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    November 20, 2008  
Trivia Challenge!


Kirkland & Ellis’s mock courtroom was the scene Tuesday night for a titanic match of wits. Nothing to do with an upcoming trial, but a trivia challenge matching brains from DC law firms. It was the second annual battle put on by “Everybody Wins!,” which provides reading programs for at-risk kids. So who’s the smartest? Read on.


The competitive juices were flowing when we entered and found the organization’s executive director Mary Salander with Kirkland’s Mark Young and Olivia Kwok. For the last 12 years a large team from Kirkland (38 in ‘08) has participated in the “Power Lunch” program, reading to Adams Elementary students at lunch once a week. If you remember Con Law as well as Mark, you’ll get this: “In Schenk v. U.S. (1919), Justice Holmes articulated this famous doctrine that would later make a title for a Tom Clancy book.” (Hint: not the Bush doctrine. See answer 1, below.)


The Weil Gotshal crew had the best team name: “Where the Weil Things Are.” From left, Jonathan Carr, Jeff White, Katie Ambrogi, Bisnow 30 Under 30 star Jen Wine, Patricia Chow, and Brianna Benfield. With such a star, we fully expected them to win, but alas, they tied for third. Perhaps it was the libations (your Bisnow reporter may or may not have witnessed a few empties being cleared from the table before this snap).


Locked in third place with Weil Gotshal and a Kirkland team was this undermanned group of four from Troutman Sanders: clockwise from top, Mary Hodgins, Anne Dailey, Sarhana Livingston, and Steve McNutt. Here they’re putting their heads together on the tie-breaker, coming up with Tony-winning musicals with one-word titles. Troutman won and took third outright, so look out—when the Ross Dixon folks join in the January 1 merge, Troutman figures to be a force in both softball and trivia. Also, we hear they’re starting a Show Tunes practice group.


We’re not saying the Kilpatrick Stockton team did poorly, but by the time we took this, they’d crossed out the firm’s name on their placard and were posing as another shop. (We think that’s the trivia version of NFL fans wearing a bag over their heads.) We’re outing them here: Jim McCone, Stewart Fried, Ryan O’Neill, Joel Rappoport, Alexander Tuneski, and Patrick Eagan. Think you can do better? Okay, in what 1997 film did Jim Carrey play a lawyer named Fletcher Reede? (Answer 2 below.)


We thought appellate litigators were too smart to have useless knowledge filling their brains, but apparently not. The Kirkland appellate team (“The Romanettes”) took second place—Greg Skidmore, Jennifer Hardy, Michael Williams, Angela Butcher, and not pictured, Chris Landau and Ashley Parrish. And your final question: Which form of speech did the Supreme Court label as unprotected by the First Amendment in Roth v. United States (1957)?


And the championship squad, from . . . drumroll . . . Wilson Sonsini. Lawrence Perone, Nick Porritt, Lindsey Wilson, Byungbae Kim, Jacob Wolmon, Mike Labriola, and Paul Jin got to hoist the cup declaring them Litterae Magister, Latin for Masters of Literacy. Or at least trivia. And now, what you’ve really been waiting for. The answers:

  1. Clear and present danger.
  2. Liar Liar.
  3. Obscenity.

John Ford is Bisnow’s Trivia Editor.  Send story tips to john@bisnow.com.

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