Paul Harvey, a conservative radio broadcaster who passed away in 2009, had a long-running radio show, which included segments called “The Rest of the Story.” Harvey pointed out the unknown and unexpected aspects of familiar subjects. Which made me recall three recent signature BHBA events, and how we learned the rest of the story.
For example, Morgan Chu, partner at Irell & Manella LLP and Chair of the Litigation Group and the recipient on February 17 of the Excellence in Advocacy Award at our Litigation Awards Dinner, has an extraordinary resumé. I knew that he was named The Outstanding Intellectual Property Lawyer in the US in 2006, was recognized in 2010 as one of the Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers, that he “delivers staggering results for clients,” and that he was lead trial counsel in some of the world’s largest and in some cases precedent-setting verdicts, judgments and settlements, resulting in actual payments totaling over $5 billion.
The rest of the story? It turns out that Morgan dropped out of high school but later earned advanced degrees from Harvard, Yale & UCLA. His Mother traveled by freighter from China to San Francisco in the middle of WWII, risking Japanese submarine attacks, to earn a doctorate in Economics at MIT. She joined Morgan’s Father, who also earned a doctorate in engineering at MIT and later taught at two universities. Further, Morgan has two brothers and is regarded as the under-achiever in his family. His oldest brother, Gilbert Chu, holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. and is a professor of biochemistry and medicine at Stanford. And the middle brother, Steven Chu, was a professor of physics at Stanford, later a professor at UC Berkeley, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics and served for four years as President Obama’s Secretary of Energy. Morgan’s story about his Mother’s sacrifice to come to the U.S. brought tears to all eyes. You had to be there to understand.
Another example, Darrell D. Miller, Los Angeles Managing Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP and recipient on May 17 of BHBA’s Entertainment Lawyer of the Year (ELOY) award, was well known as a prominent entertainment lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience in entertainment transactional work who was named to The Hollywood Reporter’s list of Power Attorneys multiple times. We knew that Darrell has personally transformed the careers of many entertainers and was credited as a central factor in their enduring success, including Academy Award-nominated actress Angela Basset, rapper/actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, actor Blair Underwood, and producer and best-selling author TD Jakes, among others.
The rest of the story? Before attending law school, Darrell had earned a B.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music studying opera and had toured through Europe performing before attending law school. For the ELOY event, he erupted onto the stage at The Beverly Hilton singing a Puccini aria (to the delight of his assembled pop music and rap clients), and wowed everyone in the room. It was a remarkable night and explained how he was so much more than a successful entertainment lawyer.
A third example? Judge Gilbert Manuel Lopez, a speaker at the BHBA’s 62nd Supreme Court Luncheon on June 1 who was named to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2001 by Governor Gray Davis. We knew he was a graduate of USC and Loyola Law School who sits in El Monte and was re-elected without opposition in 2010. The rest of the story? Judge Lopez is a former BHBA Bar Foundation scholarship recipient. That scholarship had a powerful impact on his career, permitting him to finish law school, embark on a varied private practice where he became certified as an immigration law specialist, and ultimately propelling him to become a Municipal Court Commissioner and then a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. And there is the account by retired Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who in numerous speeches, including a 1998 State of the Judiciary address to the Legislature, told how the jurist built a jury box, bench and bailiff’s desk in his home workshop at his own expense when the court could not afford to furnish his courtroom. One thing more, Judge Lopez is a Native American who gives back to his community by presiding over Teen Court at the Anahuacalmecac Prep School in East Lost Angeles, which serves a largely Native American student population.
So my message: make a point of coming to the BHBA’s next signature event (our Installation Dinner in September) and you will meet another surprising, impressive, multi-faceted leader of our community. And that’s the rest of the story.
Howard Fredman is a business litigation partner at Fredman Lieberman Pearl LLP,
www.flpllp.com, with extensive trial and appellate experience, especially in federal court.
Contact him online today.