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    July 23, 2008  


Big shout to our newest sponsor Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. This great full-service law firm just moved to 2900 K St in Georgetown, taking 72k SF to accommodate its growing Washington practice.  Congrats, and welcome aboard!




Okay, maybe Jon Stewart isn't going to emcee, and maybe there won't even be fake gold statuettes, but the prestige will no doubt be ineffably immense for those in-house stars recognized on October 29 by the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association at the Tysons Ritz. 


That was the message we got out in Chantilly on a visit with Charles DeLeon, chair of the awards program and GC at tech firm GTSI. Winners will be named in five categories: Chief Legal Officer, In-House Counsel, and Law Department of the Year; and awards for Community Service and Career Achievement. At GTSI, which has a legal department staff of 35 and did $700 million in business last year providing IT services to government agencies, Charles is prepping for a November office move to Dulles. GTSI's biggest client is the U.S. Army and, coincidentally, Charles is a former military intelligence officer who rose to the rank of Captain in the Army National Guard. In fact, this guy is enough of a history buff, he even gave his eldest son Adam the middle name of "Grant" after Ulysses S., his most admired military figure (as he points out above). Luckily, his wife indulged him because she liked the sound of the name.

e-Mail Crush


With corporate America writing ten of billions of emails a day, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requiring preservation of electronic records, we're always hearing about the large teams assembled to sort through e-discovery materials on litigation these days. (Sounds like a headache, but we still can't imagine it's worse than Bates-stamping.) We'd never seen the guts of one of these operations until we tracked down Bob Rowe of Huron Consulting Group, one of the providers helping firms manage the process; in Huron's case, doing everything from collecting electronic documents, putting them in databases, reviewing, to producing to opposing counsel. Here in nerve center of Huron's Georgetown office, Bob, a former antitrust lawyer at King & Spalding, Crowell, and Howrey, tells us that Huron runs four East Coast locations (plus one in Houston and a small facility in India), where up to 750 contract attorneys review documents on outsourced projects. At full capacity, it's the equivalent of an AmLaw100 firm.


Here with Brian Ansley and Christopher Getner of Huron's document review management team, Bob says that abut 70% of the projects he manages are for corporate clients, the balance coming from law firms that call "with their hair on fire" for emergency projects. In one active case Huron has 60 days to review 45 million pages. Huron uses special software that identifies relevant and hot documents, with the human reviewers serving a "quality control" function. In fact, Bob thinks the prohibitive cost of massive doc review projects, now de rigueur courtesy of e-discovery rules, will lead to the day when courts will accept document reviews performed predominantly by computers.

Courtroom Drama


Here's an unusual scene from U.S. District Court: Crowell & Moring attorneys David Cross, Kerry Malloy, and Nicole Jenkins, hash out a sidebar with "Judge" Elizabeth Newsome, who's really a partner at Crowell. Conflict of interest? Not really—it was all part of a recent Saturday exercise in which Crowell took over the Federal courthouse for day-long mock trials that capped an extended litigation training program for 18 associates and counsel. As Crowell's training head Jerry Murphy informed us, the voluntary program began in January and held classes every other Friday, working up to the full-blown mock trials (Crowell ran three of them simultaneously at the courthouse). Crowell partners played judges and staffers played witnesses and jurors in a fact pattern involving a lawyer accused of insurance fraud. Crowell did its part to make sure things didn't get too heated at trial, paying extra to have the A/C turned on early. Jerry says Crowell associates still participate in outside training sessions like NITA, but he's already got a waiting list for the next installment of the Crowell program.

Tower Oaks
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