Federal Judges, Michael Mukasey, Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs: Michael Mukasey to Debevoise

Michael Mukasey small Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgThe revolving door between government and private practice is in full swing. This morning brought the news that Judith Kaye, former chief judge of New York State, has joined Skadden Arps as counsel.

And this afternoon brings more news: Michael Mukasey, fresh off his stint as U.S. Attorney General, will be joining the partnership of Debevoise & Plimpton. Before his service as AG, Mukasey was a partner at Patterson Belknap (and was a Patterson associate before becoming a federal judge in the S.D.N.Y.).

Why didn’t Mukasey return to Patterson? Perhaps Debevoise offered more dough. Fueled by a series of large internal investigations, including the international Siemens matter, the firm has seen its partner profits skyrocket in recent years. In 2007, profits per partner at Debevoise hit $2.3 million.

Says a Debevoise tipster: “Now I get to find out if waterboarding is torture.”

Update (3:05 PM): The Debevoise press release is now available here.

Update (4 PM): Mukasey gave a short interview to the WSJ Law Blog, in which he explained his decision to join Debevoise: “It’s particularly strong in litigation and in conducting major corporate investigations and preparing reports to boards. Also, it has many former government lawyers, including Mary Jo [White].”

Update (5:30 PM): More praise from Mukasey for Debevoise, over at Am Law Daily.

Michael B. Mukasey to Join Debevoise & Plimpton (press release)

A Law Blog Q&A With Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey [WSJ Law Blog]

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye Joins Skadden, Arps (press release)

Former NYS Chief Judge Judith Kaye Joins Skadden [Am Law Daily]

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