Top Lawyer for Disney Is Leaving

From a Times Staff Writer

Walt Disney Co.'s executive vice president and general counsel, Louis M. Meisinger, is stepping down from full-time practice to serve as an advisor to a Los Angeles law firm.

Meisinger, 60, who will continue to serve as a consultant to Disney, wanted to cut back his responsibilities after 35 years of practice to "achieve a measure of flexibility while still remaining professionally active," Disney said in a statement.

Meisinger will begin work as a senior advisor to Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, where he will help start an institutional entertainment and media practice, Disney said. Meisinger also will work with ADR Services to provide private judging and mediation services for commercial enterprises.

Meisinger joined Disney in 1998 after 23 years as a partner of Hill, Wynne, Troop & Meisinger, and headed a team of attorneys responsible for Disney's legal affairs around the globe, according to the Disney statement.

Meisinger also handled Disney's high-profile legal feud in 1999 with former studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who said he was owed $578 million based on contracts that granted him a share of film and TV profits. That breech of contract lawsuit was later settled for about $270 million.

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