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    December 15, 2008  
House Parties

Bowl Madness begins—this Saturday in Washington!  And can you believe it: DC not only gets its first college football bowl game ever, but it'll be the very first one of the post-season. It’s the EagleBank Bowl pitting Navy v. Wake Forest, at good ol’ RFK. Easy to get to, fun for everyone. Please see ad to right, and hope to see you there!


Most parties we've been hitting are in fancy ballrooms near Metro Center or the Ritz in Tysons, but Gilbert Oshinky does things differently. (Like having motorcycles in its lobby—but that's another story.) To locate its shindig last week, we followed the thumping music all the way out to Potomac, where founder Scott Gilbert hosted holiday revelers at his sprawling pad.


New addition and insurance coverage legend Jerry Oshinsky literally had his hands full on the dance floor. Once a name partner with Dickstein Shapiro, he's opened the firm's first remote office (in L.A.), but is back and forth to D.C. regularly. When we interviewed him after his October arrival he promised to stay active in firm affairs. We have to give him credit for following through, though we didn't imagine it would involve doing the hustle.


Yeah, it was technically a house party but still a far cry from those things we went to in college. For one, there was a huge white tent on the lawn—plus no cops came to break it up. Here's HR guru Caroline Walton with Augie Matteis, Steve Weisbrod, and Jen Brennan. Congrats to Jen, who just joined Augie and Steve in the partnership. Steve's toasting her here with the "official" Gilbert Oshinsky drink, 12-year-old Macallan (we believe it attained this status during a few nights at a hotel bar during a long trial). As an Obama donation maven, Steve's had plenty of reasons to get out the good stuff lately.


Partners Jerry Randolph and Mark Packman with Mark's better half, Linda. The only downside to this party: no mechanical bull. You think we're kidding, but in years past the Gilbert Oshinsky crew would actually go Urban Cowboy and take turns on a bucking bronco.


Scott, right, with Austin partner Craig Litherland, explains that Craig will dye a purple stripe in his hair if a female colleague will die her hair bright red. As we go to press, we have not seen their hair again.

Extreme Legal Makeover

On Thursday night we impersonated Ty Pennington and peeked in on the makeovers at the 1224 Connecticut Ave. boutique of Betsy Fisher, left. No homes were involved in this edition—instead, it was a bigger challenge: lawyers. The Children's Law Center and DLA Piper put on a "Battle of the Stylists," in which four legal guinea pigs were made over from head to toe. Consider this our "before" shot of Children's Law Center head Judith Sandalow, right, who tells us that with a staff of 70 and 300 pro bono volunteers from 50 firms assisting 1,175 children in the year ending in September, she can claim the "largest legal services" organization in D.C.


The reveal! Betsy (already perfect) with Evelyn Opany of DLA Piper, Judith, and Roberta "Bert" Ritvo, pro bono counsel at DLA, showing off their post-do looks. Tell Betsy you're a friend of the CLC and 10% of your purchases made before the 17th go to the Children's Law Center.

Laywers Party with Accountants!

At a Bethesda Hyatt holiday party Thursday for Reznick Group (the region's largest locally-headquartered accounting firm—1,600 employees) we found Venable's Robert Gottlieb, Arkin Youngentob's Stuart Youngentob, and Patton Bogg's Jim McNair. Due to the fact Robert has highly intellectual recessive genes, his daughter is studying mathematics in Moscow, and over Thanksgiving he was visiting her. As he was touring the city, he realized he could not read Cyrillic (we are realizing we can't even spell it), but fortunately his son pulled out his Blackberry and guided him around using Google maps. As we were saying about recessive genes.

Marketers Bash

We figured if anyone knows how to throw a good party, it would be marketing folks. The Legal Marketing Association didn't disappoint last week at the Arts Club of Washington, which had a homey vibe like we'd walked into a Dickens novel. Appropriately, we managed to line up DC-area LMA Presidents of Christmases past, present, and future (just like in the Christmas Carol): Kim Perret of Hunton & Williams (past), Kelly Stuart of Morrison & Foerster (past), Chris Hummel of Banner & Witcoff (future), Kimberly Bell of McKenna Long (present), and Felice Wagner of Sutherland (past). When Kelly presided over the local chapter in 1997, there were 35 members—it's now up to 300. But the real news: she's getting married in five days!

John Ford, Bisnow's Legal Editor, loves A Christmas Story. Send a Red Ryder BB gun, TV listings, and/or story ideas to john@bisnow.com.

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