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    September 10, 2008  

Free-of-charge to our readers! Announcing Bisnow's Fall Happy Hour co-hosted by the Capitol Riverfront BID and JPI. Come check out the views of the Capitol and the ballpark, have a drink, and network on the rooftop of the just-opened Jefferson at Capitol Yards luxury apartments. Tues., Sept 16, 6-8pm. One-block from the Navy Yard metro (Half St & I St SE), free parking. Sign up now!


When Foley re-upped for another 15 years at Georgetown Harbour in '07, the serious planning began for a major overhaul of its space at 3000 K. For the long-term benefit of modern digs, Managing Partner Jay Freedman and his troops are living through some short-term pain, shifting lawyers around while each floor is gutted and made over. They've now made it to the halfway point of the two-year makeover plan-perfect time for an inspection by Bisnow.


Here's Jay in his office-no, wait, this is the future sixth-floor conference center (if you squint you can imagine the long, curved boardroom that will appear behind him), which, like the fifth-floor cafeteria to come, is a new element. Group Goetz Architects' Lewis Goetz, who has overseen design, says "there's almost nothing like" their 360 degree view of the Washington Monument, Kennedy Center, and Potomac. Foley has room to move around attorneys during the hard-hat phase because in 2007 it exercised its option on Swidler's one-and-a-half floors (Swidler merged with Bingham, so it worked out), giving them four full floors to play with.


On the way out: the office's nautical-themed paintings and glass-enclosed ships. An art committee is working on new décor, and Jay tells us the space will feature two circular rooms over the Potomac that will be "common areas"-a place where an associate might set up with her laptop, a la Starbucks. The room on the fourth floor will have some fun touches (perhaps a Wii), while the fifth floor version will be more "contemplative" (may we suggest a rock garden?). The finished space will have terrazzo marble floors and reconstituted (ie, sustainable) paneled wood.


Jay thought associates might want one of the bookshelves in their new offices to be a wardrobe, for raincoats, a gym bag, or a spare change of clothes. We wondered why the associates nixed the wardrobe idea until we looked in on litigation associate Brooke Clarkson, who will obviously be making full use of her bookshelves.

Man for All Publications

When we headed out to see Paul Hastings environmental head Tom Mounteer (right) yesterday, we expected to be visiting a law office, not a publishing house. In the last week he's been quoted by Law 360 on FTC actions against "carbon neutral" marketing claims and by Environmental Finance on the presidential candidates' environmental positions. Above, he and associate Michael Lukens check research on VP candidates' stances for a follow-up. Then there's the BNA article he's writing on accounting standards for environmental loss contingencies (hey, it's BNA) and the one for Commercial Real Estate Investment magazine on gasoline retailers.


Umm, Tom, does all this media leave room for, you know, work? Actually yes-he just helped the owner of a Chicago office tower get its environmental house in order to smooth its sale. And it helps that he has associates Matt Raeburn, Michael, and Jennifer Shea to help with his pièce de résistance-an Environmental Law Institute treatise, the Deskbook on Climate Change Law and Policy. The manuscript is due October 1, so these relaxed scenes might get rare at the end of the month.

Lawyers' Lawyer

Wiley Rein has just picked up a real lawyers' lawyer, and yes, we mean that literally. Rick Simpson, late of Ross Dixon Bell, has made a career of representing lawyers (and other professionals like architects and engineers, and sometimes their insurers) against professional malpractice claims. He's also an appellate expert, and one of his recent wins combined the two specialties: He won an August decision in the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of a Cleveland firm that faced a $2.4 million judgment for allegedly forcing its client to settle a commercial dispute, despite no finding that the client would have done better at trial. Such a finding is now required in the Buckeye state, per Rick's 6-1 victory.


Rick joins old Ross Dixon Bell colleague Dan Standish, who has built Wiley's professional liability group-which does D&O liability as well as malpractice defense-from the ground up to 15 attorneys. We can't decide whether Rick should be admired more for taking on such unpopular clients or for his devotion to his daughter's Williams College softball team; he made it to all 18 games of their West Coast swing earlier this year, giving his Blackberry a workout in the process.

Special Counsel
Tower Oaks
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