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GOP VICTORIES MAY NOT AFFECT THE DISTRICT Four more years of Republican control of the White House may not necessarily be a bad thing for overwhelmingly Democratic D.C. residents, if history is any indication. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton(D) says that, for the most part, President George W. Bush and leaders in the Republican-controlled House and Senate have respected the city’s independence when it comes to local issues. Norton, who was re-elected last week to an eighth term as D.C.’s nonvoting representative, says she hopes the increase in Senate Republicans does not change that. “I don’t expect on D.C. matters that there will be a structural change in the way D.C. is treated,” says Norton, adding that Congress is still weeks away from deciding who will chair subcommittees overseeing D.C. affairs. Norton says the Bush White House has funded programs offering tax credits to first-time D.C. home-buyers and tuition assistance for residents seeking higher education. The Senate, meanwhile, loosened some of the earlier restrictions on the D.C. government spending money on needle exchange programs and voting rights initiatives. Some legislators on Capitol Hill, however, continue to push their priorities on D.C. residents. Last year, Rep. Mark Souder(R-Ind.) and 228 other lawmakers sponsored a bill that would repeal nearly all of D.C.’s gun possession laws. The legislation was passed by the House, but died in the Senate. Norton says the gun ban issue was “an election year ploy, and I hope not to see it again.” Souder easily won re-election last week. Topping Norton’s agenda is convincing the White House and Congress that the city should receive an $800 million annual federal payment to cover infrastructure and other costs the District assumes in providing services to untaxable federal properties. A 2003 report by the General Accounting Office concluded that such a payment would be necessary to keep the District out of fiscal trouble. Earlier this year, Norton’s legislation on this issue had bipartisan support in the House. Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District is still waiting to find out who its permanent leader will be. Since June, the 357-prosecutor office has been led by interim U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein. The former chief of staff to FBI Director Robert Mueller IIIwas picked by the Bush administration to replace Roscoe Howard Jr., who left the office for private practice. Before the election, some former prosecutors said Wainstein would likely be appointed for the permanent post should Bush win a second term. As of late last week, the White House had not notified Wainstein of any decision, said Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips. Wainstein declined comment. — Tom Schoenberg ON THE BLOCK Dorsey & Whitneyhas put up for rent its 52,000 square-foot space at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., a well-appointed building that provides clear views of both FBI headquarters and the Justice Department. What’s not clear is the future for Dorsey’s 20 remaining D.C. attorneys. According to one knowledgeable source, the Minneapolis firm tabled a motion last week to close its Washington office, but the firm’s partners are expected to revisit the question in a month. Meanwhile, those left at the office appear to be in limbo. The firm’s D.C. head count has eroded steadily over the past few years from a high of 55 attorneys. A major blow came in September, when six members of its patent team left for Andrews Kurth. D.C. partner-in-charge Richard Powersdid not return phone messages regarding the office’s future. But another source close to the firm says its decision to move into 1001 Pennsylvania at the top of the real estate market was disastrous, costing Dorsey losses of as much as $3 million a year. One former partner says Dorsey’s name isn’t likely to vanish from the nation’s capital. “I think they’ll want to keep a D.C. address,” he says. “Even if it’s just a P.O. box.” — Jason McLure ASHCROFT’S FUTURE Last week, several media outlets reported that Attorney General John Ashcroftlikely would submit his resignation to the White House before the start of the president’s second term. The move comes as little surprise as many Justice Department observers didn’t expect the controversial Ashcroft to stick around, in part because he is perceived in some GOP circles as a political liability to the president. (See ” Keeping John Ashcroft,” Legal Times, Oct. 18.) A call to DOJ spokesman Mark Coralloseeking to confirm Ashcroft’s departure was not returned. Talk of possible replacements for Ashcroft continues to center on White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, now general counsel of PepsiCo. — James Oliphant UNDER FIRE Arthur Lloyd, a longtime U.S. marshal at D.C.’s federal court, was arrested last week and charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a U.S. Navy recruit in Rockville, Md. The 28-year veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service is currently being held without bond. According to Montgomery County charging documents, Lloyd shot 20-year-old Ryan Stowersafter the two got into a fist fight over a traffic incident on Rockville Pike. At the time of the shooting, Lloyd had been in the middle of settlement discussions with the Justice Department regarding a 1997 racial discrimination suit. In 2001, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia awarded Lloyd $36,000 in compensatory