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Just two years after joining Thomas, Means, Gillis, Devlin, Robinson & Seay, Marvin A. Devlin and Mark E. Robinson have formed their own firm. Devlin says the pair wants to focus on “high-end litigation” on both the plaintiff and defense sides. Devlin & Robinson will represent large corporations such as Hoescht-Celanese and Dillard’s, Devlin says. Tyrone C. Means, managing partner of Montgomery, Ala.-based Thomas Means, says Devlin and Robinson’s work “just wasn’t a good fit for the kind of practice we had.” “We ran into a number of client conflicts” with Devlin and Robinson at the firm, Means says. Besides its private plaintiff cases, Thomas Means does defense work for city and county governments, including Birmingham and Montgomery, and boards of education and universities such as Alabama State University and Tuskegee University. Means, who is also president of the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association and serves as Montgomery County attorney, adds that the Thomas Means firm will add more attorneys — as many as three — to its Atlanta office as the need arises. The firm has four attorneys in its Birmingham office and seven in Montgomery. When Thomas Means opened its Atlanta office in 1998, it increased the ranks of minority firms in the city, which include Thomas, Kennedy, Sampson & Patterson and Arrington & Hollowell. Means says all of the current Thomas Means partners are black. Devlin is black and Robinson is white. Thomas, Means, Gillis & Seay will continue in Atlanta with one attorney, Quinton S. Seay Jr. Seay launched the Atlanta office with Devlin and Robinson in 1998. The three left Long, Weinberg, Ansley & Wheeler with associate Jennifer D. Odom before Long Weinberg closed in 1999. Odom is now an associate in Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy’s litigation group. Citing conflicts between Thomas Means’ defense and plaintiff work, Seay says, “The split will allow us to regain our focus on consumers.” Straddling the plaintiff-defendant fence was “very difficult to do,” Seay says. “We ended up with what we felt was a less than productive division of plaintiffs and defendants.” Seay says the Atlanta office will not close because of the departures. “We intend to be here for the duration,” he says. Georgia-licensed attorneys from Thomas Means’ Alabama offices, Seay adds, often practice in the Atlanta office a few days each week. In January, Seay represented Jaime Quainoo in her suit against Vibe magazine. Quainoo is seeking punitive damages stemming from the publication of her photo taken during Black College Spring Break in 1998. Quainoo v. Vibe Ventures, No. VS150746 (Fult. St. March 10, 1999). Seay is the son of Solomon S. Seay Jr., a civil rights attorney who represented the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Also in January, Devlin and Thomas Means attorney Earnest Redwine Jr. secured an $8.6 million settlement for the family of 16-year-old Rodney Fauntleroy. The teenager suffered severe brain damage when he nearly drowned in a Texas swimming pool in 1997. Samples v. Holiday Inns, No. 99-C1-04847 (225th Judicial Dist. Court, Bexar Co., Texas. settled Jan. 10, 2001). AMBASSADOR RETURNS TO LAW Former U.S. ambassador to Britain Philip J. Lader, who served in President Bill Clinton’s cabinet for eight years, has joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough as an equity partner. “For 25 years I’ve done practically anything to avoid practicing law — even being ambassador to the Court of St. James’s — but it finally caught up with me,” Lader jokes. Though he’s only practiced law for one year — his first year out of law school — Lader, 54, says he’s qualified to enter the Nelson Mullins partnership. “Even though I’ve been privileged to spend eight years in government and my training has been as a businessman,” he says, “I have been overseeing lawyers as a CEO or senior officer of large companies for most of my professional life.” Lader will be based in the firm’s Charleston office and says he’ll “serve international clients with their Southeastern [U.S.] legal issues.” He adds that his first project will be to restructure a Nelson Mullins technology client. Stephen G. Morrison, a Nelson Mullins senior partner and executive committee member, says Lader won’t be assigned to any particular