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    April 8, 2008  


Join us for lunch with three of America's top General Counsels: Freddie Mac's Bob Bostrum, the Washington Post's Veronica Dillon, and American Capital Strategies' Sam Flax (largest publicly-held private equity firm in the US; Sam and his team were named WMACCA's law department of the year).  Wed, May 28, at Il Mulino in DC. Sign up here. Thanks to great sponsor Studley.


Yesterday’s interview with Roger Clemens’s counsel Lanny Breuer gave us a thought: let’s play two and hear from Dickstein Shapiro’s Mark Paoletta, who represented Clemens’s former trainer (and chief accuser) Brian McNamee at February’s House hearings. After Mark’s blood sample tested negative for performance enhancers, we proceeded with questioning.


The huge Springsteen fan (can you tell?) landed at Dickstein 15 months ago, after  10‑years as Chief Counsel for Oversight and Investigations on House Energy and Commerce. That’s a long way of saying he read the paper every morning and decided what Congress should investigate. “It was the best job in Washington,” Mark enthused, and while normally your jaded correspondent would tune out such words, it’s hard to deny the appeal of playing legislative-branch gumshoe on Enron’s finances, the Hewlett-Packard spying affair, ImClone, Global Crossing, and more than 100 other scandals.     


Just one problem with private practice—you can’t pick your cases out of the headlines. “You actually need a client,” Marks acknowledges (still getting used to the idea), but the high-energy Yankees fan wasn’t deterred from plucking the McNamee engagement out of thin air. As the Clemens story brewed, he simply shot an email to Earl Ward and Richard Emery, McNamee’s NY attorneys. “I said I’d love to help out if it came to an investigation,” and soon enough he was introducing himself to McNamee and his dad at the trainer’s Rockaway home. As the hearing approached, Mark put McNamee through the wringer in a mock hearing (along with Ward, Emery, Dickstein’s Andrew Snowdon, and Deb Greenberger, an associate with Emery) in Dickstein’s largest conference room, chosen for a sense of “theater.” Mark says he was “stunned by the vituperative comments” of House members challenging McNamee’s story, but he must have played bad cop well. “Brian did a tremendous job,” he says.


It’s apropos that Mark got involved in the sports case through an electronic communiqué, as the family man maintains a website with video highlights from his son’s Landon football squad. (After watching one, we can testify: the kid’s a demon on kickoff returns, which sounds like something he might have gotten from his dad.)

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