CALIFORNIA: Divorce attorney extraordinaire Laura Wasser spreads it in Vogue

I spent all of yesterday in the hospital waiting for my sister to give birth to her third child. It was my first time at any such event and I wanted to see the whole thing close up, to edify myself  in case I ever got crazy and thought that I, too, wanted to do that. When her contractions, or whatever you call it, got up to 8 centimeters, I was summoned from the waiting room as I had instructed that I wanted to be there to see the little tiger come out. But eight hours later, after she had gone down to 6 then up to 7 centimeters a few times and was literally sobbing from the excruciating pain, given that 3 bouts of epidural, and a rosary failed to work (and of course she was never up to 8, 9 or god forbid 10 centimeters which is what was supposed to happen) the doctors made a judgment call and decided to cut the baby out. So I missed all the really good, gory stuff but had enough mental exercise to conclude there is no way in hell I am ever doing that to myself. No. I’ll be doing the following instead: a) permanent abstinence and b) adoption.
But so, I bring this all up because during all this downtime in the waiting room, I bought myself a copy of July Vogue with Oscar winning actress Lawyer X Cotillard on the cover (yes, I know. Big splurge!) and there was this apropos (for this blog) article about Los Angeles divorce attorney Laura Wasser.  At 42, Laura Wasser is at the top of her game. She may or may not be a superlawyer, I don’t know, but her name is known around the world as the divorce and family law attorney to the stars and the billionaires in Tinsel Town and beyond. (Such “boldface names” like Gordon Getty, Angelina Jolie, Robin Gibson (wife of Mel Gibson) and Spike Jonze are clients.)
Partnership with her dad
Wasser is partnered with her father and a few others in a successful firm, Wasser, Cooperman and Carter in Los Angeles. The Wassers both raise hell among the financial elite (movie stars, tech millionaires, sports stars and others) in LA. From the sound of it, you can’t exactly call Laura and her father the cut-throat type of divorce lawyers. Laura, certainly, comes off as being more cool than cut-throat. She talks a lot about “settling” cases and there is a conciliatory feel to her style of combat. Her first instinct seems to be “let’s work this out.” I relate to this style, but I wonder if it’s really all that effective? Whatever the case may be, Laura brings young blood to her dad’s old school law firm. He has repped celebs such as Jane Fonda and Clint Eastwood in their divorces. That is certainly impressive. But Laura definitely brought that firm into the new century with her youth, vigor and nexus to “current law.” Her Wikipedia profile:

Laura Allison Wasser (born May 23, 1968) is an American attorney specializing in family law. She was born in Los Angeles. She spent one year abroad in high school attending The American School in Switzerland. She attended University of California, Berkeley and earned a law degree from Loyola Law School in 1994.
She has handled a number of high profile, high net worth dissolutions, including those for Angelina Jolie, Stevie Wonder, Kiefer Sutherland, Spike Jonze, Nick Lachey, Kelis, Britney Spears, Jimmy Iovine, Peter Getty, Anna Faris, Alexander Payne, Patricia Arquette, Kate Walsh, Robyn Moore in her divorce from husband Mel Gibson, Karen Caufield in her divorce from billionaire Frank Caufield, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, Offspring’s Dexter Holland, Korn’s Jonathan Davis and members of Tool (band) as well as numerous undisclosed sealed celebrity prenuptial agreements and paternity matters. [1] She also served as an on-set legal consultant for the movie, Liar Liar.

What if Laura and her dad ever divorced?
Even though Laura is partnered with her dad, that relationship could sour. Something he said in the Vogue piece really got me to thinking, “wow, what if this partnership got busted up? Would it be a cut-throat situation? Or an amicable parting?” Laura’s dad Dennis Wasser was a successful lawyer even before she came of age. He’s considered “legal royalty” according to the article. And he’s a smart guy.  He made me think just by some of the stuff he said. To wit:

‘In divorce,’ says Dennis Wasser, the celebrated divorce attorney who was so certain his daughter woudl follow in his footsteps that he named her Laura Allison Wasser (initials L.A.W.) ‘you need to characterize the assets.’ He pointed to a green velvet armchair in his daughter’s office, down the hall from his own in their Century City headquarters. ‘If you were dividing up the assets of this firm, you’d have to decide who owns that chair. Maybe I do. Maybe Laura does….

