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    September 11, 2008  
 
 
LAST NIGHT'S
BLOCK PARTY

 

Jenner & Block opened up 1099 New York Ave. last night for a house-warming in its buzzing new 'hood by the old convention center site (neighbors include a new I.M. Pei building down the block and, on the way, a 1,100-room luxury Marriott). The firm settled into the new space in June, but it still had that new-car smell.

 

Not that lawyers would ever be competitive with each other, but the firm's managing partner, Susan Levy, noted that a friendly, um, competition for most impressive space has broken out among its three US offices. New York went first with a redesign of 919 Third Avenue, and local managing partner Tom Perrelli has now filed DC's entry with its Tishman Speyer trophy for 80 DC lawyers over six floors. Susan's Chicago flagship is on deck with an '09 move.

 

More brass in the house: firm Chairman Tony Valukas and Harry Roper, head of one of Jenner's calling card practices, the 65-lawyer IP group. Both came down from Chicago to see what they'd have to top: conference rooms with dual 65-inch plasmas, conference rooms with sliding privacy screens, and a rooftop terrace. Actually, they may have come for the risotto station.

 

Paul Smith, right, argued one of the most-watched cases from the last Supreme Court term, challenging Indiana's voter ID law for the Democratic Party and others in Crawford v. Marion County. The Justices upheld it 6-3, but then it's not like Paul hasn't won landmark cases—he argued Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned Texas's sodomy statute. With him are caterer Stephanie Clayton, who did up Asian and Tuscan-themed nosh, and partner Michael Dennis.

 

We caught government contracts guy Alex Ward, center, with two of his "most indispensable clients": Cliff Greenblatt, Assoc. GC with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems and Karen Yankosky, government contracts specialist with Xerox. (Neither minded the gratuitous flattery.) On Thanksgiving morning, Karen is off to Egypt with her family, upholding the American tradition of spending the holiday around airports.

 

And now, we take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for spotting talent. This summer we singled out associate Luke Platzer as one of our "30 Under 30," and turns out he's already bringing in business. Bob Beizer, GC of Gray Television (owners of 36 network affiliate TV stations) is still technically a prospective client, but it sounded to us like it was all over but the conflicts check on a matter involving Gray's web operation.

 

Old friends and new for securities litigation co-chair Tom Newkirk: on the right, his high-school classmate, wife, and recovered lawyer Nancy Newkirk, now headhunting at Major, Lindsay & Africa. On the left, Wall Street Journal securities reporter Kara Scannell. Clients, don't get the wrong idea: Tom was spreading good cheer, but no info on his white collar and corporate investigations matters to the press hounds surrounding him.

 

The one who actually made the move happen for Jenner: Director of Administration Sabine Curto, left, who got Jenner's old 13th Street office shipped over in a single weekend. Her fellow administrators have transformations of their own going on—King & Spaulding's Judy Deason is doing a 20K square-foot buildout; Troutman Sanders's Cindy Conover is making swing space for Ross Dixon Bell attorneys merging on 1/1/09; and Cadwalader's Lauren Rafael has an '09 move to 7th Street in the works.

 
 
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