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    October 15, 2008  
Womble Carlyle;
Golfing GCs

Reminder—the biggest party of the season is TONIGHT—and it's free: Bisnow's Democrats v. Republicans Hip Happy Hour. 1,500 people from all Washington industries. The great Park at Fourteenth. Oct 15, 6-8 PM, stay and watch the debate. No charge, but you must sign up!


Some lawyers from Womble Carlyle were smart enough to put their work down and take a break from the market craziness last week. And when lawyers need a break, they do one thing . . .


Hit the links! In this case, the TopGolf range in Alexandria. Truth be told, this was a golf break with a purpose—the firm's third annual Diversity Open, where Womble brought together its own attorneys, minority law students, and in-house reps for some drink, grub, and golf, scientifically proven to be the three best networking tools in existence.


Second-years Elizabeth Grau and Danielle Benoit (Womble's most eligible bachelorette, she tells us) greeted the 100 attendees. Inside, teams of three split off for friendly competition using Top Golf's scoring system, which uses computer chips planted in the balls to measure their distance from targets. Based on observation, we believe some of those chips also caused the balls to slice, hook, and/or dribble into the sand. But people were having too much fun to complain.


From right: DC MP Pam Rothenberg, newly minted partner Kevin Pigott, Mark Poovey, who heads up the firm's Antitrust, Federal, and State Regulation and Government Affairs practice group (it's a niche area), and wife Sharon. Pam didn't pick up any golf clubs, but she can't resist a teacup. She's getting the firm to support the High Tea Society, an organization run by just-retired DC Superior Court Judge Mary Terrell that gives disadvantaged women lessons in etiquette, civility, and culture through the age-old ritual of afternoon tea. Makes us want to sing: The rain in Spain falls mainly on . . . McPherson Square?


Choice Hotels GC Sandy Michel claimed beginner status, but this is a pretty nice-looking swing. Sandy knows Womble from her days as GC of Krispy Kreme in Winston-Salem (and yes, they have free donuts in the office). It's an all-new leadership at Silver Spring-based Choice, which has 5,700 hotels across 10 brands (Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, and the new Cambria Suites). Sandy came on board six months ago, one month ahead of CEO Steve Joyce, and tells us she runs a full service legal department with 47-staff and nine lawyers. Bisnow resume alert: Sandy says she's always looking for good people.


NBC Universal senior counsel Victor Cabral with Georgetown 3L Cassandre Theano. Each student got a set of 50 business cards courtesy of Womble. Better yet, they could immediately put them to use by dropping one in a drawing for a 26-inch TV and a Garmin GPS system. We were going to ask Victor if we could sue NBC after their disappointing Knight Rider remake, but he was the one holding a golf club, so we just smiled and thought about last week's episode of The Office.


There's a ringer in this bunch. Marriott business developer LeVaughn Crawford is going to try to make the U.S. Open next year (first stop, the qualifying tournament in Worthington, MD). With him are Youshea Berry, counsel to the Young Masters, a non-profit that teaches tennis skills to DC kids, and three international LLM grads from GWU: Valeria Losco (Italy), Sanaa Chakibi (Morocco), and Kasia Branny (Poland).


Womble's Holly Svetz and GTSI GC Charles DeLeon are both in the government contracts field. Holly tells us that the bailout, as with other pieces of "crisis legislation," includes waivers of the standard contract-award process—in this case, for financial services firms enlisted to package and sell mortgage assets. She's going to start an article about it as soon as she puts down the club.

John Ford is Bisnow's Legal Editor. Shoot your story tips to john@bisnow.com.

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