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    June 18, 2008  


Join our great new sponsor Banner Witcoff and George Mason U's School of Law for the 7th annual Hot Topics in Patent Law. July 21, 9:30am-5pm. Please see ad to right.




Think you've got some good horror stories about work? You've got nothing on Bryan Cave of counsel Doug Winter, the only authorized biographer of Stephen King. Back in 1980, five years out of Harvard Law, Doug's review of Fire Starter in Fantasy Review spurred the horror master to write Doug a letter calling him the only one who understood his work. The two met for drinks, became friends, and King green-lighted the bio.  


After writing the King book, The Art of Darkness (published in 1984 but still available on Amazon, we notice), Doug also penned bios of horror writers Clive Barker (16 novels) and Peter Straub (24 novels), and Italian horror film director Dario Argento (22 films). And of course, he heads Bryan Cave's firm-wide writing program, teaching associates how to make their memos sing. He even authored a writing manual for firm lawyers (which, as far as we know, does not recommend inserting haunted houses, telepathic children, or monsters lurking in drain systems into your legal briefs). 


Doug wrote two novels of his own: the 2001 Run, about East Coast gun merchants, and his forthcoming Hide, the first book we've heard of invoking both bombs and the separation of church and state. Must be a good one, since prestige-house Knopf is publishing. Doug practices some law in between all the writing, specializing in appellate litigation and entertainment, though most if his work is in aviation liability. Clients call his work "gripping," "a heart-pounding thrill ride," and "the best legal advice since The Firm."


After five years as a U.S. District Court Judge in Norfolk (E.D.Va.), Walt Kelley just joined Jones Day's litigation group. He'll specialize in commercial, IP and anti-trust, as he did in 23 years of private practice before he hit the bench. He got to know Jones Day while on a speaking tour the firm organized in China and Korea last May. Late one night over Scotch, he got to talking with some of the firm's reps, who sold him on the idea of shedding the robe. Walt's new office is about half the size of what he had as judge, but his new salary is a bit higher.



The California Supreme Court judgment allowing same-sex marriages went into effect yesterday, has some scratching their heads over the definition of "spouse" for tax and insurance purposes. Seyfarth Shaw partner Fred Singerman held a video-conference last week to walk 400 friends and clients through the issues. He says most confusion stems from Federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But then ERISA, which governs health insurance plans and other benefits, doesn't preempt insurance laws or bar employer plans from extending benefits to same-sex couples. Sounds like a law school exam question, but Fred gave sound advice on what companies should do with their plan documents and insurance policies. Well, we assume it was sound—we slept through our ERISA class.


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Gilbert Randolph
Kane Company
DC United
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