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THEODORE OLSON, COUNSEL FOR BUSH CAMPAIGN On the morning after Election Day, a reporter asked Ted Olson whether any of the fallout from the night before could find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yes, Olson suggested, the dispute over the election of a dead man to the Senate, the late Mel Carnahan from Missouri. His only comment about the Florida ballot dispute: “What a nightmare.” Olson may not have foreseen that the Supreme Court’s involvement in the November 2000 election would stem from the Florida nightmare rather than the Missouri oddity. But his selection as the lawyer to argue Gov. George W. Bush’s case before the Supreme Court was predictable. An able advocate and a forceful Republican partisan, Olson was also a chair of the lawyers’ committee for Bush’s election. His wife, Barbara, a familiar conservative talking head, last year wrote “Hell to Pay,” a book sharply critical of Hillary Clinton. Olson, 60, headed the Office of Legal Counsel under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1984 and returned to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to start its appellate practice. Among the partners at the firm: Eugene Scalia, son of Justice Antonin Scalia. Olson says an elaborate accounting procedure has been developed to make certain that Scalia does not profit from the firm’s Supreme Court practice, which might prompt Justice Scalia to recuse himself from the firm’s cases. “One vote can make a big difference,” Olson said recently. On Wednesday, Gibson Dunn partner Thomas Hungar said, “Gene Scalia has not had and will not have any involvement in the Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board case.” Olson has a clear, direct speaking style, devoid of rhetorical flourishes. “Before the Supreme Court, it doesn’t work to have the emotional content that lawyers get away with at the trial level,” Olson says about high court advocacy. “There’s no lack of passion about the case, but the justices want to have a conversation with you. You have to meet and discuss their questions, and they don’t want you to bob and weave.” Olson has a high court record of eight wins and four losses. In his highest-profile argument to date, he took on the difficult task of defending the Virginia Military Institute’s all-male policies in 1996. Justice after justice piled on him during oral argument in United States v. Virginia. When he argued that VMI’s unique program would be fundamentally altered by the presence of women, Justice Stephen Breyer asked him, “So what?” Olson gamely replied, “It works well for young men.” But his case was doomed, and he lost 7-1. - Tony Mauro and Jonathan Ringel LAURENCE TRIBE, COUNSEL FOR GORE CAMPAIGN Working out of a suite at the Watergate Hotel, Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe has been preparing for the most high-profile case of his career in typical fashion. No moot courts, not a lot of debate with colleagues, just a lot of reading and thinking about the case. “A very solitary process,” says another lawyer on the Gore team. Before he returned to Washington on Monday, he was working out of a rented home in Miami. Although Tribe’s usually lengthy prep time has been compressed, it is likely to produce a highly polished, airtight argument that leaves nothing to chance. Tribe doesn’t always win — his lifetime record is 19 wins, nine losses, one draw — but he is rarely caught off guard by a question from a justice. “When you are arguing before the Supreme Court, you can’t afford not to think of some obscure part of the case,” Tribe said in a recent interview about Supreme Court advocacy. “You can’t use panache to cover up some uncertainty about the substance of the case.” Tribe has panache nonetheless, with witty asides and a trademark ability to answer a justice’s questions by citing that justice’s own past opinions, however obscure. If anything, Tribe’s arguments can be too dazzling — too nuanced, too rapid-fire for the Court to absorb. Some justices seem put off at times by his supreme self-assurance. Tribe, 58, has a lot to be self-assured about when he approaches the Supreme Court podium. He once clerked for the late Justice Potter Stewart and is author of American Constitutional Law, the most frequently cited legal text of the last half-century. Former students fill the ranks of Supreme Court law clerks. During his long career of advocacy, Tribe has taken on a mix of uphill battles on social issues, as well as representing corporate clients who pay him up to $400,000 for his services. He has been on the losing side of several hard-to-win landmark cases, attacking Georgia’s sodomy law in Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986 and more recently attacking state laws against assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill. In the assisted-suicide case, Tribe didn’t help himself at oral argument when he committed the faux pas that has plagued top Court advocates in recent years. He addressed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as “Justice O’Connor.” Several months ago, long before the current case could have been imagined, Tribe