The clash over NBC’s late night television shows, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and The Jay Leno Show, stopped being a laughing matter once the lawyers got involved.

O’Brien retained Patty Glaser and Kevin Leichter, both partners at Los Angeles litigation shop Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro. The firm’s clients include MGM mogul Kirk Kerkorian and Barbara Davis, widow of billionaire Marvin Davis, who sold 20th Century Fox to Rupert Murdoch. The lawyer who handles O’Brien’s entertainment contracts is Leigh Brecheen of Beverly Hills entertainment boutique Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman and Goodman.

Brecheen, who is head of the television department at Bloom Hergott, said NBC hasn’t brought in an outside litigator for the talks. Andrea Hartman, deputy general counsel at NBC Universal, has been attending the meetings for the network, Brecheen said.

But NBC has retained litigator Scott Edelman, co-chairman of the media, entertainment and technology practice group at Los Angeles-based Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Gibson Dunn has represented its parent, NBC Universal, in suits including a recent one in which NBC’s Bravo cable network filed suit to try to stop The Weinstein Co. from moving Project Runway to Lifetime.

Jay Leno’s publicist could not say whether the comedian has hired separate counsel in time slot ruckus. The lawyer who handles Leno’s contracts is Skip Brittenham of Beverly Hills entertainment boutique Ziffren Brittenham.

Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at