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GOP WIN FEEDS FEDERALISTS’ FEVOR Conservative lawyers and legal scholars converged last week in Washington, echoing familiar refrains about everything from the USA Patriot Act to tort reform � and basking in another Republican White House win. But Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist made it clear at the annual legal huddle of the Federalist Society that there are still battles to be won. The Tennessee Republican warned that Democrats should stop blocking President George W. Bush’s federal court nominees, telling the meeting’s audience that “one way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end.” The meeting drew more than a dozen appeals court judges, many of them discussion panel moderators, as well as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was slated to speak on the night of Nov. 12. The judges were joined by luminaries from the corporate world, including Verizon General Counsel and former Attorney General William Barr and Tyco General Counsel and Executive Vice President William Lytton, who moderated a panel on current issues in business and law, including new corporate governance requirements and tort reform. “Once upon a time, developments in business and developments in law would be two separate discussions. Now they are inextricably linked,” said Lytton, who took over as GC for the scandal-tarred Tyco in 2002. W. Thomas Haynes, executive director of the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association, dealt a blow to bipartisanship � at least on the part of corporations � in a discussion on the greatest threats in the legal system to major corporations. He urged corporate America away from Democrats, saying that in the tort reform fight “a triangulation strategy is not going to work.” The Federalist Society, founded in 1982 by conservative law students at the University of Chicago, usually opens the floor to an opposing perspective during most of its panels. That was the case at a three-year retrospective on the USA Patriot Act. But in the exchange between New York Civil Liberties Union lawyer Udi Ofer and Christopher Wray, assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, the verbal barbs were blunted. The gloves came off in earnest, however, during a discussion on the consideration of international law by American judges with University of California, Berkeley, law professor John Yoo tossing jibes about frequent shifts in European jurisprudence. “Every five years they are up to something different that is ruining their lives,” said Yoo, who in 2002, as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice, authored a controversial memo about U.S. detainees in the war on terror and the Geneva Conventions. “The United States has to maintain Western liberal order for the world,” he said. � Lily Henning TOUJOURS PARIS While the Federalist Society was in the District reveling in red-state election victory last week, a decidedly blue-state, “old Europe” experience was unfolding not far away. The Paris Bar Association, which dates back to the 13th century, held a special meeting in the District, and among its highlights was an address by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. “J’aime France!” the bilingual Breyer proclaimed, in front of appropriately royal blue bunting at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Breyer confessed that his French may not be that great, but added that neither is his English. More seriously, Breyer said he and the rest of the American judiciary had much to learn from European legal developments. The French and American audience laughed when Breyer held up a folded, one-page copy of the U.S. Constitution, then a fat volume with the text of the new European Constitution. “Your laugh is wrong,” Breyer admonished, asserting that European framers faced more complexities than U.S. founding fathers. But constitutional issues including federalism, he said, are the same “in Paris or Boston or Washington or Des Moines.” Breyer pronounced the Iowa city American-style, not in French. � Tony Mauro VICTORIOUS A team from the D.C. office of King & Spalding claimed victory last week after the Supreme Court unanimously held that drunken driving is not a “crime of violence” that makes immigrants eligible for deportation. Ten partners and associates worked pro bono on behalf of Haitian immigrant Josue Leocal, who is seeking to rejoin his family in Florida. Leocal was deported from Florida in 2002 after he served a prison sentence for a drunk driving accident. J. Sedwick “Wick” Sollers, managing partner for King & Spalding’s D.C. office, called last week’s ruling important not just for Leocal, but for other immigrants facing deportation. “This case has clarified that negligent crimes will not be the basis for deportation,” he said. � Bethany Broida ON HOLD Last week’s federal court order abruptly halting military commission proceedings at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, was the first major victory for defense lawyers representing defendants slated for commission trials. And attorneys at several private law firms were also celebrating the Nov. 8 ruling from U.S. District Judge James Robertson of the District of Columbia. Attorneys from D.C.’s Covington & Burling; Seattle-based Perkins Coie; and U.K.-based Freshfields aided the defense team in its federal court case. