X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Friends say that Jim Haynes reminds them of someone: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whose no-nonsense, often intense press briefings have become standard fare on the cable news channels. As the Pentagon’s general counsel, Haynes in many ways mirrors his boss — with a dash of Pierce Brosnan’s good looks. Haynes’ straight-shooting style has reportedly ingratiated him with Rumsfeld, a former corporate executive not known for holding lawyers in high regard. At 43, Haynes is the same age as was Rumsfeld back in 1975, when he was first appointed secretary of defense. And Haynes is reputed to have the same intensity that characterizes the 69-year-old top Pentagon official. “My agenda is driven by the secretary of defense,” says Haynes. “He is a very energetic man, and I just try to keep up with him. Hopefully I’m a little ahead of him from time to time.” Since Sept. 11, Haynes has described the task of keeping up with Rumsfeld as “riding on the back of a fast-moving elephant.” “Obviously, the secretary has a lot of responsibilities, and this war is just one of them,” Haynes says. Perhaps the most high-profile task Haynes has been charged with is filling in the details of the administration’s controversial order authorizing military tribunals for the trial of suspected terrorists. But for a lawyer in the eye of a political hurricane, Haynes has kept a low profile. While Attorney General John Ashcroft and other administration officials have vigorously defended the program before congressional oversight committees, on talk shows and in newspaper editorials, Haynes has remained quiet — a virtually anonymous figure in the center of the nation’s furious debate over civil liberties and national security. This week, Haynes is scheduled to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee. In his only public statement to date on military tribunals, Haynes simply urged those concerned to wait for the regulations to come out. Former colleagues and members of the national security bar say Haynes — who served as general counsel of the Army in the first Bush administration — is well-situated to handle the sensitive tasks demanded of a wartime legal counselor. In addition to his government service, Haynes has practiced law in the Washington, D.C., office of Chicago’s Jenner & Block and as an in-house attorney at the General Dynamics Corp., a major defense contractor based in Falls Church, Va. An avid tennis player, Haynes lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, attorney Margaret Campbell Haynes, and their three children. Those who have worked closely with Haynes in and out of the government describe him as confident and insightful, someone who approaches problems with a view to the long-term implications of action — a businessman’s lawyer who finds solutions rather than merely identifying risks. Throughout his career, Haynes’ trademark has been a vigorous work ethic that often brings him to the office before 7 a.m. “I found Jim to be an honest broker when it came to looking out for his client’s best interests,” says Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Allbaugh, who turned to Haynes for counsel during his confirmation. “He’s very knowledgeable, very thorough, very detail-oriented.” Perhaps Haynes’ most important qualification during the war in Afghanistan, say defense experts, is that he has served in the Pentagon during wartime. “When you’re involved in national security during a time of war your responsibilities don’t shift so much as they increase in intensity and volume,” says Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, the No. 2 lawyer at the State Department during the Persian Gulf War. “You tend to see people stumble when they are not prepared for the pressure.” “He has not had this particular challenge before. Nobody has,” Parker adds. “But he was at the Pentagon during a period of significant military conflict. He has a feeling for how the department works in a situation where we are actually moving troops, which is an experience few even in this small bar could claim.” RAPID RISE William J. Haynes II was born in Waco, Texas, in 1958. His father was in the Air Force and the family moved often when Haynes was growing up. Before graduating from high school, he had lived in Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Canada and Puerto Rico. Haynes’ younger brother, an Air Force master sergeant, is currently deployed as part of the war effort. Haynes attended Davidson College in North Carolina on a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1983 and spent one year as a clerk for U.S. District Judge James McMillan in Charlotte, N.C. In 1984, Haynes entered the Army general counsel’s prestigious honors program. After completing his three-year tour of active duty, he left the Army to work in the D.C. office of Atlanta’s Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan. But Haynes’ stint in