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O'Melveny Partners Named Among the Most Influential Entertainment Lawyers in the Nation by The Hollywood Reporter

July 27, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Erika Tucker
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
213.430.7792
etucker@omm.com

Piper Hall
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
202.220.5022
phall@omm.com

LOS ANGELES, CA – July 27, 2009 –O’Melveny & Myers LLP partners Joe Calabrese, Chris Murray, Marvin Putnam, Stephen Scharf, and Robert Schwartz again have been named to The Hollywood Reporter's "Power Lawyers" list of the 100 most influential entertainment lawyers in America. All five partners also were on the 2008 "Power Lawyers" list, and Calabrese, Murray, Scharf and Schwartz have been named to the collection each year since its debut in 2007. The list reflects THR's estimation of which lawyers are the most highly regarded and perform the most high-profile work in the entertainment industry in the categories of talent representation, litigation, corporate, and labor.

 

THR notes that in this difficult year for the industry, "the most compelling dramas increasingly cast lawyers in the starring roles," making the selection of this year's list of the 100 most influential entertainment lawyers in America "no easy task."  To put together the list, THR again solicited nominations from its readership on its entertainment law blog, then conducted its own research on the most notable deals, cases, and clients of the year. "Some attorneys are such mainstays in the business that they've made the list each year, others are appearing for the first time based on recent performance," THR writes. The five O'Melveny partners named this year are in the former category; Calabrese, Murray, Scharf, and Schwartz have appeared on the list in each of the three years since its launch, Putnam for the last two.

 

“We all are extremely gratified by this prestigious honor from one of the pre-eminent entertainment and media trade publications,” said Joseph Calabrese, Chair of O'Melveny's Southern California Transactions Practice, and Chair of the Entertainment, Media, and Sports Practice.  “Being named to the ‘Power Lawyers’ list again is a recognition of O’Melveny’s unmatched depth of practice and nearly 100-year commitment to serving the legal needs of Hollywood, as well as a testament to the high esteem in which  the Firm is held by clients and colleagues within the entertainment and media industries. ”  With five lawyers on the “Power Lawyers” list, O’Melveny is second only to the well-regarded boutique entertainment law firm servicing a talent clientele, Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf and is tied with Hanson, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman.

 

In a series of profiles of the five O'Melveny partners published in the July 24 Power Lawyers special edition, THR describes Calabrese as a crafter of unique deals, such as Digital Cinema Implementation Partners' US$1 billion effort to digitize movie screens across North America. The editors also note his lead roles in the International Olympic Committee's US$100 million deal with China Central Television, and UK-based Cineworld Group's move to double its number of digital projectors. Impressed with his confidence in the face of crisis, they quote Calabrese as saying, "We've seen this before, and we're prepared for it."

 

Murray, THR says, epitomizes the application of "convergence" to Hollywood, writing: "A master at convincing well-established institutions to expand into new media, this year Murray got Lincoln Center and CaseNEX to develop online courses, and repped MGM in distribution deals with big-box stores (online and brick and mortar).

 

Putnam is noted for obtaining a US$14 million fee award on top of last year's US$17 million victory for Bristol Bay Productions against Clive Cussler, and for launching a new related suit in Colorado against Simon & Schuster charging that the publisher inflated the number of books Cussler sold.  He also has represented "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling in stopping an unauthorized Potter encyclopedia, and is handling a case for the Kaplan Stahler Agency against its former president over unpaid commissions.

 

Scharf, THR's editors observe, "knows first-hand how the economy is impacting the film business." While some of his transactions are highly confidential, the publication was able to cite his role in several multimillion dollar deals, such as the US$115 million multipicture distribution agreement for Vendome Pictures and its owner Philippe Rousselet funded by CIT Group and JPMorgan Chase; Alcon Entertainment's US$550 million, 20-movie production and distribution deal; a US$225 million JPMorgan and CIT Group-backed credit facility and US$100 million in mezzanine financing for Overture Films; and the sale of the San Diego Padres sports franchise.

 

Like Scharf, Schwartz's biggest case this year, a half-a-billion dollar IP dispute involving a video game, is one he could not tell THR much about. His procedural victory for Paramount in its defense of Tommy Lee Jones' lawsuit demanding US$10 million in additional compensation for his work on the film "No Country for Old Men," however, is widely known and drew THR's attention and praise.  The hard-one victory is particularly notable because Jones sued in his home state of Texas. "We were concerned he would be able to 'hometown' us in Texas," Schwartz told THR, but he needn't have worried, because his advocacy won the day: in January, a federal judge granted Schwartz's motion to compel private arbitration of the dispute.

 

About O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s Entertainment and Media Practice

For almost 100 years, O’Melveny & Myers LLP has represented motion picture studios, television and music companies, sports organizations, financial institutions, strategic investors, and individual talent on groundbreaking and significant industry deals and litigation matters. As financial pressures and technological changes force entertainment and media companies to re-think their content-delivery vehicles and to re-tool their business models, one thing remains the same - they continue to turn to the same law firm that guided a previous generation of entertainment and media industry leaders during Hollywood’s and Television’s Golden Age.

 

Our reputation as the “go-to” law firm for complex media and entertainment transactions and litigation matters is predicated on our in-depth industry knowledge, our extensive experience, and our rich tradition of approaching every deal with diligence, perspective, and innovation.

 

About O’Melveny & Myers LLP

With approximately 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices worldwide, O’Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy. We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.omm.com