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Former White House Counsel Harriet Miers will return to Locke Liddell & Sapp, the firm she formerly co-managed, on May 1 as a partner. Miers will rejoin the firm’s public policy group and the firm’s litigation group. Jerry Clements, the 400-lawyer firm’s managing partner, says she and others at Locke Liddell are thrilled Miers will return to the fold. Miers, who left the firm in 2001 to join the Bush administration, will work out of firm offices in Dallas, Austin and Washington, D.C., Clements says. “There’s about eight or 10 former White House counsel in the country these days, and they are all at very high-profile firms. It’s exciting for us to get her back,” says Clements, who works out of the firm’s Austin office. Clements says Miers will do lobbying, provide public policy advice to clients, and do high-stakes, high-profile commercial litigation. Miers, a one-time nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, left the White House in February. Clements notes that while Miers will build a lobbying practice, she is barred from lobbying the executive branch for a year after leaving her post. Miers could not immediately be reached for comment. In a written statement, Miers says returning to Locke Liddell is the right choice because of the firm’s reputation, and because it’s like a family to her. “I am excited about the opportunities to serve as an adviser and advocate in the private sector, and to work once again with great professionals I admire — many of whom are close personal friends,” Miers says in the statement. In 2001, Miers left Locke Liddell to move to Washington, D.C., to become assistant to the president and staff secretary. In 2003, she was named assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff. She became White House counsel in February 2005. In October 2005, President George W. Bush nominated Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court, but she withdrew her name from consideration three weeks later amid controversy over her qualifications. Miers’ name has been in the news again since early March regarding whether she had a role, while still at the White House, in the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys. Clements says that while Locke Liddell’s door was always open to Miers, the former Dallas-based trial lawyer didn’t contact Clements until about two-and-a-half weeks ago to discuss the possibility of returning to the firm. “She decided about a week ago that she was ready to get back to work and that she wanted to come back to us,” Clements says. Prior to joining the White House, Miers did commercial litigation, representing clients including Microsoft Corp., Walt Disney Co. and SunGard Data Systems. She was the first woman State Bar of Texas president and first female Dallas Bar Association president. Brenda Sapino Jeffreys is a senior reporter with Texas Lawyer.

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