X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
THE PRINCETON MEN WHO’D REBUILD IRAQ Who will mold Iraq into a capitalist democracy? The Department of Defense has signaled its aim to guide the postwar effort. Now a longtime friend and adviser to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may emerge as a key player in the process from outside the government. Sources close to the Pentagon and to the nation building already under way in Afghanistan predict that onetime Secretary of the Army Martin Hoffmann will play an advisory role in the reconstruction of Iraq. Hoffmann is already deeply involved in the postwar campaign in Afghanistan. He’s also “one of the very small number of people who is an age and cultural peer to Rumsfeld who has been called in [in the past] and had a great amount of sway,” says one former senior Pentagon official. Hoffmann, who is in his early 70s and now serves on the boards of a handful of nonprofits, did not reply to several requests for comment. The Pentagon did not reply to a request for comment. His ties to Rumsfeld run deep. The two men graduated from Princeton in 1954. Hoffmann served as secretary of the Army under Rumsfeld during the Ford administration. When Rumsfeld returned to lead the Defense Department again in 2001, he tapped Hoffmann to advise him on the transition. They’ve cruised together in the Caribbean and hosted Princeton gatherings at their respective homes in Taos, N.M. Hoffmann’s private-sector career includes a 12-year stretch as managing partner of the D.C. office of Gardner, Carton & Douglas. He left the firm in 1989 to join the Digital Equipment Corp., where he served as a vice president and general counsel. Hoffmann currently serves as a leader of the Private Sector Development Task Force for Afghanistan. Formed last year by a cluster of pro-business nonprofits and Afghanistan’s U.S. ambassador, the group’s stated aim is “to accelerate development of a private enterprise-driven market economy in Afghanistan.” Hoffmann has worked closely on that effort, which involves drafting commercial law and wooing foreign investors, with a D.C.-based agribusiness promoter called the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs. Frank Carlucci — Carlyle Group partner, former defense secretary, and a class of ’52 Princeton grad — is the chairman of that group. Rumsfeld was recently named an “honorary adviser.” John Russell Deane III, a partner at D.C.’s Trainum, Snowdon & Deane who is working with Hoffmann to develop an Afghan commercial code, says the task force has “not been formally asked” by the Pentagon about participating in postwar Iraq. As for Hoffmann’s contacts with Rumsfeld himself, Deane demurs. “He may very well have been helpful to others in showing the types of things that are possible,” Deane says. — Otis Bilodeau IRAQ: UNDER FIRE IN THE COURTS Even before bombs began falling on Baghdad, Saddam Hussein was already under fire in the U.S. courts. Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released $58 million in Iraqi assets to pay judgments in two civil suits. The money was used to satisfy about half of two judgments against Iraq in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. According to lawyers who worked on the cases, about $47 million — minus legal fees — was paid to about 150 Americans used as “human shields” by Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. In December 2001, a federal judge ordered Iraq to pay these victims and their spouses $94 million. The other case involves four Americans jailed and tortured for alleged border infractions between 1992 and 1995. Two years ago, a different federal judge ordered Iraq to pay $18.8 million; last week, $11.7 million was received. According to James Cooper-Hill, a Texas lawyer who represents the four Americans, a provision in President George W. Bush’s March 20 executive order absorbing Iraqi assets assures that the rest of the $55 million owed in the cases will be paid. “We couldn’t be happier,” says Cooper-Hill, who is trying to collect a separate $1.5 million judgment from Iraq. Daniel Wolf, a partner at D.C.’s Sprenger & Lang, represents the “human shield” plaintiffs, as well as about 200 others who are suing Iraq. Meanwhile, on March 18, veteran CBS reporter Bob Simon and cameraman Roberto Alvarez sued Hussein and the Iraqi government in D.C. federal court, seeking $136 million in damages for being detained and tortured for 40 days in 1991. Simon, who lives in Tel Aviv, is a correspondent for “60 Minutes II.” The day after filing his action, he appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” to discuss the current conflict with Iraq. Stephen Fennell, a Steptoe & Johnson partner who represents Simon and Alvarez, says he doesn’t see a problem with Simon covering the current war and suing Hussein at the same time. — Tom Schoenberg PREPARING FOR THE WORST As bombs fall in Baghdad 6,000 miles away, many downtown D.C. firms are girding for the possibility of terrorist reprisals at home. Covington & Burling expects to receive a shipment this week of kits containing radios, blankets, flashlights, and a three-day supply of food for each of its 1,200 employees firmwide. The firm already has a well-rehearsed evacuation plan in place, says executive director John Waters, noting that all of Covington’s offices are in major cities and potentially vulnerable. “We don’t consider our emergency plan book to ever be finished,” Waters says. In addition to food and water, among the equipment Piper Rudnick began stockpiling late last month after the terrorism alert level was raised to high are respirator masks and walkie-talkies, says director of administration Nancy Cole. The firm first started handing out the supplies in its Washington and