One of the entertainment industry’s most beloved success stories, Jeff B. Cohen, Esq. is a prominent transactional attorney and former child...
Jared D. Correia, Esq. is the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law firm business...
In order for any lawyer to be a successful advocate for their client or law firm they must become an excellent dealmaker. However, the secrets to the art of deal closing can seem incredibly elusive to even the most initiated. What are the fundamental tenets of being a good dealmaker, and how does one focus on honing these skills?
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, host Jared Correia sits down with Cohen Gardner LLP Co-Founder Jeff B. Cohen, a former child actor best remembered for his role as Chunk in The Goonies, to discuss dealmaking in the context of the law. The conversation opens with Jeff providing insights into his experiences behind the camera as a child actor and how this unique upbringing influences his perception of entertainment dealmaking. Within these recollections he also discusses how Machiavelli’s “The Prince” aided him after his acting career ended and how these teachings inspired his book “The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood.” Jeff provides a glimpse into his methodologies and why he thinks it’s so important for lawyers to effectively manage their time. He then provides a few of his personal commandments and best practices that any legal professional can use to become a more effective and successful dealmaker.
Jeff B. Cohen co-founded Cohen Gardner LLP in 2002 and focuses on transactional representation for clients in the entertainment, media and technology verticals. His first book, “The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood” was published by the American Bar Association’s imprint Ankerwycke in 2015. Jeff received his Juris Doctor from UCLA Law School with an emphasis in business law and his undergraduate degree from The University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business. While at UC Berkeley, Jeff served as President of the Associated Students of the University of California.
Legal Toolkit: The Art of the Entertainment Deal – 4/16/2016
Advertiser: Welcome to the Legal Toolkit; bringing you the latest legal trends and business initiatives to help you manage your law firm. Here are your hosts – experienced lawyers, writers and entrepreneurs, Heidi Alexander and Jared Correia. You’re listening to Legal Talk Network.
Hey everybody. Welcome to what promises to be another fantastic episode of the Legal Toolkit on the Legal Talk Network. Before we get started and earnest, we’d like to thank our sponsor, Scorpion, which delivers award winning law firm web design and online marketing programs to get you more cases. Scorpion has helped thousands of law firms just like yours attract new cases and grow their practices. For more information, visit ScorpionLegal.com/podcast. We’d also like to thank our sponsor, Amicus Attorney, the world’s leading practice management solution for lawyers. Amicus Attorney helps manage your law firm so that you can concentrate on being a lawyer. To learn more, visit AmicusAttorney.com. If you’re a returning listener, welcome back. If you’re a first time listener, hopefully you’ll become a long time listener. And if you’re my brother, you owe me $20, so hurry up. In addition to casting this pod, I’m the assistant director and senior law practice advisor at the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program. That’s a lot so we call it LOMAP for short, where we provide free and confidential law practice management consulting services to Massachusetts attorneys. For more information on LOMAP’s offerings, visit our website at MassLOMAP.org. You can buy my book, Twitter in 1 Hour for Lawyers on iTunes, at Amazon, and at Magic Forest Books in Centerville, Iowa. If your desire is of more podcasting goodness, check out our Lunch Hour Legal Marketing show where we release monthly episodes featuring legal marketing experts. Here on the Legal Toolkit, we provide you each month with a new tool to add to your own legal toolkit so that your practices will become more and more like best practices. In this episode, we’re going to talk about the art of the deal. And before you ask, no, we’re not interviewing Donald Trump. We’re interviewing someone much, much better.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yes.
Jared Correia: This is going to be huge. That’s right. And you just heard him right there. Our guest today is Jeff B. Cohen. Welcome to the show, Jeff.
Jeff B. Cohen: Thank you, thanks for having me. What can I say? Top of the food chain, happy to be here. Trump, I guess, you booked him initially but I guess he’s tied up for something.
Jared Correia: Yeah, Trump fell through so we called you.
Jeff B. Cohen: It’s actually funny. I’m an entertainment lawyer and sometimes we do scripted, non scripted, television, music, et cetera, and sometimes when I’m on call with executives in the non scripted world, I always yell at everyone about Trump. I’m like, “We’re all responsible for this!”
