Guess the Durham district attorney isn’t the only prominent government lawyer named Mike (and embroiled in controversy) to announce his resignation on this Friday afternoon.
Has the U.S. Attorney firing controversy claimed another victim? Maybe (assuming he’s not leaving for other reasons). From the AP:
A senior Justice Department official who helped carry out the dismissals of federal prosecutors said Friday he is resigning.
Mike Elston, chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, is the fifth Justice official to leave after being linked to the dismissals of the prosecutors….
Elston is taking a job with a law firm in the Washington area, according to the statement.
* It’s hard out here for a suburban, country club dwelling, former porn star pimp. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* And by “reshape” we mean “slowly eliminate altogether.” [New York Times]
* House closes VT gun background check loophole. [Jurist]
* Only difference is, once I get my pants on, I make gold records! [CNN]
* It’s also hard out here for a disabled, middle-aged, drug-dealing pimp. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
We recently got to meet former White House counsel Harriet Miers, up close and personal. And it seems we’re not the only folks who will get to spend quality time with the onetime (and ill-fated) Supreme Court nominee.
This just in, from the AP:
Two congressional committees are issuing subpoenas for testimony from former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor on their roles in the firings of eight federal prosecutors, according to two officials familiar with the investigation….
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont issued Taylor’s subpoena for her testimony July 11. His counterpart in the House, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan, issued a subpoena for Miers’ testimony the next day.
These aren’t the happiest of times for the U.S. Department of Justice. Although the Alberto Gonzales no-confidence resolution probably won’t change anything — if President Bush intended to dump the AG, wouldn’t he have done so by now? — it still can’t be fun.
Despite the troubles at the top, there are still numerous Justice Department officials who remain committed to doing the work of the Department, amidst all of the political upheaval. Here are some recent notable moves and promotions at the DOJ (announced internally on Friday):
* Ron Tenpas, formerly an Associate Deputy Attorney General, to be Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
* David Hagy, to be Director of the National Institute of Justice.
* Ryan Bounds, promoted to Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy (where he will remain Chief of Staff).
The exceptionally well-dressed Mr. Bounds may be best known to ATL readers by his alternate title: head of the Office of Sartorial Counsel.
While we’re on the subject of Main Justice, we’ve been hearing interesting rumors about some possible departures at the Assistant Attorney General (AAG) level. If you have some information to share, please email us (subject line: “DOJ Musical Chairs”). Thanks.
Department of Justice official Brad Schlozman — who currently serves as Associate Counsel to the Director, in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys — is about to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His testimony is part of a panel entitled “Preserving Prosecutorial Independence: Is the Department of Justice Politicizing the Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys?”
Maybe we’ll tune in, at least for a few minutes; but we don’t expect to watch the entire proceedings. Brad Schlozman is no Monica Goodling. And we can barely pronounce his last name.
On Friday night, in preparation for today’s session, the DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) sent the Republican members of the committee a list of proposed “softball” or friendly questions for Schlozman. This question caught our eye:
Clevenger, you may recall, has raised allegations about the politicization of hiring at Main Justice. But he may be best known to ATL readers as a source for stories about that delicious DOJ diva, Shanetta Cutlar (about whom we’ve heard nothing new, sadly).
By the way, in case you’re wondering, question #5 wasn’t well-received by GOP staffers on Capitol Hill. We hear that the Republican staffers “are offended that DOJ expects them to do its political dirty work.”
Time for an installment of ATL’s legal celebrity sightings column, The Eyes of the Law. This one is especially juicy.
We hear that last week, embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was sighted in the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins — the firm where he was once a partner. His presence was not kept a secret, since he walked right past the offices of several summer associates.
Was AGAG just paying a friendly visit to some of his former partners? Or could his drop-by signify that he might be resigning as Attorney General and returning to his former stomping grounds (a la Harriet Miers, who returned to Locke Liddell after stepping down as White House Counsel)?
If you think we’re getting carried away, we’d like to remind you: office visits can be very revealing. Remember when a bunch of Weil Gotshal bankruptcy partners defected to Cadwalader back in March? A week before their move was announced, the ex-Weil partners were sighted in the Cadwalader offices, on an evening tour led by CWT chairman Robert Link and bankruptcy chairman Bruce Zirinsky.
If you have any scuttlebutt to add about Gonzales and V&E, please email us. Thanks. Update: According to this comment, “He was there for the funeral of a former partner — Rush Record.” This explanation sounds plausible to us, since Mr. Record did pass away last week.
Those of you who read our extensive liveblogging of Monica Goodling’s testimony on Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee know how deeply impressed we were.
Goodling was poised, intelligent, and articulate. She showed flashes of wit, as well as consistent honesty and forthrightness. She looked like a million bucks.
On a scale of 0 to 10, we’d score Monica Goodling’s performance on Capitol Hill as a 9.3. It wasn’t a perfect 10; Rep. Artur Davis landed a few punches in the eleventh round. But Monica “Hurts So” Goodling ultimately emerged victorious from the boxing ring of the Rayburn House Office Building, with barely a glove laid on her.
We weren’t alone in our assessment. Distinguished legal commentators, including law professors like Orin Kerr and Adam Gershowitz, also raved over La Goodling’s star turn.
And this morning, via Howard Bashman, we come across more praise of Goodling, from an unlikely source. Check out this great online essay (registration required), by Eve Fairbanks of The New Republic — no bastion of conservatism.
Discussion continues after the jump.
We have to step away from our computer now, to go meet our running group. We are training for the New York City marathon. If you’d like to support our efforts with a tax-deductible donation to fund cancer research, which is almost as worthy a cause as the Monica Goodling Legal Defense Fund, please click here.
This means we’re going to miss the last ten minutes or so of Monica Goodling’s testimony. If anything insane happens, please note it in the comments, or email us.
Also, we’re not the only ones who were impressed by Goodling’s performance today. Distinguished legal analysts concur in our assessment that La Monica acquitted herself very well before the House Judiciary Committee.
By way of example, check out these posts at two leading law blogs:
This is a continuation of our earlier post, in which we kicked off our liveblogging of the Monica Goodling testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
11:00: Some friendly questioning from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Ranking Republican Member of the Judiciary Committee. We once sat next to him at a dinner party; he’s a very nice man.
11:05: Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) is a style nightmare. White blazer, red tank-toppy-looking blouse. Congresswoman Sanchez: this is the United States Congress, not a July 4th booze cruise.
11:07: In terms of her demeanor, Goodling is not going down the diva route. She’s very polite and helpful, interspersing her remarks with self-effacing or nervous smiles. It seems that she’s trying to be as forthcoming as possible as a witness.
Discussion resumes after the jump.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.
Whether you’re fresh off the bar exam or hitting your stride after hanging a shingle a few years ago, one thing’s for certain: independent attorneys who start a solo or small-law practice live with a certain amount of stress.
Non-attorneys would think the stress comes from preparing for a big trial, deposing a hostile witness, or crafting the perfect contract for a picky client.
But that’s nothing compared to the constant, nagging, real-life kind, the kind you get from the day-to-day grind of being a law-abiding attorney.
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