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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO THE INAUGURATION? At least one spectator attending President George W. Bush’s inauguration Jan. 20 won’t be bowing his head when Protestant ministers offer blessings before and after the ceremony. In fact, Sacramento, Calif., atheist Michael Newdow would prefer that the Rev. Louis Leon of the District and Pastor Kirbyjohn Caldwell of Houston not recite prayers at the inaugural at all � and he has filed a First Amendment lawsuit in the U.S. District Court here to stop them. “The guy will be swearing to uphold the Constitution, and he will be violating it at the same time,” says Newdow, referring to Bush, who, like every other president since 1937, has invited clergy to offer inaugural blessings. “Come on, he’ll be going to church in the morning. He can pray there. Tax dollars should not be spent making me feel like an outsider, a second-class citizen.” His lawsuit, Newdow v. Bush, is set for a hearing before Judge John Bates Jan. 13. It was first assigned to Judge Paul Friedman, but he recused. No reason for the recusal was given. Before Friedman joined the court in 1994, he was a partner at the firm of White & Case. A firm spokeswoman confirms that White & Case has been engaged to give “counsel and advice” to groups planning the inauguration. Newdow went to court over the prayers at Bush’s 2001 inaugural as well, but his suit then was tossed for lack of standing. He hopes the fact that he will actually be attending the ceremony this time and will suffer what he says is the First Amendment harm in person will get him over the standing hurdle. He obtained tickets as a member of the public through the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). “I didn’t get the ticket just for standing, though,” Newdow says coyly. “I really wanted to attend.” Newdow made headlines last year for challenging the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance before the Supreme Court. He lost that case in June, also over standing: He has only partial custody of his daughter, in whose public school the Pledge is recited. But Newdow is not taking no for an answer on the Pledge issue, either. He has filed a new suit in the Eastern District of California, renewing his own objections to the Pledge as a taxpayer, but also adding eight other unnamed atheists and agnostics who do not have similar custody issues. A physician and lawyer, Newdow has lined up atheist plaintiffs nationwide and plans to file Pledge challenges in all the federal circuits in coming months. Next up, he says: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th and 11th circuits. He hopes an ensuing circuit conflict will put the case back before the high court so it can rule on the merits. “My odds of winning are better in 11 circuits than in one,” he says. “I am hoping somewhere to find two judges who believe in the Constitution. It’s about time someone does.” � Tony Mauro FERRARA’S FLIGHT After more than two decades at Debevoise & Plimpton, securities litigator Ralph Ferrara has jumped to LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae. Ferrara, who has represented Global Crossing International Ltd., Waste Management Inc., the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and MicroStrategy, and was the former managing partner of Debevoise’s D.C. office, left a firm from which senior partners rarely defect. And as a major rainmaker at the firm, he says that he left “millions and millions” in pension money at Debevoise, which has a lock-step compensation system. Ferrara, 59, a former general counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission, brought in between $15 million and $20 million in annual revenues. He says that the split was amicable and praised his old firm. “Debevoise is a terrific firm. I was wonderfully compensated,” he says, adding that the two firms do “care for retired partners differently” and that LeBoeuf is making a “substantial capital investment” in the practice that he joins. Debevoise is taking the departure gracefully. “Ralph is a good colleague and friend,” says Martin Evans, Debevoise’s presiding partner. “We wish Ralph well and look forward to working with him on projects in the future.” � Lily Henning BAKER BOYS Building upon a family legacy, Baker Botts has named James “Jamie” Baker IV, son of the former secretary of state and current Baker partner, as its new D.C. managing partner. “I am very proud of my family’s association with this firm,” Baker says of the five generations of Bakers with firm connections. “But it stopped being a family firm many generations ago.” While Baker says he is still trying to wrap his arms around the role he assumed Jan. 1, he specifically points to both the intellectual property and antitrust practice as two areas he considers ripe for growth. “The office has been well-managed,” he says, referring to former co-managing partners James Doty and Bruce Kiely, “so they left me without what I would consider to be challenges.” � Bethany Broida REHNQUIST REPORT Mixed signals last week made for new uncertainty about the health of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Late Jan. 7, the Court said that because of “continuing secretions” caused by his tracheotomy and radiation therapy for thyroid cancer, Rehnquist would not be on the bench for the two-week cycle of oral arguments that begins Jan. 10 � though he will participate and vote in the cases by reading briefs and oral argument transcripts. Earlier in the week, a more positive report from the Court indicated that Rehnquist had been well enough to work one or more days at the Court building, rather than at his Arlington, Va., home, his base of operations since his illness was disclosed in October. He also apparently is keeping to his plan of swearing in President George W. Bush for a second term Jan. 20. A former Rehnquist law clerk says Rehnquist’s