Jared Correia: Gosh, now I feel bad. I’m responsible for Donald Trump?
Jeff B. Cohen: Everyone on TV, this is on us, man!
Jared Correia: Yeah. I think that’s true. I think that’s good. The destruction of America is based on reality Tv, I knew it.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yes, yes. I’m not supporting Trump this year.
Jared Correia: So let me tell the people a little bit about you, Jeff, and then we’ll get into the Q&A. So Jeff is a partner at the Beverly Hills based law firm of Cohen Gardner LLP. Jeff is a prominent entertainment lawyer as he said and former child actor as well. He’s best known for playing Chunk in the classic flick, Goonies. Variety has named Jeff Cohen to the Dealmakers Impact list. Additionally, he’s been profiled by the Hollywood Reporter, the ABA Journal, Chambers Associate, Law Crossing, and others. An active writer, Jeff has authored numerous articles discussing business, technology, and entertainment matters for some places you may have heard of such as the Huffington Post, CNBC, Backstage and Lawyerist. Alright, Jeff, let’s get into it.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yes. And also I have a book. You’ve got to plug the book!
Jared Correia: Plug the book, go ahead.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yeah. I also recently for the American Bar Association – actually last year – published a book called The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments. Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood. And that is basically kind of my how to negotiate great deals, manage you time, handle a crisis. The big idea being that success is life on your own terms. How do you find it and then how do you negotiate those terms. So Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments. I will be plugging it throughout the interview. Check it out on Amazon, Kindle, et cetera, et cetera. Or Audiobook, I can read it to you. If you love this beautiful voice and you’re that lazy, I will actually read you the book while you’re on the elliptical hitting your goal weight. I will read you the book. Anyway, we got off topic.
Jared Correia: Forward by Donald Trump?
Jeff B. Cohen: Yes, yes. We had a falling out.
Jared Correia: Now before we get into that – because I’m going to ask you a lot of question about the book – can we do the Chunk thing first?
Jeff B. Cohen: Sure, of course.
Jared Correia: Everybody loves to do this.
Jeff B. Cohen: It’s not easy being a cultural icon. I’m happy to deal with this issue.
Jared Correia: Yeah. We all have our crosses to bear, right?
Jeff B. Cohen: It’s a heavyweight when a generation depends on you culturally. You are the Jerry Garcia of your generation in part. What do you do?
Jared Correia: You’re the glue of an entire generation.
Jeff B. Cohen: I am the mayo in the turkey sandwich of Gen X and it’s not easy. Anyways, yes. Happy to discuss.
Jared Correia: I feel like Nestle owes you a debt of gratitude. You’ve done way more for Baby Ruth than Ruth Cleveland ever did.
Jeff B. Cohen: Well thank you. Nice pull! Ruth Cleveland! Wow.
Jared Correia: Yeah, I know how to search stuff on Wikipedia.
Jeff B. Cohen: Nice! That’s good, man!
Jared Correia: You can use that one.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yeah, I like that. Ruth Cleveland.
Jared Correia: So let me ask you about the movie. So this is obviously a cultural icon. You’re a cultural icon. When you were filming that movie, did you ever anticipate that it would be as huge as it has become?
Jeff B. Cohen: I did the movie when I was ten, back when the world was young in 1985. I had hair, it was a long, long time ago. I think at the time my focus was really – what we call in the show biz – craft service table. Are you guys familiar with that term?
Jared Correia: Yeah, but you can get into some detail if people don’t know.
Jeff B. Cohen: So craft service is basically – there’s all day long, they have a table filled with awesome food so we all can stuff our face and there’s nice chips, nice dips, maybe some nice deli spreads, maybe some candy bars, some delicious nuts. So as a fat kid, I was like I can’t believe I hit the jackpot. I literally can eat all day. No one stopped me. I’m the breadwinner, I’m going to just camp out at the craft service table. I hope I’m not in any scenes today because I want to eat my weight in cashews today and this is the day I’m going to do it. So I was more focused on the free food, I think, than the lasting legacy of my performance.
