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ISO: NEW DEAN FOR CATHOLIC LAW SCHOOL It took a two-year search to hire Douglas Kmiec as dean of Catholic University’s law school. That’s just about how long his stay there lasted. Kmiec, dean of the Columbus School of Law since July 2001, is stepping down from his position — a prospect that has unsettled Catholic University leaders — to return to California and a teaching job at Pepperdine University School of Law. “When he brought it to me I was a little surprised, I must confess, and disappointed,” says Catholic University’s president, the Very Rev. David O’Connell. The search for a new dean will begin in the fall. The process, O’Connell notes, “is not something that any president jumps for joy about.” For his part, Kmiec, a conservative Roman Catholic constitutional scholar who worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, says he misses his three grown children, who stayed behind in California. Kmiec’s arrival coincided with the school’s descent into the third tier of the U.S. News and World Report rankings of law schools. Skeptics worried that the outspoken conservative would alienate students on campus as well as potential applicants, compounding the school’s problems. But in Kmiec’s two years on the job, the school has regained its spot in the second tier, decreased its student-to-faculty ratio from 22-to-1 to 15-to-1, and become more selective. “Academically, we are a stronger institution,” Kmiec says. O’Connell credits Kmiec with raising the prestige of the law school while helping to confirm its Catholic identity. Kmiec wasn’t without controversy, however. He assumed a high profile by weighing in on a range of issues, including judicial nominations and abortion, in newspaper op-eds and in congressional testimony. He created and taught a mandatory course for first-years on Roman Catholic intellectual tradition. (The course remains a requirement.) Kmiec says he isn’t leaving D.C. with hopes of landing a spot on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit — a bench for which his name was floated before he headed east for Catholic University. “I haven’t thought about it in the least,” he says. “But I never close the door on anything. If the president thinks I’m worthy of consideration at some point, I’d be willing to talk to him about it.” Kmiec says he is leaving the school in the hands of “one of the most beloved faculty members at Catholic.” Associate dean for academics and administrative law expert William Fox, a faculty member since 1975, will take over as interim dean on July 15. Fox, who is currently teaching in Scotland, writes via e-mail that he plans to teach at least one course each semester while continuing to bolster the school’s reputation and academics. He notes that he also hopes to improve the school’s bar pass rate. “We now have a superior academic enterprise,” he writes. “I want to work to make it even better.” — Marie Beaudette THE LURE OF LATHAM Latham & Watkins has landed three technology outsourcing partners from Shaw Pittman‘s roughly 100-lawyer technology transactions group, the firm’s largest and most lucrative. D.C. lawyers Allen Klein, 49, and Robert Hasty, 39, have left for Latham’s D.C. office. And Andrew Moyle, 39, co-head of Shaw Pittman’s London office, has moved over to Latham’s London outpost. Klein says Latham’s “global platform, culture of teamwork, and full service worldwide” represented an “opportunity that was too good to pass up.” Klein won’t name clients, but Shaw Pittman’s managing partner, Stephen Huttler, confirms that the departing partners count Deutsche Bank and Lloyd’s of London as clients, and that four London associates are expected to follow Moyle. Huttler calls the departures “unfortunate,” but says the loss of business will not be “material.” Shaw Pittman’s tech transactions group, best known for outsourcing arrangements, delivers between a quarter and a third of the firm’s revenue and just completed its best quarter ever, Huttler says. “Our practice will continue to be the dominant practice in the world,” he adds. — Otis Bilodeau THE LURE OF THE FAR EAST Marc Weinstein of Foley & Lardner‘s D.C. office will open the firm’s Tokyo branch to assist Japanese clients with U.S. matters, including intellectual property issues, acquisitions, and cross-border bankruptcies. “The new office will allow us to be more responsive to our Japanese clients,” says D.C. partner Richard Schwaab, who adds that the firm has had an established Japanese clientele for 25 years. A dozen of the firm’s 447 partners-six from D.C.-will travel frequently to Japan, Schwaab says. Also growing in Asia is San Francisco’s Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, adding 19 attorneys in Hong Kong from the firm Siao Wen & Leung. — Marie Beaudette CAMPAIGN FINANCE CASE: LET THE BRIEFING BEGIN Lawyers across town are scrambling to cope with the Supreme Court’s summer schedule for consideration of appeals in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act cases. Briefs by groups challenging the law are due July 8; defenders have until Aug. 5, and four hours of oral arguments are set for Sept. 8. The first job is to respond to a stern order from the Court clerk’s office to come up with a plan by June 10 for coordinating briefings. The solicitor general’s office asked for clarification on June 6. The betting so far is that the two hours of arguments by proponents of the law will be taken up by Solicitor General Theodore Olson and his predecessor, Seth Waxman, now