Superstar Supreme Court litigator Thomas Goldstein — who has argued 22 cases before the high court, racked up numerous honors from legal and general-interest publications, and, most importantly, served as a judge of ATL Idol — is leaving Akin Gump. Goldstein has led the powerhouse firm’s Supreme Court and appellate practice and serves as presiding co-leader of the firm’s litigation management committee. He arrived at Akin four and a half years ago, back in May 2006, to much fanfare.
Why is Tom Goldstein leaving Akin Gump? And where is he headed?
Word on the street was that Goldstein was leaving Akin due in part to a client conflict issue. We reached out to Goldstein via email, and he confirmed the news:
You’re right — I’m leaving the Akin partnership and headed back to my old firm. We’ll still do a ton of work together….
There are varied reasons. Conflicts is a big part of it; a big client of mine runs into another critical Akin client with some regularity.
I certainly wouldn’t ever go anywhere else in BigLaw. I think Akin is the greatest firm in the world, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if I came back.
What about SCOTUSblog, the supremely successful Supreme Court blog founded by Goldstein and sponsored by Akin Gump? And what about Goldstein’s Supreme Court litigation clinic at Harvard Law School, which has been run through the firm? Goldstein explained:
We’re discussing the blog, but my best bet is that they will remain the sponsor.
And my Winter Term Harvard class will still be housed by the firm.
As for the timing of the move, it will become effective on Monday, January 3. With Goldstein’s return, his former and future firm — previously Goldstein & Howe, now Howe & Russell — will become Goldstein, Howe, & Russell.
Congratulations on your move, Tom, and all the best in 2011!
Thomas C. Goldstein bio [Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld]
Supreme Court Practitioner Tom Goldstein to Join Akin Gump [Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld]
Howe & Russell, P.C.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Tom Goldstein