About Matthew Heller

Matthew Heller Articles written 8

Articles written by Matthew Heller

The Young and the Restless

At 36 years old, Jonathan Anschell stepped into the hot seat at CBS

While youth is generally a prized commodity in the entertainment industry, some eyebrows were raised when Viacom, which became CBS Corp., hired Jonathan H. Anschell as general counsel for its television network in September 2004. He had compiled a dozen years of experience in the litigation trenches at two high-profile Los Angeles law firms, but had no background as a transactional lawyer negotiating the deals that are so much a part of an in-house counsel's workload at a TV network. He had …

The Braided Lives of Cunningham and Lazenby

How two East Coast guys became West Coast best friends        

In 1998, when Richard A. Lazenby came to Los Angeles to start his legal career, he was the proverbial stranger in town. A New Jersey native, he had gone to Syracuse University College of Law in upstate New York and had never really ventured west except for a moot court competition. "I decided to move out here with nothing," he says. Lazenby's job search took him to the L.A. office of Condon & Forsyth, a small aviation law boutique that had placed a recruitment ad for an associate in the …

The Noodge

The passion of David Lash

For someone who has been on the front lines of the poverty battle in Los Angeles for nearly 15 years, David A. Lash does not make a lot of noise. As executive director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, he ran a public-interest law firm that represents low-income clients battling slumlords, scam artists and bureaucrats, but did so with a much lower profile than most of the city’s more flamboyant agitators. Without making splashy headlines, he almost doubled Bet Tzedek’s budget and took on such …

Clark Kent’s Pal Finds Genuine Drama in the Courtroom

Deborah M. Parker made waves in court instead of Hollywood

Cross-examining an expert witness in the trial of a trademark case may not seem as glamorous as appearing in episodes of such hit TV programs as The Drew Carey Show and Lois & Clark. But to Deborah M. Parker, they are just different manifestations of the art of performance. “The law holds a lot of what I found appealing in the entertainment industry,” explains Parker, an attorney at Knott & Glazier in Los Angeles whose legal career followed several years of working as an actor. …

How to Win at Poker and Never Play a Hand

Shaun C. Clark takes a gamble on the World Poker Tour

Entertainment lawyer Shaun C. Clark is not a poker player, but in 2002 he took a gamble on an entrepreneur who wanted to bring poker “from the backroom to the living room.” The idea for a “World Poker Tour” grabbed Clark, even though the media group at his firm, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, rarely takes on startup businesses as clients. “We saw the opportunity, we saw the passion, we saw a well-thought-out plan,” he says of his early meetings with the tour’s creator, …

The Backstop

Nothing gets by the former college catcher Brad Brian

Maybe Brad D. Brian could have made it to The Show. After graduating in 1974, the star catcher at UC Berkeley was offered a chance to play professional baseball for the Baltimore Orioles. The offer, which would have taken him to the Orioles’ minor league affiliate in Lodi, Calif., was tempting. But Brian told the pro scout recruiting him that he had one condition.   “I said I’d agree to sign if the Orioles would give me a bonus large enough to pay for one year of law school tuition,” …

The Realist

Everything Brian Dunn needed to know about the law he learned from Johnnie Cochran

The day Johnnie Cochran died in March 2005, Brian Dunn lost not only his boss, but also the mentor who had guided his entire legal career. As the media invaded the offices of Cochran’s firm in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, Dunn left the building with a colleague and walked a block to a small park tucked behind Wilshire Boulevard. There, they sat down at a concrete picnic table and, cushioned from the din of traffic, started to deal with their shock and grief.   “It was a …

Unbelievable Batting Averages

Three L.A. lawyers who can’t seem to lose

YOU’LL NOT SEE NOTHING LIKE THE MIGHTY QUINN John Quinn runs a business litigation powerhouse with a 92 percent success rate   In his modest-sized Los Angeles law office, John B. Quinn is wearing jeans and a T-shirt that advertises a bicycle store. As he answers a reporter’s questions, he puts his feet up on his desk and fiddles with Scotch tape. A fit and trim 53-year-old, he could easily pass for a dot-com entrepreneur rather than the co-founder of a business litigation powerhouse with …

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