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Coleman Leaves Weil, Gotshal Gregory S. Coleman, head of Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ national appellate litigation practice and Texas’ first solicitor general, planned to leave Weil, Gotshal’s Austin office on March 23 to join litigation boutique Yetter & Warden as a partner. On March 26, Coleman will open an Austin office for 23-lawyer Yetter & Warden and build an appellate practice for the firm. Yetter & Warden partner David Warden explains his Houston-based firm is getting much more with Coleman than simply one of Texas’ premier appellate lawyers. “It’s a big deal, because he is a top quality person, and while his expertise has been in appellate work, the kind of experience you have in appellate work � briefing cases and writing readable briefs � is useful in other stages of litigation, and I think he wants to do that,” Warden says. “He’s just a top quality guy; he happens to do appellate work.” Coleman, who joined Weil, Gotshal in Austin in 2001, says he got to know Yetter & Warden partners Paul Yetter and Warden while working together on appeals in two suits and he was impressed by their firm and their practice. “I have really seen the benefits of the litigation boutique and the flexibility and the level of service they can provide their clients,” Coleman says. Coleman says he expects to hire a few lawyers in Austin to help him build an appellate group at Yetter & Warden. Yetter says the firm and Coleman already share clients including GE Capital Group and American Airlines Co. Yetter says Coleman will be the firm’s first appellate specialist, but lawyers at the firm have always done some appeals. “As I look at it, what Greg and I do is exactly the same. We both do litigation. His focus tends to be toward the end of the litigation and mine tends to be toward the start,” Yetter says, adding that the combination will allow the firm to give clients good service from start to finish. Coleman was an associate with Weil, Gotshal in Houston in 1999 when then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn hired him to become the state’s first solicitor general. Coleman returned to Weil, Gotshal in 2001 to head the New York-based firm’s national appellate practice, and he says he built the group to about 10 full-time appellate lawyers. Weil, Gotshal’s Steve Dannhauser, chairman of the 1,200-lawyer firm, says, “We regret that Greg Coleman is leaving the firm to pursue other professional opportunities. Greg is a talented lawyer and was a valued partner who played a key role in helping expand our national appellate litigation capabilities. We wish him well in his future endeavors. As a firm, we remain committed to meeting the appellate needs of our clients at the highest level.” New Judge Candidate On March 16, U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, both Texas Republicans, recommended that Reed O’Connor fill an open bench on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas. O’Connor, a U.S. Department of Justice lawyer, is currently detailed to serve as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Border, Security and Citizenship. The Texas senators selected O’Connor as a candidate to fill the vacancy that will be created when Chief U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish takes senior status in November. O’Connor, who declines comment, also has served as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. “Reed O’Connor’s experience in the federal courts qualifies him to serve on the bench,” Hutchison says. “His background in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and at the Department of Justice will prove valuable in adjudicating cases.” Paul Coggins, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District who hired O’Connor in 1998, believes O’Connor has a good chance of being confirmed by the U.S. Senate if President George W. Bush accepts him as a nominee. “Reed’s got a good track record and bipartisan support,” says Coggins, now a partner in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson. Coggins remembers O’Connor distinguishing himself as a federal prosecutor by handling cybercrime cases. “He did an outstanding job for us. He hit the ground running, and I can’t remember anyone having a problem or an issue working with Reed.” Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District, O’Connor was a prosecutor in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office from 1994 to 1998 and an associate with the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins from 1989 to 1994. Bell Joins Patton Boggs Chris Bell, a former Houston city councilman, former U.S. congressman from Houston and unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Texas governor, is taking a break from politics to practice law at 480-lawyer Patton Boggs. Bell joined Patton Boggs in Texas on March 19, where he will build a public policy and government relations practice as an of counsel lawyer. Bell will be based in the firm’s 100-lawyer Dallas office but will also work out of an office in Houston, where he lives, and travel frequently to Austin and Washington, D.C. Bell, who had a litigation practice before he was elected to Congress in 2002, says he has had “tremendous respect” for D.C.-based Patton Boggs since his days on the Houston city council, when the firm did lobbying for the city. “I really do view Patton Boggs as the best for public policy work,” he says. Stanley Mayo, managing partner in Dallas, says, “Chris adds a new dynamic to our Texas office � he adds lobbying experience, legislative.” Bell, who was unsuccessful in 2006 in a bid to unseat Texas Gov. Rick Perry, isn’t ruling out another political campaign in the future. “You never say never. I’ve told people I’m going to take a breather and be on the sidelines for a while,” he says. After graduating from South Texas College of Law in 1992, Bell had his own firm in Houston and then worked at Beirne, Maynard & Parsons in Houston.

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