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    January 28, 2009  
 
 
Paul Weiss;
Bingham;
Historic Pics

A big salute to great sponsor Cardinal Bank, which announced this week that it's named John Toups, famed techie and philanthropist, as honorary chairman of the bank's 7th annual Charity Classic golf and tennis fundraiser, May 18. More on this great event below!


 

January’s big winner in DC? Hard to argue against Paul Weiss, which has raised its profile in DC with a hefty one-two punch: a move to 2001 K Street, and the addition of former Fannie Mae GC Beth Wilkinson. We snow-shoed over for a chat yesterday with the new catch and DC managing partner Ken Gallo.

 

Beth was wrapping up her search for a new home (going back to her old firm, Latham, was one of many options for the much-lauded litigator who prosecuted Timothy McViegh and Terry Nichols while at DOJ from ’90-’98), when she got a call “out of the blue” in late November from Ken. A breakfast chat went well; three days later they were in NY at an equally successful lunch with firm chair Brad Karp. Monday will be her first day on the clock.

 

Though Beth didn’t use Paul Weiss during her time overseeing Fannie Mae’s 130-lawyer legal department, there are connections. The firm conducted an investigation for Fannie’s board after its accounting scandal, a copy of which landed on her desk days after taking over as GC in Feb ’06. She also knew litigation co-chair Ted Wells (in NY), who, like Beth, has defended cases against Altria. Other factors: the “lack of sharp elbows” at Paul Weiss and the chance for frequent trips to the Big Apple. Virtually every case handled by the DC office (now 42 lawyers) is co-staffed with NY. Maybe that’s where she bought her leopard print blouse?

 

Beth was the first outside visitor to the new 32K SF digs, designed by Phil Olsen of Alliance Architecture with a big assist from Ken. Though he’s reluctant to reveal exact details of his contributions to design at the space (fifth and sixth floors), we’d grab any credit we could for the airy look of modern elegance without ostentation. One nice touch: the oversize visage of John Marshall atop a stairway on six, looking at contemporary legal giants.


Bingham Fetes Ogletree
 

We close out our Inauguration coverage with two scenes from last week—the first from a salute to Harvard Law Prof. Charles Ogletree Jr. and the Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, hosted by Bingham and the Foundation for the National Archives. Among the 300 who came for the pre-inauguration fest: Bingham’s DC co-managing partner Barry Direnfeld, Chairman Jay Zimmerman, partner Ken Lore, Prof. Ogletree, and newly minted Virginia Sen. Mark Warner. We hear that Spike Lee was in the house (which in this case was the National Archives) but even he was upstaged by a former student of Ogletree’s—Mr. Obama, as he might have been called in class—who offered a video tribute.


Lawyers’ View of History
 

Sure, we know what the inauguration looked like to the humble masses on the Mall and the lazier types watching on TV, but what about the view for those DC lawyers lucky enough to be watching from the podium? We thank Howard Gutman of Williams & Connolly (also, Trustee for the Presidential Inauguration Committee), who captured the up-close view shared by AG-nominee Eric Holder (from Covington), White House Counsel Greg Craig (Williams & Connolly), and White House Staff Secretary Lisa Brown (American Constitution Society).

 

What a receiving line. Squint and you’ll see most of the Supreme Court, Presidents #39, 41, 42, 43, and 44, and some notable attire: the beret on Scalia, Omar Sharif Russian fur on the elder Bush, and the Clintons in rocking blue coat and yellow scarf. Oh, and to the upper left Al Gore appears to be watching his step.  


Cardinal Classic
 

Further to our shoutout above, the Cardinal charity event benefits the Inova Kellar Center and the Cardinal Bank Community Fund, quite appropriate because John Toups is a former chair of both the Inova Health System board and foundation. It'll be May 18 at the serene Country Club of Fairfax. Former CEO (in the 70s and 80s) of then tech giant PRC, he's also been over the years a director of GTSI, Halifax, NVR, and Dewberry, plus chair of the George Mason University Foundation. Cardinal president Kevin Reynolds tells us the Classic has raised more than $1.5 M since 2002, greatly exceeding goals. We are proud to have participated in recent years in the event, fielding our very finest tennis talent (which is generally a condition of employment at Bisnow).

Send story ideas and celebrity sightings to john@bisnow.com.

 
 
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