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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has snagged Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney Roscoe Howard Jr., along with Mark Nagle, head of the office’s civil division. The two will join Sheppard, Mullin’s D.C. outpost as partners June 1. They will work with the firm’s white collar, government contracts and antitrust lawyers. Howard, who was appointed to the chief prosecutor post by President Bush in 2001, said his decision to leave had nothing to do with Bush’s chances of winning or losing the upcoming election. Right before an election many presidential appointees start getting approached by firms interested in hiring them, Howard said, and some firms had begun contacting him. “There are only 93 U.S. attorneys throughout the country so you’re not a real common commodity,” Howard said. Howard said the chance to help Sheppard, Mullin grow its D.C. office was appealing. The firm opened the 25-attorney outpost in February 2003. “It’s not often you get the opportunity to start at a firm building something,” Howard said. Sheppard, Mullin Chairman Guy Halgren said the firm met Howard and Nagle through recruiter Lyles Carr, of D.C.’s The McCormick Group. Carr, who is helping Sheppard, Mullin build its D.C. office, represents Howard and Nagle. Howard said he began initial contacts with law firms and pulled Nagel into the discussions so they could build a practice together. “Many firms around D.C. were interested in Roscoe and Mark,” Halgren said. “They interviewed with firms around the country and we won.” As manager of more than 360 prosecutors, Howard has led several high-profile cases, including Pacific Health Systems Inc.’s alleged overcharges to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the Washington Teachers Union embezzlement scandal, the prosecution of the man convicted of killing two Gallaudet University students, and the ongoing investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings. Prior to joining the U.S. attorney’s office, Howard was a law professor at the University of Kansas Law School. During his career he served as associate independent counsel for the investigations of former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Samuel Pierce and also served as staff attorney for the Federal Trade Commission and as assistant U.S. attorney in Richmond, Va. Nagel served as assistant U.S. attorney in the D.C. office from 1985 to 1997 and had a brief stint at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae before returning to the office in his current post in 1998.

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