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A little after 9:30 a.m. on the 10th day of the legal battle for the White House — Nov. 17 — it was drop-dead quiet in Barry Richard’s office in downtown Tallahassee, Fla. George W. Bush’s chief litigator in Florida was sitting at a large desk overrun with piles of briefs, taking notes on gray-lined paper and highlighting sections in Florida’s election law. Occasionally, he stopped to read passages in some of the cases before him. Four hundred miles and some light years in commotion away was a packed courtroom in West Palm Beach, Fla. Richard, a phone passively to his ear, was listening in to the proceedings, his voice about to be piped in via speakerphone. Richard’s plan was to convince the judge in that courtroom, Jorge Labarga, that he had no judicial authority to order a revote for the presidential candidates in Palm Beach County. As Richard listened, the silence in his office, the state capital outpost of Miami’s Greenberg Traurig, was momentarily broken by a commotion in the hallway. Richard’s partner, Ronald LaFace, was laughing and clapping. He popped his head into Richard’s office. “Yes!” he whispered loudly to Richard, who was trying to listen to the arguments going on in West Palm. “Lewis denied the motions,” LaFace informed Richard. Richard had just learned that Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, in yet another of Richard’s court fights, had ruled that Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris had not violated a disputed court order. The decision set the stage for her to certify the final Florida vote the next day. It was a big, albeit temporary, victory for Richard’s client, Texas Governor Bush. Within a few minutes, as Richard continued listening on the phone, he was handed a note by his secretary, Shannon Abbott. It read, “Your mother called. She’s very proud of you.” A moment later he got a pop-up message on his computer, telling him that former Secretary of State James Baker, Bush’s top political/legal adviser, wanted to talk with him about the Lewis decision. The note digested, the multitasking Richard refocused, turning his attention to West Palm again, arguing over the phone to Labarga that there was nothing in Florida law that would allow a judge to order a new election, explaining that Foster v. Love, 522 U.S. 67, stands for the principle that the presidential election, by law, can only be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, every fourth year. Labarga excused Richard before the hearing was over, and he dashed off to the capitol building, a few blocks away, for a press conference. A chaotic day, to be sure. But this snapshot of Richard’s agenda during the epic Bush-Gore struggle was hardly uncharacteristic of his hectic mission, as a National Law Journal reporter discovered, spending a month at Richard’s side. His fly-on-the-wall view of Richard’s litigation activities provided a very different view of the man than that seen by millions of television viewers. What follows is the story of Richard’s transformation into a national legal figure and of his firm’s plans to capitalize on his new high profile as a litigator. This is a broad-brush chronicle of Richard’s secret trial strategies, as well as a rough record of the things that disappointed or surprised him as he helped make history. Here and there are snippets of the personal side of the man, who stuck to much of his weekly routine, making time for family and friends — even as the presidency was at stake. SIGNING ON Before his month of fame began, Richard was a well-respected Florida trial advocate with three U.S. Supreme Court victories and 57 Florida Supreme Court arguments to his credit. By the time the presidency was decided, 36 days later, he had made key legal arguments in Broward, Palm Beach and Leon county circuit courts, had twice appeared before the Florida Supreme Court and had given enough interviews for a lifetime. He had become a celebrity. Richard was hired on Wednesday, Nov. 8, by then-Gov. Bush on the recommendation of — among others — Bush’s brother, Jeb, the governor of Florida. Richard, a former state legislator, has represented The Florida Bar as litigation counsel for more than two decades and had unusual bipartisan credentials. A registered Democrat, he had, in separate matters, simultaneously represented Jeb Bush and Bill Nelson, Florida’s new Democratic senator. Because it “was a hot emotional issue” with partisan overtones, Greenberg Traurig Chief Executive Officer Cesar Alvarez says, it was up to him to decide whether Richard could take the case. Within 30 minutes after Richard called him, Alvarez says, he had concluded that the firm should represent Bush because it was a good business decision. His only conditions: The firm would act only as legal