Layoff Success Story, Guest Blogging — Oh Hail, Who Cares Anymore?

oc_pantaridis5bwiseman5d-9735704Hi kids, it’s a dreary Tuesday and, for me, especially dreary due to the unexpected loss of Fred Travalena.

First Ed, then Farrah, then the Queen of Pop, and now this:

Fred Travalena, the master impressionist and singer whose broad repertoire of voices ranged from Jack Nicholson to Sammy Davis Jr. to Bugs Bunny, has died. He was 66.Travalena, who began being treated for an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2002 and saw the disease return last July after going into remission in 2003, died Sunday at his home in Encino, according to his publicist, Roger Neal. Travalena also was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003 but had been in complete remission since then.Dubbed “The Man of a Thousand Faces” and “Mr. Everybody,” Travalena emerged on the national stage as an impressionist in the early 1970s.

Over the next three decades, he was a headliner in Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City, performed in concerts around the country, appeared on “The Tonight Show” and other talk shows and starred in his own specials, such as “The Many Faces of Fred Travalena” and “Comedy in the Oval Office.”

Now I’m officially sad, in a Nixon, Jimmy Stewart, Sammy Davis, Jimmy Carter, Clint Eastwood, Henry Kissinger, Bugs Bunny kind of way.You young folks may not recall this, but in the old days entertainers used to play showrooms — just like they have in your mythical, long-gone version of Las Vegas — right here in South Florida.The Deauville, the Konover, the Fontainebleau, the Eden Roc, all the big shots played the main room, the lounges, even the Chinese restaurants, and opened for the bigger big-shots, and it was a whole Larry King “loan me $50 dollars, see you at Wolfie’s” kind of vibe.Fred was here, funny as hail (well, it seemed funny at the time, was it the booze?) — anyways, RIP.

Meanwhile, here’s an inspiring success story about a Kluger refugee who has landed on her feet:

Apart from the crowded commute into Miami, Eleni Zarbalas Pantaridis was happy practicing law at Kluger Peretz Kaplan & Berlin. She specialized in mergers and acquisitions and also did some real estate work for the midsized firm. But in February, after nearly two years on the job, she was laid off, and by the end of March the firm itself was gone, too.

Pantaridis, 38, with three young children, found herself unemployed at one of the worst times ever for attorneys. Legal recruiters told her the job market was “flooded with unemployed lawyers.” The 40 lawyers who lost their jobs at Kluger Peretz Kaplan & Berlin were just part of a statewide trend. Big firms such as Holland & Knight, Hogan & Hartson and Shutts & Bowen also have laid off attorneys. Across the nation, some 800 lawyers and legal staff were laid off in a single day — Feb. 12 — just one week after Pantaridis lost her job.

But Pantaridis didn’t just lay around, she found new work:

Pantaridis, who mainly works from home now, has opened a “virtual law office” in Boca Raton, where a receptionist answers the phone and where she can arrange to meet clients if necessary. She also works 20 hours a week for a Palm Beach County firm that specializes in bankruptcy law. Meanwhile, she’s networking in hopes of building her practice and has had success so far in attracting new clients. Within two months of going it alone, she was already matching the salary she earned at Kluger Peretz Kaplan & Berlin. “This has been a good thing,” she says. “I don’t see myself going to a firm again.

What did your Mom tell you about silver linings? Yes, Virginia, there really is life after Alan Kluger.Blogging may be light as I have further Important Legal Stuff to accomplish this week (alright, I’m leaving town early for the 4th), but trusty big-shot-in-his-own-right Guest Blogger has agreed to lift the blog firmly out of the 70s and somewhat into the present.

Carry on, my wayward ones.