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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Just as Republicans in Congress are finding their power diminished, so too are Republican-only lobby shops. The Federalist Group, which boasts lobbying talent from the Republican offices of Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas), has noticed the power change in Washington and last February nabbed its first Democrat — Andrew Rosenberg. The firm, which was acquired by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in 2005, now boasts five Democrats, and the changes continue with a new name for the government-affairs shop, Ogilvy Government Relations. “The name change more adequately conveys the growth of the firm to a large, bipartisan, multidisciplinary issues management firm and will give us an identity with the internationally recognized Ogilvy brand name,” says Stewart Hall, who runs business operations for the practice. Additionally, last month Ogilvy Government Relations hired Democrats Moses Mercado, former deputy executive director at the Democratic National Committee, and Tom Herbert, former deputy underscretary for natural resources and environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration. — Joe Crea
Ferraro’s Lobby Blank Rome Government Relations has expanded its geographic reach with a big-name politico out of New York. Former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro has joined the firm’s government relations group from her role as managing director of Global Consulting Group, a communications and public affairs consulting firm. Ferraro will be the first principal in the government relations group out of the New York office. “It’s getting businesses to understand just how important it is to have contacts who can access people in government,” Ferraro says. Ferraro says she would continue as an adviser to the group, where she had served as head of its public-affairs practice since 2003. Global Consulting will not, however, be a client of Blank Rome’s, she says. It is possible, Ferraro says, that the two firms will build an alliance in the future and capitalize on their combined interests in London, New York, and California. — Gina Passarella, The Legal Intelligencer
• AFTER DARK • True Madness With the Shakespeare in Washington festival dominating the arts scene through June, it’s no surprise Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy would get the legal community into the act. The longtime Shakespeare fanatic went to Shakespeare Theatre Company artistic director Michael Kahn and offered to preside over a mock jury trial of Hamlet — a reprise of a trial he conducted in 1994. Kahn said yes, and it’s set for March 15. So many tickets have sold that the event had to be moved from the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater to the Eisenhower Theater. At issue: Hamlet’s mental state when he murdered Polonius. “I’ll tell you this: Hamlet is going down,” says Cristina Arguedas of the Berkeley, Calif., firm Arguedas, Cassman & Headley. Arguedas is a criminal-defense lawyer who confesses she hasn’t read Hamlet since college, but she took on the prosecutor’s role at the invitation of former Kennedy clerk Miles Ehrlich of Ramsey & Ehrlich, who will be her co-prosecutor. Representing Hamlet will be Chadbourne & Parke star Abbe Lowell and Court TV anchor Catherine Crier. Lowell, an English-lit major in college, views himself as Hamlet’s protector: “I don’t take lightly the life of my client. He has to be preserved for future generations.” Footnote: In 1994, the jury found Hamlet “criminally responsible.” — Tony Mauro
The Breach DLA Piper held a private screening Thursday at the Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14 Cinema of the new movie “Breach,” based on the experiences of former FBI operative Eric O’Neill (now an associate in DLA’s government affairs practice) in his expos� of Robert Hanssen, the FBI special agent who sold U.S. intelligence to the Soviet Union and then to Russia. O’Neill (played by Ryan Phillippe) says he was involved in every aspect of the film production, even helping to rework the original screenplay. “It’s one of the truest movies to capture the culture, look, and feel of the FBI,” says O’Neill. “The only other movie that came close was �Silence of the Lambs.’ ” Academy Award winner Chris Cooper stars as Hanssen in the movie, which opened last week. — Joe Crea
In a New Twist . . . This winter there will be several new restaurant trends heating up the menus of the District’s premier restaurants. Whether it’s locally grown produce, pomegranates, or bite-sized desserts, in a town with a new restaurant opening nearly every month, restaurateurs are hoping new gimmicks will draw crowds to their dinner tables. According to a recent National Restaurant Association survey of chefs, several new food trends will drive consumer demands and expectations for 2007. Among the hottest draws: locally grown produce. “Local is the new food frontier,” says Renee Brooks Catacalos, University Park, Md.-based co-publisher of the Local Mix newsletter and the www.realpeopleeatlocal.com Web site; both provide information on locally grown foods in the Mid-Atlantic. “Today’s new breeds of chefs want to know everything about their food, from where is it grown to how it’s grown,” says Brian Scott, general manager of Agraria restaurant in lower Georgetown on Washington Harbor. “We don’t use any lettuce in our salads right now. We’re using seasonal foods. This makes for heartier dishes.” Another trend that has won raves among chefs across the city is pomegranates. The fruit is growing in popularity among consumers because of its bittersweet taste and healthy antioxidants. Ahead of the curve, Rosa Mexicano restaurant (there’s one in Penn Quarter) has been serving its signature frozen pomegranate margarita at all its restaurants for the past 22 years, says Sharon Isaacs, director of marketing for the upscale Mexican chain. “Pomegranates are traditionally part of Mexican cuisine, and we have not strayed from that at all. We have always been famous for them.” Other items making the new-trend list in 2007, according to the association, include organic pro-duce, flatbread, and specialty sandwiches. — Tifany Williams

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