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Coincidence or savvy marketing? While Harriet Miers was basking — and sometimes frying — in the limelight of her nomination to the Supreme Court last week, her former firm, Locke Liddell & Sapp, was trying to make headlines of its own with the opening of a long-planned D.C. outpost. “We, of course, had no advance knowledge [of Miers' nomination],” says Phillip Rivers, one of the new recruits who served as chief of staff to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) until December. Rivers, who arrived at the firm in August after a brief stint at lobbying shop Bockorny Petrizzo, was joined last week by two others: Roy Coffee, a former aide to then-Gov. George W. Bush, and more recently a lobbyist at O’Connor & Hannan in D.C.; and David DiStefano, a former chief of staff to Republican Ohio Rep. Bob Ney. The Texas-based powerhouse has struggled to create a presence in Washington since its former D.C. point man, Terral Smith, a one-time legislative director for then-Gov. Bush, left the firm. Now, however, Locke Liddell has its sights on building a D.C. office that will include a broad regulatory practice. Whatever the timing of last week’s announcements, Miers’ new job would leave the firm with one less connection in the White House.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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