Ex-FEC Chairman McGahn Rejoins Patton: Business of Law

Donald F. McGahn, the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, will rejoin Patton Boggs LLP as partner in the political and election law group.

McGahn was at the FEC for five years. He was the agency’s chairman during the 2008 election cycle and its vice chairman in 2013, the firm said. He previously was general counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington. He was at Patton Boggs from 1995 until 1999.

“He is an extraordinarily talented attorney whose experience as an FEC chairman and commissioner provide him with a deep understanding of the evolving complexities of the laws that govern our nation’s elections,” Edward J. Newberry, managing partner of Patton Boggs, said in a statement.

At Patton Boggs, he joins Benjamin L. Ginsberg, who was national counsel to President George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 election campaigns and Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and William J. McGinley, former counsel to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“I am eager to put my years of experience at the FEC and representing politicians and others political participants to work on the cutting edge issues in election law today,” McGahn said in a statement.

Baker Botts Partner Named Deputy Director of FTC Bureau

Stephen Weissman, an antitrust and competition practice partner in Baker Botts LLP’s Washington office, was named deputy director for the Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of competition.

Weissman, who will start Oct. 7, will work with the bureau director, Deborah Feinstein, FTC commissioners and others in managing the antitrust review of mergers and acquisitions and in investigating other business practices affecting U.S. consumers, the firm said.

“This is an endorsement of the high-quality antitrust lawyers we have at Baker Botts and a testament to the depth of our antitrust team,” managing partner Andrew Baker said in a statement.

Baker Botts has about 700 lawyers at 15 offices in the U.S., Europe, China and the Middle East.

Amazon Senior Corporate Counsel Joins Goodwin Procter

Goodwin Procter LLP said Jared G. Jensen joined the firm’s San Francisco office as a partner in its private-equity practice. He was previously senior corporate counsel at Amazon.com Inc.

At Goodwin, Jensen will represent private-equity firms, companies and management teams in leveraged buyout, equity and merger and acquisition transactions, the firm said.

“Jared’s private-equity market knowledge and insight, coupled with his experience in taking technology companies private, make him an exceptional addition to our team,” John LeClaire, chairman of Goodwin’s private-equity practice, said in a statement.

Goodwin has lawyers at nine offices in the U.S., London and Hong Kong.

Five Technology, Media and Telecom Lawyers Join Sutherland

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP expanded its technology, media and telecom practices with the hiring of five Washington attorneys, including three partners from Dow Lohnes LLP.

William S. Dudzinsky Jr., Michael A. Hepburn and Paul R. Lang are joining as partners along with two other lawyers.

Dudzinsky concentrates his practice on corporate transactions within the technology, media and telecommunications industries. Hepburn counsels public and private companies, nonprofit organizations and individuals on compensation, employment and benefits issues. Lang handles matters relating to the employment relationship focusing on employee benefits and executive compensation.

“These lawyers enhance our tax and benefits services while expanding our range of industry service across all facets of transactional work, employment law and litigation,” W. Mark Smith, head of Sutherland’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice, said in a statement.

Sutherland has lawyers at six U.S. offices and a London site.

Anderson Kill Adds Four Partners to Philadelphia Office

Four partners and one associate from Deeb Blum Murphy Frishberg & Markovich PC are joining Anderson Kill & Olick PC’s Philadelphia office Oct. 1. The attorneys have experience in litigation, transactional and estate and tax counsel.

Peter J. Deeb is a trial attorney representing clients in commercial litigation, employment litigation and tort defense. Deeb also counsels clients in the review and revision of employment agreements, portfolio purchase agreements, program agreements and master lease agreements.

Stephen H. Frishberg concentrates his practice on estate planning and administration, corporate, real estate and tax planning.

Inez M. Markovich focuses her practice in business reorganization and bankruptcy, commercial finance transactions, debt restructuring, creditors’ rights and financial services regulation. She has also represented secured and unsecured creditors in bankruptcy matters.

Frank G. Murphy represents businesses in transactional matters as well as in commercial litigation. His transactional practice includes the negotiation and documentation of loan deals, leases and real estate matters. His municipal representation covers land development as well as general transactional and litigation matters.

Firm News

Shearman Announces ‘Best Friends’ Agreement with Italian Firm

Shearman & Sterling LLP and Italian firm Tremonti Vitali Romagnoli Piccardi e Associati announced a cooperation agreement to advise Italian and international clients on tax matters.

The Italian firm, founded by tax lawyer Giulio Tremonti, has about 50 professionals in offices in Milan and Rome, according to the firm website.

“This agreement originates from the numerous and high-profile transactions in which we worked side by side and from the professional respect between Shearman & Sterling and Tremonti Vitali Romagnoli Piccardi e Associati that arose as a result of our close cooperation,” Domenico Fanuele, managing partner of Shearman & Sterling in Italy, said in a statement.

“Although both firms will retain their complete independence, this alliance will form a platform to combine Shearman & Sterling’s extensive legal expertise, in Italy and internationally, with Tremonti Vitali Romagnoli Piccardi e Associati’s top-notch Italian tax capabilities.”

The firm established its presence in Italy in 2002 with the opening of the Rome office. In January 2010, the firm opened a second office in Milan.

News

N.J. Judge’s Comedian Job No Laughing Matter, Court Rules

Vincenzo A. Sicari may get laughs on stage from self-deprecating jokes about his sex life and his Italian family, but the New Jersey Supreme Court isn’t amused.

Sicari, a municipal judge in South Hackensack, can’t continue with his part-time job as a comedian and reality show star because the side gig demeans his judicial post, the seven-judge panel ruled yesterday, affirming a review board’s decision.

His moonlighting career isn’t compatible with the code of conduct for judges, even those who sit on the bench part-time, the panel said.

“The focus of his comedy and his decision to participate in a pseudo-reality television show in situations that demean, ridicule, or embarrass others based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical characteristic are simply not consistent with the high standards of conduct expected of a judge,” the court said.

Sicari, who performs under the name Vince August, was appointed to the $13,000-a-year judicial post in January 2008, 11 years after he began his stand-up routine at a New York City comedy club, according to court documents. Sicari told the Bergen Record in a June 2007 interview that he refuses to make fun of lawyers or the law, according to court records.

The Advisory Committee on Extrajudicial Activities didn’t see the humor in jokes that focused mostly on his Italian-American heritage and sexual experiences. The committee concluded in May 2010 that Sicari’s second career couldn’t be entertained and neither could his appearance on the television reality show “What Would You Do?

The Supreme Court agreed, saying that the possibility existed for people to associate Judge Sicari with Vince August.

“Once a person makes that association, the concern is whether an ordinary member of the public can divorce the comedy routine or the roles played by Vince August from Judge Sicari,” the court said in its ruling.

Sicari didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is In the Matter of Advisory Letter No. 3-11 and Opinion of No. 12-08 of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Extrajudicial Activities (A-23-10/A-26-11)

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Amon in Brooklyn, New York, at eamon2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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