damages after finding that the Marshals Service failed to promote him because he is African-American. Over the past three years, Lloyd has continued to fight over economic damages. D.C. lawyer Veronice Holt, who represents Lloyd in the civil suit, declines comment, except to say that the parties held settlement discussions in early October. Lloyd’s criminal lawyers, David Sanfordand Stefanie Roemer, did not return calls seeking comment. — Tom Schoenberg STAYING IN THE GAME After 14 years at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Thomas Hendersonstepped down from his post as chief counsel last May and took several months to ponder his future. “In the end I decided what I really wanted to do was what I had been doing,” he says. “Litigating big, complex civil rights cases.” That decision led the 52-year-old Pittsburgh native to join the civil rights plaintiffs firm of Sprenger & Langlast week. Among Henderson’s accomplishments at the Lawyers’ Committee: winning a settlement in an environmental justice suit against the Environmental Protection Agency and the city of Portsmouth, Va., on behalf of 180 black families whose housing project was surrounded by a Superfund site. He also successfully oversaw a housing discrimination suit in suburban Pittsburgh that forced the local housing authority to send tens of millions of dollars in federal grants to black neighborhoods, and helped pen numerous amicus briefs for Supreme Court cases. After acting as a proverbial “white hat” litigator for most of his legal career, the bearded, soft-spoken Henderson says his role won’t change.” That’s one of the terrific things about Sprenger & Lang,” he says. “It gives me the opportunity to continue the same work.” — Jason McLure END OF AN ERA Memories were sparked last week even as Maryland lawyers and judges watched the historic Prince George’s County Court House in Upper Marlboro burn down. The Nov. 3 fire came just months before completion of a $27 million renovation of the 123-year-old landmark. Solo practitioner William Parker Jr., who in 1975 clerked at the courthouse for a judge and then worked there as a state’s attorney until 1980, has an office three doors down from the courthouse and watched it burn. “We stood there, people who had practiced here for over 20 years,” he said later. “Our memories were burning down with the structure. You spend more waking hours there at work than you do at your own home.” Legal documents had been relocated during the renovation and were untouched, but the fire did an estimated $40 million in damage. “The tile and marble floor there made it look like a courthouse did years ago. It gave it a tremendous dignity,” Parker said. In 1972, the courthouse was thrust into the national spotlight during the five-day trial of Arthur Bremer, the man found guilty of shooting former Alabama Gov. George Wallace at a rally in Laurel, Md. — Amanda Montez MORGAN UNTANGLED Morgan, Lewis & Bockiushas been effectively freed from the tangle of litigation surrounding the collapse of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montaliin San Francisco said he was prepared to approve Morgan, Lewis’ $10.2 million settlement agreement with Brobeck’s bankruptcy trustee, Ronald Greenspan. The parties must work out one kink, however — clarifying whether former Brobeck partners who joined Morgan, Lewis can be sued by other former Brobeck partners. Under the deal, Morgan, Lewis will pay $10.2 million to cover claims the trustee might have pursued against the firm — particularly claims for profits Morgan, Lewis received from unfinished business that Brobeck partners took with them to Morgan, Lewis. — Brenda Sandburg, The Recorder INHERIT THE WIND: THE SEQUEL Call it Scopesredux — a potential 21st century replay of the famous 1925 Tennessee case that placed Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and the biblical account of creation on trial. In the case scheduled to go to trial in an Atlanta federal court this week, a small sticker placed in 10th-grade biology textbooks has again forced a collision between science and religion. The sticker states: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.” Six local parents are suing to have the sticker removed, arguing that it’s an attempt to promote classroom discussions of religious accounts of creation. The school board says the plaintiffs have overreacted, saying the sticker respects those whose beliefs may conflict with the teaching of evolution. But Michael Manely, counsel for the parents, sees the case shaping up very much like the Scopes trial, in which Clarence Darrowforced William Jennings Bryanto defend biblical accounts of creation. “I had hoped this would be, from the very beginning, a battle of experts,” he says. — R. Robin McDonald, Fulton County Daily Report BRIEFLY NOTED The 13-attorney D.C. office of Clifford Chancewas dealt a blow last week after hiring partner and IP practice chief Michael O’Sheaannounced that he would be leaving for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Going along with O’Shea will be IP partner Frank Cimino. Clifford Chance D.C. managing partner Leiv Bladdid not return a call seeking comment. In other IP news, the reported flirtation between New York-based IP firm Fish & Neaveand Boston’s Ropes & Grayappears to be progressing. A source close to the talks says Fish & Neave partners are likely to vote on the merger this week and consummate the deal in January. Ropes & Gray has 42 D.C. attorneys; Fish & Neave lists 12. — Jason McLure

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