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    September 22, 2008  
Troutman Sanders;
Volunteer Lawyers

Big welcome to a great sponsor American University's Washington College of Law.  Reconnect, Refocus, and Reclaim Your Legal Career with the Lawyer Re-entry Program! Don't miss the upcoming info sessions on Wed, Sept 24th or Thurs, Oct 2nd. More info.


As Troutman Sanders and Ross Dixon Bell gear up for their Jan. 1, '09 merger, we donned our investigative-journalist hat and grilled Kevin Fitzgerald, Troutman's DC Managing Partner, on the true reason for the union. Doubling Troutman's DC office to over 100 lawyers? Getting Ross Dixon's Chicago and California offices for the East-Coast-heavy Troutman? Don't believe it. We're here to tell you: This thing is all about softball domination.


The Troutman Sanders Sliders ("Winning cases and stealing bases since 1897") took the Head First league championship in '07, powered by Kevin, a coaches' All-American second baseman/shortstop at GWU. Drafted to the bigs, he played in the SF Giants farm system (and roomed with five-time All Star Matt Williams), but he carries the Sliders only so far. After getting eliminated this year, it was time for lateral support. Enter the powerhouse Ross Dixon squad, featuring partner Gabby Richeimer, two-sport D-1 athlete at Long Island University and GTE All American in softball. Assuming she clears waivers, the Sliders are back in business.


Kevin and office administrator/Sliders GM (she brings the beer) Cindy Conover are busy clearing 80K square feet at 401 9th for incoming trophies Ross Dixon attorneys. Meanwhile, to his credit, Kevin also manages to sell the merge on non-softball grounds. In DC, he envisions cross-selling between Troutman's SEC enforcement, Sarbanes-Oxley, and white-collar work and Ross Dixon's D&O liability experts, who've worked scandals from Enron to WorldCom to Adelphia. Ross Dixon's state-regulated insurance clients also fit, he says, with Troutman Sanders Strategies, the lobby shop with a strong state-level presence. The firms have already begun tossing work to each other, and Kevin says the returns are promising—140 referral matters have been opened since their June announcement.

Howrey Launches Climate Blog

The newest law blogger on the block is litigator Gil Keteltas from Howrey—or as we like to call him, the competition. Not really, but he and seven other Howrey lawyer-contributors are hoping to make their blog an "easy read" consisting of brief yet useful posts on climate change litigation and regulation. (Add the lame jokes, and that's us!) Gil and LA partner Joanne Lichtman (who patched in by phone on our visit) are the blog's prime movers—they snatched the url up seven months ago and had been in soft launch for three weeks before officially announcing themselves last week. They say the blog is the perfect medium to "spot issues" for clients and others, including so far: plaintiffs' lawyers creative use of the Endangered Species Act and a proposal to impose SEC "climate risk disclosure" obligations on oil and gas companies.

DC Volunteer Project Underway

Back in June we told you about the kickoff of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, a venue for lawyers who left practice to raise families—like Executive Director and onetime DOJ attorney, Jenny Brody, right—to work pro bono family law matters. On Thursday, Jenny and DCLVP attorney Erin Brody got into action with a recruiting event at Boies Schiller before 25 prospective volunteers (with a few men in the bunch). One message: Don't worry about the rust. Jenny calls DCLVP family work "litigation light." The last time the Harvard Law grad had written a brief, it was on a yellow pad rather than a computer. She's been introduced to Westlaw since, but the rewards aren't electronic—in one of her cases, she helped a 17-year-old abuse victim get a track scholarship.

John Ford is Bisnow's Legal Editor. Shoot him your story ideas at

Andrews Kurth
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