Jared Correia: Sounds pretty sweet, that’s good. That was like training for the role though, really.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yeah, that’s right.
Jared Correia: That’s legit.
Jeff B. Cohen: If you sent out, that’s it. If I did, that would be the end of my career. This is the worst thing for a fat kid.
Jared Correia: So in addition to being able to look stuff up on Wikipedia I also look stuff on IMDB up from time to time. So you also appeared on Family Ties, The Facts of Life, Webster; your agent was all over the 80’s, it was impressive.
Jeff B. Cohen: It wasn’t just an episode of Webster, it was a special episode of Webster. So I want to correct you, Jared. I don’t want to be that guy but do you recall special episodes? Do they do special episodes now?
Jared Correia: Well, they probably do because all the TV is all 80’s TV anyway rebooted ,right?
Jeff B. Cohen: So I love the idea of a special episode meaning – for the uninformed – it’s basically where you have a situation comedy where they’ve run out of jokes. The writers have no more jokes left in them so they have to do an episode where something terrible happens. Someone gets hit by a car, someone robs a bank and gets arrested, something awful happens. So that was a special thing.
Jared Correia: Like the Punky Brewster episode where the kid gets locked in the refrigerator.
Jeff B. Cohen: Oh yeah! Jerry gets locked in the fridge, man!
Jared Correia: Yeah. That’s bad news. I still can’t walk within 20 feet of a refrigerator.
Jeff B. Cohen: So do you have little coolers? What do you have?
Jared Correia: I just have like 50 coolers on the floor in my house, that’s it. Punky Brewster scarred me for life.
Jeff B. Cohen: Power of media.
Jared Correia: So we’re doing a legal podcast so let me ask you this: You decided to leave acting and then go to law school. Why did you make that decision?
Jeff B. Cohen: Does anyone ever decide to go to law school? Does anyone ever say this is what I want to do? Other than Abe Lincoln or something who didn’t even go to law school, didn’t even read law school books that were left in barrels or something. No. Like many other lawyers out there, I became a lawyer for lack of any other viable alternative. It was process of elimination. I’m 5’’4 so sports out of the question. That’s not going to happen. Yes. But again, when you’re known as the fat kid, when you hit puberty and start thinning out, you’re dead. The agents bring you in and they just look on you and-
Jared Correia: Why isn’t he fat anymore?
Jeff B. Cohen: They’re like no, you’re not fat enough, get out of here. So I acted for a while when I was a kid. I hit puberty and still wanted to act but I couldn’t do it and couldn’t get gigs so I had to figure something else out. For me, I was really fortunate in that the director of Goonies is a guy named Richard Donner who is the best. And Dick Donner directed the original Superman with Christopher Reeves. Him and his wife Lauren, who is a marvelous and talented producer. He produced all of the X Men films, he directed the Goonies, all the Lethal Weapon-
Jared Correia: Lethal Weapon 2, right?
Jeff B. Cohen: 1, 2, 3 and 4!
Jared Correia: Well, I’ve seen the first three.
Jeff B. Cohen: Is there a fourth one? Maybe there wasn’t, I don’t know. Who knows. But I was really fortunate in that he took me under his wing when I couldn’t get work as an actor and was like, ‘Hey kid, don’t be an actor, it’s stupid. Do something else, you’re not going to make it.”
Jared Correia: Get a real job.
Jeff B. Cohen: Precisely! So he let me work for him as a production assistant at Warner Brothers and then as I got older, he would help get me little jobs at the studio in different departments to help me figure it out. And what I saw, because I loved entertainment and I wanted to find a way to contribute, I found that a lot of people in entertainment had a legal background. Whether they were business affairs executives – so those are attorneys at studios that negotiate deals on behalf of the studios – or producers or agents or managers. Having this legal background seemed to be helpful, so that was why I went to law school. So I went to Berkeley undergraduate then UCLA for law, focused on business law and I started working at Universal Studios in the television department. And then eventually, a couple of years after that, I said I want to do my own thing and started my own law firm in Beverly Hills called Cohen Gardner in 2002. And yeah. I am a transactional entertainment lawyer. So basically, I’ll represent artists and production companies and technology companies and negotiate their deals for media related properties, whether it’s books or television or digital or film or whatever. So acting’s the best job ever. Again, I mentioned the craft service table. Did I talk about the craft service table?
