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LONG WAIT LIKELY FOR D.C. CIRCUIT NOMINEE Thomas Griffith probably shouldn’t start packing his bags any time soon for a move from Provo, Utah, to Washington, D.C. On May 10, President George W. Bush nominated Griffith, general counsel of Brigham Young University, for a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. But even though Griffith, 49, shares a home state with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, he seems no more likely than his fellow D.C. Circuit nominees, Janice Rogers Brown and Brett Kavanaugh, to win Senate approval. Brown and Kavanaugh both have had Judiciary Committee hearings, but have been stalled by Senate Democrats for political reasons. The problem with Griffith, a former legal counsel to the U.S. Senate and a former partner at D.C.’s Wiley Rein & Fielding, seems as much a matter of timing. “Griffith raises a mix of procedural and substantive issues,” says Elliot Mincberg, legal director of People for the American Way. “To begin with, it’s extremely late for a nomination for the D.C. Circuit in an election year.” An influential Judiciary Democrat, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, said recently that he does not expect any more votes on judicial nominees to occur this year. Women’s groups are also scrutinizing Griffith because of his role as a member of a presidential panel on Title IX in 2002. One civil rights advocate says he supported weakening enforcement of the prohibition against gender discrimination in education. Griffith’s nomination to the long-vacant 12th seat on the court also may rile Democrats because GOP senators blocked appointments to that seat during the Clinton years. Republicans then claimed the court wasn’t busy enough for an additional judge. But they now are expected to reply that with the Brown and Kavanaugh nominations in limbo, Griffith is in effect a nominee for the 10th seat. Griffith declines comment, and a White House spokeswoman did not return a call. Kay Daly, head of an activist group supporting Bush’s judge nominations, says Griffith is “a strict constructionist who will apply the law as he understands it” and that he deserves to be confirmed. Also last week, several Democratic senators raised new questions about the nomination of Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes II to the 4th Circuit. In a May 10 letter, Durbin asked Hatch to schedule a new hearing for Haynes so senators can ask the nominee about his alleged role in setting ground rules for the interrogation of Iraqi detainees. Margarita Tapia, a Hatch spokeswoman, says the Haynes nomination, now on the floor, “will not be recalled to the committee.” — Jonathan Groner CRACKING THE WHIP If law firm partners want to tell their associates to work harder, maybe it’s time to return to the closed-door meeting. Earlier this month, a partner in the D.C. office of Holland & Knight sent an internal e-mail to associates questioning their work habits. It didn’t take long for the e-mail to go public. Holland & Knight partner David Kahn‘s May 5 message to associates in the office’s real estate department stated, in all capital letters, “This is unacceptable,” and went on to ask that associates bill at least 175 hours a month, adding they should be in their offices night and weekends. “I try to treat all of you like adults,” he said. The e-mail quickly became fodder for Internet message boards, where associates mostly slammed the memo’s tone. In a faxed statement to Legal Times, Kahn said, “I regret that the tone of the internal memo . . . may have sounded harsh to people who do not know me.” One associate who received the original message defended Kahn. Sixth-year associate Christopher Camarra says he was not offended by the e-mail, but was “disappointed [with the incident] because it suggests that this place is a sweatshop,” which, he says, isn’t true. — Christine Hines CONFLICT RESOLUTION If she is confirmed by the Senate and takes office, there’s one area in antitrust and consumer protection law that Deborah Platt Majoras, the new nominee to head the Federal Trade Commission, won’t be able to touch: matters involving global powerhouse Jones Day, where she was a partner and her husband, John Majoras, is a leading antitrust partner. Deborah Jeffrey, a D.C. partner with Zuckerman Spaeder who specializes in government ethics, says, “It may be perceived as bigger limitation than it is.” Majoras declines comment, citing pending confirmation hearings. Best known as a lead attorney in the government’s lawsuit against the Microsoft Corp., Majoras would replace Timothy Muris. — Lily Henning EXIT STRATEGY Chief Justice William Rehnquist has grown good at artfully dodging the artless question of when he might retire. But in a C-SPAN interview that was scheduled to air May 15, host Brian Lamb got the 79-year-old chief to deviate slightly from his usual deflection of the issue. Lamb told Rehnquist he is four years away from being the longest-serving justice in history. “Well, I have no ambition to be that,” Rehnquist snapped-not exactly a commitment a leave before 2008, but a suggestion that breaking a record won’t be a motivation to stay. Rehnquist also said he and his colleagues were not pleased at the recent release of the late Justice Harry Blackmun’s papers five years after his death and 10 years after retiring from the Court. “We’ve talked about it, and I think a majority of us, though