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FIRMS PROVIDE CHEER � AND HOLIDAY CASH � FOR THE HOLIDAYS ‘Tis the season for law firms to spread their wealth around the city. Their lucky recipients? Nonprofits, legal services providers, and law schools. In recent weeks, the D.C. and New York offices of McKee Nelson raised $140,000 in a workplace giving campaign through America’s Charities. Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky gave Bread for the City a $73,000 donation. Bread for the City spokeswoman Anne Ellsworth says other firms making donations included Jones Day (nearly $15,000) and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (nearly $5,000). Other firms have participated in various adopt-a-family or gift-giving campaigns. Arnold & Porter, through Martha’s Table, gave 831 gifts to underprivileged children. McKenna Long & Aldridge; Pillsbury Winthrop; Shea & Gardner; and Bryan Cave adopted 39 children through the 2003 Adopt-a-Child for Christmas Program of the Children’s Law Center, giving gifts and clothes. Howrey Simon Arnold & White collected gifts for the elderly, and a dozen Venable staffers knitted and crocheted items for the elderly at the Washington Nursing Facility. Covington & Burling is matching donations to law schools � 1-to-1 for partners and 5-to-1 for associates � as well as giving to local legal services providers. Financial support and grass-roots efforts are needed more than ever, says Timothy Turnham, director of development at the Whitman-Walker Clinic. The HIV clinic has sold property and begun charging for services. Like many other public service organizations in the D.C. area, the clinic was affected by a falloff in donations to the United Way of the National Capital Area in 2002. The United Way’s financial scandal, plus a sour economy, resulted in a $1.5 million drop in law firm giving in 2002, and a $26.7 million decline overall. But this year, the picture looks brighter. In 2003, 108 firms in the District participated in the United Way drive � that’s four more than last year, but still 30 fewer than in 2001. Foley & Lardner, which renewed its support this year, raised $66,125 in a two-week United Way campaign. “As a firm and a business leader in the community, we thought we should reclaim our support for the United Way,” says partner Jeffrey Micklos. United Way law firm volunteers William Wilkins of Wilmer, Culter & Pickering and Susan Hoffman of Crowell & Moring are encouraged by the legal community’s support of the United Way this year. Without an organized workplace drive, Hoffman says, “It leads to less giving.” � Alicia Upano MILITARY JUSTICE A handful of prominent lawyers are poised to step into the military commission process that will be used to try suspected al Qaeda members held at Guantanamo Bay. According to two Pentagon officials, retired Gen. John Altenburg Jr., of counsel in the D.C. office of Greenberg Traurig and former No. 2 in the Army JAG Corps, is slated to replace Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as appointing authority for military commissions. Altenburg will serve as the primary administrator for military commissions with responsibility for approving charges against accused terrorists, selecting military commission members, authorizing plea agreements, and reviewing commission findings. Though no one has yet been charged before a military commission, the Pentagon is considering cases against six individuals designated by President George W. Bush in July 2003. Altenburg � who declined comment � left the Army in 2001 after nearly 30 years of service. An expert in military justice and the law of war, he played leadership roles in the first Gulf War and in operations in Haiti, Somalia, and Bosnia. As a trial lawyer, he prosecuted and defended more than 400 felony cases, including 25 murders. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig in November 2002, the 59-year-old Altenburg served as a corporate compliance consultant to the president of the World Bank Group. The Pentagon is also finalizing a list of several other appointees to serve on military commission review panels. According to several sources, those likely to be named include former Attorney General Griffin Bell and former Transportation Secretary William Coleman Jr. Coleman, senior counsel in the D.C. office of O’Melveny & Myers, says his firm is in the process of conducting a conflicts check. Bell, senior partner at Atlanta’s King & Spalding, could not be reached for comment. Also, retired Gen. Thomas Hemingway has been recalled to active duty to serve as the top legal adviser to the appointing authority. � Vanessa Blum COMING HOME It’s a post-holiday homecoming for Deborah Platt Majoras, the former principal deputy assistant attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. She returns Jan. 1 to Jones Day as a D.C. partner in its antitrust and competition practice. Majoras joined the firm as a new associate in 1991 and made partner in 1999. During her tenure at the DOJ, which began in April 2001, Majoras played an instrumental role in the department’s settlement of United States v. Microsoft, and recently argued the appeal of that case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In addition to Microsoft, she was responsible for supervising other high-profile matters, including the review of deals between the First Data Corp. and