Jared Correia: Yes, yes you did. You talked a little bit about it.
Jeff B. Cohen: So I think acting is the greatest job ever, you get craft service, you get to travel, you get to play make believe. It’s just that working consistently is the troubling part. My joke about it is I still get to go to the parties but I don’t have to audition anymore. So there’s upside. I miss it, but there’s upside still.
Jared Correia: Yeah, but there’s so many lawyers out there who are envious of your current position I’m sure. It sounds like a great gig if you’re going to be a lawyer.
Jeff B. Cohen: I like transactional generally because at first, any attempt at litigation, I was just not good at it. I just didn’t have a good skillset for that. And what I like about transactions, whether it’s entertainment or corporation or whatever, is that at the end of the deal there’s a deal. Hopefully everyone makes some money or something gets created and everyone’s happy.
Jared Correia: That’s always good.
Jeff B. Cohen: I’m not knocking litigation, it’s remarkably important and challenging. But just for me personally, transactions just kind of came naturally and just kind of made sense.
Jared Correia: Yeah, that’s legit. This has been really exciting so far, I have to say. I’m so excited. You can’t see me right now but I’m doing the truffle shuffle, for real.
Jeff B. Cohen: Nice! I can hear it.
Jared Correia: I’m sliding back and forth a little bit. I visited a craft services table earlier today.
Jeff B. Cohen: You’ve got to fatten up to do it right. Sometimes gaining weight with nothing else is not cool.
Jared Correia: I know, I’ve got to gain some weight. No, it’s not good. Not good at all. So now let’s talk about your book. As you said before, it’s called the Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments. Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood. People, pick that up. So tell me, for lawyers who don’t necessarily understand what that means, what does it mean to be a dealmaker in the context of a law practice?
Jeff B. Cohen: Sure, it’s funny actually. Dealmakers commandment 9 is be a dealmaker, not a deal breaker and then end that commandment which sounds simple but I think it’s actually important. In that chapter with commandment 9, I go through what a dealmaker is. And part of the ethos of what a dealmaker is – to steal the line from Glengarry Glen Ross, it’s A, B, C. A, B, C, always be closing, always be closing, always be closing. So the point of being a real dealmaker is not to show everyone in the room how smart you are or how loud you can yell or how dramatic your argument can be, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, it’s like you rise and fall by being able to close deals. And even though things can get very fuzzy and acrimonious and get really tense, you always have to have in mind – you have to be counsel to the situation and say hey, how can we get a transaction closed if it makes sense. Now in certain situations, a transaction may not make sense. But for the most part, your ethos needs to be A, B, C, always be closing, always be closing, always be closing.
Jared Correia: See, that’s good. See how our tone has come down when we stopped talking about Hollywood? We really stayed high talking about Punky Brewster.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yeah. It’s funny, what you said about the refrigerators kind of does make sense. Maybe I also need to focus more on coolers instead of the refrigerators because Jerry did get trapped in one of those things.
Jared Correia: That’s right, watch your ass. There’s always a refrigerator around the corner. Now let’s talk about the sources of inspiration for your book. One I think is probably your time that you spent in Hollywood. You’ve been an actor. You’ve been a lawyer in town. How did that inform your notions of dealmaking.
