W. Todd Holleman has been appointed managing partner of King & Spalding’s Charlotte, NC, office. Mr. Holleman, a partner in the firm’s finance practice, has been resident in the firm’s Charlotte office since it opened in 2007. He represents financial institutions and funds, energy companies, private equity sponsors and project developers – and has particular expertise in leveraged acquisition finance and energy and commercial real estate finance.
King & Spalding’s Charlotte office has grown to 28 lawyers, including 12 partners, and provides legal services primarily in the areas of finance, litigation, private equity, corporate and real estate. Among recent major deals and cases by partners in the Charlotte office are a $1 billion credit facility provided by Wells Fargo Bank to Puget Sound Energy, the $335 million sale of TMW Systems, a patent infringement victory for McKesson and a string of wins in “Engle” tobacco cases.
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Gary D. Anderson has joined King & Spalding as a partner in the business litigation practice of its Washington, DC, office.
Mr. Anderson has more than 15 years’ experience representing clients in a variety of complex commercial litigation and white-collar matters. Notable among these matters is a successful resolution he obtained for Honeywell International Inc. in a significant claim involving Boston’s “Big Dig” project, and his representation of Aon Corporation in a highly publicized investigation by the New York attorney general’s office into the insurance brokerage industry and the industry’s placement practices.
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In an expansion of its nationally recognized environmental litigation practice, King & Spalding has recruited Adam G. Sowatzka as a partner in its Atlanta office. Mr. Sowatzka, a specialist in environmental regulation and a former federal regulator, rejoins King & Spalding from Baker Donelson, where he was a shareholder.
Mr. Sowatzka advises clients on environmental risks and liabilities associated with regulatory compliance, corporate transactions and sustainable development. He also assists clients in the defense of administrative, civil and criminal proceedings involving permitting and environmental enforcement matters at the federal and state level, especially issues related to wastewater and storm water. Previously, he was an associate regional counsel at the EPA and served as chair of the environmental law section of the Georgia State Bar.
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On February 19, 2013, Jeffrey Bucholtz presented oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in Millbrook v. United States in support of the judgment below. Bucholtz was appointed as amicus curiae by the U.S. Supreme Court to brief and argue the case, pro bono, when the government changed its position and informed the Court that it would not defend the judgment it had won in the lower court.
In Millbrook, the Court is considering the circumstances under which the United States can be sued for money damages for intentional torts committed by federal prison guards. The specific issue on which the Court granted certiorari is “whether 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1346(b) and 2680(h) waive the sovereign immunity of the United States for the intentional torts of prison guards when they are acting within the scope of their employment but are not exercising authority to ‘execute searches, to seize evidence, or to make arrests for violations of Federal law.’”
Petitioner Kim Millbrook, an inmate in a federal penitentiary, filed a complaint against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) alleging that he was sexually abused by prison guards. The FTCA waives the United States’ sovereign immunity from tort liability for the conduct of federal employees under certain circumstances. For intentional torts, however, the FTCA generally preserves the government’s immunity, but with an important exception known as “the law enforcement proviso” that permits suit for certain intentional torts committed by federal law enforcement officers. The key issue in Millbrook is the interpretation of the law enforcement proviso. The district court granted the government’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the law enforcement proviso did not permit claims such as Millbrook’s, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed. After the Supreme Court granted certiorari, the government changed its position and announced that it would not defend the Third Circuit’s judgment.
This case is significant for multiple reasons, according to Mr. Bucholtz. Apart from the case’s direct impact on whether there will be a remedy against the United States for certain types of intentional tort claims, the case has broader significance because what is at stake is the analysis that the Court will apply to ensure that lawsuits seeking money from the federal treasury will be allowed to go forward when, but only when, Congress intended to allow such suits. In addition, the government’s change in position makes this an unusual case. The government owes a duty to the taxpayers to make all reasonable arguments in defense of FTCA cases, but the government owes a duty to the Court not to make unreasonable arguments and to confess error when a judgment in its favor simply cannot be defended. It now falls to the Court to evaluate the merits of the government’s old position, reflected in the judgment below and defended by Mr. Bucholtz, and the government’s new position.
Mr. Bucholtz is a partner in the National Appellate Practice in King & Spalding’s Washington, DC office and a member of the firm’s Business Litigation Team. He frequently represents clients in the Supreme Court and the federal and state appellate courts as well as on important legal issues in trial court litigation and government investigations. He has argued over 25 appeals spanning most of the federal circuits and involving subject areas ranging from the False Claims Act to FDA regulatory issues to product liability to national security. Before rejoining King & Spalding in 2009, Mr. Bucholtz served more than six years in leadership positions in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, including six months as acting assistant attorney general.