was asked if there was any area of the law in which he would dislike arguing a case before the Supreme Court. “Well, I have no interest in ERISA,” he said. “And election law; it’s a mess.” On Friday, his job will be to help the justices sort it out. - Tony Mauro PAUL HANCOCK, COUNSEL FOR FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL Paul Hancock will represent his boss, Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, in Friday’s argument at the U.S. Supreme Court. Hancock has been with Butterworth, a Democrat, for three years. But in 27 years in the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the Ohio native worked for four Republican as well as two Democratic administrations. William Bradford Reynolds, who headed the Civil Rights Division throughout the Reagan administration, recalls Hancock as “very thoughtful, very careful … and intellectually honest.” In 1981, Reynolds took over the division after the liberal Carter years, and he says of Hancock, “We had, in some respects, different views.” The two disagreed over gerrymandering and other hot-button voting issues, Reynolds says, pointing out that Hancock’s calm arguments would sometimes persuade him to reject a state’s redistricting proposals. “He never got excited. He never got upset. He was very professional,” says Reynolds, now a partner at Howrey Simon Arnold & White. Reynolds eventually tapped Hancock to head the Voting Rights Section of the office. In briefs filed in the presidential election case, Hancock says the Supreme Court “confronts the frontier of federalism” and should not overturn Florida’s high court decision extending the state’s deadline for certifying its election results. Reynolds watched Hancock on television argue before the Florida Supreme Court last week, saying his ex-employee deftly kept the focus on his point that the case should turn on Florida law, not federal law. Reynolds expects that, on Friday, Hancock is “going to be forced to deal more specifically” with federal law requiring states to resolve disputes over choosing presidential electors prior to Election Day. Hancock convened a moot court at Georgetown University Law Center on Thursday in preparation for oral arguments. Hancock, 56, is a 1966 graduate of Xavier University and a 1970 graduate of the University of Toledo law school. He joined the Justice Department in 1970. In a DOJ career spanning 27 years, he litigated cases involving school desegregation, voting rights, fair housing, and fair lending. When he left in 1997, he was deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights. In Florida, Hancock developed Butterworth’s program to help the elderly. In 1999, Butterworth promoted him to deputy attorney general for South Florida. - Jonathan Ringel JOSEPH KLOCK JR., COUNSEL FOR FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE The old adage says clients hire a lawyer, not a law firm. But when Katherine Harris, Florida’s secretary of state, hired Joseph Klock Jr. to represent her in the presidential recount dispute, she got both — a lawyer possessing a solid reputation with the Florida Bar and the leader of one of the state’s most prominent firms. For 21 years, Klock has been the managing partner of Steel, Hector & Davis, a 160-lawyer pillar of Miami’s legal establishment. Former partners include Attorney General Janet Reno and U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, who in the first week of the post-election litigation rejected a request by Gov. George W. Bush to stop the manual vote recounts. Steel Hector is also the only firm Klock, 51, has ever worked for. While the other three lawyers arguing before the high court Friday are appellate or civil rights specialists, Klock’s r�sum� is more broad-and more corporate. He is general counsel to Flo-Sun Inc., a major sugar producer, and he’s known for negotiating international hotel management agreements. He also handles litigation, having argued before the Florida high court and federal trial and appeals courts, but Friday will be his first appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court. Last week, Klock endured some of the toughest questioning before the Florida Supreme Court, as he urged the justices not to extend Harris’ deadline for certifying the election results. He insisted that anyone dissatisfied with the results could contest the election under Florida law. Since the manual recount allowed by the Florida high court still left Al Gore 537 votes shy of victory, the vice president has, of course, filed an election contest. Ironically, had the Florida justices taken Klock’s advice in the first place, Gore would have had more time for the contest of the election to play out. As Steel Hector’s managing partner, Klock has gotten attention for encouraging the legal ambitions of support staffers and for sending his personal jet to deliver relief supplies to hurricane victims in the Caribbean. He’s familiar with the federal judiciary, having served on Sen. Bob Graham’s judicial selection committee. Klock is a graduate of Lasalle College and the University Miami School of Law. - Jonathan Ringel

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