Jeff B. Cohen: I think for my law practice generally, the fact that when I was a kid I was on the other side of the camera, it made me realize, I guess I view entertainment in less of an academic manner – or dealmaking generally in less of an academic manner. Because when it’s you and you work so hard to get this deal, by the time it gets to my desk as a lawyer, the agent has worked hard, the performer has worked hard, the manager has worked hard. Just realizing how delicate these deals are and to not be cavalier with them. To understand wow, this is someone’s life and this is someone’s art, this is someone’s profession. You’re holding something that’s very delicate and you have not been a part of the process all the way. Basically there’s been a whole chapter or more of how this deal got to your desk, so I think that’s part of it. With the book generally, and I wrote the Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments, I’m a big fan of business books and a ton of philosophy and Mencken and Nietzsche and Machiavelli, et cetera. So I wrote it as a general business book because I’m a fan of those books to hopefully help other attorneys and business people generally; kind of give them an insight into my methodology for negotiating great deals, managing your time, handling a crisis, and kind of having an intellectual foundation and the methodology to plug into their business or their practice if they’re an attorney.
Jared Correia: I think you related it just now but let’s move on and talk about another one of your inspirations which is Machiavelli’s The Prince, right? Which is kind of hardcore.
Jeff B. Cohen: Well, it is.
Jared Correia: That book is kind of badass, so how does that affect your philosophy on dealmaking?
Jeff B. Cohen: Well, it’s funny actually. In the beginning of the book I start the book off with a warning; a quote from a guy named Thomas Fuller which is, “Good and great are seldom the same man,” and the idea is this is a book about being great, it’s not a book about being good and they’re two separate ideas. And I also go on to say that the tactics I advocate in this book are hardcore and they comport with my experience in business and they are supposed to be used for business. They are not used for personal relationships or-
Jared Correia: Around the dinner table.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yeah, precisely. Or pets or grandmas or whatever. These are rules of power; we’re kind of analyzing the power of dynamic and which buttons to press are not for personal use, it’s for professional use. And for me, when I was a kid actor and I couldn’t get work anymore, I was fortunate in that I went to high school in the San Fernando valley and LA where I grew up in Woodland Hills. And I was in this honors program where as a senior in high school, I could take a class at UCLA so I took political science because I figured hey, where can washed out actors actually succeed in California and I was like politics!
Jared Correia: Politics! Of course!
Jeff B. Cohen: You’ve got Reagan, Schwarzenegger eventually. Maybe this is the angle. I can’t get the acting parts anywhere but maybe this is something else I could do. And I read The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli written in the early Italian Renaissance and it’s kind of his hardcore rule book, how to book for a prince. How to gain power, how to deal with enemies, how to deal with subjects. And what he had written totally resonated with my experience because a lot of people who were friendly to me and who were great to me kind of disappeared when my ability to be a successful actor disappeared. And as a kid you don’t see that coming and you’re like, “What’s going on?” And dealmakers come in at one – which I give Machiavelli credit and I totally steal from Machiavelli – is it’s better to be feared than loved, which Machiavelli discusses. And the reason it’s in business I think better to be feared than loved is people fear you because they have to, ut they love you because they want to. And you need to be able to have a way where you can control other people’s behavior and fear is that mechanism. The more control you have in a transaction or an entrepreneurial venture, then you’re able to kind of shape the world to your own vision. So for me, when I read that, I was like, “Oh, as an actor, you just want to be loved.” That’s the whole idea, to get the applause of strangers and be adored by the masses; that’s what you want. And then when the love goes away I was lost, and then I read this book and I was like, “That makes sense.” Again, that’s chapter one, it’s better to be feared than loved as a business person. And for me, that’s kind of the beginning. When I read that book, I was like okay, as a business person this is how you do it. And then I studied the other greats in entertainment. David Geffen, Jeffrey Gafner, Mike Hovitz and Louis B. Mayer and Louis Cone. And I saw what were the elements of power that they were able to use to build their empire. So the book itself is kind of a hodgepodge of show biz stories and ancient philosophies and my own life experience.
Jared Correia: All fitted together.
Jeff B. Cohen: It all fits together.
Jared Correia: That’s great! I think that’s cool and I think Machiavelli would probably appreciate that you stole his stuff.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yeah, he seemed like a cool dude.
Jared Correia: Yeah!
Jeff B. Cohen: I want to hang with Machiavelli, he’d be cool.
Jared Correia: Hang with him, not against him.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yeah, yeah.