Concord EFS Inc.; the General Electric Co. and Honeywell International Inc.; Univision Inc. and the Hispanic Broadcasting Corp.; and the Northrop Grumman Corp. and TRW Inc. Majoras says her tenure at Justice was both “enormously rewarding and challenging.” � Lily Henning TEAM VIRGINIA The commonwealth of Virginia has hired five firms to represent it on intellectual property matters, according to Thomas Moncure, senior counsel to Attorney General Jerry Kilgore. Four of them � Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch; Christian & Barton; Penn, Stuart & Eskridge; and Williams Mullen � are based in Virginia, but the fifth is Foley & Lardner, which was founded in Milwaukee and doesn’t have an office in Virginia. Spearheading the work for Foley are two D.C. partners: Cleta Mitchell of the public affairs practice group and IP lawyer Richard Peet. “We really appreciated that Attorney General Kilgore has given us this opportunity,” Mitchell says. Foley’s work will include assisting state universities with filing patent applications. Mitchell says the firm has already worked on a couple of matters involving George Mason University. Lawyers at Williams Mullen, which also does a lot of patent work for Virginia universities, were likewise pleased to make the list. “It was a great accolade for us that we were selected by the state,” says partner Thomas McVey. � Christine Hines CIVIL WAR Famed securities fraud litigator William Lerach agreed earlier this month to lead giant pension fund CalPERS into a federal court in Manhattan in hopes of waging war against the New York Stock Exchange. But his first skirmish will be with partners at the East Coast operation of his own firm, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach. For the past six months, the firm has been in the process of splitting in two. Partners in New York have already staked their claim to represent the investors in a class action that alleges several Wall Street specialist banks skimmed money from trades between buyers and sellers. So Lerach’s entry makes it likely the firm’s two offices will battle each other for the lucrative role of lead counsel. The firm’s ongoing divorce is due in part to differences between its two highest-profile partners, New York’s Melvyn Weiss and San Diego’s Lerach. Attorneys with Milberg could not be reached for comment. “It’s going to be interesting to watch,” says David Rosenfeld, an associate at New York’s Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, which filed one of several complaints in the case but is not seeking to represent the class. “We’re all waiting to see how this plays out.” � Jason Hoppin, The Recorder THEIR WAY Years ago, when they were both partners at the Tyson’s Corner office of Miles & Stockbridge, Deborah Cochran and Amy Owen talked about starting their own firm. In 2004, they’ll finally do it: Their estate planning, tax, and employment law firm, Cochran & Owen, is opening its doors in Tysons Corner, Va., on Jan. 1. “We were both interested in creating a business,” says Cochran, now a partner at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. “We’d have the flexibility to make the rules and set it up the way that we want to.” Owen, of counsel at Richards McGettigan Reilly & West, says their family and friends, including colleagues at their current firms, have been supportive of their endeavor. Both Owen and Cochran say they are taking most of their clients to their new firm, and they’re also bringing two associates, three paralegals, and two administrative assistants. � Marie Beaudette OPTING OUT In 1999, the U.S. Department of Agriculture settled a massive class action filed by African-American farmers claiming discrimination in farm benefit and loan programs. As of July 2003, more than 13,000 farmers had settled their claims, most for a flat $50,000. But the deal also gives farmers the chance to opt out and pursue their own suits if they think they can prove bigger damages � and some have. On Dec. 15, Holland & Knight D.C. partner Louise Cobbs added two new plaintiffs to a case she filed in September in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, giving her as clients 12 farmers seeking $30 million. “It was outrageous, what happened to these people,” says Cobbs, an aviation lawyer handling the case pro bono. The complaint alleges that the USDA often failed to process the black farmers’ loan applications and did not give them the same level of assistance that white farmers received. The government has not yet filed its answer. � Jonathan Groner NEW DEAN The University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law has selected Harvard law professor Christopher Edley Jr. to be its next dean. He will be the first African-American to lead a top-ranked law school, according to Boalt Hall. Boalt’s announcement earlier this month caps a year-long search to replace John Dwyer, who resigned after 21 months as dean in the wake of sexual harassment allegations involving a student. John Quigley, a UC-Berkeley economics professor who was head of the search committee, says Edley was selected from among 215 candidates turned up in a national search. The committee was impressed with Edley’s scholarship and experience in government, as well as the civil rights policy think tank he built at Harvard. � Renee Deger, The Recorder

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