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District Dollars Earlier this month Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe represented the District of Columbia in the sale of $827 million in general obligation bonds. The deal was the largest debt offering ever by the District. Orrick partner Pauline Schneider led the deal. Schneider brought the D.C. government to Orrick with her as a client when she left Hunton & Williams last year because of the firm’s mandatory retirement age. The transaction consisted of $576 million in general obligation bonds to finance new capital projects and $251 million in general obligation refunding bonds to refinance debt originally issued in 2001, 2003, and 2005. Schneider says the city initially opened up the deal for competitive bidding. But that move didn’t produce the desired savings. The city then selected Lehman Brothers to structure the financing. “It was a great deal for the city,” Schneider says. “The new money will be applied to a lot of the capital projects that the city undertakes on a regular basis, from transportation to education to housing.”
Vogueing It Fashion in law firms is hardly pret a porter. For every nattily dressed senior partner there’s a disheveled lawyer, with rumpled hair and clothes, looking like they’ve have just come out of the dryer. Which is why it’s a shame no attorneys made an appearance, on the runway or otherwise, at last week’s fashion show put on by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. (Bob Bennett? Capris and a muted seersucker? C’mon, Bobby. Work with us!) The lunchtime show was a hit — for the non-J.D. salary earners at least, who teamed with Filene’s Basement, to model the latest (work-friendly) summer fashions. Skadden media relations head Susan Jacobsen organized the light-hearted attempt to show colleagues appropriate business casual outfits. So there was Tony Dobson, senior conference services coordinator, sporting an Andrew Frezza silk-and-wool patterned sport coat, complemented by a Ben Sherman British high collar, owning the catwalk like Kate Moss only dreamed she could. Here’s to next year’s show. And hopefully there’ll be a little more, ahem, support from the rainmakers.
Second Coming With the center of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi no longer able to hold, entire sections are falling apart. The Washington office’s intellectual property group is the most recent to depart, with three partners moving to Dewey Ballantine. Dirk Thomas, Robert Auchter, and Kenneth Freeling are expected to join Dewey’s Washington office on June 25 as partners in the IP group. Thomas was also named co-chairman of the firm-wide IP litigation practice alongside Aldo Badini, a partner in the firm’s New York office. The departures come in the wake of Robins Kaplan announcing earlier this month that it will slouch toward an Aug. 15 closing date for the Washington office. On a more positive note, Robins Kaplan partner Jeffrey Downey won $850,000 in a June 18 verdict on behalf of the family of a man who died of neglect while a resident in the Piney Forest Nursing Home in Danville, Va.
Movers and Shakers It’s been a dizzying time for Miller & Chevalier. Last week, Donald Rocen joined the firm’s tax practice as a partner. Rocen was previously the deputy chief counsel for operations of the Internal Revenue Service chief counsel’s office. Kevin Kenworthy, chairman of Miller’s tax department, says Rocen’s practice will focus on high-stakes litigation disputes. The addition came shortly after the return of tax partner James Atkinson from Winston & Strawn, who returned to Miller last week, after a topsy-turvy year of departures. In other lateral hires, DLA Piper picked off Arent Fox real estate partner Michele Williams. Her departure comes at the same time that the four-partner group from Robins Kaplan is joining. Christopher Huther and Megan Troy skipped over to the Washington office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton as partners. The duo will join the firm’s business trial practice. Both left Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis.
Makin’ History Melvin White was sworn in last week as the first openly gay president of the D.C. Bar Board of Governors and the first openly gay and African-American bar president in the country, according to the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association. Of his presidency, White says, “My theme is going to be inclusion, in a general sense, taking full advantage of all of the human potential that we have in our bar in order to serve the community, the profession, and the courts.” White plans to continue the D.C. Bar’s pro bono efforts and will “try to take them further.” He says the bar, in collaboration with the Access to Justice Commission, will lobby the D.C. Council to continue the public funding of civil legal services. He will also work to expand the number of firms that have signed up for the D.C. Bar’s pro bono challenge, in which a firm pledges between 3 percent and 5 percent of billable hours to pro bono work. White, who is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery, specializes in complex litigation and arbitration.
Going, Going . . . Back Again? Gilbert Randolph, the insurance boutique, might have some troubles ahead — a more than $9 million fee repayment to its client Congoleum being one of them. Nevertheless, one of the firm’s former partners has returned to the nest. August Matteis, who departed three months ago for Kelley Drye Collier Shannon along with former name partner John Heintz, is evidence that the firm hasn’t lost its appeal. Matteis says that many of his friends, family members, and colleagues were surprised when he left. But “not one of them was surprised when I said I was coming back,” he says. “Gilbert Randolph was really the place where I fit in best and the place where I always really wanted to spend my career.” Matteis is undaunted by the conflict-of-interest charge that threatens to put the firm in a financial crisis and is ready to tackle any litigation that comes his way. “My intent is certainly to be involved in anything that’s going to trial anytime soon,” Matteis says.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Got a tip? Contact Business Editor Anna Palmer at [email protected].

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