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New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has selected Michele Hirshman, part of a high-powered white-collar defense team at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, to represent him in the criminal probe pertaining to his alleged involvement as a client in a prostitution ring. Hirshman, a partner in Paul Weiss’s litigation department, served as the first deputy attorney general under Spitzer when he was New York State Attorney General. Second-in-command in the AG’s office, she joined Paul Weiss in May, where she focuses on internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense. One of Hirshman’s white-collar defense colleagues at Paul Weiss is Theodore V. Wells Jr., who defended I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby in his role as a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney in the leak of a CIA officer’s identity to the press. The firm’s white-collar defense team also includes Mark Pomerantz, who has represented several prominent defendants, including Frank Quattrone, former investment banker with Credit Suisse. Quattrone, investigated by Spitzer when he was attorney general, received a deferred prosecution agreement for his role in impeding a federal investigation related to initial public offerings of stock. A spokeswoman for Paul Weiss would not disclose the firm’s other attorneys working on the Spitzer matter. A graduate of Yale Law School, Hirshman played a major role in Spitzer’s high profile investigations of alleged misconduct by Wall Street figures. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, she headed the public corruption unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She also clerked for U.S. District Judge Pierre N. Leval, in the Southern District of New York. In 2001, Hirshman told the New York Law Journal, an affiliate of The National Law Journal, that the Attorney General’s Office was an “institution” where “women could get a law job as opposed to a secretarial job in numbers far beyond ‘one here, one there.’ “ Federal authorities allege that Spitzer was caught on a wiretap discussing payments and details of meeting a prostitute in a Washington hotel room. The woman allegedly worked for the Emperor’s Club V.I.P., a company authorities say operated as a front for a prostitution ring. Hirshman did not return messages seeking comment.

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