In the Headlines

Davis Wright Tremaine: Robert Corn-Revere (Communications Law; Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television; First Amendment Law; Litigation – First Amendment; Media Law, 2007) and his fellow attorneys at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights advocacy group based in California, sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the passage of FOSTA. The act, according to Corn-Revere, violates First- and Fifth-Amendment rights in its efforts to stop websites that allegedly facilitate sex trafficking. “Using expansive and undefined terms, FOSTA’s criminal penalties and ruinous civil liability turn entirely on what content and viewpoints online speakers publish, the content and viewpoints that a platform allows to be posted and the editorial policies a platform uses in determining whether to block, modify or remove material created by others,” Corn-Revere wrote in the complaint. 

Katz, Marshall & Banks: Debra Katz (Civil Rights Law; Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2006) was profiled in the Washingtonian for her work as one of D.C.’s most prominent “#MeToo” lawyers. Katz represented a former manager at one of celebrity chef Mike Isabella’s restaurants in one recent high-profile case, but her work in civil rights and defending victims of sexual harassment goes back decades. “It hurts people in such a deep way,” Katz told the Washingtonian of these crimes. “It causes them to question their value, it erodes their self-esteem, and it’s one of the ultimate indignities that people experience in the workplace.”

Latham & Watkins: Gregory G. Garre (Appellate Practice, 2006) represented Florida in a water-dispute case against Georgia that was brought before the Supreme Court. The decades-long legal battle ultimately was decided for Florida. The lack of water flow to Florida’s Apalachicola River gravely impacted its oyster industry—where hundreds of boats once serviced the bay, the number has dwindled to around a dozen. “The Apalachicola region has suffered serious harm,” Garre said in January, according to WUSA 9. “Not only have its oysters been decimated, but really a way of life.”

Perkins Coie: Marc Elias (Criminal Defense – White Collar; Government Relations Practice, 2008) delivered a win for Virginia July 24 when a federal court ruled that gerrymandered districts in the state were organized along racial lines, disenfranchising black voters. Judges gave lawmakers until October 30 to redraw the lines for state house districts. “I hope that before October the Republican legislature takes seriously an obligation to comply with the court’s order and draw districts that are constitutional and protect the rights of all Virginians,” Elias said, as quoted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

Honorable Mention

Outten & Golden: Susan E. Huhta (Employment law – individuals, 2019) was promoted to partner in charge of Outten & Golden’s D.C. office. Huhta, a graduate of Cornell University who previously ran EEO and Public Accommodations Projects at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs, has practiced law for 22 years. 

Arnold & Porter: Rosa J. Evergreen (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2018) was one of two recipients of the Laura N. Rinaldi Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award. Evergreen was recognized at the D.C. Bar’s 2018 Celebration of Leadership. According to the D.C. Bar’s coverage of the evening, “Evergreen was honored for her dedication to pro bono service throughout her career and for being a regular volunteer at the Landlord Tenant Resource Center. In 2017, she helped residents of a property run by a notorious slumlord receive compensation and a guarantee of safe and stable housing.”

ITN Feature

►Journalist’s Records Seized in Federal Investigation 

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld: Mark J. MacDougall (Criminal Defense – White Collar, 2010) represented New York Times journalist Ali Watkins after her phone and email records were seized by the Department of Justice. The records date back to include Watkins’s work at Buzzfeed News and Politico. Watkins—a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist—attracted the DOJ’s interest due to a previous romantic relationship she had with James Wolfe, the former director of security at the Senate Intelligence Committee who was involved in an investigation into the leak of classified information. Watkins denied she used Wolfe as a source and said her editors at Buzzfeed, Politico, and the Times were aware of the relationship. 

The Times conducted a review of Watkins’ work at the paper following the DOJ’s seizure of her records. Further reporting by the paper delved into the beginnings of Watkins’ relationship with the former director of security, noting that a then-22-year-old Watkins received Valentine’s Day cards and a pearl bracelet from Wolfe, then in his fifties. The two became involved after her graduation in 2014. According to the Times, “She would tell Mr. Wolfe, ‘You are not my source,’ and occasionally interrupt him if he started discussing his government work.” Following the investigation, Watkins was reassigned from the Washington Bureau to another beat.

“It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department—through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process,” MacDougall told the Times in a statement.