Washington Wrap is a weekly look at the biggest legal industry news and Big Law moves shaping the legal business in Washington, D.C. Send tips and lateral moves to Ryan Lovelace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the November midterm elections fast approaching, candidates with Big Law pedigrees are running through the partisan primary gauntlet now.
One of them, at least has missed his chance for now. Former Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe CEO Ralph Baxter will not represent West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District in Washington. Baxter, who retired to Wheeling, West Virginia, in 2013, lost the Democratic primary Tuesday to West Virginia University College of Law professor Kendra Fershee by nearly 5,000 votes, according to preliminary vote counts. Fershee will square off against incumbent Rep. David McKinley, R-West Virginia, in November.
Others will be tested in the coming weeks. Jones Day partner Laura Ellsworth’s bid for Pennsylvania’s governor’s mansion will either move ahead or be cut short Tuesday in the state’s GOP primary. Ellsworth is not the front-runner and would face a difficult campaign against incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall.
Former Venable chairman Jim Shea is similarly a long shot candidate in next month’s Democratic primary in Maryland and would face a popular Republican governor, Larry Hogan, in the fall.
Unlike Ellsworth, Shea recently released his tax returns, which revealed he earned an average $2.5 million per year from 2012 to 2016, including his compensation from Washington-based Venable. Shea served as Venable’s chairman from 2006 to early 2017.
Choosing to reveal one’s tax returns may no longer be an unwritten requirement for first-time candidates seeking public office from the private sector, however, as President Donald Trump still refuses to release his own .
Speaking of Trump, the controversy surrounding his personal lawyer Michael Cohen has claimed a new casualty Friday when Bob Quinn, a former Mayer Brown trial attorney, retired from his position as head of AT&T Inc.’s in-house lobbying team.
Quinn’s exit comes amid scrutiny over the six-figure payment AT&T made to Cohen last year, which AT&T’s CEO has since labeled a “big mistake.”
Earlier in the week former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani resigned from Greenberg Traurig after making much-criticized comments about Cohen’s hush money payments to a porn actress. Giuliani remains on Trump’s legal team.
As Giuliani exits Greenberg Traurig, the firm has recruited Jonathan Becker to work as a shareholder in its government law and policy practice in Washington.
Becker is a former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and spent six years in her office, including as chief counsel. He joins Greenberg Traurig from the public policy shop Invariant, where he led the judiciary and telecommunications practice group.
Becker has also worked as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, as a special assistant to the senior counsel for nominations in the White House in the late 1990s, and as an associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in the 2000s.
Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh joined Cozen O’Connor in Washington, D.C., this week.
Bayh, former governor and senator for Indiana, will work as an of counsel at the firm and as a senior adviser to Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies.
The former senator previously worked as a partner from McGuireWoods’ D.C.-based office after retiring from the Senate in 2011. His work for the firm in Washington dogged his failed 2016 bid to return to the Senate, as he struggled to persuade voters that he actually resided in Indiana.
At Cozen O’Connor, Bayh will provide “strategic counsel” to the Philadelphia-based firm’s government relations and legal clients.
Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates rejoined King & Spalding as a Washington-based partner for the Atlanta-based firm.
Yates, who became a darling of Trump’s critics after the president fired her in January 2017, left King & Spalding in 1989 to begin her prosecutorial career.
Here’s the good news for D.C. law school grads: If you went to Georgetown University Law Center, you had better odds than the national average to score full-time employment that makes good use of that degree. If you went to a different D.C. law school and still came out with a plum legal job, let’s just say congratulations.