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, who brought the challenge on behalf of alleged al Qaeda driver Salim Ahmed Hamdan, says the pro bono work represents “the best traditions of the profession.” Swift adds, “This wasn’t something where you go dust off an old brief. This is brand new research.” Perkins Coie partner Joseph McMillan says lawyers in the firm’s Seattle and D.C. offices have contributed more than 1,700 hours of pro bono work to the case. The case was argued by Georgetown University law professor Neal Katyal, Swift, and McMillan. Covington partner David Remes and a team of associates prepared an amicus brief on behalf of two retired generals and two retired admirals arguing that Hamdan is entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions. � Vanessa Blum CHARITY CASE More than a dozen charities filed suit last week to challenge a government requirement that nonprofits that receive donations from federal workers investigate whether their employees are involved in terrorist activities by, among other things, comparing employees’ names against a government watch list. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, charges that the policy, adopted in January by the Office of Personnel Management’s Combined Federal Campaign, is vague and misleading and that it violates the First and Fifth Amendments. American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero says the rule puts charities “in the position of becoming law enforcement officials” and violates a Reagan-era law prohibiting the office from amending the standards for participating charities without congressional approval. Representatives from the Office of Personnel Management could not be reached for comment late last week. � Lily Henning ADDITIONS Sutherland Asbill & Brennan picked up four new partners for its D.C. office last week. Intellectual property litigators Robert Gutkin, Blair Jacobs, and Robert Walters joined the firm from the Northern Virginia office of Pillsbury Winthrop. Also joining Sutherland is Bibb Strench, a mutual funds and securities law specialist at D.C.’s Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young. According to John North, head of the firm’s IP group, Sutherland’s IP practice has grown substantially over the past four years � from about seven lawyers in 2000 to more than 40 currently. Clients, North says, include TV Guide, Minerals Technologies, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and biotech company BresaGen. North says the plan is for the new lawyers to add their own clientele to the list. “We believe they will be self supporting,” North says. William Atkins, co-chair of Pillsbury’s IP section, says “the departures will not affect the firm’s clients.” Pillsbury, too, has bulked up its IP practice in recent months, adding five patent lawyers from the Northern Virginia office of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo. � Tom Schoenberg HOOKED Just two days after its Nov. 8 announcement that it plans to merge with Boston’s Ropes & Gray, New York intellectual property boutique Fish & Neave was sued by its former managing partner and another ex-partner for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. In a suit filed Nov. 10 in Manhattan Supreme Court, W. Edward Bailey, who served as managing partner of Fish & Neave between 1994 and 2000, and Kevin Culligan, who was on the firm’s management committee, claim they are owed $2.4 million in unreturned capital and unpaid compensation. The pair, now partners with King & Spalding, are also seeking to enjoin Fish & Neave from transferring disputed assets to Ropes & Gray until their matter is resolved. Such an injunction would not necessarily prevent the merger from proceeding, says Jeffrey Jannuzzo, the attorney representing Bailey and Culligan. “It is not our intention to derail their merger,” he says. The two firms said last week the merger would become effective Jan. 1, with the combined firm operating under the Ropes & Gray name. Jesse Jenner, chairman of Fish & Neave, said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and declined to comment on the matter. � Anthony Lin, New York Law Journal KOREAN CONNECTION Former Ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a senior adviser. In his new role, Hubbard, 61, will work on issues relating to clients with business interests throughout Asia. Hubbard is also a former ambassador to the Philippines and the Republic of Palau and served in various roles at the State Department. After 40 years in the foreign service, Hubbard says, he was looking to join the private sector and chose Akin Gump because “this firm has a lot of interest in Asian affairs, especially Korea.” � Bethany Broida THE WINNER IS . . . Robert Merhige Jr., a retired U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, has received the Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award from the Foundation of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Merhige � who played a role in earning the Eastern District its “Rocket Docket” moniker for his expeditious handling of cases � presided over the desegregation of Virginia schools and litigation surrounding the Dalkon Shield birth control device. The Gates Award, established in 1980, honors lawyers and judges who have made a significant contribution to the improvement of the litigation process. Past award recipients include the late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr. Merhige, who is now special counsel at Hunton & Williams, called the award “one of the most prestigious in the country” and joked, “I don’t think they had that award when I was practicing, but if they did, they ignored me.” � Bethany Broida

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