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    July 30, 2008  

Patton Boggs;

Orrick Beefs Up White Collar

Those decorations in Orrick’s 15th Street lobby have always looked like Star Wars light sabers to us, and yesterday we found a Yoda of the white collar world, Mike Madigan, standing among them. His jump to Orrick (from Akin Gump) two weeks ago makes for a reunion of sorts with partner Lanny Davis, former Special Counsel to President Clinton.


The two sat on opposite sides of the Senate investigation into fundraising scandals during Clinton’s ’96 re-election campaign (over Lincoln Bedroom stays, among other things) during which Mike served as Chief Counsel to investigating committee chair Sen. Fred Thompson. Last year, he notched a win in what’s been called one of the most significant white collar cases of the last 20 years when indictments for selling illegal tax shelters against Mike’s client, the head of KPMG’s tax practice, and other KPMG execs were dismissed from the S.D.N.Y. Mike gives credit to the “courageous” Judge Kaplan, who ruled that government pressure on KPMG to cut off the legal fees of employee defendants violated the Constitution, but we think Mike’s Jedi mind tricks had something to do with it.

Patton Boggs Radio!


Okay, Patton Boggs doesn’t have its own radio station, but Kevin O’Neill was looking the part of a drive-time host when we stopped by the lobbyist’s M Street office yesterday. For six weeks now, he’s been putting together a podcast updating clients on the latest views from the capital. The podcasts feature two- to seven-minute-long segments on various topics (Agency Watch, Campaign Trail, Committee Hearing Schedule, etc.), most of which he compiles himself during the week. He tapes them at his Williamsburg home on Sunday night for email distribution Monday morning. Partners can forward the audio nuggets to whichever clients might be interested, and there’s a growing subscriber list too. Kevin—who lobbies for clients like the City of Greenville, S.C.; Ohio University; and the American Association of Orthodontists—says some were skeptical about whether senior execs would take to audio sent by email (much less download to their iPods) but he tells us he can safely say he’s listened to by thousands every week. Hear those footsteps, Rush Limbaugh?

Nuclear Renaissance at Pillsbury


Jay Silberg was lawyer number 17 when he signed on at Shaw Pittman, now Pillsbury, so he’s been around long enough to see some trends come and go, but the one happening now in his field of nuclear energy is remarkable. There hasn’t been a nuclear plant built in the U.S. in 30 years, but with concern over greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear is hot again. When we swung by Jay’s office yesterday, he had just filed a Combined License Application for a new plant from Ameren, and today is filing papers for a two-unit plant in Levy County, Florida for Progress Energy. All told some 35 new plants from 17 utilities are in the works, and Jay tells us that his leading nuclear practice at Pillsbury represents a “good chunk” of them. Of course, things have changed a little from the time he would rent a truck to drive massive plant-application filings to the NRC; for Ameren, Pillsbury just burned its 8,000-page filing onto a CD.


He’s kept more than busy in the last three decades working on existing nuclear plants, and just last year won three different pieces of litigation (totaling $175 million in damages) against the Federal government for its failure to take delivery of utilities’ spent nuclear reactor fuel. And your bonus Bisnow factoid: Jay sang in the chorus in the production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” commissioned by Jackie O. for the 1971 opening of the Kennedy Center.

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