The Beverly Hills Bar Assn. may not be the biggest such organization in the country, but no other body in the legal profession can match it for cachet and proximity to the glamour of Hollywood.Over the past quarter century BHBA’s Entertainment Lawyer of the Year award has grown into a highlight of the Hollywood awards scene, bestowing its honor not on the town’s power players and stars but rather on the attorneys who represent them. “We’ve grown from having a dinner for about 70 to staging an event for 470 or so, complete with celebrities and an emcee,” says BHBA executive director Marc Staenberg. “It’s quite a production.” The list of past recipients reads like a who’s who of top Hollywood attorneys. It includes names like Ken Ziffren, Bruce Ramer, Jay Cooper and John Schulman. Recipients are chosen by a consensus of the executive committee of the org’s entertainment law section. “We try hard to find someone whose body of work is exemplary in the legal community, and we also look for particular successes in each given year,” says Staenberg. The 5,200-member BHBA, which is about to move into larger quarters on Wilshire Boulevard, will hold a party to celebrate its 80th anniversary on June 27.
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