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    October 2, 2008  
Last Night’s
Legal Jazz

Come network with the Bisnow team and over 1,000 professionals from DC's law, real estate, tech, and association communities at our Democrats v. Republicans Hip Happy Hour at the way chill Park at Fourteenth, October 15, 6-8 PM, then stay to watch the presidential debate! Free-of-charge, but please RSVP here.


With Wall Street playing the blues, we decided to take in some jazz. First stop, the kickoff gala for the Fourth Annual Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, sponsored by Patton Boggs, last night at the Inter-American Development Bank.


The festival’s honorary chairman, Patton Boggs partner Rodney Slater, with colleague Stephanie Peters. Rodney was DOT chief under Clinton, which probably didn’t hurt when signing up jazz fest sponsors Chrysler and Mercedes. (Since Daimler Chrysler split up, this means they get two checks instead of one—which is twice as good, according to our non-GAAP-compliant accounting methods.) Immediate past Chair of the United Way, Rodney went to law school at Arkansas and first met Hillary Clinton back in ‘79 when he interviewed at the storied Rose Law Firm. He tells us Hillary and Bill were part of a hip group on the Arkansas faculty that students dubbed the Mod Squad.  (Dates him, huh?)


The guy on the left looked a little too hip to be a lawyer, and sure enough he’s Charlie Fishman, husband to Stephanie (see first picture) and former manager for none other than Dizzy Gillespie, and the one who conceived the Duke Ellington Jazz Fest. The event runs through the 7th and features a seven-hour blowout on the Mall this Sunday. With Charlie is Jack Deschauer, public policy and gov’t contracts guru who headed up Patton Boggs’s pro bono effort for the Fest, which included getting visas for foreign musicians and incorporating the festival as a tax-exempt non-profit.


Also last night, we hit the Newseum for a jazz-themed event put on by Kilpatrick Stockton to celebrate its flagship sponsorship of the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk on the National Mall (mark your calendars for Oct. 19th). Here we caught the firm’s co-managing partner, Diane Prucino, up from Atlanta to soak in some tunes, with the DC office’s Paul Aguggia, headline lateral from the 22-lawyer Muldoon, Murphy & Aguggia firm that merged into Kilpatrick back in May. Paul has a financial institutions practice and tells us many of his clients have him at work on capital raising. Hmm, why are we not surprised?


We found DC Managing Partner Steve Baskin with the night’s most inspiring guest (sorry, Steve, but it was really no contest), breast cancer survivor Saundra Asante. After Saundra’s talk about her experience with the disease that 3,000 women a day are diagnosed with, we were ready to go out and walk miles in the rain. In other inspiring news, Steve tells us that the Kilpatrick Stockton margarita machine is still getting use at the occasional Friday happy hour.   


Partners Scott Brown and Gary Bronstein, both in the financial institutions group (we think they were all out last night to forget the market for a minute or two) flank client Bill Pasnelli, CFO of Community Bank of Tri-County. Steve’s on the record as going to the walk on October 19th—our investigative team will be there to make sure.


Kilpatrick litigator David Zachs, past Chair of the American Cancer Society, got a chance to catch up with ACS SVP John Lazar. John was in the California region during David’s ‘02-‘03 term as Chair, but now he patrols DC, MD, and Delaware. Literally—he’s doing breast cancer walks in all three regions. Co-chair of the firm’s Native American law group, David still works for the ACS, leading the charge on a “patient navigator” program. We thought it might involve GPS systems, but it’s actually a volunteer effort to arrange rides to the hospital, find babysitters, and even get legal help for those fighting cancer.


A group of former Muldoon Murphy lawyers seemed to be integrating itself nicely into Kilpatrick—and by integrating, we mean drinking cocktails: Aaron Kaslow, Mark Wincek, Suzanne Walker, Christina Gattuso, and Victor Cangelosi.

Let Bisnow’s Legal Editor John Ford know about all your cool parties, especially if they also have cool music:

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