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Lawyers Uncage the Rocker Within
2013-06-14 05:13:03 PM
SAN FRANCISCO A lacy pink thong and other briefs unfit for court sailed through the air as lawyers morphed into rockers beneath bright lights Thursday night.
Attorneys from Hanson Bridgett, DLA Piper, Winston & Strawn, Cooley and other local law offices squared off at The Independent, a local nightclub, for Law Rocks!, a traveling competition that pits members of the legal community against each other in a battle of the bands. Def Piper an '80s-style band formed from the ranks of DLA Piper took first place based on audience votes, scores from judges and fundraising. Cooley's Talk Tonight finished second among the five bands. The event yielded almost $23,000 for charity in its inaugural stop in the Bay.
In a nod to the many lawyers in attendance, Law Rocks! co-founder Brandt Mori began the evening with an explanation of the rules. He paused to apologize for the humorless introduction.
"If I'm not funny tonight ... it's not me, it's the profession I'm in," said Mori, who is senior counsel at SBE Entertainment Group in Los Angeles.
It was not the last time attorneys in attendance would apologize for their legal sensibilities. But many managed to shed their aversions to risk at least in song. The opening act, 12th Root of 2, sang of a lawless society.
"Tonight there's gonna be a jail break somewhere in the town," lead singer Jeff Shaw wailed as Hanson Bridgett partner Paul Gordon riffed on the guitar. Gordon's friend, local lawyer William McDevitt, nodded in approval from the audience.
"He's a very creative lawyer," McDevitt said. "The courtroom is one stage, and this is another."
12th Root of 2 opened to a reserved crowd, with most on the dance floor watching with arms crossed in contemplation. But by the time they closed their set, spectators were cartwheeling across the floor.
Overbite "a garage band," in the words of Winston & Strawn partner David Bloch carried on the show with a set of vintage rock. The band's guitarist, local personal injury lawyer David Krausz, dared to bear chest hair in a cropped kimono. Though they had to play cover songs per the rules of the competitions, the lawyers wanted to make an impression on the crowd, Bloch said.
"As an IP lawyer, I'm sensitive to the desire to try to add our own spin to things," he said.
The 10 members of Def Piper filed on stage next, dressed in neon '80s garb. Lead vocalist Hilary Gevondyan, a DLA associate by day, commanded the stage in a white tutu and a shimmering checked jacket, flanked by four backup singers dancing in perfect synchrony. "Pour some sugar on me," she purred. An onlooker flung her panties onstage in response.
"We have some goofy, goofy lawyers in our midst," Gevondyan mused the morning after.
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