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March 26, 2014
Dershowitz Talks Contraception
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At the Willard this week, Alan Dershowitz weighed in on the debate around the Hobby Lobby case that was argued yesterday at the Supreme Court.
Alan spoke with Baylor University president Ken Starr about the HHS contraceptive mandate under ACA. (In the extended 90-minute SCOTUS arguments yesterday, which Alan attended, the court seemed divided.) Baylor and Georgetown co-sponsored the event. The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby and was in the audience, is opposed to providing four of the 20 forms of contraceptives required by ACA for its more than 13,000 employees. Separation of church and state is good for religion, Alan said, so don't ask for the help of the government. Don't create conflicts between the rights of women or the rights of gay people and the rights of religion—because you're bound to lose many of those battles.
Though Alan says that nobody can predict the outcome with any certainty, and personally is opposed to Hobby Lobby's views on birth control, he finds that distinguishing between an individually owned business and one owned by an S corp is "an absurd argument." If the court tried to undercut that religious principal by citing state law or Blackstone as to what a corporation is, he says, it could itself violate the free exercise of religion clause. He adds: nobody should ever profit financially from being accommodated for religious views. If Hobby Lobby is exempted, it should pay the difference for what it would pay but for those views. Dershowitz joked that he's been thinking about these issues for 65 years—since he was 10 and his dad, an Orthodox Jew, had to go to court for having his clothing store opened on Sundays.
FBI's Mueller Joins WilmerHale
Former FBI director Robert Mueller (pictured in a Bisnow archive pic from 2008) started at WilmerHale as a partner on Monday. The longest-serving FBI chief since Hoover, he'll be focusing on internal investigations, crisis management, cybersecurity, and privacy issues, says WilmerHale co-chair Bob Novick. Mueller's a UVA Law grad who spent time as a Hale & Dorr partner, US Attorney, and assistant AG before his 12 years heading the FBI. Bob tells us that Mueller's addition is "absolutely indicative of larger growth" at the firm in areas of privacy and cybersecurity.
Solon Legal Builds Your Legal Team
Solon Legal client development director Iwona Stepniak says three vital ingredients put her legal staffing agency in high demand: speed, responsiveness, and vetting. It's all in the mix when supplying your firm with temporary or permanent additions. Iwona tells us her company was built on two focuses, contract attorneys and translation services, but has expanded dramatically the past few years into lateralattorney and support staff placement. She adds that Solon provides exactly what a client wants and is now serving New York and Philly, as well as DC. One of its larger clients is based in Singapore, so the world is Solon's for the taking. For more info on our sponsor, click here.
Judges Galore at AEF
The National Press Club welcomed 300 lawyers, judges, and politicians for the 21st annual Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund benefit dinner. The nonprofit gives public interest fellowships and grants to young lawyers. We spotted the recently-appointed US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, second from left, surrounded by O'Melveny associate, AEF board member, and former Kagan clerk Rakesh Kilaru, DOJ's Caroline Lopez and Julian Yap, and DC Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe. Later on, ABC reporter Kathy Park hosted the dinner and California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin Liu gave the keynote.
We also snapped Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the Rocket Docket and US District Judge Royce Lamberth taking a break from browsing the silent auction options. (We spotted some great Nats and Orioles tickets up for grabs.) Judge Lee was one of the founders of APABA's Virginia chapter. He proudly mentioned that the first Asian-American judge in Virginia's history was elected to the bench last year—Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge John Tran, an APABA-VA past president—and emphasized that he's the first, but won't be the only.
Creative Office Revolution Monday!
There's still time to sign up for our Creative Office Revolution event Monday morning in Crystal City, where you'll hear from Bialek Environments CEO Joan Bialek, just added to our panel. Click here for more info.