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USING ‘FORCE’ TO PLAY WOOKIE � ER, HOOKY Hype for the new � and allegedly final � chapter of the “Star Wars” saga is everywhere. TV ads, soda bottles, cookies. You can’t go anywhere without seeing the likenesses of Yoda or Darth Vader staring back at you. Even D.C.’s federal court cannot escape the power of The Force. Last week, in the courtroom of Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Alexis proclaimed that May 19 would not be a good day to take a guilty plea in a fraud case because “Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith” was due to arrive in theaters. “Is that the opening day for the ‘Star Wars’ movie?” Judge Sullivan asked Alexis. “Matinee. $3. I’ll be there.” The parties quickly chose a different day. After Alexis left the courtroom, Sullivan turned to his law clerk and asked, “Did he say ‘Star Wars’?” as if the prosecutor had just pulled a Jedi mind trick on the veteran judge. Alexis says he was just joking when he suggested keeping the plea case off Sullivan’s calendar on May 19. Alexis admits, however, that he is a fan of the George Lucas classic serial, but not one to dress up in costume and camp out in anticipation of the new film. “I have the entire DVD set,” Alexis says. “I certainly will see it on the large screen, but it’s nothing I plan to miss work to see.” � Tom Schoenberg THE SHORT LIST Justice Department No. 2 James Comey won’t be stepping down from his post until September, but AG Alberto Gonzales is already giving thought to possible replacements, says one senior DOJ lawyer. First and foremost, say former DOJ insiders, Gonzales will be looking to fill the deputy attorney general slot with someone whom he has a good personal relationship and whom he can trust to oversee the department’s day-to-day operations. “The attorney general needs a deputy who thinks like he does, who can anticipate his reactions to issues, and who can act confidently in the attorney general’s stead,” says White & Case partner George Terwilliger III, who served as deputy AG from 1991 to 1992. Topping the short list is Tyco International Inc. General Counsel TimothyFlanigan, who worked closely with Gonzales in the White House counsel’s office. A former White & Case partner, Flanigan ran the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the first Bush administration and served as deputy White House counsel from 2001 to 2002. Sidley Austin Brown & Wood partner Bradford Berenson, a former White House lawyer, describes Flanigan’s relationship with Gonzales as “very close.” “They worked extremely closely during exceptionally challenging and stressful times,” Berenson says. “I think [Gonzales] has great confidence in, and affection for, Tim.” Flanigan could not be reached for comment. Others likely to be considered for the No. 2 post: Associate AG Robert McCallum Jr., a Yale University classmate of President George W. Bush, U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty of the Eastern District of Virginia, and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of the Western District of Texas. Sutton, who worked in the deputy AG’s office during the Bush-Cheney transition, was criminal justice policy director to then-Gov. Bush from 1995 to 2000. � Vanessa Blum GAME ON The Senate returns to work today for a three-week legislative run that may finally � after months of anticipation � produce the nuclear showdown that opponents of the judicial filibuster have been awaiting. The betting is that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) will invoke the controversial parliamentary procedure � which would give all judicial nominees a simple up-or-down majority vote � by either next week or the final week in May, just before the Senate’s one-week Memorial Day break. There are two likely choices to trigger the vote:Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, and California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, tapped for a seat on the D.C. Circuit. Both were filibustered in the previous Congress, and this year have been voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee again. While Owen has the edge, according to GOPJudiciary Committee staffers, Democrats would prefer Brown:”Brown gives us more ammunition. She’s got the juicier quotes,” notes one senior Democratic Senate staffer. Brown has called the New Deal a “socialist revolution” and said Social Security should be equated with “cannibalism.” � T.R. Goldman NO CONTEST D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Eric Washington seems a shoo-in to be the next chief judge of his court � namely because he was the only candidate to apply. The D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission announced last week that