counsel and not in a public relations capacity for Bush, and it would charge regular rates rather than do the work pro bono, as many lawyers on both sides had. By Thursday, Nov. 9, when Richard first met with Baker, Bush campaign general counsel Benjamin Ginsberg and others at Republican headquarters in Tallahassee, at least seven suits had already been filed by disgruntled voters demanding a revote on the ground that an allegedly illegal “butterfly” ballot in Palm Beach County had, in essence, cost Vice President Al Gore the election. From the beginning, Richard recalled, “I was in a response mode. It was like a nuclear explosion — a small thing that builds up and then all of a sudden develops very rapidly.” During the first few days, as recount fever spread and lawyers poured into the state to help out both sides, Richard deployed Greenberg Traurig lawyers and paralegals to circuit courts and election canvassing boards in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and elsewhere. All told, 39 lawyers and 13 paralegals from his firm logged 3,002 hours on the case, with billings expected to approach $1 million. “I’ve had to have lawyers in all those counties ready to run,” Richard said on Nov. 14, as he quarterbacked the operation from Tallahassee. “I am more like a dispatcher.” He and his top associate on the case, Seann Frazier, worked the phones, making sure that when new suits or motions were filed relating to the election, copies were immediately sent to Tallahassee for a coordinated response. CALM EYE OF THE STORM The Greenberg Traurig office, a three-story brick building a few blocks from the Leon County Courthouse, the Florida Supreme Court and the state capitol buildings, could not be closer to the heart and pulse of Tallahassee. The office, which houses 16 of Greenberg’s 763 lawyers, specializes in lobbying and administrative regulatory law. Richard is one of two litigation partners. On Nov. 16, and throughout the five-week ordeal, neither Richard nor his surroundings gave much hint of the historic things going on around them. Despite desks piled high with Bush briefs, the office looked every bit the quarters of a high-end law firm that expects 2000 gross revenue to exceed $350 million. Notwithstanding sleep deprivation on the part of many, no one looked out of sorts, including Richard, a picture of understated fashion in his white-on-white monogrammed shirt, dark tie and blue pinstriped suit. Richard, who took some media ribbing for his well-coifed silver mane, fit in with the patrician feel of his personal office, with its high ceiling, custom-made mahogany furniture and a bronze sculpture of a half-nude woman reaching for the sky. That day, Richard was trying to keep track of the 18 suits pending in the fight for the White House. They included the Palm Beach County butterfly suits involving the chads and punch card ballots, the Volusia County case before Judge Lewis that questioned Secretary of State Harris’ power to disregard late-filed, hand-recounted votes, and a request by Harris to have the Florida Supreme Court stop the recounts. The question at that point was: Would the courts let her certify the vote and end the legal battle? Despite press reports that Harris, a Republican and Bush supporter, was in cahoots with the GOP legal team, Richard insisted throughout that he had no contact with her: “The Bush camp has had no contact with her and has ordered everyone not to have contact with her. She is a very independent woman.” Richard was told that day by Jennifer Guy, a legislative coordinator assigned temporarily to handle press calls, that National Public Radio, Newsweek, Bloomberg News, MSNBC, Fox and Larry King Live all wanted interviews. Aside from King, an old friend from decades ago in Miami, Richard turned most down. Richard’s focus was the Florida Supreme Court, which had been asked by the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board to let it know, in effect, if the recounts could continue. After a discussion with several staff members about whether the high court had jurisdiction to decide the matter, Richard briefly turned his attention to personnel matters. With the fate of the nation in the balance, Richard took time to tend to a fatigued staff suffering from a round of all-night brief-writing sessions. He told Frazier to get some sleep and his secretary, Abbott, and his paralegal, Michelle Beal, to go home to be with their families. “The problem is all these people are running on adrenaline,” he said. By 4:30 p.m., he was told that the Florida Supreme Court was about to fax him a decision. As he waited, one of the visiting Bush team lawyers handed him a motion to be filed with Judge Lewis. Unable to remember the lawyer’s name, he said, “I can’t sign it until I read it.” “You don’t have time to read it,” the