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JUDGE WARNS RUMSFELD IN ANTHRAX CASE A federal judge in the District has threatened to hold Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in contempt for violating a court order to shut down the armed forces’ anthrax vaccination program. The move comes two months after Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz warned Health and Human Services officials about a “heightened risk of an attack using anthrax,” particularly for soldiers in Korea and those who are part of the U.S. Central Command. The program, which required the vaccination of active duty and reserve soldiers, National Guard members, and defense contractors, was supposed to have been halted last October after U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the vaccine was never properly classified by the Food and Drug Administration. But last month, Sullivan learned that some soldiers were still being vaccinated. The Justice Department reported to the court on Feb. 1 that 931 vaccinations were given since the Oct. 27 order. At a Feb. 14 hearing, DOJ lawyer Brian Boyle backtracked, saying no more than 250 people had been inoculated, according to a transcript. The government also asked for permission to vaccinate some soldiers because of Wolfowitz’s fears. Sullivan ordered Rumsfeld to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for failing to abide by the order. Rumsfeld was given until Feb. 28 to respond, and a hearing on the issue is set for March 21. The matter stems from a 2003 suit filed by six unnamed plaintiffs � identified as soldiers and contractors � who claimed that the FDA had never ruled that the vaccine would protect against inhalation anthrax. Sullivan issued a temporary injunction in December 2003. Eight days later, the FDA ruled the drug was safe. The plaintiffs, represented by Mark Zaid of Krieger & Zaid and John Michels Jr. of McGuire Woods, challenged that rule-making, noting that the public comment period for the drug had taken place 18 years earlier. Sullivan granted their motion for summary judgment in October. � Tom Schoenberg FIGHT CLUB Judicial nomination fight fans should mark their calendars for the week of Feb. 28, when two controversial U.S. Court of Appeals nominees � William Myers III for the 9th Circuit and Terrence Boyle for the 4th Circuit � are set to have hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Myers, the former solicitor in the Department of Interior and a mining industry lobbyist, is the most problematic. He has amassed an array of critics, including environmental groups and Native Americans upset over an Interior Department opinion they say allowed a mining company to operate on sacred Indian land. Myers was first nominated in May 2003 and was successfully filibustered last summer. Boyle, a federal judge and former staffer for then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), was nominated in 2001. But using his home-state senatorial prerogative at the time, then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) blocked a hearing on Boyle as well as the two North Carolina district court candidates also slated for a hearing on March 1: former U.S. Attorney Robert Conrad and federal Magistrate Judge James Dever, whose slot has been open since Dec. 7, 1997, the longest vacancy of any district court judge. � T.R. Goldman REHNQUIST WATCH Chief Justice William Rehnquist will again be absent when the Supreme Court returns from a nearly month-long break on Tuesday. Rehnquist has not been on the bench since October, when the Court announced he was receiving treatments for thyroid cancer. The Court indicates Rehnquist will still participate in deciding the pending cases, which include several on themes near and dear to his heart, including the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause and church-state separation. Even so, invitations have gone out for Rehnquist’s annual law clerk reunion in mid-June at the Court. One former clerk cautioned not to read too much into the invitation, but another said it was an indication of Rehnquist’s determination to remain on the Court. “It’s a better sign than if the invitations were not sent out at all,” says the clerk. � Tony Mauro BANK RUN It was hardly a civics book lesson in congressional procedure; indeed, the main impetus to finish the Feb. 17 Senate Judiciary Committee markup and report out a landmark bankruptcy bill seemed to be that the six or so members present were in danger of working through lunch. With Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) preparing to begin chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease, the gavel fell to former Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who had clearly dealt with the complex, 500-page bill � first introduced in 1997 � one too many times. “We know the floor will be an ordeal,” Hatch pleaded with Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), each of whom had numerous amendments to offer in committee. “There’s no reason to make this an ordeal. . . . I would like to be able to call Arlen and report: ‘The darn thing’s out of committee.’ ” Eventually, Hatch traded the committee’s approval of one Feingold and three Kennedy amendments in exchange for Kennedy dropping 12 and Feingold dropping eight amendments they’d planned to introduce. Said Feingold, chiding his fellow committee members: “ This process has really gone downhill.” � T.R. Goldman PLAME GAME A clash between the federal government and journalists took an expected turn last week when a D.C. federal appeals court ruled that two reporters can be jailed if they refuse to answer grand jury questions about confidential sources that disclosed the identity of a former U.S. spy. Floyd Abrams, representing New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time reporter Matthew Cooper, has said he will appeal the decision to the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. But is that the best move? Abrams, a partner at New York’s Cahill Gordon & Reindel, could have directly asked the Supreme Court to step in. Theodore Boutrous Jr., a Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner who filed an amicus brief for 25 news and reporters’ groups favoring a newsgathering privilege, says that the issues “cut across party and jurisprudential theory,” making it hard to predict the positions of different judges. Division within the three-judge panel of Judges David Sentelle, David Tatel, and Karen LeCraft Henderson could bode well for an en banc rehearing of the case, says Paul Smith, an appellate specialist at the D.C. office of Jenner & Block, but he adds that in the Supreme Court there might be a “willingness to start afresh rather than [the appeals court] reading the tea leaves” of the 1972 high court decision Branzburg v. Hayes, which is central to the case of former spy Valerie Plame. � Lily Henning SWITCHING CHANNELS Two decades ago, D.C. lawyer Phillip Spector was involved in a major antitrust battle against satellite giant Intelsat as part of an effort to open up the industry to competition. Last week, the former managing partner of the D.C. office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison embraced his one-time adversary � and key competitor of his longtime client SES Global � by taking over as general counsel of Intelsat. Recently acquired by four private equity firms, New York’s Apollo Management, Chicago-based Madison Dearborn Partners, and Europe’s Apax Partner and Permira, Intelsat is no longer the only major player in the industry, and Spector, 54, was wooed by the opportunity to help run a company as well as the financial perks. “While private practice pays very well, you don’t have a chance to build up equity and ownership,” he says. Kenneth Gallo now heads Paul, Weiss’ D.C. office. � Emma Schwartz CLASS CONSCIOUS It took eight years for the Class Action Fairness Act to be signed into law. And it could take as long before it’s clear how the law � which shifts more class actions into federal court � will work. For example, class-action claims must reach a combined value of $5 million to merit federal court. But Hunton & Williams partner Alan Rudlin, who co-chairs the American Bar Association’s Mass Tort Litigation Committee, wonders how to value nonmonetary relief. Plaintiffs lawyer Richard Seymour, of the D.C. office of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, sees a bigger constitutional problem: Given the 10th Amendment’s guarantee of states’ rights, “can the federal courts hijack the most important business of the state courts?” Until the Supreme Court rules on that, he says, “there will be a big question mark over every case.” � T.R. Goldman NEW RECRUITS Legal search firm Major, Hagen & Africa is more than doubling the size of its D.C. office with the addition of three new recruiters. “The market is very strong, it is just a tremendous market here,” says Jeffrey Lowe, senior managing director of the D.C. office. The addition of Paul Higgins, William Walker Jr., and Francie Makris Toof will bring the two-year-old outpost to five recruiters. Walker was most recently senior counsel at the American Red Cross. Higgins joined the legal search firm from the IP firm of Sughrue Mion, and Makris Toof came from Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi. All three will focus on associate placements, but Walker will also spearhead the office’s diversity recruiting practice. � Bethany Broida CARTER COUNTRY He’s been a maverick in the legal world, but Francis Carter, 58, is no longer on his own. The longtime D.C. criminal defense attorney joined the 62-lawyer D.C. office of Zuckerman Spaeder earlier this month. Despite a number of high-profile cases, Carter says finding business was tough as a solo practitioner. “With the resources here, hopefully I’ll be able to continue to grow the number of cases that I’m working on,” he says. He directed D.C.’s Public Defender Service from 1978 to 1985 and was the first lawyer to represent Monica Lewinsky. He recently helped Kevin Gray, charged with 29 murders, avoid a death sentence in D.C. federal court. But Carter isn’t taking any similarly sensational cases with him to Zuckerman. “I think it’s just time to keep a low profile,” he says. � Emma Schwartz

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