For Mark Phillips, the flurry of attention surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Manson family murders last month validated the thesis of his book, “Trials of the Century: A Decade-by-Decade Look at Ten of America’s Most Sensational Crimes.” Phillips, an attorney at Lewitt Hackman in Encino, and his daughter Aryn Phillips published in 2016, with the chapter about the 1970s featuring the Charles Manson trial. “I was fascinated by the high-profile media trial of each decade, how the media treats them and how the media can push a trial out of its trajectory of fairness,” Phillips told Valley Insider. His legal background helped in understanding court documents and composing the text. “Lawyers write. Writing is second nature, so the work I do made that process easier,” he said. Phillips and his daughter each wrote five chapters, then reviewed each other’s work, but the identity of each chapter’s authorship remains confidential, per the publisher. Phillips formerly worked at Goldfarb Sturman & Averbach, which merged with Lewitt Hackman on Sept. 1. … Alexis Montevirgen, the new president at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, loves to travel so much he takes extremely compressed trips. For example, a few years ago he enjoyed a weekend jaunt to Dubai. “Folks say, is that even possible? It is,” Montevirgen confirmed. He flew out on Friday night, arrived in Dubai Saturday morning, spent the day and Sunday looking around, and took a redeye back to the USA – arriving in time for work on Monday. “Luckily, I sleep well on planes,” he told Valley Insider. “I joke that I get better rest on airplanes than if I had stayed home and had to do laundry and clean the apartment.” Montevirgen has pulled weekenders to his native Philippines as well.

Staff Reporter Amy Stulick contributed to Valley Insider, which is compiled by Editor Joel Russell. Send submissions to jrussell@sfvbj.com.