return to the building could be taken as a positive sign that, at least for now, neither his cancer nor his treatments have weakened him to the point of being unable to get out of the house. “I’ve been hearing very positive things,” says the clerk, who requested anonymity. “He is in relatively good spirits and is going about his business.” � Tony Mauro LENDING A HAND As the world reacts to the devastation caused by last month’s earthquake and tsunami in South Asia, D.C. area attorneys have opened their wallets to help with the relief efforts. “Right now, people don’t need lawyers. They need water,” says Chris Nugent, senior counsel and a community services team administrator for Holland & Knight. While plans for future pro bono help are still being formulated, most firms are focusing on making immediate donations. “We just thought this was the worst natural disaster of our lifetimes . . . and we felt compelled to do something substantial,” says Robert Ruyak, managing partner at Howrey Simon Arnold & White. His firm has pledged $1 million in aid, which will be split among four charities: Save the Children, Operation USA, Catholic Relief Services, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Inc. At Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky, a group of associates came up with the idea of donating the equivalent of one billable hour to the relief effort with the firm matching the associates’ contributions. Michael Nannes, the firm’s managing partner, expects the associates’ efforts to generate about $50,000, for a total firm donation of $100,000 to be split between the Red Cross and UNICEF. A number of other firms have also pledged sizable donations including: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Holland & Knight; Kilpatrick Stockton; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker; Reed Smith; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and Steptoe & Johnson. � Bethany Broida SPECTER’S STAFFER Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who began his tenure as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, has picked Michael O’Neill, a former committee staffer and Justice Department litigator who is now a law professor and member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, to be the panel’s next chief counsel. A Yale Law School graduate who clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, O’Neill, 42, has been an associate professor of law at George Mason University School of Law since 1998. “Part of the reason I took this job is that I anticipate being able to do oversight on the DOJ, and the possibility of working on Supreme Court nominations,” O’Neill says. “It’s such an historic time to be on the committee.” Former chief counsel and staff director Manus Cooney says O’Neill, a member of the Federalist Society, has the conservative credentials and academic background the job now needs. “He knows everybody, and he has an Ivy League pedigree, he’s handled judicial nominations, and is credible within conservative legal circles. If anybody can build consensus and get something done, he can.” � T.R. Goldman TRACKING TROY Former Food and Drug Administration Chief Counsel Daniel Troy, who left his government post back in November, has chosen Sidley Austin Brown & Wood as his new home. “The combination of a pre-eminent food and life sciences practice and a pre-eminent appellate practice just gave me the opportunity to do what I want to do,” Troy says. He will join Sidley on Jan. 24, where he will focus on the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, medical device, and media industries, as well as provide strategic counseling on FDA-related matters. Troy, a former partner at Wiley Rein & Fielding, says it was a difficult decision not to return to his old firm, but ultimately, Sidley just had a “better platform.” While at the FDA, Troy, who represented drug companies in private practice, courted his share of controversy by, among other things, siding with drug companies in liability suits and loosening restrictions on drug advertising. � Bethany Broida TRIBAL ADVOCATE After retiring from a nearly two-decade career on Capitol Hill, former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) has joined the Washington lobbying practice of Holland & Knight. Campbell says that, following conversations with seven different law firms, he chose Holland & Knight for its Indian law practice, saying that the firm has a “proven track record of helping Indian tribes. They know some are wealthy and some are poor and have a policy of doing pro bono work as well.” Campbell says he will spend more than half of his time traveling around the country to meet with tribal clients. Last fall, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Campbell helped investigate two Washington lobbyists, Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, who are accused of bilking six Indian tribes that operate gambling casinos out of tens of millions in fees. “One lesson to take from that is don’t try to take tribes to the cleaners,” says Campbell. � Lily Henning HOWREY IN HOUSTON Houston litigation firm Clements, O’Neill, Pierce, Wilson & Fulkerson has merged with D.C’s Howrey Simon Arnold & White; 22 of Clements, O’Neill’s lawyers joined Howrey’s Houston office, effective Jan. 1. Clements, O’Neill partner John O’Neill was the point man for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of veterans intent on discrediting Sen. John Kerry’s service record during the recent presidential election. Firm leaders say the merger gives the Clements, O’Neill lawyers the support of a larger firm and provides Howrey’s Houston office, which primarily does IP work, the cross-selling advantages of a large group of commercial litigators. The merger brings Howrey’s head count to 90 lawyers in Houston and 570 firmwide. � Brenda Sapino Jeffreys, Texas Lawyer

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