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    September 15, 2008  
Bracewell Giuliani;
Sterne Kessler;
Greenberg Traurig

Come hear and network with several of the region's top General Counsels at our next Bisnow Lunch & Schmooze. Just added to the schedule, WMACCA president and SunEdison general counsel Kevin Lapidus. And get a great lunch at Il Mulino in DC. Tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 16. More details/Sign up.


Rudy didn't get the Republican nomination, but there's some solace—his firm just scored a lobbying pickup with Susan Molinari, former NY Congresswoman ('90-'97), who will jump to Bracewell Giuliani's 20-member Government Relations section from The Washington Group, local lobbying arm of Ketchum, on October 6th. She joins as a non-attorney Senior Principal.


Why the move? Well, she's known Rudy for 20 years, campaigned for him in all his elections, and got to know about his firm while working the presidential trail with Giuliani's national campaign Chair (and firm Chairman) Pat Oxford. Susan tells us she likes the fact that Bracewell does polling and "messaging" as well as lobbying—and as she arrives, it's opening its Public Issues Management group, advising on brand strategy for business issues playing out in public. When Rudy made the personal call inviting her to join, it was sealed. We chatted the Congresswoman up as she was (aptly) racing to a taping of MSNBC's Race for the White House.


Sterne Kessler Hits 100!

Not 100 years old—founder Rob Sterne, center, wouldn't be looking so spry. No, the milestone we're talking here is 100 lawyers, which the IP firm is passing with its nine fall starters. Rob, with Jorge Goldstein and Managing Partner Michael Ray, made it there just short of 30 years after kicking things off in '81, but not all recruits have been easy. Rob was turned down at first by Jorge, who'd been recommended to him by noted GWU IP professor Irving Kayton.


Though Jorge already had accepted with another firm, Rob paid a personal visit to his house, and an hour later had Jorge on board (part of the deal: Rob had to call the other firm with the bad news). Actually, Rob seems to delight in proving people wrong—they said you couldn't have a hi-tech IP practice in DC when he started (Rob sold the proximity to the PTO office), and they've been proclaiming the death of the IP boutique for years. Now they're 100 strong, with 58 Ph.D.s in the bunch. Wow!


Time's been flying for Greenberg Traurig's DC Managing Shareholder Ron Kleinman since joining 14 years ago as lawyer #12 at an M Street office put together "with extension cords and duct tape." Now they're 120 in DC (1,800 worldwide), and last year moved to 2101 L Street, which has much nicer touches—the windows on Ron's right even have prisms to create a rainbow effect. Just how much of a blur has it all been? When we asked, Ron realized he didn't know how long he'd been Managing Shareholder. His best guess is '03 or '04, but Ron says: "One day someone just introduced me as Managing Shareholder and that was it."


By coincidence, we also spent time last night (yep, Sunday night—look how hard we work for our readers!) with Greenberg Traurig's global CEO Cesar Alvarez, left, who was in town in his role as a trustee for the Knight Foundation, which last night announced a major web initiative. With him, World Press Freedom Committee executive director (and, we learned, former Mayor of Scarsdale, NY) Mark Bench. And no, Bench was not on the short list for VP.


Centerpiece of the dinner was the announcement by Tim Berners-Lee, center, inventor of the World Wide Web, of plans for a Web Foundation geared to "extending the capabilities and robustness of the Web to the whole planet," including an estimated 80% of the planet that doesn't get it now. He says he used to think the Web's mission was to connect hypertext and Web pages, but eventually realized it was actually linking humanity, and that it's that unfulfilled mission that has driven the creation of the foundation. With him, Web Science Research Initiative executive director Rosemary Leith, and the Knight Foundation's Gary Kebbel, who in the past helped create AOL News, Newsweek.com, and USA Today.com. The Knight Foundation announced an initial $5M grant. More info:   (www.webfoundation.org).

Gilbert Randolph
Andrews Kurth
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