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An Evening with Marty Singer: Event Recap

An Evening with Marty Singer: Event Recap

                                          An Evening with Marty Singer: Event Recap

                                                                           By: Katherine Wilcox

                                                                         (1L Delegate TV & Film)

 

On October 23, 2017, the Brooklyn Law School Entertainment and Sports Law Society co-hosted an evening with Marty Singer, Brooklyn Law School (BLS) alumnus of ‘77 and founding partner of Lavely & Singer, based in Los Angeles. Singer’s firm is a renowned entertainment litigation firm, recognized for representing A-list celebrities in disputes with media and internet outlets amongst other industry-related litigation. Singer’s clients range from Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence to Martin Scorsese and Harrison Ford, earning Singer recognition in Hollywood as “Mad Dog Marty” and distinctions such as the Beverly Hills Bar Association “Lawyer of the Year.” 

Moderator BLS Dean Nick Allard began the evening by introducing Singer’s path through law school and early career. With no original aspiration towards entertainment law, Singer found himself attending BLS, as opposed to other law schools in the area, so that he could support his family and recently widowed mother, an Auschwitz survivor. Singer assured attendees that what BLS lacked in ranking or national recognition at the time, it compensated for in its unique teaching of pragmatic reasoning skills, which he has utilized throughout his career. These skills, coupled with Singer’s Brooklyn grit, led him to Los Angeles post-graduation, where he found his first job at a boutique firm through a newspaper ad. When the firm dissolved 3 years later, Singer trusted his entrepreneurial spirit and decided to start his own firm with co-founder John Lavely, initially growing their client base through other attorney referrals. Now, the firm has retains numerous celebrity clients, many of which have trusted Singer with their most sensitive issues for over 30 years.

Singer attributes his longevity in the industry to being constantly accessible to clients, working diligently to get good case results, and knowing how to break bad news to clients. With client issues spanning far beyond the scope of entertainment, from defamation cases to employment and contracting issues, Singer shared that in hiring new attorneys and clerks, he primarily looks for strong litigators that are smart, hard-working, and dedicated to their task. For example, Singer highlighted another BLS graduate, Andrew Brettler ‘05, who landed a partnership at Lavely & Singer by impressing Singer with those same skills and his versatility as a litigator, after previously gaining experience by working at a large Wall Street firm. Accordingly, Singer encouraged current law students to be open to jobs that might not neatly fit the scope of their desired practice, as flexibility, transferable skills, and external knowledge can be highly valuable to an entertainment firm.

In light of recent sexual assault cases disrupting the film industry, from industry icons like Bill Cosby to Harvey Weinstein, Dean Allard pressed Singer about the relevant issues such as the representation of controversial clients and the evolution of privacy laws. While Singer briefly admitted to recently denying the representation of Harvey Weinstein, Singer emphasized his priority of getting to know his clients and building trusting relationships, especially as privacy laws continue to expand in favor of the media. Moreover, Singer shared that his reputation of fierce loyalty and trust from clients extends from his willingness to fight relentlessly for the cases he takes on. Singer divulged that the key to his success in quickly and efficiently addressing the sensitive issues of his cases is the balancing of litigation versatility, legal knowledge of the industry and the strategic communication with his contacts at media outlets.

 
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