New York offices, then made the initiative firmwide, Cole says. Michael Emery, director of administration in the D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, says such contingency plans are uncharted territory for the firm. “This is a whole new concept for us,” Emery says. Six weeks of intensive planning resulted in a detailed disaster protocol that outlines plans for evacuation or shelter on site and the distribution of food and medical supplies, Emery adds. Crowell & Moring used Y2K computer system plans as a springboard to its strategy for emergencies in case the firm’s D.C. offices become inaccessible. Managers quickly found that data backup would only be part of the approach. Now the firm is buying light sticks, water, and masks. Says managing partner Herbert Martin: “The threats we have to deal with now are much more daunting.” — Lily Henning RESERVE DUTY: THE BOTTOM LINE When William Dyre, 40, left his patent litigation practice in the Atlanta office of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner a month ago to serve as a major in the Army Reserves, it prompted his firm to come up with a military leave policy. With war an immediate concern for thousands of reservists, many firms are doing the same — or revising policies they haven’t consulted since the 1991 Gulf War. Finnegan’s solution — to pay the difference between an employee’s firm salary and his or her military compensation for the entire tour of duty. Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski adopted the same policy last month when one of its employees was called to active duty, says administrative partner Jack Vaughan. At McDermott, Will & Emery, employees will get the difference between firm salaries and military pay for up to 90 days. Two non-attorneys in the firm’s D.C. office are among the million reservists eligible for duty. Managing partner Timothy Waters says because reservists could serve for up to two years, the firm will revisit the issue in six months. — Lily Henning FBI’S NEW BEAT Last week’s revelation that the Department of Justice had in December granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service the power to arrest and detain immigration visa violators was a surprise, but it was the secrecy surrounding the matter that has some in the immigration bar and on Capitol Hill fuming. The delegation of authority was conferred without publication in the Federal Register. It was, however, “legal,” says Justice Department spokesman Mark Corallo. “It was in a memo that was sent to the heads of the affected agencies and then communicated to the field.” The Department of Homeland Security took control of immigration law enforcement on March 1. The rule allows FBI agents or marshals to detain an individual until a DHS agent arrives, Corallo says. But the regulation, first divulged in a March 19 Washington Post article, is exacerbating concerns on Capitol Hill that the executive branch — technically not required in this instance to give formal notice of the change — is nonetheless failing even to give legislators a courtesy heads-up. “There has been absolutely no track record of this administration checking with Congress” before making major rule changes, says one Senate staffer. “It’s very troubling,” the staffer says. It bothers immigration groups, too. “The authority of the attorney general in this is highly questionable,” says Crystal Williams, liaison director for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Yet Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, says that allowing FBI agents or marshals to arrest suspects on immigration charges “can be very useful in the war on terrorism.” A CIS study found that of 48 al Qaeda members discovered in the United States, more than 20 were in violation of immigration laws. The real issue here, he says, “is one of liaison between DOJ and Congress.” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, has asked the DOJ for more information. — Siobhan Roth U.S. LAW FIRMS IN MIDDLE EAST HOLD THEIR GROUND For the handful of U.S. law firms with offices in the Middle East, it’s still business as usual — albeit on a more cautious note. White & Case has lawyers in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, servicing the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco), the world’s largest oil company. Firm spokesman Roger Cohen says the dozen or so lawyers and staff there — some of whom were born in the Middle East, others who’ve lived there for years — are “exercising care and prudence.” Firm leaders have “been spending a lot of time” recently talking to the Saudi offices about safety, Cohen says, and lawyers get security updates via a service known as the Warden System. Baker & Mckenzie also has a nine-lawyer Riyadh office, which has worked on such matters as restructuring an $850 million loan to the Arabian Industrial Fibres Co. and helping the Saudi government on privatization issues. Baker & McKenzie also recently opened an office in Bahrain, with clients including the National Bank of Bahrain. “We have advised all our lawyers and staff that it is very much a personal decision as to whether they would prefer to stay or leave, and that we will respect and support their individual decisions,” says firm spokesperson Judith Green. The State Department has advised U.S. citizens to “consider departing” Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as well as the United Arab Emirates, where Shearman & Sterling has had an Abu Dhabi outpost since 1975. “We’ve been there a long time, and we’re going to continue to be there a long time,” says spokesperson Dara McQuillan, noting that the Abu Dhabi Oil Co. is a client. “We’re a tough bunch.” — Jenna Greene

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.