practice group and will be a partner “at large.” Primarily, Morrison says, Lader will work closely with the firm’s corporate finance group on international transactions. In addition to his Nelson Mullins partnership, Lader will be the non-executive chairman of WPP Group, an advertising and communications services company. Subsidiaries of WPP include J. Walter Thompson, Hill & Knowlton, Young & Rubicam and Burson-Marsteller. Commissioned as U.S. ambassador in 1996, Lader spent 3-1/2 years at his London post as America’s representative to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. During his tenure, Lader walked the length and breadth of Britain — 1,100 miles — on odd three-day weekends over 11 months. He’ll also be a senior adviser to Morgan Stanley International in London and will serve on the board of RAND Corporation, a public policy institute. In 1979, Lader says, then-governor of South Carolina and current Nelson Mullins name partner Richard W. Riley introduced him to Bill Clinton. When Clinton was elected president in 1992, he appointed Lader as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. At the OMB, Lader says he worked closely with Vice President Al Gore in reducing the federal workforce. Lader was also White House deputy chief of staff and administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration during Clinton’s term. Before serving in the federal government, Lader was president of Sea Pines Company, a Hilton Head Island-based developer of resorts. In 1986, he stepped down from his position at Sea Pines to run — unsuccessfully — for governor of South Carolina. He then became the executive vice president of the late Sir James Goldsmith’s U.S. interests, which included the largest private landholdings in America. Lader also has been president of Winthrop University in South Carolina and Bond University, the first private university in Australia. When Lader graduated from Harvard Law School in 1971, he took a job with New York’s Sullivan & Cromwell. He left the Sullivan firm after a year for a clerkship with Judge Paul H. Roney of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (now 11th Circuit). Lader did not return to practicing law until last week. Nelson Mullins has more than 240 attorneys in seven offices in Atlanta, the Carolinas and Munich. LITTLER MENDELSON IN PENNSYLVANIA Labor and employment firm Littler Mendelson has opened two offices in Pennsylvania with 19 attorneys plucked from Buchanan Ingersoll’s labor and employment group. The addition marks the San Francisco-based firm’s 30th and 31st offices nationwide. Littler’s Pittsburgh office took nine lawyers from Buchanan Ingersoll’s Pittsburgh office. Littler’s Pittsburgh partners include: Richard J. Antonelli, Robert W. Cameron, John M. Cerilli, Rebecca J. Dick-Hurwitz, Mark T. Phillis and Sidney Zonn. The Littler office in Philadelphia will be stocked with 10 attorneys from Buchanan’s office there. Former Buchanan partners Thomas J. Bender Jr., Marguerite S. Walsh and Kristine Grady Derewicz will join the Littler firm as partners. Matthew S. Wynn, a former associate at the Buchanan firm, will become a partner at the Littler firm. Teresa L. Butler, managing partner of Littler Mendelson’s Atlanta office, says there are no plans for any Atlanta attorneys to move to the Pennsylvania offices. But, she says, Atlanta office clients will benefit from the offices as the firm tries to “firm up [its] East Coast presence.” Littler Mendelson has 377 attorneys in its 31 offices. Briefly … Jed Steven Beardsley, formerly a partner at Gomel & Davis, has joined Gambrell & Stolz as a partner. Beardsley will work in the Gambrell firm’s real estate and corporate groups. Also, Steven G. Hall has become a partner at the Gambrell firm. Hall was formerly an associate there and practices in the firm’s commercial law and business litigation groups. Gambrell & Stolz has 25 lawyers in Atlanta. Smyrna attorney Flavia J. Tuzza has compiled and published a cookbook for lawyers. “LegalEats: A Lawyer’s Lite Cookbook” (Writers Club Press, 2000) sells for $13.95. The cookbook is a compendium of recipes ranging from “Opening Statements” like “Common-Law Corn Chowder” to “Side Bars” such as “Garnished Garlic Mashed Potatoes.” “LegalEats” also contains lawyer cartoons and a collection of legal quotes.

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