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    January 30, 2009  
 
 
Paul Clement;
King & Spalding;
WMACCA;
Cooley

For those of you interested in environmental issues, we're proud to announce our next Bisnow Breakfast & Schmoozarama, with the CEO and Founding Chairman of the US Green Building Council, Rick Fedrizzi. BLT restaurant in DC, Thursday, Feb 12, sign up!


 

Fact: Paul Clement's seven-plus years in the Solicitor General's office (last three as top dog) is the longest continuous period of service in that office since the 1800s. Maybe it's no wonder that after landing at King & Spalding in November, he set about to remake the firm's appellate group in the SG mold.

 

He explained the vision for the group to us when we visited his 1700 Penn office: to mix traditional appeals work with strategic counseling on bet-the-company issues with a heavy legal (as opposed to factual) component. The latter role, Paul explains, mirrors one of the lesser-known jobs of the SG—advising Fed attorneys on strategy in lower courts. On significant matters, the SG's office chimes in with thoughts on, e.g., framing issues for appeal, whether pushing for a legislative fix is a better course, and when to avoid a precedent-making opinion.

 

Proving that guys who've argued 49 Supreme Court cases don't need to be uptight, Paul struck this relaxed pose and informed us that his all-time favorite group is Nirvana. He says King & Spalding attracted him because it "was home" (he was a partner between gov't gigs) and has a broad client base (Coke, GE, Chevron) growing in areas ripe for appellate issues, such as FERC and FDA. His hiring philosophy for the appellate group (a dozen lawyers) is to assemble a team exposed to a diversity of judicial approaches. As if to prove the point, his first hire was former Ginsburg clerk Zach Tripp.


WMACCA
 

At the risk of appearing stalkerish, we tracked Paul out to a local Association of Corporate Counsel lunch at the Tyson's Ritz on Wednesday, where he told the Washington chapter about the Supreme Court's growing interest in cases affecting business (on the rise while the number of cases taken each year declines). Though the Roberts Court has given the business community favorable decisions, especially on patents and anti-trust, Paul warned that calling it an extremely business-friendly Court is a "radical oversimplification."

 

The lunch served as WMACCA's annual meeting, which drew a good turnout despite icy roads. Kevin Lapidus, right, GC at Sun Edison, turned the WMACCA presidency over to LMI Government Consulting GC Manik Rath. Luckily there was no oath to be stumbled over—we believe their bylaws say a handshake photo in Bisnow is the only ceremony needed to transfer power. Kevin turns the 1,700-member group over in great health and can now concentrate on business for his solar energy company, like hoping the final stimulus bill will modify investment tax credits to become tax rebates to spur investment in clean energy.

 

Nothing keeps these guys from a good lunch, er, WMACCA meeting: Symantec senior corporate counsel David Kessler, Sallie Mae deputy GC Eric Reicin, DynCorp GC Curtis Schehr, and CSC's senior employment counsel Bob Gans. This is a big slice of the organization brass: David co-leads the government contractors forum, Eric sits on the ACC's national board, Curtis is WMACCA president-elect, and Bob is VP of external relations.


McAuliffe at Cooley Lunch
 

In other lunch news from Wednesday, Terry McAuliffe is plowing ahead (literally and figuratively) in his bid to become Virginia's next Governor. He braved the snow for a lunch at Reston's M&S Grill hosted by Jack Lavoie of Cooley Godward and a sold-out gathering of 60. Jack, left, and Terry are Catholic U grads who go back 20 years—huddling here with Lena Scott of DCS Architects; Watt, Tieder Hoffar & Fitzgerald's Vivian Katsantonis (who promised to deliver the entire Greek vote in Virginia); and Kathy Olden Barnes.


LAST NIGHT AT INOX
 

Don't know the name? INOX hasn't opened yet, but is likely to move to the top of the charts in Virginia (esp. now that Maestro and Colvin Run aren't around anymore). We snapped this last night of our old friends Jonathan Krinn, left, and Jon Mathieson, second from right, the former star chefs at 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, here with their sous chefs and beverage director. You heard it here first: They are opening this new place (that they co-own with investors) sometime in the next 10 days in the PwC building in Tysons. 120 seats, contemporary American, upscale but relaxed, great party rooms, in the planning for 18 months. We'll see you there!  

John Ford has resolved not to watch American Idol in 2009. Send moral support and story ideas to john@bisnow.com.

 
 
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