Let’s step back in time, shall we? All the way to December 2013. That’s when California Lawyer Magazine ran a cover story on Jason Beckerman, a TMZ in-house counsel (and on-air commentator).
If any story was made for Change of Venue Friday, this has to be it, am I right? A touch of law, a dash of celebrity, a soupçon of journalism. You are most welcome.
And yes, this has been out there for a bit, but so what? I somehow managed to never write about it, and the story includes some of my favorite things: magazines+attorneys! So quit yer whining and enjoy today’s “content.”
Watching the video (below), I must say, I couldn’t help but chuckle as the TMZ correspondents praise their lawyer colleague while dissing the publication he fronted. The assumption being, of course, that lawyer magazines are likely to be dull, drowsy affairs. Hurtful, that. But how little those televised hipsters know about compelling content, beautifully delivered.
And today’s content comes to you courtesy of the West Coast legal eagles Kallie Donahoe and Sayre Happich Ribera, both at the Bar Association of San Francisco. Knowing my Google Alerts for TMZ–lawyer mashups may have failed, they alerted me to the news, and I wanted to get it out to you as soon as possible. Thank you, Kallie and Sayre, rock stars both in legal culture and the more pop variety!
To make things even easier, here is a brief video on the topic of Beckerman’s being the mag’s cover lawyer.
And because all legal education requires a written component (rules or something), here is the story itself in which Beckerman discusses the daily grind of lawyerly infotainment.
All kidding aside, the story was a very good one, and Beckerman’s insights and observations are worth reading. They include a discussion of media, the First Amendment, anti-SLAPP laws, and fair use.
I also appreciated getting some insight into the workplace and the job of a lawyer at TMZ. Here’s how show host and co-founder (and former journalist and lawyer) Harvey Levin describes the task set before their attorneys:
“Pondering doesn’t work,” Levin says. “You gotta have good instincts and if you don’t, there are consequences. It’s kind of a ten-second rule—someone hands you documents, and you have ten seconds to get to the heart of the matter.”
Sound like your law office? Probably not.
Here’s wishing you a great—and celebrity-filled—weekend.Follow @azatty