lawyer said. “You can skim it.” After a 90-second skim, a tired Richard signed. By 4:40 p.m., Richard had the decision in hand. “Huh, that’s interesting,” he said. “They did nothing. They punted.” The court, in its first of four key decisions in the case, issued a seven-line interim order saying, “[T]here is no legal impediment to the recounts continuing.” A few minutes later, Richard said, “I think they don’t want to decide the issue yet. That’s why they said interim.” Clearly, later, he would wish that were not the case. GORE WINS A ROUND Both the Gore and Bush camps spun the decision as a victory, but the next day there was more definitive action. Late in the afternoon of Nov. 17, the Florida Supreme Court gave Gore his first big state court victory. It enjoined Secretary of State Harris from certifying the election results, setting up the oral arguments that most people thought could determine the presidency. For Richard, it would turn out to be a test of more than just his legal skills. Throughout that day, Richard said several times that he needed to secrete himself to begin preparing for the inevitable Florida Supreme Court argument that he had just learned would come at 2 p.m. on Nov. 20. As soon as he found out that each side would get one hour to argue, he asked Frazier to find out how many co-appellees would share his hour. “I have a logistical problem to deal with,” he told a colleague. “First, I have to get my time. I don’t know how many parties I am going to have to squabble with.” Richard also realized that he had a weekend of preparation ahead and that there would be a weekend of brief-writing for a team of lawyers working out of his office and at the Republican headquarters a few blocks away. The lawyers included Michael Carvin of Washington, D.C.’s Cooper Carvin & Rosenthal; Professor William Kelley, of Notre Dame University Law School; George Terwillager III and Timothy Flanagan of New York-based White & Case’s Washington, D.C., office; and Frazier, who would provide research and assistance on aspects of Florida law. Richard told his support staff that he’d arrange for child care for them if necessary. He called his wife, Allison Tant, mother of their 2-year-old twins (he has two grown children by a first marriage), and asked her to call his mother in Miami Beach to tell her that if they were late arriving for Thanksgiving, they’d stay longer afterwards. An hour later, he went home. “I want to get away from these guys and focus my attention,” he explained. Home for Richard is a 6,200-square-foot home in a wooded area about 10 miles from downtown Tallahassee. He says he helped design the Neoclassical split-level as a “creative outlet” after his first marriage broke up. It has rosewood floors, mahogany columns and a living room with a 22-foot ceiling. It’s a place where he can relax and get ready for a big case. On a rainy Saturday, Nov. 18, Richard was at his house preparing for what would be the argument of a lifetime. Drafts of the Supreme Court brief, due Sunday, were brought to his home, as were copies of all cases cited in the Gore and Bush briefs. Much of his focus was on how to deal with what he expected would be the main argument of Gore chief counsel David Boies — what Richard called the “rah rah” argument — that the “will of the people” calls for all votes to be counted. “The will of the people is a nebulous concept,” Richard said, seated in an overstuffed leather chair in his book-lined den. “The risk of the will of the people is that it invites people to attempt to impose their own will in the name of the people. That’s why we have laws. The will of the people is determined by people who voted correctly, on time. We recognize there will be errors sometime.” For Richard, the case was one of strict statutory construction. The Florida Legislature, under Section 102.111 of the election code, had given the state Elections Canvassing Commission — not the courts — the power to ignore late-filed returns and to certify the election results. Over that weekend, Richard drafted a short outline of the argument to make sure he didn’t forget any key points or citations. He also got a favorite suit pressed and bought a new shirt. By the next afternoon, none of his preparation seemed to matter. At a meeting in his office with Ginsberg, the Bush chief counsel, Richard was told that he wouldn’t be making the argument. Instead, Mike Carvin, who had helped draft the brief and whom Ginsberg knew from earlier litigation, would do it. “The client doesn’t know me well, and they are more familiar with Mike, and Ben made that decision,” Richard said a few hours after being told. “I am not upset. It’s a client’s decision. I am disappointed. There’s no trial lawyer who wouldn’t want to do that argument.” Ginsberg said weeks later that he gave Carvin