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    April 22, 2008  


Join us for lunch with three of America's top General Counsels: Freddie Mac's Bob Bostrom, the Washington Post's Veronica Dillon, and American Capital Strategies' Sam Flax (largest publicly-held private equity firm in the US; Sam and his team were named WMACCA's law department of the year).  Wed, May 28, at Il Mulino in DC. Sign up here. Thanks to great sponsor Studley.


While scouring the city for 30 Under 30 candidates, we came across some standouts who just missed the age cutoff. Enter Brian Matsui, former Supreme Court clerk to Justice Kennedy, son of Congresswoman Doris Matsui, and newly minted partner at MoFo. Brian, consider yourself a winner in our Senior Category.


Brian isn't just smart (unless they hand out double Stanford degrees on the corner), he's savvy too. After his 2002 clerkship with Justice Kennedy and a stint at Sidley, he kept his eye out for opportunity at an elite firm with a "shorter bench" of players doing high-end appellate work. Beth Brinkmann's practice at MoFo fit the bill. Beth, Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Clinton administration and 24-time advocate before the Supreme Court, draws a stream of High Court assignments for a group that isn't heavily populated, Brian says, which allowed him to lend a hand on three briefs in the 2007 term alone. Did we mention that the group won all three cases—two of them unanimously?


Posing here with one of his briefs, Brian sat at the Supreme Court counsel table for the first time in MeadWestvaco v. Illinois, where MoFo represented the petitioner in a case testing the State's power to tax multi-state businesses. Scoring the unanimous victory had to be a thrill, but Brian also liked his much-improved view of the argument. "The clerks are all lined up along the side of the courtroom—it's not the best angle."


Brian and his wife Amy, a lawyer with the National Women's Law Center, live just minutes from the Chevy Chase house in which Brian was raised by his mother and father Robert, a longtime Congressman from California's Fifth District (covering Sacramento). When his father passed away in 2005, Brian's mom ran in a special election to fill his seat. We wondered if he campaigned for her, but Brian just laughed: "I had absolutely no effect."

Supersizing Sonnenschein!


How do you get 16 laterals with just one phone call? If you're Sonnenschein Chair Elliott Portnoy, you contact your old pal Clint Vince. Wanting to expand his Public Law and Policy Strategies group, Elliott got in touch with Clint (with whom he had jointly represented New Orleans on electricity work), the then-managing partner at Sullivan & Worcester. Vince took Portnoy up on his offer and brought 15 colleagues along for the ride.      


Clint with Jay Costan, who also made the exodus from Sullivan. The two will focus on energy-related regulation, litigation, transactions, and public policy in Sonnenschein's broad "PLPS" group, which includes the firm's lobbyists. There are now 43 attorneys in the group, about half working in DC. Clint says he was attracted by Sonnenschein's global profile and hopes to take on renewable energy matters for clients in Asia, Europe and South America.   


It looks like a club photo from our high school yearbook, but it's actually most of the old Sullivan crew. In the front row, energy policy specialist Jessie Gratch, partner Orlando Vidal, associates Karen Sealy and Emma Hand; and in the back, of counsel Presley Reed, partner Mike McNamara (not a new hire), Jay, Clint, managing director Elizabeth Conway and of counsel Travis Smith.

Sheppard Mullin
Cardinal Bank
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