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December 5, 2007


Sponsor Update:  Our friends at GVA Advantis are keeping the deals rolling.  Recent ones:  XM Satellite Radio’s 47k SF lease in Merrifield and TLC Office Systems’ 24k SF lease in Dulles. 

Many have envisioned Gibson Dunn’s Miguel Estrada joining the Supreme Court . . . but not exactly like this.  A former clerk to Justice Kennedy and a frequent advocate before the high tribunal, the thwarted nominee of President Bush’s to the D.C. Circuit just got married to Patricia McCabe Estrada, the Supreme Court’s Deputy Public Information Officer.  (And you thought you were married to your work!)

When we asked Miguel if we could borrow a pen, he offered us one of the traditional white quills from his 18 arguments before the Supreme Court.  (FYI, they don’t write very well.)

Miguel’s first wife, Laury Estrada, passed away three years ago.  He met his new bride at a dinner party hosted by ABC legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg, and they started dating last fall.  Their September nuptials took place at Georgetown’s Holy Trinity Church, with Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Ginsburg among the 200 guests.  The couple pulled off their afternoon “garden-party-style” reception at Dumbarton House without a wedding planner.  (Actually, from what Miguel tells us, we should say Patricia pulled it off.)  And we’d lose our claim to being the "People Magazine of the legal world" if we didn’t tell you that the bride’s gown came from Hitched, a Georgetown boutique.


Miguel and Patricia live in an Alexandria home built in 1803.  The history of the place makes for lots of charm . . . and upkeep.  Miguel has his contractor on speed dial (literally) but he doesn’t need to worry about security.  That’s taken care of by Jackson, his bright Doberman.

After a honeymoon in Spain and the South of France, Miguel headed right back to work [warning, awkward segue ahead!] on the sexual harassment trial of N.Y. Knicks coach Isaiah Thomas.  Miguel did not conduct the trial, which was handled by Epstein Becker.  (The plaintiff has been handed an $11 million punitive verdict with a compensatory damages trial coming this week.)  Instead, Miguel represents Cablevision and defendant Madison Square Garden, owners of the Knicks, for whom he argued some legal motions and kept an eye out for appellate issues. 

Despite his appellate expertise, Miguel says he enjoys playing this type of consulting role at the trial stage, which keeps him sharp in front of trial judges and allows him to “shape the record” for appeal.  He’s currently doing similar work on a federal trial in Miami involving the largest airplane crash in Italian history.

Miguel came to the U.S. from Tegucigalpa, Honduras at the age of 17 with limited English.  After a day of Hooked on Phonics—just kidding;  it was years of hard work and many an all-nighter—he hadn’t just mastered the language, he was editing the Harvard Law Review.  Democrats filibustered Miguel’s 2001 nomination to the D.C. Circuit for two years before Miguel had enough and asked President Bush to withdraw his name.  In a rare endorsement of’s philosophy, Miguel says he’s put the affair behind him and isn’t eager for any more judicial nominations.  “I’m very happy in private practice,” he says.

Before becoming a partner at Gibson Dunn, Miguel was an Assistant to the Solicitor General from 1992-97.  (Yes, you read that correctly, in the Clinton Administration.)  He chose Gibson Dunn in part because he knew two of its partners well:  Ted Olson, Bush’s Solicitor General from 2001-04, and Miguel’s Kennedy co-clerk Tom Hungar, who is currently serving as . . . wait for it . . . Deputy Solicitor General.  Gibson Dunn should really consider a shuttle service back and forth to the SG’s office.

PN Hoffman
GVA Advantis
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