Here are two quick updates to our earlier coverage of Akin Gump, the prestigious D.C. law firm, where an assistant to alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey worked as a legal secretary. The second of these updates is nothing short of mind-blowing.
1. As a commenter pointed out, Tom Goldstein, the head of Akin Gump’s Supreme Court practice, just posted an “opening” for a “special assistant.” This led some to wonder: Could the madam-in-training have worked for the Supreme Court superstar?
It wouldn’t be THAT suprising. The job announcement (PDF) mentions that an appreciation for poker is helpful. And we’re guessing that the secretary-cum-escort has some familiarity with that game — or a certain variant thereof.
Sadly, however, it turns out that there is no relation between these two events. According to a source at the firm, “this opening is completely unrelated to that situation..”
2. We believe our source. We’ve learned that the Akin Gump temptress worked for someone even more senior at the firm — and even more powerful.
We have confirmed, with knowledgeable sources, what was previously rumored in reader comments. The Akin Gump Escort worked for John M. Dowd, the high-powered head of the firm’s criminal litigation group. From his firm bio:
Mr. Dowd has prosecuted and defended significant criminal matters at trial and in parallel proceedings before Congress and regulatory agencies for more than 30 years. His practice focuses on the trial of complex civil and criminal cases.
Mr. Dowd is noted for his representation of a U.S. district judge, a former U.S. attorney and two U.S. senators. In addition, he represented a U.S. governor in a lengthy, high-profile criminal trial involving 23 counts charging false statements, wire fraud and attempted extortion.
A judge, a U.S. attorney, some senators? YAWN. John Dowd currently represents one of Above the Law’s favorite celebrities: MONICA GOODLING!!!
Does this mean that telephone and/or face-to-face conversations took place between (1) the Magnificent Monica Goodling, of U.S. Attorneygate fame, and (2) the Akin Gump Escort? Presumably Monica Goodling had to interact with the Akin Gump Escort, whenever she called John Dowd on the phone, or came to his office for a meeting.
Please excuse us for a moment. Our head is about to explode, due to fabulosity overload!!!
More discussion, after the jump.
We emailed Mr. Dowd to confirm that the (alleged) Akin Gump Assistant Madam worked as his secretary. We didn’t receive a response from him. But a few hours later, we were contacted by a firm spokesperson:
Per your query, I write to advise that this is an internal personnel matter, and as such we will not provide comment. Going forward, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Sheila M. Turner
Director of Communications
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
So no official confirmation from the firm. But we are satisfied with the confirmations we’ve received from other sources. We previously predicted that the Akin Gump Assistant Madam “had a powerful boss at the firm” — and it looks like we were right.
Happily for her, Dowd is a legendary criminal defense lawyer. We’re guessing that he has referred her to an esteemed colleague in the defense bar, to represent her as she shares what she knows with law enforcement.
So there’s no need to lose sleep over her plight. The Akin Gump Madam is in good hands!
Job Opening: Special Assistant to Tom Goldstein [SCOTUSblog]
John M. Dowd bio [Akin Gump]
Earlier: Akin Gump: Truly A ‘Full-Service’ Law Firm
The D.C. Madam’s Akin Gump Apprentice: She’s No Miss Popularity