a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, who represents congressional sponsors. On the other side? “A huge mess,” says one insider, with heavy-hitters such as Kenneth Starr, Floyd Abrams, Charles Cooper, Bobby Burchfield, and Jan Baran in the mix. The Court’s briefing schedule has also set off speculation about justices’ retirement plans. Will the pendency of the case through the summer delay departures-or accelerate them? Some Court-watchers see it as a nonissue, but some think the justices will want to see McConnell v. FEC through to the end, which could mean nobody leaves until December or January. Another factor: justices mulling retirement may not want to trigger a confirmation fight while such a politically charged case is pending. — Tony Mauro SOUTER’S HOME RUN INVESTMENT Supreme Court Justice David Souter is not known as a tech-head or an adventurous investor. But according to his 2002 financial disclosure form released June 4, he’s taken a sizable leap into high-tech investing. The form reveals Souter bought between $100,001 and $250,000 of stock in Biznews24 Inc., a privately held provider of Internet-based business communications. How did Souter find out about the company? One clue is that it’s based in Bedford, N.H., not far from where Souter spent his early career and still spends his summers. “I don’t know the justice too well,” says President Jack Heath, adding that “mutual folks” introduced them. “I’m not a very high-tech person either,” says Heath, formerly a New Hampshire news broadcaster. Heath describes Souter as one of several “quality investors” who have backed the four-year-old firm, which he describes as a “good investment for him, I hope.” — T.M. CAN JUDGE ORDER CIVIL PLAINTIFF EXAMINED? A federal judge heard arguments last week on whether a civil plaintiff can be ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam to determine if she is competent to fire her attorney. U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy ordered D.C.-area architect Elena Sturdza to appear before him to show cause why she shouldn’t be examined. Sturdza, who is seeking millions from the United Arab Emirates and another local designer for allegedly stealing her work, didn’t show up for the June 4 hearing. Sturdza could not be reached for comment. In a letter to the court, she wrote that she could not appear until November. Her former attorney, Nathan Lewin, had earlier argued that Sturdza was acting irrationally and asked for the exam and the appointment of a court monitor. Weeks later, Sturdza fired Lewin for allegedly not following her demands on how to litigate. Lewin argued, in part, that he had a financial interest in seeing the case through. In January, a magistrate judge rejected Lewin’s claims, finding that litigants have a right to proceed pro se. But Kennedy ordered more fact-finding. At the hearing, the defendants argued that Kennedy has no authority to order an exam and that Lewin has no standing to try to stay in the case. “I have grave concern about the precedent being set here,” Haig Kalbian, who represents the UAE, told the judge. Kennedy set a hearing for June 23. — Tom Schoenberg HUNTON’S BID A WINNER IN PATENT CASE Hunton & Williams D.C. partner Scott Robertson calls the $35 million verdict against eBay Inc. in favor of client MercExchange a “David and Goliath” victory. “There’s a corporate arrogance there that’s unfortunate,” Robertson says of eBay. A federal jury in Norfolk, Va., found on May 27 that the online auction house had willfully infringed two patents owned by Great Falls, Va.’s MercExchange. The patents cover technology used to market fixed-price items sold on eBay. MercExchange founder Thomas Woolston filed patent applications for the technology to operate an Internet auction in 1995. — Lily Henning LIFE OF THE PARTY Reed Smith partner A. Scott Bolden slides into political leadership after a majority of the D.C. Democratic State Committee elected him chairman June 5. Bolden fills the seat of former Chairman Norman Neverson, who resigned May 1 amid controversy over statements he made to the Washington City Paper about the original constitutional provision that counted a slave as three-fifths of a man. Bolden, 41, was the finance chair of the committee, the official affiliate of the Democratic Party in the District. He is also a former president of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and has spent over 10 years with Reed Smith’s government relations and litigation group. He says his background has prepared him for his new position and “to take our super Democrats into the 2004 elections, both locally and federally.” — Alicia Upano THE SWID FACTOR: WHO WILL SURVIVE? It’s NBC’s “Fear Factor,” law firm style. But the game that Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman has designed for its D.C. summer associates, dubbed the Swid Factor, doesn’t include eating worms, walking on glass, or any other activity that might trigger litigation. In a reality TV twist on the traditional “get to know you” capers, the firm has paired partners with its 10 summer associates on teams with names such as Caveat Feles Obesus, Non Compos Mentis, and Quid Pro Quo. No $50,000 prizes here, but there are gift certificates and the opportunity to get to know partners and associates along the way. Says Recruiting and Professional Development Director Linda Richtman: “For a lot of summer associates, the word partner just sends chills up their spine.” — L.H.

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