lawyers of Los Angeles and discover that it recounts much more than the anticipated history of one of the nation’s leading bar associations, encompassing as it does the unparalleled development of Los Angeles during the past seventy-plus years as a world-class metropolis. The city's lawyers and law firms receive well-deserved credit from author Kathleen Tuttle for their vital role in Los Angeles’s present-day recognition as a center of economic and cultural preeminence and innovation. 
 

 From Chapter 2: L.A. Law, Circa 1950s: Provincial Pacific Paradise 
Years later, Margolis [L.A. lawyer Ben Margolis] explained that as an attorney representing clients before HUAC, he “had never been permitted to express his own opinions, so when the time arrived … and [he] was the witness, all the anger that had been building came forth, and I couldn’t stop until I had said everything I had always wanted to say.” Throughout the next two decades, Margolis represented possibly several hundred blacklisted individuals, in and out of Hollywood, in hearings and in court. The federal government denied Margolis’s request for a passport in 1952, and he learned much later that the FBI had tapped his phone lines over a period of several years. 
 
 
From Chapter 2: L.A. Law, Circa 1950s: Provincial Pacific Paradise
[How pioneering women lawyers experienced discrimination….]  
Mariana R. Pfaelzer, younger than [Shirley] Hufstedler, graduated at the top of her UCLA SOL class in 1957 and was on its law review. Her professors all encouraged her. “What discouraged me was the law firms … I was … turned down by one law firm that later hired the last man in the class. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that!” In 1957, she joined the only firm that would hire her: Wyman, Bautzer & Rothman.  
 
 
From Chapter 3: Cosmopolitan Aspirations
[Concerning the building of the Music Center]  
[Dorothy] Chandler was the incontrovertible star, but she could not have prevailed in bringing cultural greatness to Los Angeles without brilliant lawyers.
 
  
From Chapter 3: Cosmopolitan Aspirations 
[Concerning the jury trial of Charles Manson]  
With a sharp pencil clutched in his right hand, Manson leapt over the counsel table and flew a distance of ten feet in the direction of Judge Older ... Manson screamed, “In the name of Christian justice, someone should cut your head off!” “All the masks had been dropped. [The jury had] seen the real face of Charles Manson.
 
 
From Chapter 4: A Modern Megalopolis—For Whom? 
[An L.A. judge lost his reelection bid after ruling LAUSD must desegregate … which the public realized meant forced school busing.]   
“The strength of our judicial system lies in a fearless and independent judiciary. If each judge is 
going to be required to look over his shoulder at his popularity rating before he makes a 
decision, our entire judicial system is doomed to failure.” 
— Seth M. Hufstedler, Past President LACBA 



Chapter 5: “Made in Los Angeles”— Entertainment Lawyers and Their World 
“Hollywood is an industry totally run by insiders. If you don’t get an insider, Hollywood will eat you alive.” Lawyers interviewed are adamant that nowhere but in L.A. could they have had the careers they’ve enjoyed.” 
 
Chapter 5: “Made in Los Angeles”— Entertainment Lawyers and Their World 
[In 1988, humorist Art Buchwald sued Paramount Pictures for breach of contract to protect a screen treatment he had written. The well-known litigants engaged in endless settlement negotiations.]   
The plaintiffs had already invested $2 million in legal services, making settlement difficult. Buchwald finally lost patience and announced: “I’m trying to make a point about something. I’m not going to all this trouble to be given some money and told to shut up.” 
 
 
From Chapter 6: For the Greater Good 
[Johnnie Cochran was among those who would excel at representing police-abuse victims] 
Cochran knew his own greatest strength: before a jury, and especially in opening or closing arguments, his presentation was everything: When I stand up to deliver it [the closing argument], I’ll be speaking from the heart ....You have to give of yourself. Sure, you might glance down at some notes, but you don’t read them. What does that say about your knowledge and your commitment to the case? 
 

 From Chapter 7: Conclusion: The Evolution of L.A. and the Law
 Los Angeles is always trying to edge itself into tomorrow ... LACBA intends to do the same.
 
From Chapter 7: Conclusion: The Evolution of L.A. and the Law  
As LACBA faces the challenges of the future, may it always be, as the law is, “a broad instrument for social progress.
 

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