the nod because he believed the latter was more familiar with the case. He had co-written the brief and, Ginsberg said, had argued successfully against the Gore motion before Judge Lewis to block the certification — the appeal of which led to the high court argument. When told of the decision, Richard acknowledges, he suggested to Ginsberg that they put out the word that the reason he would not make the argument was because he had laryngitis. “I just felt it was awkward,” he says. “People will wonder what went on. Was there some type of dispute? A disagreement as to the approach?” In the end, however, Richard says he decided they should not use an excuse. Carvin says that Richard was totally professional about the disappointment. “Barry said we should be upfront and say it was a client’s decision,” he says. “None of us wanted any speculation that there was any lack of confidence with Barry or any lack of cooperation between Barry and me because that was completely untrue.” By the next morning, things got better for Richard. Judge Labarga in West Palm Beach issued a ruling that agreed with Richard’s phone argument from the week before. “[I]t was the clear and unambiguous intention of the framers of the Constitution … that presidential elections be held on a single day throughout the United States,” Labarga wrote, dismissing the butterfly suits. Soon afterward, Richard learned that he would take the last five minutes of Carvin’s time because the Bush team decided it was best to have a Florida counsel make the final push under Florida law. THE WHOLE FIRM’S WATCHING Greenberg Traurig brought in a 50-inch TV, and firm staff filled the second-floor, wood-paneled conference room to watch their colleague on CNN. To appreciate the scene, it helps to know that Richard has practiced law with some of his partners for more than 20 years and that colleagues have great personal and professional admiration for him. Said Frazier, who has worked with him for four years, “Not only is Barry a brilliant lawyer, but he is also a genuinely nice person. Not just to clients and shareholders, but also to associates, staff members — everybody. And as a result, he commands a lot of respect.” Richard’s five minutes was time well spent. In contrast to the Boies and Carvin arguments, he got to make his points mostly unscathed by probing justices. “If you’ll read the statute, it says there is one certification mandated by 5 p.m. seven days after the election, and that’s the only one,” he told the seven justices, urging his theme of strict statutory interpretation. When he was done, the conference room erupted in applause. One colleague shouted, “Good job, Barry!” GORE WINS AGAIN By the next evening, Nov. 21, neither Richard’s nor Carvin’s argument mattered much. The Florida Supreme Court, 7-0, reversed Judge Lewis and handed Gore his biggest victory yet. The court allowed the recounts to continue, ordering Secretary of State Harris to accept amended vote totals up until Sunday, Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. On that Sunday evening, Harris declared Bush the winner in Florida by 537 votes. For lawyers on both sides, that was just the setup for the contest trial ahead. Anticipating the fight, before Thanksgiving, the Bush legal team, coached by Baker and Ginsberg, decided that they needed more litigation firepower to help Richard. Baker turned to G. Irvin Terrell and B. Daryl Bristow, two partners from the Houston office of his own firm, Baker Botts. He and Ginsberg also brought in Philip Beck and Fred Bartlit Jr. of Chicago’s Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott. All four were used to fast-paced, high-stakes litigation. Richard had spent Thanksgiving with his family at his parents’ home in Miami Beach. His 88-year-old father, Melvin Richard, an attorney and former mayor of Miami Beach, had recently been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Spending time with his family was a priority, but Richard also continued to work on the case. Once back in Tallahassee, he met his four new litigation partners for the first time. All five checked their egos at the door, something Richard had already done well when Carvin made the first argument in front of the Florida Supreme Court. Richard admitted he didn’t think of bringing in new people. “I did not anticipate the manpower I would need for the trial. I didn’t think far enough ahead,” he explained. “Fortunately, the person with overall responsibility [Mr. Ginsberg] called me and said he was putting together a dream team to work with me. And my first reaction was, I am sure glad he thought of it, because I hadn’t.” On Monday, Nov. 27, Gore filed his contest action, seeking to have some 14,000 undervotes from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties counted by hand. The Republican