Hollywood energy lawyer Howard Weitzman dies

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Howard Weitzman, the Hollywood energy lawyer maybe finest recognized for defending Michael Jackson and his property, has died.

The lawyer, whose consumer checklist included nearly each studio, plus CAA, William Morris and different main businesses, in addition to a protracted checklist of stars equivalent to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Britney Spears and Sean Combs, died Sunday evening at his residence in Pacific Palisades after a battle with most cancers. He was 81.

“Howard’s wit, appeal, and good authorized thoughts are legendary, and we are going to miss him dearly,” the Santa Monica regulation agency he cofounded in 2006, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump LLP, stated in an announcement. “RIP Howard, you’ll all the time be a large.”

A distinguished trial lawyer and dealmaker for half a century, Weitzman deftly defended a few of Hollywood’s greatest names, together with Hugh Grant and O.J. Simpson.

He defended Jackson and his property towards creditor claims and accusations of pedophilia, most just lately prompted by HBO’s 2019 documentary “Leaving Neverland.”

After the singer’s dying in 2009, Weitzman additionally led a lawsuit towards Lloyd’s of London in a declare towards an insurance coverage coverage overlaying the pop star’s deliberate “This Is It” live performance tour. The case was settled in 2014 for an undisclosed quantity.

“We’re heartbroken on the passing of our good friend and colleague Howard Weitzman,” stated an announcement from Jackson’s property. “Howard has all the time been a relentless fighter for righteous causes and ferociously fought for Michael throughout his lifetime and after.”

Weitzman was additionally lead counsel for Chuck Lorre, co-creator of “Two and a Half Males,” towards a $100-million lawsuit filed by Charlie Sheen over his termination from TV’s high sitcom. The case was finally settled.

He additionally represented Justin Bieber in a case towards Mariah Yeater, who accused Bieber of fathering her little one in 2011. The go well with was finally dropped.

Weitzman was the lead lawyer in additional than 300 civil and prison jury trials and represented greater than 1,000 people and firms on such issues as mental property, leisure household regulation and estates.

The Angeleno turned a nationwide determine within the early Eighties as managing associate of Katten Muchin Zavis & Weitzman when he efficiently defended auto government John DeLorean towards federal drug expenses.

He left his regulation observe in 1995 to work for a good friend, Ron Meyer, who had been employed as president and chief working officer at MCA Inc., which owned Common Studios.

From 1995-98, Weitzman served as vice chairman of company operations for Common Studios. He was ousted in a administration reshuffle below the possession of Seagram Co. Chief Government Edgar Bronfman Jr. Bronfman acquired a controlling stake in MCA in 1995, which owned Common Footage, MCA Music and the Common Studios theme parks. MCA was renamed Common Studios in 1996.

Meyer change into certainly one of Weitzman’s most up-to-date high-profile purchasers when the previous NBC Common government was pressured to step down in August after he admitted paying greater than $2 million to actress Charlotte Kirk to cowl up a earlier sexual relationship.

Weitzman briefly represented O. J. Simpson after he was accused of killing his former spouse, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her good friend Ronald Goldman. Weitzman cited a heavy workload for leaving the case.

He represented actor Kim Basinger in a 1993 case towards Fundamental Line Footage, for allegedly reneging on an settlement to star within the movie “Boxing Helena.” The studio was awarded $8.1 million from Basinger in a Superior Court docket ruling, though the U.S. 2nd District Court docket of Appeals overturned the decision in 1994.

Though he was finest recognized for his celeb prison circumstances, the lawyer additionally had in depth expertise in enterprise litigation and making offers, together with work for Interscope Communications and former basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Weitzman was born in Los Angeles in 1939. His first job was working at his dad and mom’ grocery enterprise. He pursued a profession in baseball, enjoying second base for a staff that received the nationwide faculty championship in 1961. After attending Los Angeles Metropolis School, he deserted the concept of a profession within the majors and utilized to USC Gould Faculty of Legislation, from which he graduated in 1965.

Weitzman taught trial advocacy at USC’s regulation faculty for 12 years. He additionally lectured at Harvard College, the Georgetown College Legislation Middle and UCLA.

He was named one of many high 15 attorneys within the nation by the Nationwide Legislation Journal and twice obtained the Jerry Giesler Memorial Award for excellent trial lawyer in Los Angeles County.

He’s survived by his spouse, Margaret Weitzman, and sons Jed and Armen Weitzman. In lieu of flowers, the household requests donations be made in Weitzman’s title to Los Angeles Metropolis School.

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