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By hiring Eric J. Tanenblatt as a senior adviser, Atlanta-based Long Aldridge & Norman’s notoriously Democratic cachet is becoming a bit more Republican. Just as unusual is the fact that Tanenblatt, 34, is not an attorney. He’s been involved in politics for more than 10 years and is the former senior vice president of Atlanta-based public relations firm Duffey Communications Inc. Long Aldridge has about six nonlawyers in its government affairs practice. One of those advisers is Bob Cassidy, an international trade expert. Tanenblatt ran President George W. Bush’s campaign in Atlanta. He joins Long Aldridge’s government affairs practice and will work in the firm’s Atlanta and Washington offices. As an adviser to Long Aldridge, Tanenblatt says he’ll serve as a liaison between federal and state government agencies and firm clients. Keith W. Mason, Tanenblatt’s counterpart in former Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign, leads that group. But Mason says Tanenblatt won’t work for him. “He doesn’t work for me any more than Steve Labovitz or Buddy Darden work for me,” Mason says. “We will be working together.” Steven J. Labovitz is a partner in the firm’s government relations group and was Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell’s chief of staff from 1994 to 1997. Democrat George “Buddy” Darden is also a partner at the firm and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1994. Mason says hiring high-profile politicos from differing party affiliations is unusual for an Atlanta law firm. But, he adds, “you see this all the time in Washington.” Firms like Hogan & Hartson, Patton Boggs, and Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Mason says, are stocked with prominent attorneys from both the Democratic Party and the GOP. Straddling the political fence is a good idea for a law firm, according to University of Georgia political science Professor Charles S. Bullock III. He says the addition of Tanenblatt reminds him of when Long Aldridge hired Republican politico Matthew A. Towery in the mid-1990s. Bullock also says hiring both prominent Republicans and Democrats is typical of Washington firms. Clients of large law firms, Bullock says, often need bipartisan support in legislatures. “My surmise would be that a firm like this recognizes that Republicans have become a significant presence in Georgia,” Bullock says. Bullock notes that Republicans dominate Georgia’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. Towery, a former Republican state representative and nominee for lieutenant governor, served as counsel to Long Aldridge for about three years and left in 1997. Towery is a co-founder and chairman of InsiderAdvantage.com, a public affairs and lobbying firm. Hiring Tanenblatt, Towery says, is consistent with what he calls Long Aldridge’s efforts to be “broad-based in their background.” Towery discounts Long Aldridge’s reputation as a firm with Democratic leanings. “There are a lot more Republicans at Long Aldridge than anybody wants to admit,” he says. Clay C. Long, chairman and CEO of Long Aldridge, says the firm’s Republican attorneys are less visible than its Democrats. “We believe it’s in the best interest of our clients to have people with relationships with Democrats and Republicans,” Long says. Tanenblatt says he got to know Mason when Mason was Georgia Gov. Zell Miller’s chief of staff in 1992. At the time, Tanenblatt was an adviser to the late Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga. “After the Florida debacle was settled,” Tanenblatt says, “[Mason] called and offered assistance with any transition activities.” From there, Tanenblatt says, the two discussed Tanenblatt joining Long Aldridge. Tanenblatt says he discussed employment with other law firms but declined to name them. “Long Aldridge was the right fit because they understand government and politics … and will be very respectful of my political affiliation,” Tanenblatt says. He’ll continue his involvement with Republican politics. Besides working at Long Aldridge, Tanenblatt says he’ll assist President Bush by “identifying good Georgians to serve in the administration.” In addition to Coverdell, Tanenblatt worked for the presidential campaigns of Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, before being tapped to head President Bush’s Georgia campaign. Tanenblatt is a graduate of Emory University and the Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University. TROUTMAN HIRES FOUR IN D.C. Troutman Sanders has added four attorneys to its Washington office. Three of the lawyers are maritime attorneys and one is a former commissioner for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). C. Jonathan Benner, formerly a partner at Washington’s Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, is a former general counsel of the Federal Maritime Commission. Sean T. Connaughton and Leonard L. Fleisig, both formerly special counsel in the Eckert firm’s maritime group, join Troutman’s Washington office as of counsel. Donald F. Santa Jr., former senior vice president for strategic planning at LG&E Energy Corp. in Kentucky, also joined Troutman Sanders’ Washington office as a partner. From 1997 to 1999, Santa was LG&E’s senior vice president and deputy general counsel. Prior to his tenure at LG&E, Santa served on the FERC from 1993 to 1997. Briefly … Joel S. Goldman left an equity partnership at Troutman Sanders to establish Goldman IP Law, an intellectual property practice specializing in patent services. Goldman says he formed the firm in response to a decreasing population of IP boutiques. Multi-service firms are rapidly acquiring IP boutiques, Goldman says. The acquisition trend creates a niche market for clients who need IP services but cannot afford to pay high rates of firms with larger overhead structures. Goldman, who joined Troutman’s IP practice group in 1988, says he wants to expand Goldman IP Law by nine attorneys. The firm now consists only of Goldman. The Marietta, Ga., litigation firm of Dawson & Huddleston will award $1,000 college scholarships to 10 Cobb County high school seniors this spring. The law firm has awarded scholarships to Cobb County students since 1998. Currently, a total of 13 Cobb County students attend Brown University, the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Rice University, Stanford University and Tulane University with the assistance of Dawson & Huddleston scholarships. Cobb County high school seniors may obtain an application from their guidance counselor or by calling (770) 919-7554. The deadline for applications is April 20. A team from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law finished fourth at the American Bar Association 2000-2001 Client Counseling Competition finals in Sacramento, Calif., March 9-10. Team members Laura L. Voght, a third-year law student, and James V. Parker, a first-year, won the regional competition at Florida State University to reach the national finals. Law Professor David G. Oedel coached the team. The University of Georgia School of Law reached the quarterfinals of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) national tournament in New Orleans March 22-25. The UGA team finished sixth in a field of 208 teams. Team members included third-year students S. Mark Mitchell and N. Michelle Harris and second-year students Ryan P. Reavis and Shalena M. Cook. Second-year student Caroline P. Rogers was the team’s student coach.

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