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Bertram Fields (March 31, 1929) is an American lawyer famous for his work in the field of entertainment law; he has represented many of the leading studios, as well as individual celebrities including The Beatles, Warren Beatty, James Cameron, Mike Nichols, Joel Silver, Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, and John Travolta.

Contents

Biography

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Legal career

He received his B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles in 1949 and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) in 1952. He is a member of the California and New York Bars. In addition to the clients above, he represented George Lucas in contract negotiations with The Walt Disney Company regarding Disney theme parks. He also represented Paramount Pictures in its appeal of the Buchwald v. Paramount case over Coming to America, and in other civil litigation.

Fields represented Jeffrey Katzenberg in landmark action against Disney and obtained multi-million dollar judgement for George Harrison against his former business manager. He also represented DreamWorks SKG and Steven Spielberg in defeating an application for an injunction against exhibition of Amistad.

Fields also represented Michael Jackson during contract talks with Sony Music in the early 1990s, as well as during the 1993 child molestation allegations made against Jackson in 1993.

On January, 2008, Fields who represented Tom Cruise, stated that the unauthorized biography (by British author Andrew Morton - published in the USA on Tuesday) was full of "tired old lies" or "sick stuff."[1]

In June 2008, Dr. Drew Pinsky, in an interview for Playboy, mentioned his belief that for Tom Cruise to be "drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology," he was likely to have emotional problems. He said "To me, that’s a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood — maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect."

Fields, representing Cruise at the time, responded by calling Pinsky an "unqualified television performer" and likened him to Nazi Joseph Goebbels, saying "He seems to be spewing the absurdity that all Scientologists are mentally ill. The last time we heard garbage like this was from Joseph Goebbels." [2]

Pinsky, a licensed physician of Jewish ancestry, responded through his representative, "Dr. Drew meant no harm to Mr. Cruise and apologizes if his comments were hurtful." The statement continued, "Although Mr. Fields's intent is clearly to slander and discredit Dr. Drew, under no circumstances is Dr. Drew making a blanket diagnosis about Scientology nor Mr. Cruise whom he does not know. Dr. Drew was simply using Mr. Cruise as an example of someone who is recognizable to help the public understand. Again, Dr. Drew meant him no harm."[3]

Novels and historical writing

Having read English history for years as a hobby, and not satisfied with the books written about King Richard III, Fields spent four years researching and two years writing the non-fiction book Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes (ISBN 0-06-039269-X), which was published in 1998.

Although he started with a "gut feeling" that Richard was innocent of murdering his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, Fields investigated the facts as he would for a client he was representing, and he structured the book like a lawyer's brief, identifying the evidence and then drawing the logical implications from the facts. Also like a brief, he discussed the weaknesses in earlier authors' treatments of the same subject, being particularly critical of Alison Weir and her book The Princes in the Tower:

"Alison Weir . . . tells her readers that she, at last, has solved the mystery: Richard was guilty. What's more, he was a greedy, ruthless tyrant.
"However, if Richard was guilty, nothing in Weir's book demonstrates it. Essentially, her 'proof' that he murdered his nephews consists of two skeletons discovered in the Tower of London in 1674, some inferences wholly unsupported by the 'evidence' she offers and the opinions and assertions of 'contemporary' sources such as [John] Rous and [Thomas] More, which Weir is inclined to treat as proven fact."

The conclusion Fields reached is that the probability that the princes were, in fact, murdered is about 50% to 70%, and if they were, the probability that Richard did it is in the same range, so the logical probability that Richard is guilty is 25% to 49%, which is less than 50-50. Fields says DNA analyses of the bones dug up in the Tower of London in 1674 would change the odds on whether the princes were murdered but might not affect the odds on who did it, if anyone did, so this mystery may never be solved.

In 2005 Fields published the non-fiction book Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare, which deals with the authorship of the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare.

Fields has also written two novels, published under the penname "D. Kincaid": The Sunset Bomber (1986, published by Corgi Books in London) which was also published under the name "Final Verdict" (1988), and The Lawyer's Tale (1993).

Anthony Pellicano scandal

Fields was a long-time client of private investigator Anthony Pellicano and has been repeatedly connected to the ongoing federal wiretapping investigation of Pellicano in the press. Reporters allege his celebrity clients have benefited from Pellicano's alleged illegal wiretaps directed against members of the media and prominent critics. As of April 2006, he was under investigation but had not been charged in the matter; whether he would be charged has remained a matter of considerable media speculation. Fields is represented by prominent San Francisco criminal defense specialist John Keker. trial.[4][5]

Open letter to the German chancellor

In 1997, Fields conceived an open letter to then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, published as a newspaper advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, which drew parallels between the "organized oppression" of Scientologists in Germany and Nazi policies espoused by Germany in the 1930s. The letter was signed by 34 prominent figures in the U.S. entertainment industry, including the top executives of MGM, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal and Sony Pictures Entertainment as well as actors Dustin Hoffman and Goldie Hawn, director Oliver Stone, writers Mario Puzo and Gore Vidal and talk-show host Larry King.[6][7][8][9] The letter generated widespread controversy.

Personal life

He met his wife, art expert Barbara Guggenheim Fields (no relation to the Meyer Guggenheim family), when she hired him to defend her when she was sued by Sylvester Stallone.

See also

  • The American Reporter - "The Pooh Papers" is an archive of 28 articles in the online daily newspaper written by Joe Shea about the celebrated Stephen Slesinger Inc. v. Walt Disney Studios case, in which Fields won a preliminary $200 million judgment but was forced to disqualify himself before the matter was heard at trial. The case is still being actively litigated 16 years after it was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, and aspects of it have already gone to the U.S. Supreme Court. Fields' role in some of the key hearings (there has yet to be a trial) is explored at length. According to the plaintiffs, Fields' fee (divided among many attorneys) reached $1 million a month before his recusal.

Footnotes

References

External links


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