Viet Dinh

Of course HRH - 'Her Royal Hillaryness' - made the list.

Earlier this week, Time magazine released its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, the Time 100. For lawyers, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

The good news: lawyers represent over 10 percent of the Time 100. The bad news: many of the law-degree-holding honorees were not recognized for their work as lawyers.

So which legal eagles soared into the Time 100 this year?

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Paul Bergrin

* New York magazine is on a roll: first the buzz-generating Paper Tigers piece, then the big Anna Nicole Smith story, and now this great profile of Paul Bergrin, “The Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey.” [New York Magazine]

* When Elie read Megan McArdle’s response to his debt story, he screamed, “I said I PAID my federal loans!” I told him the screen couldn’t hear him but he kept right on screaming. [The Atlantic]

* A few highlights from the Sarah Palin email dump. [Wonkette]

* A lap dance might get a rise out of a recipient, but it doesn’t rise to the level of art, according to a New York state appellate court. [Albany Times-Union]

* The new home of Paul Clement — Bancroft PLLC, founded by Viet Dinh — has become D.C.’s “it” firm with respect to conservative causes. Where does it get its name? [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]

* Speaking of the former Solicitor General, here’s his substantive defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (via Chris Geidner). Check it out — there’s a link to his brief — and see what you think. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* Speaking of gay marriage, here’s an interesting legal issue, involving foster care and adoption, same-sex couples, and religious freedom. [Peoria Journal Star]

* An update on Aaron Biber, prominent law firm partner turned convicted pedophile. [Minnesota Lawyer]

I think it’s important for lawyers on the other side of the political divide from Paul, who’s a very fine lawyer, to reaffirm what Paul wrote [in his resignation letter from King & Spalding]. Paul is entirely correct that our adversary system depends on vigorous advocates being willing to take on even very unpopular positions. Having undertaken to defend DOMA, he’s acting in the highest professional and ethical traditions in continuing to represent a client to whom he had committed in this very charged matter.

Seth Waxman, former U.S. Solicitor General (under President Clinton) and current WilmerHale partner, commenting to Washingtonian magazine on the decision of fellow former S.G. Paul Clement to resign from King & Spalding and join Bancroft PLLC. At Bancroft, the D.C. boutique law firm founded by former Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh, Clement will continue to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives in its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Paul Clement (left) and John Boehner (right)

The leading law firm of King & Spalding, which came under fire from LGBT rights groups after its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) became public last week, has moved to withdraw from the litigation. The firm cited problems with the vetting process applied to the engagement.

And Paul Clement, the former U.S. Solicitor General and King & Spalding partner who was going to spearhead the DOMA defense, is now a former K&S partner. He resigned from K&S this morning, in response to the firm’s withdrawal decision. Clement will continue his representation of the House of Representatives in DOMA litigation from his new home, Bancroft PLLC, the high-powered D.C. boutique founded by a fellow alum of the Bush Department of Justice, Georgetown law professor Viet Dinh.

UPDATE (12:20 PM): We reached out for comment to Professor Dinh, who said: “Paul wins the biggest cases and Bancroft solves the most complex problems. This is a no brainer. We will continue to do what Paul and I love doing most, which is to serve the best interests of our clients.”

Let’s take a look at King & Spalding’s stated justification for dropping the DOMA representation, and at Paul Clement’s resignation letter….

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viet dinh.jpgSome of you think that we list a bit too much to the right around here — that we rave about prominent legal conservatives, while mocking the liberals. We’ve heard your complaints.
For the record, we regularly poke fun at conservatives, while raving about liberals. In terms of garnering raves, as long as you’re a Supreme Court clerk, you’re generally golden.
But in a deliberate effort to be even more balanced, we’ll now provide you with an alternative viewpoint on Professor Viet Dinh, of Georgetown Law. Dinh is a leading legal conservative, a former Bush Administration official and Federalist Society celebrity, who has been previously praised in these pages (for his genius, connections, wealth, and svelteness, among other things).
Here is what one reader, who once interviewed for a job with Professor Dinh, had to say about him:

Upon meeting [Viet Dinh] and spending a few minutes with him, I graciously declined to have anything to do with the man. Please, please, don’t pump this guy up anymore.

I have been a card carrying member of the Federalist Society since my first year of law school. [Dinh] may be brilliant, but he is so consumed with his own greatness that he is abhorrent to be around. He name drops, interrupts, questions everything you say, and condescends to you. Also, he stutters profusely.

