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    August 12, 2008  
 
 
Kilpatrick Stockton; Hunton & Williams;
Mintz Levin

Come hear and network with three of the region's top General Counsels at our next Bisnow Lunch & Schmooze: Blackboard's Matt Small, XM Radio's Joe Titlebaum, and Corporate Executive Board's Pamela Auerbach. Tues., Sept 16, Il Mulino. Sign up!

 
ROCKIN' ROLE
 

That not-so-buttoned-down guy below isn't striking the most lawyerly pose, but we've checked it out and he's legit. He's Erik Huey, partner at Kilpatrick Stockton, just showing his alter ego as lead singer of the real live rock band The Surreal McCoys.

 

It's a six-person group Erik formed with friends from Notre Dame Law School (they took "ten years off" before picking up again in '05), but don't think these are mild-mannered attorneys re-living high school with covers of Brown-Eyed Girl. The Surreal McCoys have played L.A.'s famed Viper Room during Oscar week and just released their first album, "The Bottle and the Gun" (sample their toe-tapping title track, which Bisnow gives two thumbs up, here). They're not just in it for the sex and drugs, though; late last month, Erik led the McCoys through a set on the Warner Theater roof for ThanksUSA, a charity that provides scholarships to children and spouses of members of the armed forces.

 

ThanksUSA founder and NBC Universal lobbying head Bob Okun knew of Erik (and the McCoys) through Erik's lobbying for the Screen Actors Guild and other entertainment clients, so the band made a natural choice to play the after-party of a benefit concert headlined by country rocker (and former Marine) Stephen Cochran and pop singer Mylin, daughter of a Navy sailor. Despite the fact that Mylin has toured with Nick Lachey, we hear that she too is very good.


Hunton & Williams Adds Akin Group
 

Richard Wyatt, longtime Akin Gump partner and former executive committee member joined Hunton & Williams this month as co-head the firm's litigation group, and he brought some friends with him. He leads a group of nine partners—seven class action litigators, one corporate, and one IP attorney—that follow on the heels of four labor and employment partners who left other Akin Gump offices for Hunton in July. Richard's introduction to Hunton came over dinner with the firm's Managing Partner Wally Martinez and a mutual friend in NYC. One thing he liked off the bat about Hunton, says Richard, is that the 1,000-lawyer firm, 175 in DC, had picked a relative youngster (Wally is barely past 40) to lead it in today's fast-moving legal world. Ah, youth v. experience: We think we've been hearing that debate elsewhere lately.

 

Speaking of someone long on experience, Richard cut his teeth on the bankruptcy of Continental Airlines back in '83 while practicing in Atlanta, and now serves as national class action counsel to Lowe's. In the mid-90s, he spent a chunk of his career on the fallout of the infamous PrimeTime Live expose of the Food Lion shopping markets (where ABC reporters became employees with cameras), ultimately winning a trespass and duty of loyalty suit against the network, and getting a securities fraud case against the chain thrown out. Don't worry, we very carefully identified ourselves as members of the press before our interview.


Berson to Lead Mintz Levin
 

Thanks to Mintz Levin we've learned the appropriate gift for a firm's 75th anniversary isn't a diamond; it's a new managing partner. Just before last month's semi-sesquicentennial celebration (time to brush up on your Latin?) Susan Berson signed on to lead the firm's 60-lawyer DC office. It's her second stint at Mintz after leaving in 2006 to become UnitedHealth Group's GC for Public and Senior Markets, with oversight of United's Medicare and Medicaid programs. Despite quickly rebuilding United's regulatory affairs team, she returned to Mintz after receiving an "offer I couldn't refuse." She used to chair Mintz's Healthcare section and will continue to practice in that group, but the business side of her new role—budgeting, marketing, and recruiting—most intrigues her. Strategic plans to increase the firm's presence in DC, Susan tells us, include some lateral hires and, come January, a big inauguration bash.

 
 
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