team divided up the work: Beck, Bartlit and Terrell led a team that worked out of borrowed offices a few blocks from Greenberg Traurig to prepare Bush’s defense for the contest trial. Bristow did the same for two other cases: the so-called Seminole and Martin county suits, in which plaintiffs were trying to throw out 25,000 absentee ballots because of alleged Republican wrongdoing with ballot applications. In all the cases, Richard’s role was to make the legal arguments. On Nov. 28, Richard had three things on his plate: the Seminole County case, an appeal of Judge Labarga’s Palm Beach ruling and, front and center, the Gore lawyers’ repeated efforts to get an expedited hearing before Judge N. Sanders Sauls. A team of attorneys at GOP headquarters worked on a brief opposing the request. In a phone conversation, Richard suggested to Baker Botts’ Kirk Van Tine, a key Bush brief-writer, that they present Sauls with their own trial calendar to counter the Democrats. Later that day, in a courtroom packed with lawyers and reporters, Boies, the lead Gore lawyer, argued to Sauls at least four times that once the ballots arrived in Tallahassee, the judge had the authority to start counting them and needed to do so. “[I] can’t think of a legitimate reason not to begin the counting on Thursday, at least with respect to the Dade County ballots,” said Boies, taking advantage of a judge who tolerated redundancy. RARE ANGER The normally calm Richard had heard enough. “My client is entitled to a hearing before Mr. Boies’ client gets relief,” he told Judge, his voice rising in anger. “And every time your honor gives him another thing, he’s back on his feet asking for one more thing that you have already denied him twice.” “[N]obody needs to get excited,” Sauls said. “I understand he’s asked for it several times … but I can’t strip you of every right that is known to anybody to accommodate that.” Denying Boies’ request, the judge set the trial for Saturday, Dec. 2. As both sides moved toward that day, Richard had to make an adjustment. He was an important person on the team, but others would now take center stage, at least temporarily, for the state litigation. If it bothered him, he wasn’t letting on. Throughout the preparation, he spoke on the phone and met with the new trial team. After one meeting, he advised Terrell on how best under Florida election law to seek a statewide recount of all nonvotes (undervotes and overvotes), a position asserted in Bush’s contest answer. “Barry said, ‘You guys decide what kind of case you should put on, and I’ll give you some suggestions,’ ” Beck said, adding that egos did not clash in the process. At lunch on Nov. 29, at a sandwich shop across the street from his office, Richard asked Frazier and Beal, his paralegal, to start putting together a file for his closing argument in the contest trial. He wanted transcripts from the Palm Beach County court hearings and key statutes, including the Texas law, which was noteworthy because it has particularly liberal standards for counting punch card ballots. Frazier had already prepared a loose-leaf binder with the 77 Florida contest cases, dating back to 1890. Before lunch was over, Richard got a vague call on his cell phone that another emergency hearing had been called by Sauls for later that day. “Call me crazy, but I like to know what a hearing is about before I get there,” Richard joked. And so it would go all week. At the marathon weekend contest trial, both sides’ key witnesses appeared to backfire. Beck seemed to steal the show with his razor-sharp crosses of the two Gore witnesses. AN UNORTHODOX CLOSING There was nothing normal about the two-day, 23-hour trial, so it should not be surprising that Richard’s closing argument itself — the timing and the style — was unorthodox. First, like the other closings, Richard’s was delivered on Sunday evening to a live national television audience. Second, he barely referred to the Bush evidence at all, mentioning only two of the nine witnesses they called. The night before, when preparing his closing at home, Richard had said he believed the case was unusual in that much of the evidence from both sides was irrelevant. “So I don’t want to talk about chads and other things specific to punch card voting devices,” he said. He said he intended to argue that the case involved the canvassing boards’ discretion and whether they had abused it. “I may make some reference that they are asking this judge to decide the fate of the president of the United States on the basis of these two witnesses, which is kind of outlandish,” he added. The next day, he told Judge Sauls that the Florida Legislature had given local canvassing boards, not the courts, the power to decide when hand recounts should occur, and that none of the canvassing boards had abused their