Jared Correia: So let’s take a quick break here, but we’re going to come right back and we’re going to talk more with Jeff Cohen of Cohen Gardner LLP and the author of The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood.
Advertiser: Amicus Attorney’s world leading practice management solution allows you to do more, bill more, and go home early. It serves as the hub to your practice and Amicus customers report that they save over eight hours and bill an extra five hours each week. Built by lawyers for lawyers, Amicus has two award winning solutions: Amicus Premium with a unique client portal, and the exciting Amicus Cloud with seamless email integration. To learn more, visit AmicusAttorney.com
Not getting enough cases from the internet or the kinds of cases you want? Scorpion can help. Over the last 15 years, Scorpion has helped thousands of law firms just like yours attract new cases and grow their practices. During this time, Scorpion has won over a hundred awards for its law firm website design and online marketing success. Join the thousands of law firms which partner with Scorpion and start getting cases today. For more information, visit ScorpionLegal.co/podcast.
Jared Correia: Alright everybody, thanks for coming back. Don’t worry, we were here the whole time. Now we’re going to return to our conversation about deal making with Jeff Cohen of Cohen Gardner LLP. Alright, Jeff. In your book, you talked a little bit about some of your commandments. Can you give an example of one of those applications within your practice?
Jeff B. Cohen: Sure. There are so many.
Jared Correia: Which one to choose?
Jeff B. Cohen: I’ll go with commandment five, which is no pig wrestling. No pig wrestling. Dealmaker’s commandment number five.
Jared Correia: Is that from The Prince?
Jeff B. Cohen: No, that’s me. Actually no, I stole that one as well, but it’s not from The Prince. So dealmaker’s commandment five is no pig wrestling. What that means is you never wrestle a pig because you get dirty and the pig enjoys it. Combat is honor. Combat is an exercise of equals, and nothing utilizes your resources like combat. War is basically the most resource intense endeavor that humans have. Look at real war, per se. Not economic, but real. People die, it costs a fortune. It never turns out the way you expect it will. It’s always exponentially more costly in blood and treasure. Combat, again, when you engage in combat with someone, you are bestowing honor upon them. A CEO does not negotiate against an intern. A major league club doesn’t play against a minor league club. So no pig wrestling is all about opponent selection, battle selection. If you can’t choose your enemy, if your enemy is thrust upon you, there are various mechanisms to shape your enemy and kind of shape the conditions for victory to kind of make that successful. But I think people are sometimes are kind of too willing to jump into combat when it is not appropriate. In your mind you think, “Oh, the bar fight’s going to be I’m going to hit that guy once, he’s going to hit the floor and it’s over.” If you’ve ever seen a bar fight, it doesn’t usually work that way. It doesn’t usually work that way. So no pig wrestling is about kind of martialing your resources and the honor of combat and opponent selection.
Jared Correia: This is a good lesson. Bar fights in real life don’t happen like bar fights in the movies.
Jeff B. Cohen: They don’t, right?
Jared Correia: Yeah, you’re right.
Jeff B. Cohen: Usually pretty sloppy affairs.
Jared Correia: Yeah, exactly. Now another thing you talk about in your book is time management. I think this is a really important topic. Why do you think it’s so important for lawyers to effectively manage their time?
Jeff B. Cohen: Sure. Dealmaker’s commandment seven is do it, delete it, delegate it and I think as a dealmaker or as an attorney generally, time is our commodity. That’s what we sell. So having a system in place to manage your time, to discover your priorities, to make sure that all of your energy – as much energy as possible – is going towards achieving your goals. And it’s kind of a system that I’ve stolen that I utilized in the book that I stole from a great book which is called How to Get Control of Your Time and Life Now by Alan Lakein. So being able to control your time is just fundamental to being a successful dealmaker. And there’s so many – I think especially with technology – there are so many people who are willing to just suck your time away or come into your office and take their monkey off of their shoulder, put it on your desk and bail and say you handle this. So how do you make sure that you’re effectively utilizing your time? Because that’s your resource.
Jared Correia: Yeah, absolutely, those are great points and I think particular for solo and small law firm attorneys of which you are one.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yep.
