Bob Hertzberg, who was elected to California’s state Senate in this year’s midterms, is joining the law firm Glaser Weil in its government and regulatory law practice group.
He will be of counsel at the firm, with managing partners Patricia Glaser and Peter Weil, after having been a partner at Mayer Brown for the past 12 years. His will represent a San Fernando Valley area district in the Senate.
In an interview, Hertzberg said that he will be prohibited from advising clients on matters that come before the legislature or state agencies. Instead, he will concentrate on local issues, other states and international projects. He said that his role as a partner at Mayer Brown would pose potential conflicts.
“We have developed an ethical wall in a way to do this intelligently,” he said. He also noted that it is not unusual for members of the Assembly or the Senate to continue to practice law in the off months when lawmakers are not in session, citing as examples John Burton and Willie Brown.
“I think it makes me a better public person,” he said. “In the law business, you really get on the cutting edge of the issues, and the best lawyers get the best cases.”
He added, “There are tremendous opportunities to do things internationally that have no effect on the state.”
Hertzberg was elected to the state Assembly and served as speaker from 2000 to 2002. Since then, in addition to his work as partner at Mayer Brown, he’s focused on renewable energy and energy policy, and has been part of several government reform groups. He also served as chairman of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.
The firms’s government affairs practice is headed by Thomas Levyn, the former mayor of Beverly Hills, and Tim McOsker, former chief deputy city attorney and former chief of staff to Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn.
The firm has about 100 attorneys and is well known in entertainment, in particular for its litigation practice.