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REMEMBERING HOWARD WEITZMAN

Howard was honored on the giant centerfield video screen at Dodger Stadium on 4/8.

High-powered attorney Howard Weitzman, whose clients included Michael Jackson, Hulk Hogan, Justin Bieber and Axl Rose, died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.

His law firm, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, announced his death.

Weitzman represented Jackson when the pop star faced child molestation allegations and his estate in lawsuits over HBO’s Finding Neverland and Quincy Jones’ royalty payments.

A litigator, transaction attorney and strategic adviser, his clients  included the movie studios, multiple talent agencies, and celebrities such as Magic Johnson, Sean Combs, Britney Spears, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

Members of the legal community had high praise for Weitzman.

Joel Katz said, “He was a very good friend to many, he was a very good lawyer for his clients, and he was a devoted husband to Margaret and a loving father to his children. Howard was loved and respected by so many. He will be missed.”

John Branca noted, “I loved Howard. He was a good friend and great man, I’m devastated.”

“Howard was a great friend and one of my valued confidantes,” Eric Greenspan said. “Unlike many litigators he always looked for a rational, non-litigation solution before embarking on litigation.” 

Weitzman entered the pop-culture arena when he was the first lawyer hired by O.J. Simpson in June 1994 to represent the former football player. Weitzman, who stepped down and was replaced by Robert Shapiro, became a regular guest on TV shows such as CNN’s Larry King Live and ABC’s Good Morning America.

The Los Angeles native's first high-profile case was as the court-appointed attorney for Manson family member Mary Brunner; he also represented members of the Black Panthers.

He would go to represent more than 1,000 individuals and companies on matters ranging from intellectual property and entertainment issues to family law and estate issues.

Weitzman was EVP of Corporate Operations at Universal Studios  during the early years of Seagram’s ownership, 1995-98. He left to join a digital music startup, Massive Media, that closed in 2000. He co-founded Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert in 2006.

Weitzman taught Trial Advocacy at his alma mater, the University of Southern California Law School, for 12 years. He also lectured at Harvard, Georgetown Law Center, UCLA and numerous other law schools, and has been a speaker at countless seminars and symposiums for Bar Associations and conferences.

He has twice received the Jerry Geisler Memorial Award as the outstanding trial lawyer in Los Angeles County.

A big fan of the Dodgers and Lakers, Weitzman and his wife Margaret were regulars at Madeo Ristorante, holding court like royalty.

His son, Jed Weitzman, said, “My dad loved music. More than anything in the world he loved music and taught me everything I know. Over the past few months I made him a playlist to listen to—to cheer him up— to take his mind off all the craziness he was going through. He and I exchanged ideas of songs that should be included. This is that playlist. It’s simply called ‘Dad’.”

 

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