Celebration Suits Westside Law Firm

Times Staff Writer

What do politicians, entertainment moguls and rock ‘n’ rollers have in common? Answer: lawyers. So they found out at a celebration at Jimmy’s by the Westside law firm of Manatt Phelps Rothenberg Tunney and now Phillips. That’s entertainment-law maven Lee Phillips, who has become a name partner. Former Democratic national chair Chuck Manatt chatted it up with L.A. Councilman David Cunningham. Businessman Martin Mandles said to Cunningham, “You look prosperous. Are you still in politics?”

Phillips kept getting Hollywood embrazos from clients like “We-Are-the-World” Ken Kragen, singers Jackie Jackson and Jackson Browne, actor Tim Matheson, former soaper Tony Geary and producers Jon Peters and Peter Guber. Political and legal stars kept looking for Phillips’ star client, Barbra Streisand, but she press-shied away. Publicist Paul Block knows how to stand out in a sea of schmoozing publicists--he wore one of his trademark hand-knitted sweaters, this one a gigantic clown’s face with a large, red wool ball as the clown’s nose. Really. Block greeted old buddy Roger (not a lawyer but an insurance exec) and Joanne Kozberg (both Republicans, thank you).

Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky noshed around the appetizers and told attorney Mickey Kantor and wife, NBC’s Heidi Shulman, about how he ran in the New York Marathon. Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp headed out for the Big Brothers dinner. At the close of the reception, Phillips asked Minnie Phillips, “How’d I do, Mom?” She just gave him a big smile.

NOT A PRIORITY--First Lady Nancy Reagan will be in town four days before Thanksgiving, and will take that opportunity to look at some prospective “retirement homes,” sources say. The houses already have been scouted out by her good friends, interior designer Ted Graber and socialite Marion Jorgensen. Qualities in the dream cottage--a modern house, lots of glass, wonderful closet space, a great view and a guest house for a secretary so the President can pen his memoirs. A reminder: The White House press office has stressed this house hunting is not a priority.


NUMBERS, NUMBERS--The Teichner Poll (last year batting high on political polls) this week is releasing on KGO-TV in San Francisco some interesting stats. Three years to the day that Mayor Tom Bradley lost by one point to now-Gov. George Deukmejian, the poll shows the upcoming race just too close to call--the Duke 40%, Bradley 39%. In the Senate race, with Sen. Alan Cranston up against a large field of Republicans, basically half the people don’t know who they are going to vote for, with 46% undecided. Cranston is also running behind Bradley by more than 10 points in the L.A. area.

LIKE A STAR--That ’81 DeLorean that Johnny Carson has made the subject of many a late-night monologue gets the chance to be owned by someone else this month. The stainless-steel car (which an auction house spokesman said Carson had for promotional use) will get auctioned off by Studio City’s Rick Cole at the Newport Beach Collector Car Auction the weekend of Nov. 30.

SWEET VENGEANCE--Since opening almost two years ago, The Grill’s Bob Spivak had been hearing regularly from a woman (with a similar phone number) who wanted Spivak to change his. She was getting calls at home for the restaurant. He offered her free dinners, free lunches, anything. But, he said, she wouldn’t budge. Then, a few months ago, she stopped bothering him. Almost simultaneously, regular customers started showing up, insisting they had made reservations that didn’t show in the book. Spivak finally called the woman--and talked as if he had reached his own restaurant, asking for a dinner reservation. She was as nice a pie--and took his reservation, just as if he had reached the restaurant.

FREE ADVERTISING--Disney President Michael Eisner knows how to push his product. More than 17,000 Laker fans Tuesday night could have caught Eisner cheering--wearing a white sweat shirt with a large Mickey Mouse face both front and back.