  Hme. Inneresting thought, dad! He goes on to talk about putting a value on “goodwill” which is this very abstract concept but basically when it comes down to it, if Laura and her dad ever divorced, you can bet that he’s going to argue he gets the lion share of assets since it is his “goodwill,” his reputation that he built up over the course of many, many years that Laura piggybacked on, to make such a big name for herself in the legal field today. He would argue that every single velvet couch in their Century City office is really his…but hopefully, Laura has an airtight prenup. Hopefully she didn’t make the mistake of thinking that it is “dad” so I am safe from divorce.
Famous divorces of famous people
Laura is famous for having dumped Britney Spears as a client. That is the one thing that gives me pause about her. I am sure Britney was a bit of a primadonna, but no good lawyer worth their salt wants to be known as the lawyer who dumps their clients. Clients want a lawyer to sticks by their clients absent really compelling justification. Sure, Britney was having some behavioral issues at the time. But was she really so beyond redemption that Laura had to dump her? Look how nicely poor little Brit Brit cleaned up. Laura probably regrets that move, dumping the pop princess like that, if, for no other reason, the negative PR. I mean, if I were a movie star in Hollywood, I wouldn’t hire her just because she dumped Britney like that.
But many famous faces have hired Ms. Wasser to handle their divorce. Here is what Vogue had to say about what others have said about Wasser’s legal skills:

Wasser would never risk a clients’ case by dressing too provocatively in the courtroom, but there’s no question she stands out in the drab, depressing halls of Los Angeles Superior Court. Last year, Warner Bros. commissioned a television pilot, tentatively titled Split, based on a character much like Wasser herself–stunning daughter of legal royalty with a “complicated” personal life. for research, the writer, Ali Adler, followed Wasser for a few weeks. “I’d go to court with her,” says Adler, “and she’d be wearing a Prada micro-dress with five-inch heels. She was the shiniest baby with the biggest baubles in that place, and then she would open her mouth and what she said was equally shiny and compelling. There was no way to judge wouldn’t be won over by her. She’s a star. I think that’s why the celebrities are comfortable with her; she’s one of them.

Wow. What high praise! Personally, I cannot imagine staggering into court in five inch heels and getting taken seriously. But then again, I live in Brooklyn; love the place, but it’s not exactly Sunset Boulevard or Melrose Avenue. Still, five inches? That sounds like party shoes to me. That doesn’t sound like the shoes of a serious attorney who gets taken seriously by anyone, least of all the judge. At least, not in New York.
Her Fashion sense….is it a right of passage?
All in all, I was kinda, sorta impressed with Laura’s bio. She’s young and she’s made it in the legal field and she has a great wardrobe and a home in the Hollywood Hills to boot, so much so that Anna Wintour was so impressed, she gave her a spread in Vogue. And it’s not just Vogue. She was in Elle Magazine earlier this year too. Here’s what she had to say about her sexy (maybe even slightly inappropriate) shoes and clothes:

I’ve never been terribly comfortable with the sleek-black-suit lawyer look,” says Laura A. Wasser (initials: L.A.W.), a partner at L.A.’s Wasser, Cooperman and Carter, who has handled the divorces of Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie, Chris Robinson, and Kate Walsh. (Gossip site TMZ dubbed her the “disso-queen”—short for “dissolution of marriage.”) In her twenties, Wasser played it safe, pulling her hair back and wearing glasses to court. “Now that I have a little credibility and I’m in my forties, I don’t have to work so hard to be taken seriously,” she says. Wasser favors skirtsuits by Alberta Ferretti, Prada, and Paul Smith with year-round bare legs, major heels—and an ankle tattoo. “In the judge’s line of vision, it’s under the council table,” she laughs. The ink hints at her flip side: “On weekends, I’m kind of a hippie surfer girl. I could never meet my friends out in a suit

Not bad for a…where did she graduate to law school? Harvard? Oh, that’s right. Loyola School of Law. Not bad for a Loyola School of Law graduate. Eh?
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