discretion by not hand-counting every ballot. He ended by asking: Is Florida “prepared to tell the American people that it will disqualify its electors and possibly hinge the election of the presidency on the only two witnesses presented by the plaintiffs?” Sauls’ answer the next day was a resounding no. He found that there was no abuse of discretion nor any evidence warranting a recount. Richard said that there were muted high-fives at the Republican headquarters after the decision. Everyone knew the case was not won yet. UNDERSTANDING BARRY As the case moved toward a conclusion, a few things about Barry Richard stood out that were either in sharp contrast to the incredible pace and pressure of the proceeding, or so in tune with it that it was clear he knew he was part of a once-in-a-lifetime event, and had decided to take advantage of it. In the five-week battle, during which he logged 452 billable hours for Bush and was so busy he didn’t have time to input any hours in his computer until the case was over, he still made time to lunch with his good friend and partner, Fred Harris Jr., almost every day. Being the only top Bush lawyer from Tallahassee, Richard also enjoyed the luxury of going home almost every night to have dinner with his wife and see their young children, Jeremy and Jonathan. Unlike most lawyers on the case, he didn’t pull any all-nighters. That’s not to say he didn’t pull his weight, but his job was not the all-consuming task of writing briefs. He’s also not the kind of lawyer who spends hours preparing for argument. In fact, throughout the scores of hours this reporter was in his office, Richard did not spend more than an hour or two reading briefs, cases or the law on any given day. He’d review what he believed was necessary, sketch an outline and go from there. His longtime partner Fred Baggett put it this way: “He’s kind of like the student in college who doesn’t have to study to get an A.” Richard also spent some of his time — to say the least — in front of cameras. According to a tally that his firm kept, he had 2,752 TV appearances, including replays of interviews. He became a regular on “Larry King Live,” appearing 13 times. There were some rumblings in the Republican camp that he was going overboard, that he should spend more time worrying about the case, but the truth is that he was repeatedly beckoned by Bush people to appear with Baker or others at press conferences. Baggett, the managing partner of Greenberg’s Tallahassee office, says he was concerned enough about the “sidewalk swarms” that he spoke to Richard several times to make sure the client approved of his interviews. When asked whether he was spending too much time with the media, Richard says that he wasn’t instigating press conferences as Boies was. Nor, he argues, was he making statements. He was just answering questions about the case or decision of the moment. He said he has always had a good relationship with the press, in part, because he represented the Florida Press Association and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors for about 20 years. Regardless, he acknowledged this was “prime time” exposure he could not pass up. He was looking out for his future — and neither he nor his firm was apologetic about it. THE BIG DAY On Dec. 7, Richard was in his office before 8 a.m., miked by a crew from ABC’s “Nightline” for a day-in-the-life piece that night. For Richard — and his client — it was to be a huge day. At 10 a.m., he would argue against Gore’s appeal of Judge Sauls’ verdict before the Florida Supreme Court. At 1 p.m., he would make a key part of the closing argument in the Seminole County absentee ballot case. It was also his fourth wedding anniversary. The day before, Richard had been in trial from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the Martin County and Seminole County cases, playing second chair to Baker Botts’ Bristow. He had virtually no time until late that evening to prepare for the supreme court argument, yet the next morning, two hours before the argument, he was confident. He says that he didn’t need much time because he had been so enmeshed in the issues since the beginning and he didn’t feel the subject matter required more time. “None of these cases involve any issues that are any more complex than any other case,” he says. “In fact, the case before the supreme court — and I intend to tell them — is no more than a garden variety appeal.” Richard used almost that exact phrase before the supreme court, but many of the justices seemed to see it differently. A majority were concerned that there were votes that needed to be counted. In his 20-minute argument, Richard was interrupted 34 times with questions. Justice Harry Lee Anstead asked, “[I]sn’t it highly unusual for a trial court to admit into evidence certain