Bush v. Gore may have divided the country, but it brought together the two attorneys arguing it: Theodore B. Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, an assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration and future solicitor general for President George W. Bush; and David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, a former aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy, who represented the government in U.S. v. Microsoft. In the aftermath of the 2000 election the two men became friends, sharing summer bike trips with their wives and an interest in wine. And in 2009, they famously teamed up in the Proposition 8 case, winning back the right for same-sex couples to marry in California.
In recently disclosed court filings in the bankruptcy case of LightSquare Inc., a wireless-networking venture, it was revealed that Ted Olson of Gibson Dunn, whom we featured in our most recent edition of Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, billed $1,800 an hour for his services. That's the highest rate ever to be publicly disclosed, according to Valeo Partners, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm that maintains a database of legal rates pulled from court filings and other public information.
Trevor Potter of the firm Caplin & Drysdale, a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers listee in 2008 and 2009, is in the spotlight these days for his political campaign work, which isn't unusual for him. He served as deputy general counsel for George H.W. Bush in 1988 and general counsel for John McCain in 2000 and 2008; he's used to working in big-time politics. But now he's doing something completely different: working in big-time comedy.
On Monday, News Corp. announced its new general counsel, Gerson Zweifach, whose position in Rupert Murdoch's media company will be effective Feb. 1, 2012. Zweifach, a partner at D.C.'s Williams & Connolly, has a robust practice, covering antitrust and securities matters, as well as media and first amendment cases. He has been selected to the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers list since 2007.
Carter Phillips of Sidely Austin, last year's cover subject in Washington, DC Super Lawyers, appeared yesterday before the U.S. Supreme Court to represent his client, Fox Television, in a case concerning FCC regulation of indecent content--such as fleeting expletives on awards shows or brief nudity on a show like NYPD Blue--on the public airwaves. We caught up with him to get his thoughts on the day's arguments.
Robert Barnett of Williams & Connolly, whom we featured on the cover of Washington, DC Super Lawyers in 2007, is the lawyer that big-name authors want negotiating for them. Among his clients that maybe you have heard of: President Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark. In this period in which the book industry is being dramatically reshaped thanks to the advent and booming popularity of cheaper e-books, we figured who better to check in on the plight of authors than Barnett? We got him on the phone Jan. 4 for a quick chat.
Sabrina de Sousa, a former federal employee who was sentenced in Italy to seven years in prison for her involvement in a CIA rendition of a Muslim cleric, sued the State Department in 2009 when it failed to invoke diplomatic immunity on her behalf. Mark Zaid, who has a national security practice and whom we profiled in Washington DC Super Lawyers in 2009, is fighting the government's motion to dismiss the case in federal district court. He's asked to provide the judge with classified information in de Sousa's defense, but the Obama Administration objected, saying it alone reserves the power to release classified information. Judge Beryl Howell gave Zaid until July 11 to respond in a written brief.
Super Lawyers recently had the pleasure of talking with Carter Phillips, the managing partner of Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C. Phillips holds the record for the most arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court with an astounding 71, including five this term. He talked with us about his days clerking for Chief Justice Warren Burger, his friend Justice Samuel Alito, what he does to prep for an appearance, and his batting average before the Supremes, all of which will be detailed in the Super Lawyers section of the Washington Post Magazine on May 1.