not all of us currently serving, believe that it should be with the retirement of the last person from the Court with whom you served.” If Clarence Thomas, the youngest justice, is able to keep his rumored post-confirmation threat to double his age on the Court, that means Rehnquist’s papers would be released no earlier than 2034. — Tony Mauro DREAM LIFE Charles Duncan saw his career come full circle. In 1954, then a partner at Reeves, Robinson, and Duncan, he watched D.C. Corporation Counsel Milton Korman argue that racial segregation in District public schools was legal. Twelve years later, in 1966, Duncan was named D.C.’s first black corporation counsel. Duncan, one of the city’s pre-eminent African-American lawyers, died on May 4. Wilmer Cutler Pickering partner and civil rights lawyer John Payton calls Duncan, who authored an amicus brief in Brown v. Board of Education, a member of the “original dream team” that defeated segregation. Duncan went on to be general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and then the city’s corporation counsel, a position he held during the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. In the 1970s, Duncan also headed Howard University School of Law. In 1984, Duncan joined the D.C. office of what was then Reid & Priest in 1984 as a partner. “He was a damn fine lawyer,” says Thomas Igoe Jr., chairman of Thelen Reid & Priest. “We always felt blessed to have him with us.” Duncan left the firm in 1994 to serve on the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague. A memorial service for Duncan will be held on June 19 at Howard Law’s Dumbarton Chapel. — Marie Beaudette BEEFING UP Several D.C. lobby shops are putting on muscle. Samuel Skinner, secretary of transportation and White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush, has joined Miami-based Greenberg Traurig as of counsel. “The firm’s depth of practice areas is very attractive to me,” says Skinner, who will work out of the D.C. and Chicago offices. Food and drug firm Olsson, Frank and Weeda added to the firm’s legislative practice John Block, secretary of agriculture under President Ronald Reagan. Sally Donner, formerly a director of government affairs at the Altria Group, and Brian Johnson, former president of Capitol Consultants, also join the firm in the legislative advisers group. And 3-year-old law firm Loeffler Jonas & Tuggey added four lobbyists to its D.C. office. Julie Domenick, executive vice president of the Investment Company Institute, an association for the mutual funds industry, joined the firm as its managing principal, and Dallas “Rob” Sweezy, a George W. Bush administration appointee to Health and Human Services, has joined the firm as a principal. The firm also brought on Joseph Mondello, a top aide to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), as a partner. New principal Kristen Palasciano Gullott was an Energy Department policy adviser. — Marie Beaudette and Kristen A. Lee OPEN AND SHUT The presidentially appointed commission looking into intelligence failures over Iraqi weapons has pledged a degree of openness to public scrutiny. In a May 11 letter to lawyers representing the Natural Resources Defense Council, commission general counsel Stewart Baker said the panel will make some of its documents available for review in a reading room. But there are “logistical difficulties,” Baker wrote. Because of its sensitive intelligence mission, the panel’s offices will be located in a SCIF-a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. That kind of super-secret location can’t be open to the public, so the commission has to figure out how to provide access somewhere else. But, as in the past, Baker didn’t concede that the commission is covered by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the law that the NRDC lawyers rely on. “This is a step in the right direction,” says NRDC lawyer Howard Crystal. “But we still don’t understand why they don’t just concede that FACA applies.” — Jonathan Groner DEPUTY DEANS Georgetown University Law Center Dean-designate T. Alexander Aleinikoff has already started to make his mark by appointing two new associate deans. Carol O’Neil, currently an assistant dean for J.D. programs, will take over the newly created post of associate dean for academic administration, and Vicki Jackson, a constitutional and comparative law professor, will become the associate dean for research and academic programs. “It is really an exciting time for the law school,” Jackson says. All three will assume their new positions July 1. — Bethany Broida FASHION SENSITIVITY Hogan & Hartson is giving unsolicited fashion advice to its lawyers and staff. The firm’s executive committee last week sent out a memo criticizing their too-casual attire in an office that has a business-casual dress code. Employee dress in recent months has been “detracting from the professional atmosphere required at a top-tier, international law firm,” the memo says. “Moreover, this has occurred at a time when many professional organizations are moving away from casual dress and trending more towards traditional business attire.” The memo included a list of unacceptable attire. For women: No midriff-baring tops or peep-toed shoes. For the men: No suede or leather pants. Chairman J. Warren Gorrell says the firm sends out a similar memo each year when the weather warms up. — Marie Beaudette

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