Anastopoulo & Clore LLC
West Ashley. 706 Orleans Road. 722-8070
"EXTREME AKIM, EXTREME AKIM, EXTREME AKIM!" That's the rhyming chant that greets local attorney Akim Anastopoulo every time he walks onto the set of Eye for an Eye, the syndicated daytime courtroom program he's hosted for the last four years.
If you're a member of the 9-to-5 working world, you may have yet to see the program. On Eye for an Eye, Anastopoulo presides over a "courtroom" that consists of movie-theatre seats for the audience and two waist-high metal cages for the litigants. The cages are part of the show's theme -- the winning litigant gets to exact customized revenge for wrongdoing, like taking a chainsaw to an ex's big-screen TV or putting scratches all over a lazy tow-truck driver's personal vehicle -- and they're just the beginning of the Jerry-Springer-meets-Judge-Judy spectacle.
"The show is a blast," Anastopoulo says. "It's just opened up so many outlets. I've been on [The Big Idea with] Donnie Deutsch, The Abrams Report, and CNN quite a few times just due to the fact that I'm a judge on a TV show. And these amazing parties I've been invited to! I went to Hugh Hefner's private party with Playboy bunnies, got to walk the red carpet at the daytime Emmys with my wife and kids ... that was a great experience."
Although the show wasn't actually nominated for an Emmy, it's slowly become a worldwide cultural phenomenon and is currently syndicated in a mind-boggling 48 countries. It even garnered Anastopoulo and his family a chance to put up the world's most famous houseguest, Kato Kaelin, who serves as the commentator on Eye for an Eye.
"Kato's fun," Anastopoulo says, "I have to travel with him a lot to do promotional things, and he's quite a character. He came and stayed with us not too long ago and we had a great time. My wife did ask me how long he was staying, though [laughs]."
But don't think that the former Strong Arm has gone all Hollywood on his hometown. He first started practicing law over 20 years ago, and he still manages the law firm he shares with partner Mark D. Clore. He's also made a plethora of warm impressions on servicepeople across town -- we've heard nothing but rave reviews about how affable Anastopoulo is when he comes into places like Starbucks and local bars (where he just might buy a round for everyone if the mood is right.)
Anastopoulo also helped launched a record label, King Chuck Records, that helps underprivileged youth get studio time to write, work on, and record their original songs. The label recently put out a compilation stocked with tracks from 12 different artists, which you can sample at the label's MySpace page (www.myspace.com/kingchuckrecords).
"My main goal is to help people within this community to get a jump start, because there is huge music talent here," Anastopoulo says. "I've heard some voices that are as good or better than the top people in the country ... we've developed the resources to get their CDs made."
So as Anastopoulo celebrates his second Best Lawyer win in a row, we had to ask: is he considering taking the bench here in Charleston County anytime soon?
"No no no no no," Anastopoulo says, chuckling. "Real judges don't make nearly the amount of money TV judges make. You'd be shocked at the small amount of money they pay real judges."