documents that one party claims will be controlling … and yet never examine those documents … . Didn’t that happen here with … the disputed ballots?” “Well, I think that the trial court theoretically admitted the ballots,” Richard said. “And the ballots were …” “Theoretically?” Anstead shot back. “Did the trial court admit those into evidence?” “My recollection is that the trial court did,” Richard said. And so it went until the end, with Richard struggling to make coherent points without interruption. When he was done, unlike after his first argument, there was no applause in the packed conference room at his firm. His colleagues had a sense of what was up. “I think they want a recount,” Michael Cherniga, one of Richard’s partners, said afterward. “I think what they are struggling with is whether you just count in those counties or whether you’d have to do it on a statewide basis.” Immediately after the argument, Richard returned to his office and retrieved his file for the Seminole County argument — which would be in a little more than an hour. But Richard also had other things on his mind. It was time for a short anniversary lunch with his wife and Frazier, LaFace and Baggett. A newspaper reporter and the ABC “Nightline” crew tagged along. In a dining room at the Governor’s Club, Richard told ABC, of the arguments, “I was unable to detect any favorable position one way or the other.” After finishing his crab cakes, it was off to the courtroom of Judge Nikki Clark. Here, although Richard didn’t face a hostile court, the stakes were equally high: If Bush lost the case, the judge would likely throw out 15,000 votes and cost Bush the election. Richard argued that even if it was true that Republicans had added voter identification numbers to absentee ballot applications, it did not compromise the election because they did not touch the ballots. “[T]here is no evidence in this case that anyone ever had unsupervised access to even one ballot,” he said. That evening, on “Larry King Live,” Richard was asked what would happen after the Florida Supreme Court and Judge Clark ruled. “I am sure everybody will appeal to every court in existence because that’s what we’ve been doing,” he said. NEEDED: A 3-0 DAY The next day, Richard said in his office, “It hit me in the middle of the night. We need to go 3 and 0 today and Mr. Boies needs to go only 1 and 2,” referring to the Florida Supreme Court and Seminole and Martin cases, which were on the same timetable. Unfortunately for Richard and the Bush legal team, 2-1 wasn’t good enough. When the Florida Supreme Court ruled, 4-3, that all the undervotes statewide should be hand-counted, he was at GOP headquarters. “I feel like I’ve run a triathlon and I was at the finish line, and someone moved it. I am feeling frustrated and tired. I just wish it was over.” When the case moved on to the U.S. Supreme Court the next day, the Bush federal court legal team took over and, for the most part, Richard’s main job was done. At the firm’s Christmas party that night, Baggett, the managing partner for the office, stood in Richard’s living room, decorated with a large Christmas tree, and spoke to the entire staff about his good friend Barry and how proud they all were of him. He also said that it would change the firm and the office. Baggett and Richard have since had several discussions about how they hope to expand the firm’s litigation practice around Richard. Baggett says that Greenberg lawyers around the country are calling to say they have potential business that can use Richard’s skills. “We have that opportunity,” Baggett says, “but what we do with that opportunity will determine whether we make that step up to a known major firm, or just fritter it away with Barry having a little more time in the spotlight.” Richard says that he hopes this case has given him the exposure to attract enough complex business litigation to support a national trial team — a group of lawyers in Greenberg offices around the country who would be assigned to him exclusively. If this works out, he plans to supervise such work out of his Tallahassee office. “I would like to have a staff of lawyers like Seann [Frazier] around the country who understand what I am looking for,” he says. On the day the last U.S. Supreme Court ruling would give Bush the presidency, Richard, on the sidelines in Florida, knew that the media would soon leave him alone and that his normal practice would resume, although perhaps with extra zip. He had a pile of things to do because during the previous five weeks he had spent virtually all of his time on just one case. “Now, I am going back to my other clients, if I still have any,” he said. But it was a joke. “I haven’t had a single client complain,” he said. “They were great.”

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