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When D.C. court officials felt they were given short shrift on federal money for employee raises, White House Counsel Fred Fielding came to their rescue — well, almost. Chief Judge Eric Washington of the D.C. Court of Appeals, who heads the D.C. courts’ policy-making body, says he turned to the D.C. Bar for help after learning that court staff were not included in a provision in the 2007 budget that allocated money for cost-of-living increases for federal workers. “I approached the bar [Court] Funding Committee to seek their assistance in ascertaining why we would be excluded and to help us convince the funders that perhaps we should be included,” says Washington. White & Case’s Carolyn Lamm, who heads the committee, began contacting members in high places, including Fielding, who is a former member of the committee. But once the D.C. judiciary learned that the Office of Management and Budget had issued a legal opinion noting that it was not going to get the funds, it called off the bar. Instead, court officials decided to push for substantial funding increases in the 2008 budget. “We decided that at that point it was better not to take on that fight,” says Washington.
Attila Berry can be contacted at [email protected].

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