Washington, 51, was the sole applicant to replace Chief Judge Annice Wagner, 67, who is retiring after nearly 30 years on the bench. While having only one applicant is not unprecedented, says Peggy Williams Smith, the commission’s executive director, it usually happens only when the current chief seeks reappointment. The commission could reopen the process, but that is unlikely, says commission Chairwoman Patricia Worthy. “In this instance all of the Court of Appeals judges have either written or called with their support,” she says, “and that kind of support is usually what the commission is looking for.” Washington is the newest judge on the appeals court. He was appointed in 1999 by President Bill Clinton after serving as a D.C. Superior Court judge. � Bethany Broida GROUNDED The announcement last week that Boeing and Lockheed Martin will merge their rocket launch divisions will have ramifications for the army of lawyers who have represented the aerospace giants in litigation between their previously competing divisions. Boeing’s launch division was suspended from bidding on Air Force contracts in 2003 after it was revealed that the company wrongfully acquired thousands of proprietary documents about Lockheed’s Atlas rocket program. That led Lockheed to file a civil racketeering suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, an action that spurred Boeing to file a countersuit. The litigation helped feed dozens of lawyers, including a number from the D.C. offices of Wiley Rein &Fielding and Perkins Coie (for Boeing), as well as Hogan & Hartson and McDermott, Will & Emery (for Lockheed). But the merger is good news for at least two lawyers: King &Spalding D.C. partner Glenn Campbell and Chadbourne & Parke New York partner Peter Kolyer, who are advising Lockheed and Boeing, respectively, on the deal. � Jason McLure SHEARMINATED It’s not every day that a law firm issues a press release when its boss leaves for greener pastures. But that’s exactly what Shearman &Sterling did last week when it stated it was “pleased to announce” that David Heleniak, the New York firm’s senior partner since 2001, was leaving to become vice chairman of embattled investment bank Morgan Stanley. Firm spokeswoman Jolene Overbeck called Heleniak’s move “a fabulous appointment and incredible kudos to Shearman &Sterling.” If his record at Shearman is any indication, Morgan Stanley is getting an executive who’s unafraid to issue pink slips. According to an April article in the New York Observer, the firm laid off 90 associates shortly after Sept. 11 in what some staffers referred to as the “Shearminations.” The firm’s D.C. head count over the past year has shrunk 9 percent, to 70 attorneys. John Madden, firm co-managing partner, replaces Heleniak until the firm elects a permanent replacement. But it’s unlikely Shearman will be starved for transactional work in coming years � at least not from Morgan Stanley. In a statement, Heleniak said he would “look forward to an ongoing relationship [with the firm] in my new role at Morgan Stanley.” � Jason McLure, Legal Times, Anthony Lin, New York Law Journal NAME GAME A rose may smell the same by another name, but what about law firms? The firm formerly known as Howrey Simon Arnold & White shortened its name last week to the two-syllable word Howrey. The name is part of a larger trend in legal marketing. Once a sign of prestige and ancestry, firm names are becoming dispensable. While many are opting for a punchier name in their marketing materials (think Orrick), Howrey has taken a bigger leap: changing its official name. “It’s hard for people to remember,” says Robert Ruyak, Howrey’s managing partner, of his firm’s old name. Howrey is not alone. Firms such as Reed Smith and Dechert already have made the switch. “There are really not too many firms left with five or six names in the law firm,” says Joe Walsh of legal advertising firm Greenfield Belser. � Emma Schwartz RERUNS The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit handed down a decision last week in favor of library and consumer groups that challenged the Federal Communications Commission “broadcast flag rule.” The rule, set to take effect this summer, would have required digital receivers to be equipped with technology to prevent redistribution of broadcast clips. Steptoe &Johnson partner Pantelis Michalopoulos represented the plaintiffs; FCC attorney Jacob Lewis represented the agency. In a unanimous decision, the panel, consisting of Judges Harry Edwards, David Sentelle, and Judith Rogers, found that the FCC overstepped its bounds. Edwards wrote: “In the seven decades of its existence, the FCC has never before asserted such sweeping authority.” � Lily Henning

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