Jared Correia: Now, let’s end with this: for attorneys out there who want to become dealmakers or better dealmakers, what are your best two recommendations for them?
Jeff B. Cohen: I would say first buy The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments-
Jared Correia: Yeah, that’s number one!
Jeff B. Cohen: -by Jeff B. Cohen on Amazon.
Jared Correia: I’ve heard of that guy.
Jeff B. Cohen: Did I mention there’s an audiobook? I can read it to you. I’ll tell you what I used. For me, there’s so many great biographies out there. So I was like okay, I want to be a dealmaker in entertainment. Who are great dealmakers in entertainment? I studied David Geffen, Louis B. Mayer and Bernie Brillstein has this marvelous book, which is titled: You’re No One in Hollywood Unless Someone Wants You Dead. I would say the first thing is look at those who’ve gone before you and personally I find the biographies really interesting, so I would say that’s that. And the second is – and I talk about this in the book – success is life on your own terms. And there’s a quote by Herbert Bayard which is, “I don’t know the secret of success but I know the secret of failure: trying to make everyone else happy.” So throughout the book I have exercises for the reader to kind of discover what you really want, what really excites you and what matters to you, figuring out what those terms are. Again, success is life on your own terms, so figure out what those terms are and go get it.
Jared Correia: So here’s what I’m going to do, Jeff, I’m going to buy your audiobook and I’m going to listen to it with the kids before they go to sleep.
Jeff B. Cohen: Nice! Nice. Teach the children well. I like that.
Jared Correia: That’s right, future dealmakers of America by osmosis.
Jeff B. Cohen: Nice.
Jared Correia: Well this is great, this was a lot of fun. I had a great time talking with you. Sadly however, everyone, we’ve come to an end of another episode of the Legal Toolkit. But don’t fret, we’ll be back here next month. Now if you’re feeling nostalgic, you can check out our entire show archive any time you want at LegalTalkNetwork.com. So our thanks today goes to Jeff B. Cohen of Cohen Gardner LLP for taking the time to drop by the virtual studio to talk about deal making. So, Jeff, can you tell folks out there a little bit more about how they can learn about you, your book, your firm?
Jeff B. Cohen: Sure, thanks Jared. I’m on Twitter, @JeffBCohen. I’m also on Facebook at Jeff B. Cohen. Also LinkedIn, Jeff B. Cohen, you can check those out. Also you can go to DealmakersCommandments.com if you want to learn a bit more about the book. And then to learn more about the firm, our website is CohenGardnerLaw.com. But I would just say check out Twitter or LinkedIn. I’m always posting business stuff that I think is fun.
Jared Correia: Awesome. So buy the book, watch the movie – I shouldn’t say watch the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie it’s just un American.
Jeff B. Cohen: Yeah! Watch the movie. I got needs, watch the movie. Buy the merch, man! Come on, Jared, buy the merch!
Jared Correia: Get the T-shirts!
Jeff B. Cohen: Exactly.
Jared Correia: Well thank you, Jeff. This was really fun. I appreciate you coming on.
Jeff B. Cohen: It was my pleasure, thank you so much.
Jared Correia: And thanks to everybody else out there listening.
Advertiser: Thanks for listening to Legal Toolkit, produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join Heidi and Jared for their next podcast covering the current business trends for law firms. Subscribe to the RSS feed on legaltalknetwork.com or in iTunes. The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own, and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by, Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the contents should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
Legal Toolkit highlights services, ideas, and programs that will improve lawyers' practices and workflow.
Nora Riva Bergman shares strategies for attaining a happier, healthier legal practice.
Jay and Maggie Wallus share insights on the importance of showing gratitude to referral sources.
Molly McGrath offers strategies for defining your firm’s staffing needs and picking the best person for your team.
Stuart Wilhoite shares how to find an agency that truly delivers on your firm’s marketing investments.
Sam Mollaei shares traffic-building strategies for lawyers.
Jared Correia takes his rightful place on the bench to preside over this live recorded, festivus themed, Legal Toolkit episode.