Bruce Ramer, attorney to celebrities, was among the honorees at the Bet Tzedek dinner gala Wednesday night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Century City.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Bet Tzedek provides pro bono legal services to low-income individuals.

Over the years Ramer's client list has included Clint Eastwood, David O. Russell, George Clooney, Robert Zemeckis and Milos Forman. Steven Spielberg, a client for more than four decades, has relied on Ramer's negotiating prowess across a slew of film, TV and financing pacts over the years, including complex deals with Reliance and Disney.

In accepting the award, Ramer passionately praised the legal profession as society's "first line of defense" against injustice and anarchy. He noted that Shakespeare's often misinterpreted line "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers," was spoken by bad guy Dick the Butcher in "Henry VI, Part II."

"The first thing any tyrant will do is kill the lawyers," Ramer said.

Ramer is on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and a longtime partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, a firm that specializes in media and entertainment. He received Bet Tzedek's Luis Lanier Founder's Award along with former Gang, Tyre partner Stanley Gold, now CEO of Disney family-owned Shamrock Holdings.

Also honored at the dinner: former Bet Tzedek executive directors Luis Lainer, Terry Friedman, Michael Feuer, David Lash and Mitchell Kamin, all of whom received the Rose L. Schiff Commitment to Justice Award; Jose Alarcon, recipient of the Jack H. Skirball Community Justice Award; and Andrea Ambrose Lobato and Aaron Spiwak, honored with the Rebecca Nichols Emerging Leader Award.

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