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    December 4, 2008  

Big shout-out to Mervis Diamond Importers: Get the diamond of your dreams at their special one-year pricing. Don’t miss the Mervis Diamond Trunk Show this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click on ad to the right for more details.


Do the holidays start earlier in Virginia? The end-of-year fun circuit launched this week, and our first two stops were in Tysons. First up, MoFo’s client appreciation shindig Tuesday night.


Managing partner Dan Westman tells us the Tysons office has been on a winning streak lately, and for proof he pulled in Exhibits A and B, IP litigators Mark Ungerman and Barry Bretschneider. Mark and Barry just teamed up on a victory in the Federal District of D.C., getting a patent case against Sanyo dismissed with a “single punch” (we believe they mean a motion not a fist). Barry’s scored two other recent wins at the Patent & Trademark office: one for a Japanese maker of DNA amplification technology (it blows up tiny pieces of DNA so scientists can get all CSI on it) and another for longtime client Johnson & Johnson over medical equipment for spinal cord injuries. 


More reason to celebrate: landing new laterals David Lynn, former chief counsel of the SEC’s finance division, and Larry Bard, late of Fried Frank. Continuing left to right: Ed Graff, deputy general counsel at network security firm SourceFire, which MoFo took public in March ’07, Mary Dridi, former CFO of WebMethods, and the co-head of MoFo’s corporate group in Tysons, Tom Knox. Defying the economy, Tom just helped raise a round of financing for Alternative Fuels Group, which makes, you guessed it, alternative forms of diesel fuel.


XO Communications GC Simone Wu is getting love all around—this week at MoFo for being a prized client, and last month at the Washington-area Corporate Counsel Award ceremony (we call them the WMACCYs), where she was named Best Chief Legal Officer. She and corporate associate Jacob Bernstein gave a thumbs up to the sushi spread, but sounds like Simone’s Thanksgiving dinner topped it—she spent the holiday in Palm Beach visiting friends, where she hit the “turkey buffet” at the Four Seasons.


The MITRE Corp.’s assoc. GC and tech transfer guru Julie Bowen, MoFo’s Tom Fitzgerald, INPUT CEO Tim Dowd, FedResults president Bob Dinkel, and MoFo marketing man Dave Harvey. Bob’s a regular in our Tech newsletter, but he agreed to slum it for a pic in Legal. You government contract types know that Tim’s INPUT provides a directory of available government contracts, while Bob’s FedResult’s helps companies nab Federal business. We caught them tossing around ideas for possible collaborations, but nothing definite had developed by the time we finished our egg nog. 

Women, Wine, and McGuireWoods

Just one building over, the women of McGuireWoods and clients tested their palates with a wine tasting last night. Here’s Elizabeth Forman Simon, counsel with Sprint Nextel, Valerie Waburton, volunteer with Childhelp Children’s Center of VA, Melissa Glassman (who has more time for vino since stepping down from managing partner duties), and Jan Verhage, head of the Capital-area Girl Scout Council. Val and Jan are smiling extra-wide because their causes benefitted from donations made at the event. Speaking of do-gooding, this year McGuireWoods launched a pro bono law clinic in Herndon staffed jointly with attorneys from AOL; the project just got the firm and AOL selected as dual recipients of the NoVa Pro Bono Law Center’s “Law Firm of the Year” award.


Wine maestro Malcolm Riddle had a selection of gems from family wineries on hand, like Balletto’s rose of pinot noir (2007) being sampled here by associates Jodie Herrmann, Marjorie Manne, and Lauren Douglas. The three of them went to law school together (GMU, ’06), so we suspect this isn’t the first time they’ve been out drinking together. Jodie came to McGuireWoods after multiple clerkships in the Rocket Docket—she actually did time with three different judges before decamping for private practice, and now keeps an airplane on her desk as a memento of her time there.


According to Legal Times, that headline would refer to Arent Fox’s Kimberly Wachen. Actually, it’s according to her peers, who voted using online ballots. (No recount necessary, even.) The victory makes two in a row for Arent Fox after Kimberly’s mentor, Dave Osnos, took the prize last time it was awarded. And it’s not like competition wasn’t stiff: Kimberly was the youngest and newest face among nine other nominees like Holland & Knight’s Janis Schiff and DLA Piper’s Fred Klein.


Explaining her shock over winning, Kimberly pointed out the many differences between her and past winner Dave, like height and experience (but that's just a matter of time, right?). She’s recently worked several complex deals on behalf of Marriott, negotiating directly with the PGA on development of a 1000-room hotel in San Antonio (the site has two golf courses). More importantly, those around her say she has the same welcoming attitude as Dave, giving associates every opportunity to be part of a skilled team.  She still has big shoes to follow: Dave, long considered dean of the Washington real estate bar, has repped power players like Wizards owner Abe Pollin and Clark Construction’s Jim Clark for, oh, forty or fifty years.

John Ford, Bisnow’s Legal Editor, is hitting the holiday parties all month. Get your affair on his dance card with an email to john@bisnow.com.

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