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    October 26, 2007  

In-House Stars
Shine Last Night

It was even better than the Academy Awards—no Joan Rivers interviews or Marc Anthony production numbers, and slightly more prudent necklines.  But otherwise the point was the same:  celebrity nominees in various categories while a huge screen splashed their images and a voice-over narrated their achievements.  It was, of course, WMACCA’s 3rd Annual Corporate Counsel Awards held at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre…oh, sorry, make that the Tysons Ritz. 

Top award (think Best Picture) went to Deborah Fox, left, GC at sizzling defense tech conglomerate QinetiQ.  After snagging the honor of “Outstanding Chief Legal Officer,” Deborah pals around here with Ed Levin of Saul Ewing and QinetiQ SVP and supportive colleague Kim Rupert.  Ed is Deborah’s go-to guy for employment matters—one of which required a trip by both to Chattanooga.  See, we told you this stuff is glamorous.

Arleigh Closser, right, demonstrates the “wicked” one-handed backhand of Rob Lavet, General Counsel of Sallie Mae, when he’s on the tennis courts at Regency.  Here, Rob’s holding his boxed-up Career Achievement Award, and closing his eyes to guess what’s inside.  (Engraved glass thingie.)  He was supported at the event by a gaggle of Sallie Mae legal types as well as his daughter Jennifer.

A McGuire Woods reunion broke out in this corner of the room.  Anji Stinson (in house at Mirixa Corp.), Elizabeth Billingsley (Troutman Sanders in Tyson’s) and Tameka Collier (Troutman in D.C.) smiled on their old colleague Kristin Walinski, Senior Corporate Counsel with Circuit City (center left). Kristin has led youth teams to two wins in the Learning for Life National Mock Trial Competition.  WMACCA recognized her efforts in educating underprivileged students with its Community Service Award.  

What’ll they think of next?  Yvonne Estime, associate GC at Current Communications Group, gave us the scoop on her company’s unique broadband service.  Get this . . . they deliver that Internet stuff through power lines.  Yvonne is flanked by Ron Allen and Scott Garten of staffing agency Robert Half Legal.  Scott tells us that rumors won’t quit about some NY firms planning to get separation from the pack by pushing their first-year salaries even higher.  (Associates, stop drooling please.)  

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