‘Crisis management’ law firm provides legal help to Black celebrities
Manny Otiko ow contributor | 2/15/2018, midnight
A new law firm that launched this month plans to target high-profile individuals who are in need of crisis management. Attorneys Demetria Graves and Marissa V. Grayson founded the Elite Firm. Graves, a Pasadena-based attorney, is a family law specialist and Grayson is a blended family expert. The Elite Firm is based in Century City, but also plans to open offices in Miami, New York, Atlanta and Las Vegas. Its clients will include athletes, entertainers and other high-profile African Americans.
Men facing public relations crises are a very topical issue now as sexual harassment scandals sweep across the media, entertainment and political worlds. However, Graves said another issue that can cause problems for celebrities is social media. Actor and singer Tyrese recently created a lot of negative publicity for himself when he took to social media to talk about custody issues and problems with his marriage. Graves said social media allows celebrities to engage instantly and they often don’t think about the legal repercussions or the damage it can do to their image.
Graves advises celebrities to make sure they run any social media post in front of their legal and media teams.
“Do not put it on social media until you speak to counsel,” she said.
According to Graves and Grayson, the Elite Firm will have 11 lawyers and professionals who can offer their clients legal services, anger management classes, therapy, crisis management counseling and more. Grayson said that although celebrities look like they are on top of the world, with their perfect social media accounts, they can struggle to keep up that image of perfection.
“They have issues like the rest of us,” said Grayson. “Behind the scenes they are struggling.”
She added that black celebrities have to be very careful with their images, because they often don’t get a second chance if they go through a PR crisis.
“Particularly, for people of color, we don’t always have the opportunity to make mistakes in front of the media and bounce back,” said Grayson.
As experts in family law, Graves and Grayson have had to deal with clients who have gone through divorces or dealt with child support and custody issues. This used to be a problem that men dealt with, but now with women earning high incomes, they are beginning to face high alimony or child support payments. Both attorneys suggest all high-profile individuals consider prenuptial agreements before getting married.
Grayson said high-earning individuals cannot go into relationships making decisions solely based on emotions.
“A lot of times that happens because you don’t have someone on your team who sees beyond the sexual and emotional connection,” said Grayson.
For more information about the Elite Law firm go to www.ELITEFIRMLA.com.