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    October 20, 2008  
Gibson Dunn;
Arnold & Porter;
DLA Piper

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Continuing our look at legal SWAT teams assembling to handle the market crisis, we give you Gibson Dunn's Michael Bopp, who just a month ago was ending his two-year stint as Associate Dir. of OMB.


Michael left OMB the day before they started working on details of what became the rescue bill and barely had time to learn how to use the phones at Gibson before they named him head of a 50-lawyer crisis-response team across securities, corporate, banking, bankruptcy, and tax practices. Besides voluminous client alerts, the group also led a webcast on the bailout legislation that started just minutes after President Bush signed it into law. (Just good timing—the President isn't on the biz dev team.)


On the billable side, Michael tells us that Gibson has been advising clients on adapting to the new troubled asset purchase program and the tax implications of holding now-worthless Fannie and Freddie stock. The team also did some speedy turnaround for financial services clients responding to a Treasury search for "securities asset managers," "whole loan asset managers," and a single overall asset managing firm. (Treasury put out the call for applications last Monday, with a 48-hour deadline.) Here showing us photos from his native Maine, Michael had a connection to Gibson through DC litigation Chair Joe Warin, with whom he worked at the start of his career at Kutak Rock's DC office.

A&P Imports Five from Heller

Arnold & Porter has just picked up a group of five litigators in the Heller Ehrman shake-out. Three are joining in LA, but, lacking plane fare, we settled for a visit with DC additions Ken Chernof and Carl Nadler. Ken began as a Heller summer associate in '89 before a stint at DOJ ('97-'99) and later was co-chair of the complex commercial litigation practice. The group has heavy experience in the trademark and antitrust areas, and among Ken's highlights is a $173 million 2005 award for Philip Morris against an Internet retailer peddling illegally imported cigarettes.


But our favorite case from Ken's file is an easy call—it goes back to a '93 National Enquirer "exclusive interview" with Clint Eastwood, which, you may not be surprised to learn, was a bit of a fabrication. Ken was on the team that won Dirty Harry an $800k verdict and fee award at trial and got it upheld in the 9th Circuit. The Enquirer probably wasn't feeling too lucky after that. (Get it, punk?)

Soup's on at DLA Piper

Last week, we followed our noses to Penn Quarter and DLA Piper, which transformed one of its conference rooms into an upscale soup kitchen for the day, benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank (wholesale food distributors to places like House of Ruth and SOME). Here's partner Carl Vacketta with the bank's Kasandra Gunter-Robinson and hunger-study coordinator Bre Reed, who was ably manning the peas & ham station. Carl started with the group volunteering as a food sorter but for the last six years has also sat on the Board of Directors. In typical altruistic fashion, he made sure we knew that corporate associate Eric Eisenberg leads pro bono legwork for the Food Bank as its general counsel.


Local artists donated 350 bowls, which could be purchased for $25 each. The extra fancy ones at this table set you back more, which is apropos as Jennifer Vanmeter, right, heads up the Food Bank's major gifts program. With her are DLA's William Minor and Lisa Jones, framing Food Bank Chief Development Officer Crystal Hair. William and Lisa got Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and other politicos behind the Food Bank's campaign for a new warehouse and brought in $3 million in Federal dough. (See, not all earmarks are bad.) The Food Bank is breaking ground on its new facility in NE next week, and if you're looking for a good cause, still needs $7 million to reach its $36 million fundraising goal.
John Ford, Bisnow's Legal Editor, asks that you make his cup runneth over with story ideas. Send them to john@bisnow.com.

Andrews Kurth
Eng Garcia
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