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Lanny B. Bridgers has left King & Spalding’s Atlanta office after 30 years. The former tort litigation partner, 58, says he retired from the firm on Jan. 1. But retirement, he says, will include a new career in plaintiffs’ work. He’ll represent plaintiffs in personal injury and business litigation. King & Spalding managing partner Walter W. Driver Jr. says, “This is something that he wants to do, and it’s fine with us.” Bridgers joined King & Spalding in 1971 and became a partner in 1977. He was a member of the product liability and tort litigation group and focused his practice on defending automobile manufacturers. His clients included General Motors Corp., Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Isuzu and other car manufacturers. William J. Kemp, GM’s executive director of safety, community and legal affairs, says he first met Bridgers in 1979. He’s surprised by Bridgers’ decision to pursue a career in plaintiffs’ work, he says. Kemp notes that any representation of a client suing GM would create a conflict of interest. GM will continue to use King & Spalding for product liability defense work, Kemp says. Bridgers says he tried to keep his departure quiet until he could “get matters tidied up [at King & Spalding].” Driver says Bridgers will maintain an office at the firm until he signs off on client matters there. According to King & Spalding’s Web site, Bridgers won a defense verdict in federal court in Atlanta in a case involving double leg amputation as a result of alleged unexplained acceleration. Also, he secured a defense verdict for Nissan in state court in Athens, Ga., in a case involving the deaths of two children. Bridgers tried those cases in the past three years, the Web site says. King & Spalding has 40 product liability attorneys in its Atlanta office, Driver says. GIFFIN RETURNING TO HEAD LONG ALDRIDGE IN WASHINGTON Atlanta-based Long Aldridge & Norman continues to beef up its political ties. Gordon Giffin, U.S. ambassador to Canada, is returning to Long Aldridge as vice chairman and managing partner of the firm’s Washington office. Giffin left a senior partnership at Long Aldridge in September 1997 when President Bill Clinton appointed him ambassador. “I joined that firm in 1986 when there were fewer than 40 lawyers,” he says. “I feel very invested in the growth and development of the firm.” He adds that he had seen the firm grow to 175 attorneys when he left in 1997. Now there are more than 180 lawyers in the firm’s Atlanta and Washington offices. He will practice primarily in the firm’s international and trade groups, he says. Giffin, who spent his childhood in Canada, had close ties to the Clinton White House. He worked on former Vice President Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign and on Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, and also served on Clinton’s transition team. In addition, he has a long relationship with former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., serving in several roles, from campaign treasurer to ethics adviser. Last month, Long Aldridge hired Eric J. Tanenblatt as a senior adviser to its government affairs practice. Tanenblatt ran President George W. Bush’s campaign in Georgia. Keith W. Mason, Tanenblatt’s counterpart in Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, leads the firm’s government affairs practice. BAKER DONELSON OPENS CHINA OFFICE, ADDS EX-ENVOY Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell has forged two international connections. The Memphis-based firm has opened a representative group in Beijing, China. The firm also has brought Mark R. Parris, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, on board in its Washington office. BDBC International Inc., a subsidiary of Baker Donelson, opened the Beijing office in December. The China office will assist clients with their government affairs issues there. Also, the office will provide strategic planning advice for joint ventures and market entry there. The BDBC subsidiary works with Baker Donelson’s clients on its international business transactions. Parris, who is not an attorney, joins the firm as a senior public policy adviser. He’ll provide consulting services to the firm’s corporate clients. After serving as special assistant to President Clinton and senior director of the National Security Council, Parris was the U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 1997 to 2000. Baker Donelson merged with five-lawyer intellectual property boutique Kennedy, Davis & Hodge in November. The Baker firm acquired the four-lawyer Balboni Law Group on Feb. 1. The Balboni lawyers joined the Baker Firm’s e-business practice. Baker, Donelson has more than 240 attorneys in 11 offices in Jackson, Miss.; Washington, Tennessee, and Atlanta. Briefly … Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) has added Skipper G. StipeMaas to its transactional legal services group. StipeMaas is GLSP’s National Association of Public Interest Law fellow and the group’s second full-time attorney. Sutherland Asbill & Brennan is sponsoring StipeMaas’ fellowship. GLSP’s transactional services group provides legal work to community-based groups that work with economically depressed and culturally diverse groups of Georgia. The University of Georgia School of Law reached the national finals of the 42nd annual Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition April 1-7 in Washington. Team member James R. “Rob” McNiff was named as the tournament’s overall best oralist. Daniel C. “Clint” Pridgen was chosen as fifth-best oralist in the tournament, and Megan K. Watkins was honored as ninth-best oralist. UGA’s other team member was Claudia P. Campo. All four team members are second-year students at UGA. Third-year student Anne Allen Westbrook served as the team’s student coach. Myra K. Creighton, a partner with Fisher & Philips, was the team’s adviser and coach. Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, associate director of the University of Georgia’s Dean Rusk Center for International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies, has been elected as vice president of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). The ASIL is an international law association with more than 4,300 professors, practitioners, civil servants and students from more than 100 countries. Its purpose is to educate and engage the public in international law and to serve as a vehicle for resolving international disputes.

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