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As a child growing up in Charleston, W.Va., Patricia L. Glaser harbored an ambition to play center field for the New York Yankees. “I thought that until sixth grade,” she recalls. Then, one day as she was watching a baseball game on television, “it hit me that all the players were men.” She went to her father with this realization. “My dad just said, “Don’t worry. It may be different when you get up there.” Her father didn’t put up any barriers to her dreams, she says. “I thought I could do anything I wanted.” After she set her sights on a legal career, attorneys at her first firm bolstered this belief. After graduating from Rutgers University Law School in 1973, Glaser clerked for U.S. District Judge David W. Williams, then joined Los Angeles’ Wyman, Bautzer, Christensen, Kuchel & Silbert. At the time, she says, “a woman was effectively co-running the law firm.” The partner was Marianna Pfaelzer, now a federal judge. “She was a pretty tough lady and she scared the bejesus out of the generation of men who were one step younger than her.” Pfaelzer, she adds, “was feared, but respected, a wonderful lawyer.” As a result, Glaser didn’t face the in-firm obstacles that many other young female lawyers encountered, she says. “Those barriers just weren’t there.” Outside the firm, her acceptance was smoothed by name partner Greg Bautzer, onetime lawyer for Howard Hughes, who served as her mentor. His attitude was always, “if she’s good enough to be my lawyer, she’s good enough for you,” she says. The years at Wyman Bautzer established Glaser as a tough, respected and successful business litigator, a reputation she has held through several high-profile cases. She is now a partner and co-head of the litigation department at Los Angeles’ Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, which she formed with other former Wyman Bautzer attorneys in 1988. She represents publicly and privately held companies in real estate, contracts, antitrust, entertainment, banking and securities litigation and is often suing or defending entertainment companies. Glaser was coordinating counsel for MGM in the MGM Grand Fire Litigation. She served as co-trial counsel in the subsequent insurance litigation, which settled after jury selection for $76 million for her client. She won national attention for her role as lead trial counsel in a breach-of-contract case against actress Kim Basinger. Main Line Pictures sued the actress for dropping out of a movie; Glaser won an $8 million verdict. The case later settled. In 1999, Glaser won the largest legal malpractice verdict of the year, $13.29 million against Washington, D.C.’s Williams & Connolly. The verdict was upheld in October, but sliced to just over $8 million. Recently, she has been representing the city of Los Angeles in negotiations of the consent decree with the federal government over the reformation of its police department. Her first big case, however, is one of her most memorable: an antitrust matter with legendary litigator Frank Rothman for his client Kirk Kerkorian, who had been accused of establishing a monopoly in the motion picture industry. When Rothman brought to light the fact that the government’s primary witness, a theater owner, had once screened pornographic movies, it killed the government’s case even though the fact was irrelevant to the issue at trial. Glaser recalls, “I learned that sometimes you’ve got to take chances. Preparation is 80 percent, but you have to go with the flow.”

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