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FOR A FEW BUCKS, IT’S HOWREY FOR HOLLYWOOD Howrey Simon Arnold & White just lost one of its clients — to a homicidal gunman no less. Sound like a plot from a movie? Well, it is. At the beginning of “Runaway Jury,” based on lawyer-turned-novelist John Grisham’s best seller, actor Dylan McDermott strolls into his stockbroker office and is reminded by his secretary that he has an 11 a.m. appointment on an antitrust matter with Howrey Simon. The name-dropping is not accidental. The Washington, D.C.-based firm paid for the placement. While law firms have gotten free publicity on television shows — Debevoise & Plimpton on “West Wing” and Latham & Watkins on “Law & Order” — Howrey Simon believes it’s the first to pay to have its name mentioned in a movie. “Everyone thinks it’s fun, creative,” said Robert Phillips, a partner in Howrey Simon’s San Francisco office. “It’s an innovative move to get our name out there.” Other firms have gotten on the smaller screen through personal connections. A partner at Debevoise is a close friend of “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin. And Latham Chief Marketing Officer Jolene Overbeck is a surfing friend of one of the writers of “Law & Order.” The writer inserted a reference to Latham in one of the scripts without telling Overbeck beforehand. Howrey Simon got the placement through its consulting firm, J Street Consulting. J Street’s West Hollywood affiliate, Coop Ventures, contacted various movie studios to find the right movie for Howrey Simon and worked out a deal with 20th Century Fox. The firm is mum about the cost. Chris Till, Howrey’s marketing director, said it was a “negligible amount” of a $1.5 million ad campaign that the firm launched in September 2002. It’s not clear whether Howrey Simon is looking to star in any other features. But Robert Ruyak, Howrey’s managing partner and CEO, is starting to sound a little bit like an agent as he describes the firm’s promotional efforts. “‘Runaway Jury’ was a natural placement for us to pursue,” Ruyak said in a news release. “It was a great book and is a terrific movie, one which our target audience will undoubtedly see.” – Brenda Sandburg THE GOSPEL TRUTH Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s promise to do things differently extended all the way down to the Bible he used at his inauguration last week. Schwarzenegger placed his hand on a family Bible from 1811 when Chief Justice Ronald George swore him in, rather than a Bible that dates from 1501 that’s from the state library. The state’s Bible has been used by a host of other constitutional officers, including Govs. Gray Davis and George Deukmejian and Attorney General Bill Lockyer. After taking the oath, officials typically inscribe the 1501 Bible before it is returned to the state library. George, who signed the Bible himself when he was sworn in, said the old book is riddled with wormholes that look like “tiny pinpricks.” Schwarzenegger, however, wanted to use his newer book. He drafted George to help him with the change in tradition, even asking the chief to sign the family Bible. “I commemorated the occasion that this was the Bible that was used to swear him in as the 38th governor of California,” George said, describing what he wrote. “I wished him well.” George said he traveled up to Sacramento the day before the inauguration for a meeting at Schwarzenegger’s hotel to go over plans. He also attended a dinner with Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff, Pat Cleary, and former Gov. Pete Wilson, who appointed George chief justice. After the inauguration, George attended some of the celebratory lunches around Sacramento before getting “lunched out” and heading back to his office to work. It wasn’t just the Bible-signing that made Schwarzenegger’s inauguration different from other events George has attended. (He swore in Gov. Gray Davis and other state officials.) The chief said the “populist effort” of the recall gave the whole ceremony “a different kind of atmosphere.” “It’s difficult to describe it exactly. You could tell that there were people who wanted a change in government. � And there’s a certain enthusiasm,” George said. — Jeff Chorney WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE Winston & Strawn attorney Robert Julian spent Wednesday evening at a Sonoma City Council meeting defending the controversial French delicacy of foie gras, or fattened goose liver, to a crowd of about 100 residents. The venue was somewhat unusual for the complex commercial litigator, whose typical caseload consists of business disputes involving breaches of fiduciary duty. But in the so-called foie gras wars, anything goes. “What’s interesting about this case, it is as much working with the public through the media as it is with the judges in the courts,” says Julian. A partner in the San Francisco office of Winston & Strawn, Julian is representing Sonoma Foie Gras and Sonoma Saveurs. The latter is a still-unopened restaurant in Sonoma that was vandalized by animal rights activists in August. Sonoma Foie Gras is a farm that produces the gourmet specialty. In September, four activists broke into the farm and absconded with an equal number of waterfowl, ostensibly to rescue the birds. That escapade has spawned two suits, one seeking damages from the intruders, and the other suing the farm for animal cruelty. Animal rights groups contend that producing foie gras is animal torture, since the birds must be force fed several times a day in order to inflate their livers to the appropriate size. Julian says that a goose’s physiology, notably the hardened esophagus and lack of a gag reflex, means that the tubes which are inserted into their throats for force feeding are no more painful than the large, sharp-finned fish the birds eat in the wild. Julian hit upon these themes in his Sonoma stump speech last week, which was in response to a petition requesting that foie gras be outlawed within city limits. The petition itself carried no weight, since it was not an actual bill sponsored by a member of the council. But, notes Julian, the petition accused his client of animal cruelty, which is a crime. “We take the accusation seriously, and so he needed legal representation,” he said. — Alexei Oreskovic

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