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NEW YORK — Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger has a new job, he needs lots of lawyers on call. But don’t expect Schwarzenegger’s longtime attorney — Martin Singer of the 18-lawyer Lavey & Singer — to move to Sacramento anytime soon. He’s staying in Los Angeles doing what he does best: entertainment litigation. Since co-founding Lavely & Singer in 1980, Singer has gained a national reputation for representing actors and other “talent” in defamation, copyright and entertainment matters. His list of celebrity clients includes Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone, and The Sopranos star James Gandolfini, to name a few. Given his tough-guy litigation persona — the 51-year-old lawyer is sometimes dubbed Marty “Mad Dog” Singer — he always was well suited to represent the Terminator himself. Schwarzenegger first chose Singer as his litigator 15 years ago on a referral from Jacob Bloom, the name partner of Beverly Hills’ Bloom, Hergott and Diemer who handles the actor’s transactional work. And while Singer isn’t Schwarzenegger’s only right-hand man — the actor still relies on Bloom for his deals, not to mention various agents and publicists — it didn’t take long for “Mad Dog” to become known as the actor’s most tenacious courtroom advocate. Singer, who’s nobody’s fool, has nothing but good to say about the work he’s done for Schwarzenegger. “He’s a client who’s willing to do what it takes to cooperate with his counsel,” says Singer, who recently represented the actor in a suit he filed against Reno-based International Game Technology for having used his name, image and voice on the company’s Terminator slot machines without permission. After a settlement earlier this year, the manufacturer agreed to remove Schwarzenegger’s likeness from its products. “He is very vigilant,” says Singer of his client. “If somebody uses his name without authorization or consent, he will seek to protect that image.” Of course, slot machines have hardly been Schwarzenegger’s central image problem of late. When accusations began flying late in the campaign about the movie star “behaving badly” toward women, as he put it himself, Schwarzenegger’s lawyer’s ears must have perked up. But Singer insists that the allegations are bogus — “The things that were asserted in the [ Los Angeles] Times were all politically motivated,” he says — and that Schwarzenegger didn’t need legal advice on the matter since none of the women sued. “I can tell you that in the 15 years I’ve represented him, there’s never been a claim that he’s ever engaged in inappropriate behavior toward women.” But since California Attorney General Bill Lockyer reignited the scandal by signaling — on the very day that his chief deputy, Peter Siggins, joined the transition team as legal affairs secretary — that the groping allegations will continue to haunt the governor, Schwarzenegger can only hope that his new circle of lawyers will be as protective as Singer. For now, Siggins and the governor’s other gatekeepers may want to ask Mad Dog for tips on damage control. Jennifer Fried is a reporter for The American Lawyer magazine, a Recorder affiliate based in New York City.

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