BUSINESS LAW - Guy R. “Rusty” Friddell III

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Guy R. “Rusty” Friddell III
Landmark Media Enterprises LLC

Title: Executive vice president/general counsel
Birthplace: Richmond
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Princeton University; law degree, University of Virginia
Family: Wife, Jane; sons, Bo, 20, and Eric, 18
Hobbies: Guitars, water skiing
Fan of: Derek Jeter
Favorite vacation spot: Smith Mountain Lake/Outer Banks of North Carolina
Recently read: A denunciation by The Economist of Obama’s tariff on Chinese tires
Mentors: Dick Spindle at Willcox & Savage; Dubby Wynne and Dick Barry at Landmark

How did you decide to become a lawyer for a media company?
“When offered the position, I determined that I would have a great opportunity for new learning, both about Landmark’s businesses and about new areas of law pertinent to communications companies. Being able to select leading subject matter specialists to work with and learn from makes possible a near-permanent existence on the steep part of the learning curve. We have identified specialists (e.g., Woodcock & Washburn for patent litigation, Venable for tax work and Kilpatrick & Stockton for copyright and trademarks) who not only have deep expertise but are also excellent communicators, making collaboration very rewarding.”

What special challenges do the media face in the current economy?
“Landmark has no debt, so our issues are somewhat less severe than those of many of our colleagues. We do see a more litigious mood in this environment.”

What advice would you offer to a young lawyer considering business law?
“Work as hard as possible in your early years — it’s more fun to dispense advice when you have some depth of experience backing up your judgments. Learn the business that you’re advising. Our principal outside attorneys (most of whom are on your list of Legal Elite — Conrad Shumadine (litigation), Tony Inglima and Trey Huelsberg (mergers and acquisitions), Billy Furr (labor and employment), to name a few — are tremendously valuable to us because they understand how many businesses work, what our risk tolerance is and how we balance our business and legal goals.”

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