private practice was short-lived. Just months later, he returned to the Pentagon after being named general counsel of the Army by then-President George Bush. The turnaround was dramatic. Haynes had left the service as a junior officer with the rank of captain, and returned at 32 as part of the department’s civilian leadership with the authority of a four-star general. Former colleagues with more experience were now his subordinates. “Things broke well for him,” says one former Army lawyer. “He was there as an honors student and then he comes back as everybody’s boss.” Haynes landed the Army GC post after serving as legal counsel on the Defense Department transition team for the first Bush administration. According to team leader Rhett Dawson, Haynes impressed Donald Atwood Jr., the administration’s choice for deputy defense secretary. After his confirmation, Atwood pushed to find Haynes a job at the Pentagon. “He was much better seasoned than would have been apparent. He had already done a great deal of sensitive work at the department,” says Dawson. Kyle McSlarrow, chief of staff to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and former staff counsel to Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., worked with Haynes in the Army GC’s office. “The decision was made purely on professional grounds,” says McSlarrow. “I think people adjusted to it very easily. Rather than it being awkward, I think there was a sense of pride in the office that one of their own had been recognized.” A decade later, as the current administration geared up, Haynes was a far more conventional candidate for political appointment. Despite his Army experience during the Persian Gulf War, he says he was only partially prepared for the challenges he faces as DOD general counsel. Unlike the Defense Department, the service departments have no direct involvement in operations, Haynes says. For the most part, the issues he faced as Army GC were only peripherally related to Operation Desert Storm. Although the Army had hundreds of uniformed judge advocates active in the military effort, only matters with significant policy implications reached Haynes’ office. “The job I had then is surprisingly different than the job I have now,” he says. “My responsibilities cover not only those I had, but two other military divisions, operational issues and interactions with other Cabinet departments.” ‘STRAIGHTFORWARD, TRANSPARENT’ After the 1992 election, Haynes joined the D.C. office of Jenner & Block, where he focused on government contracts and government relations. He was recruited to the firm by then-partner Nicholas Chabraja, now chairman of General Dynamics, a major Jenner & Block client. Haynes did a great deal of work for General Dynamics and joined the company as associate general counsel in 1996. General Dynamic GC David Savner, another former Jenner & Block partner who joined the company in 1998, says Haynes’ solid understanding of the policy issues surrounding the defense industry helped shape corporate strategy. As GC of General Dynamics’ Marine Group, Haynes focused on creating a shipbuilding business to meet the needs of a post-Cold War world. “He really came through during an uncertain time for naval procurement,” Savner says. “He developed a very close working relationship with then-CEO Jim Turner. [Haynes] was a right-hand man for Jim, and I imagine he is for Secretary Rumsfeld.” Chief Financial Officer Michael Mancuso calls Haynes “unflappable.” “Jim is the kind of guy who can deal with having quite a number of balls in the air at one time,” says Mancuso. “I’ve never seen him frustrated or agitated even on the most vexing issues.” In 1999, Haynes left General Dynamics and returned to Jenner & Block, where he remained until joining the administration. His major clients included General Dynamics, Denver’s Orica USA Inc., and Dulles, Va.’s Edenspace Systems Corp. “Jim is very direct. He tells you like it is,” says Edenspace CEO Bruce Ferguson. “He gives one the sense of being absolutely straightforward and transparent.” Before rejoining Jenner & Block in 1999, Haynes spent three months in Central Asia as part of a relief program promoting small business development and economic growth in Kazakhstan, a country to the north of Uzbekistan, where the United States has established military bases. The experience, he says, helps him picture the region of the world where U.S. troops are now fighting. Haynes made the trip on his own dime. Now, as a senior adviser to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Haynes is engaged in a very different form of public service. “There are weighty decisions being made here every day and each one has interesting legal aspects,” he says. “Being general counsel is not just a legal technician job,” Haynes adds. “My view of a good general counsel is someone who helps clients achieve objectives with efficiency and consistency with the law.”

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.