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    June 19, 2008  

McKee Nelson;
Ropes & Gray;


Despite many noteworthy clients (notice the Enron hat), McKee Nelson's Michael Levy had never landed in the NY Times sports page. Well, not until he repped Matt Walsh, the former New England Patriots' video assistant thrust into the spotlight when Coach Bill Belichick was accused of videotaping opposing teams' signals. (You may know the NFL brouhaha as "Spygate.")


Michael agreed to help after realizing that legal proceedings could've wiped Walsh into financial oblivion, a specter (including Specter, Arlen) calling for a Mitchell Report-style investigation. Michael secured Walsh an indemnification agreement and joined him for May 13 interviews with Specter and NFL Commish Roger Goodell. Walsh now appears to be in the clear. As for Michael, he says his highlight was an appearance ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning, not a usual forum for his White Collar/Investigations and Enforcement practice group.

Judicial Branch Venting

Larry Gage of Ropes & Gray entered a checks-and-balances crossfire when he challenged an HHS rule limiting Medicaid reimbursements to his clients, a coalition including the National Assn. of Public Hospitals and the American Hospital Assn. The summary judgment ruling his team won from Judge Robertson of the District of D.C. last month had some rare strong words for the Bush Administration. After Congress rebuffed the President's attempt to narrow Medicaid with a one-year moratorium on the issue, out came HHS rules shrewdly timed to take effect the day after the moratorium expired. (The moratorium was inserted in a war appropriations bill which is never renewed exactly 365 days later.) Vacating the rule, Judge Robertson said: "The Executive Branch thought it could have its war appropriation and its Medicaid rule too."


While Larry agrees with the language (and some even accused him of writing it), he was surprised considering how even-handed Judge Robertson was at trial. Regardless, he's thankful for the judgment because his Plan B included wielding the Ukrainian mace (a gift from a client) in the above photo.

Diversity at Steptoe


Steptoe & Johnson's Sandy Chamblee has just been named as the firm's first Chief Diversity Partner. When met up with Sandy (that's her on the right) just after her appointment, she told us Steptoe is drafting a Diversity Action Plan that will be an evolving document. (Sounds like the Constitution.) Her experience as hiring committee head might come in handy-Steptoe is now figuring out how to up retention by interviewing anyone who left the firm in the last two years. And she has a tasty approach to hiring: After making offers to five local students for summer positions last year, she took them to lunch at the Tabard Inn. All five are now doing summers at the firm. 


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McGuire Woods
DC United
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