Andrew Cuomo, Barbara Underwood, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Musical Chairs, Supreme Court Clerks

Musical Chairs: 01.03.07

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFSome other noteworthy moves within the legal profession (besides Chief Judge David Levi’s selection as Dean of Duke Law School):
Within government:
* This is big news: the new Attorney General for New York, Andrew Cuomo, has hired Barbara D. Underwood as his solicitor general.
Underwood has a resume to die for. She has served as counsel to Eastern District U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf, as chief assistant U.S. Attorney in the E.D.N.Y., and as principal deputy solicitor general over at the Justice Department (under President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno).
Surprise surprise: Barbara Underwood is among the Elect (OT 1970/Marshall). We hear that she beat out other former Supreme Court clerks to win the New York SG job.
The fact that so many high-powered people were vying for the gig shows that state solicitor general posts are acquiring more and more cachet. Being an ex-SCOTUS clerk is rapidly becoming a requirement for these jobs. E.g., Ted Cruz in Texas (OT 1996/Rehnquist); Kevin Newsom in Alabama (OT 2000/Souter).
The rest of today’s transitions, plus links, after the jump.

Lateral moves:
Hello and good-bye:
* Richard Costigan, former legislative secretary to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is returning to the government affairs practice of his former firm, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. Less than a month ago, he joined McKenna Long & Aldridge. Hopefully they didn’t print up business cards for him over there.
New partners:
* Schulte Roth & Zabel: corporate and securities lawyer Udi Grofman; finance lawyer Michael Mezzacappa.
* Baker & McKenzie (New York): employee benefits lawyer Pia Flanagan, corporate and securities lawyer Natasha Ziabkina, and M&A lawyer Alan Zoccolillo.
In the executive suite:
* Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli has stepped down — and you’d do the same, if you had a $210 million severance package coming to you. He has been replaced by vice-chairman Frank Blake, who practiced law for many years and is one of the Elect (Stevens).
AG Cuomo Names Solicitor General []
Legal Beagle Blake Replaces Nardelli at Home Depot [WSJ Law Blog]
Schulte Roth & Zabel Announces Election of Two New Partners and Two Special Counsel (PDF) [Schulte Roth & Zabel]
Baker & McKenzie LLP New York Elects Three New Partners [Baker & McKenzie]

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