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Which Law Firm Band Was Most Popular At The Black Cat?

Lawyers love the chance to feel like rock stars. Combine that with the opportunity to do good, and it's no wonder that Banding Together, the annual law firm battle of the bands at The Black Cat, has remained such a hit.


In the 13th year of Banding Together, 16 bands representing DC law firms performed; they raised more than $230k for clothing and winter items for the homeless, to be distributed through the DC shelter system.

Audience members at The Black Cat voted for their favorite bands by donating money in their names. This year's top three fundraisers: Unnamed Party with $41,294 (Paul Hastings, Hunton & Williams and Arent Fox), Sutherland Comfort with $28,894 (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan) and Attractive Nuisance with $20k (Steptoe & Johnson).

Sutherland Comfort (above) was the defending champ from 2015. Its legal rock stars include Dan Buchner (guitar), Wilson Barmeyer (bass), Gary Aiken (keyboard), David McIndoe (drums), Naseem Nixon (lead vocals), and Meltem Kodaman, Kristine Ellison and Andrew McCormick (vocals).

The event is put together by Gifts for the Homeless, a volunteer-run nonprofit that donates clothing to more than 70 shelters in the DC area each year. GFTH is headed up by board officers Jefferson Education Accelerator ‎founding CEO Bart Epstein, government attorney Jay Owen, Foley & Lardner partner Joe Edmondson, retired White & Case counsel Laurie Glassman, retired Kirkland partner Walt Lohmann, ISDA counsel Ann Battle, World Wildlife Fund assistant GC Dan Buchner, Paul Hastings partner Jerry Comizio and Ernst & Young partner Steve Spiegelhalter.


Sterne Kessler attorneys rocked out as members of Terminal Disclaimer, performing a six-song set that featured Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama and the Foo Fighters' Monkey Wrench.

Band members: director Don Banowit (guitar), associate Steve Pappas (bass guitar), associate Josh Miller (guitar), director Rob Esmond (guitar), associate Lauren Schleh (drums), associate Chris Stabler (lead vocals), and marketing & communications director Kathryn Holmes Johnson (backup vocals).


Other bands that swapped their desks for stages and telephones for microphones included Total B/S (BuckleySandler), The Soul Practitioners (Kirkland & Ellis), Redacted (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner), The Perks (Perkins Coie) and Buzzard Point Caucus (Boies Schiller, McKool Smith, Peter Hansen Law, the Polaris Project).

Another battle of the law firm bands fundraiser that's taken off is "Law Rocks," which had its inaugural DC fundraiser last year at the 9:30 Club.