Jeff Kwatinetz is leaving his position as CEO of management and production company The Firm. According to Deadline, Kwatinetz, who graduated from Harvard Law School, is headed to the law firm Geragos & Geragos, working alongside superstar lawyer Mark Geragos and Ben Meiseles.
Kwatinetz is an active member of the California Bar Association and will work on civil rights litigation. He explained that he wants to use his education “to affect societal perceptions and facilitate real change.”
“I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. When I saw Straight Outta Compton, it was a moment for me. I always thought that entertainment could make a difference and Ice Cube has always done that himself. Small or large, I need to make material change and be a force for good,” Kwatinetz told Deadline.
In addition to practicing civil rights litigation with Geragos & Geragos, Kwatinetz plans to refocus his efforts on working with the new pro basketball league the Big3 and production company Cube Vision. Kwatinetz will become co-CEO of the Big3 with rapper Ice Cube who founded the league. The Big3 just completed its first season with well-known ex-NBA players including Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups, as well as Charles Oakley who is serving as a Big3 coach. Geragos is also an investor in the Big3.
Ice Cube and Kwatinetz will also continue to work together on Cube Vision, which recently raised substantial funding for more than 20 television and film projects in various stages of development. Cube Vision also landed a television deal with Fox.
“I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished and that makes me feel confident to take this next step,” said Kwatinetz. “With the success of BIG3 and CubeVision, I am motivated by that and the overall good they can bring and know this move is the final piece of the puzzle. When I see Mark (Geragos) working on cases like Colin Kaepernick and see other civil rights cases he is working and doing out of a passion of what is right, that speaks to me. And for me, these three things naturally align.”
Earlier this month, Geragos filed a complaint on behalf of football player Colin Kaepernick. The grievance against the National Football League argues that team owners colluded to blackball the quarterback after his national anthem protests. The NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement rules prohibit teams from working together to make decisions about player contracts.
Geragos, a criminal lawyer, has famously represented Michael Jackson, Chris Brown and Winona Ryder. He has taken on a $100 million class action civil suit against rapper Ja Rule, Billy McFarland and other organizers of the disastrous Fyre Festival.
Kwatinetz’s move also comes a week after the lawyer and his former label Prospect Park Records settled a lawsuit against signees Five Finger Death Punch. In April 2016, Prospect Park filed a suit against the Las Vegas band for breach of contract for commencing work on what the company considered an unauthorized new record. After 18 months, the parties resolved their dispute and new music from Five Finger Death Punch is due out in December.