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Clement, Ruemmler and Verrilli Headline Corporate Counsel Institute

March 17, 2014 — On March 13, U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. and former Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger gave participants at the 18th annual Corporate Counsel Institute an insider’s perspective on the SG’s office. The following day, Verrilli was back to participate in a Supreme Court review with former Solicitor General and Adjunct Professor Paul D. Clement.

“It’s great to be back; not only since yesterday, but also since last year,” said Verrilli, whose appearance with Clement is now something of a CCI tradition (they showed up in both 2013 and 2012).

Along with Supreme Court Institute Faculty Director and Professor Steven Goldblatt, Verrilli and Clement gave several hundred attendees a rundown of the Supreme Court cases of interest to the business community. And the pair — who by March usually find themselves on opposing sides in the Supreme Court’s most significant cases, like the Affordable Care Act challenge of 2012 — make a great CLE team.

As the attorneys explained, there are a number of significant cases this term in the patent, copyright, environmental and securities areas. And on March 25, the Court will hear the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, asking whether the owners of a for-profit corporation who object to the contraception-coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act on religious grounds may be exempted from the mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Clement’s firm is among those representing the corporation in that case; Verrilli of course represents the government. And while they couldn’t reveal any secrets, their combined experience led to a knowledgeable discussion. “I’m obviously Hobby Lobby’s counsel … but I’ve also sat where Don’s sat and tried to defend the government in RFRA-type cases,” Clement said.

The Corporate Counsel Institute also featured such alumni as White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler (L’96) and David Gelfand (L’87), deputy assistant attorney general for litigation in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, as well as Judson Starr (L’75), Jim Taronji (L’76), Marcia Wiss (L’69), Kimberly Peretti (L’96) and Thomas F. O’Neil III (L’82).

 “This is the finest program of its kind,” said Dean William M. Treanor. “The Corporate Counsel Institute is very much at the heart of what Georgetown Law is focusing on.”

The Corporate Counsel Institute and other CLE programs are available online for those wishing to pursue CLE credit.  Click here for more information.

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