Sounds pretty bad, eh? But it gets worse:

For a man who hails from Vietnam and California, he should know that is offensive to wear cowboy boots, a Rolex, and a French-cuffed shirt, while wearing jeans.

The horror, the horror! As far as we’re concerned, that disastrous fashion combination should preclude Dinh from being Senate-confirmed to any post. Ever.
Viet D. Dinh bio [Georgetown Law School]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Viet Dinh (scroll down)

viet dinh.jpgRemember Professor Viet Dinh? If not, here’s what we previously wrote about him:

Dinh represents venture capitalist god Thomas Perkins, in Perkins’s (rather tense) dealings with HP’s board and lawyers [concerning the HP spying controversy].

Dinh, for those of you visiting from other planets, is one of the highest-flying legal eagles in the country. He’s a former high-ranking official at the Justice Department, current professor at Georgetown Law, and former Supreme Court clerk (to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor).

The American Lawyer recently published an interesting article about the HP controversy and the troubles it has caused for Larry Sonsini, one of Silicon Valley’s top lawyers. We haven’t had the chance to read it closely; but one of you highlighted this little tidbit:

Over a Washington, D.C., lunch in which Dinh quickly downed three glasses of wine, three orders of oysters and a seafood gumbo, the former government lawyer recalled he was startled when [Thomas] Perkins first told him about the leaks investigation.

Well! It seems that the super-cuddly professor has quite an appetite.
Perhaps Professor Dinh is still haunted by his childhood as a refugee from war-torn Vietnam? Relax, Viet — everything is all right. You are a millionaire, and you don’t need to worry about where your next meal is coming from. (And if you run out of food late one night, you can always eat the prestige of that SCOTUS clerkship.)
Our question to Professor Dinh: Given your voracious appetite, how do you stay so slim?
Where Will the Troubles End for Sonsini and HP? [The American Lawyer]
Hewlett-Packard Lawyer Dinh Gives Washington the ‘Viet-Spin’ [New York Observer]
Earlier: Viet Dinh: Still As Cuddly As Ever

erisa beauty queen.jpg* Our first annual ERISA Hotties Contest is over, and America’s hottest pension and employee benefit lawyers have been crowned. Some other great candidates were passed over; but hey, not everyone can win.
* The new season of Survivor: an exotic Cook Islands setting, interracial conflict — and hot Asian lawyers.
* Practice pointer: When preparing a witness for a deposition, advise him not to drop the F-bomb.
* Wachtell Lipton just doled out midyear bonuses to its lucky (and hard-working) associates.
* Summer associates: still as wild and crazy as ever. And occasionally moronic, too.
* Law firm nicknames: Is your firm on the list?
* Sorry, right-wing gunners: Justice Scalia is done hiring his clerks for October Term 2007.
* Viet Dinh, the Georgetown law prof and former OLP kingpin advising VC god Thomas Perkins in L’Affaire HP, really loves hugs — and nice real estate.
* Outstanding discovery requests: Fashion Victims, Internal Memos, Legal Celebrity Sightings, Skaddenfreude.

viet dinh.jpgThe recent HP leak investigation scandal has drawn into the spotlight a legal celebrity of the first rank: Viet Dinh. Dinh represents venture capitalist god Thomas Perkins, in Perkins’s (rather tense) dealings with HP’s board and lawyers.
Dinh, for those of you visiting from other planets, is one of the highest-flying legal eagles in the country. He’s a former high-ranking official at the Justice Department, current professor at Georgetown Law, and former Supreme Court clerk (to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor).
Despite his platinum-plated résumé, Dinh is a grabby l’il guy. Here’s the lede of Anna Schneider-Mayerson’s very interesting profile of Dinh, in the New York Observer:

On the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Viet Dinh, one of the lead architects of the controversial Patriot Act, was standing in his Washington, D.C., office, waxing poetic about Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

“Justice O’Connor, I love her so much,” the 38-year-old law professor said. “I love her so much. She’s the best.”

As if to return the compliment, her image, in the form of a photo portrait signed to her former clerk “with respect and affection,” smiled back at him.

Hugs all around!

The effusive Dinh is, according to Schneider-Mayerson, “an avid and nonpartisan hugger.” As he readily admits, “I always hug [conservative lawyer] Ted Olson and [ACLU executive director] Anthony Romero,” he said.
Does this surprise us? Not in the least. Learn why, after the jump.

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