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December 7, 2007


Big shoutout to our new sponsor, The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  Check out their 3.1M SF of
amazing event space on Penn. Ave.  One of Washington’s top venues for a truly memorable event!

It’s holiday time, and our workaholic friends in the legal world are taking an occasional break—sort of.  They’re partying…with clients!  We dropped in on a couple swell parties.

Last night, we joined Morrison & Foerster in their Tysons office.  A.C. Johnston, left, is the new managing partner for both it and DC.  He just took high office last month, succeeding our friend Brian Busey, who valiantly served ten years.  This is AC’s second tour here; he helped start the downtown office in 1979.  Even more historic, young though he is, he joined the firm in 1974 and is its overall employee #71, which we’re sure earns him major perks, or at least is easy to remember when he uses the Xerox machine.  Fun factoid:  One of his first cases was representing a bank on a defaulted loan and being sent to auction houses throughout the west looking for cattle with a Circle P brand that had been pledged as collateral.  With him, Sourcefire CFO Todd Headley, who’s been busy lately with the release of their unprecedented 10 gig intrusion detection security product. And Tom Knox, heading the corporate tech practice (and who we learned came to DC as an intern in the public defender service during college in 1983), now getting ready for a visit from the family of his brother, an engineer in Palo Alto, who has kindly requested to show them some serious snow.


Dean Manson, left, GC of Hughes Communications, and one of our Bisnow advisory board members, has been busy with their new Spaceway satellite, launched in August from French Guinea, the first one they’ve owned rather than leased; and busy moving his family (including beautiful 1 and 3 year old girls) into a new house.  With him, Simone Wu, GC of XO Communications; and Brian Daum, brand new CFO of Centrifuge Sofware, which closed a Series A financing from Novak Biddle in September.

Tim Verrall, left, who handles employee benefits at MoFo, moved here last year from Orange County, and pronounces his new Reston neighborhood a big improvement over Newport—certainly more for the money.  His wife, a painter, is also impressed with the Reston arts scene.  Also on hand:  AH&T’s Caren Braun, who doesn’t mind the commute from her home in DC to her office in Leesburg, except of course when it snows lightly and all highways grind to a halt; Comsat EVP for Law Phil Walker; and MoFo’s expert on whistleblowing and trade secret law Dan Westman.

Meanwhile, at Saul Ewing’s Watergate office, Wednesday night’ssnow didn’t stop them from celebrating the first anniversary of their merger with Schmeltzer Aptaker & Shepard.  Clients who braved the conditions were rewarded with oysters and shrimp fresh from Annapolis. Co-Managing Partner of the D.C. office Howard Slavit and litigator Robert Gill, here with partner Kate Brewer, had their own firm before starting up Saul Ewing’s D.C. branch in 2003.  Robert is an expert rifle shooter who heads down to Quantico for competitions.  Opposing counsel beware!

If they kicked, they could be a great chorus line.  Naw, they’re too distinguished.  Firmwide Managing Partner David Antzis (far right) came down from Chesterbrook, PA to attend the festivities.  Mark Gruhin (far left) isn’t just a biotech attorney, he’s an entrepreneur who co-founded with our old tech pal Rob McGovern. Sandwiched between them: J. Noah Brown, CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees, D.C. Co-Managing Partner Ira Shepard, Ed Levin, and Sam Del Brocco, CEO of communications agency PCI.

Henry Platt, Wayne Insulation President Mary Whitlow, and Gary Lieber.  Gary helped Mary with a years-long battle to keep her company non-unionized.  Gary’s been on pins and needles since September 7—that’s when he argued a Seventh Circuit appeal in a labor antitrust matter.  His panel featured none other than Judge Posner, so let’s hope Gary had an economic theory of the case.

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