Political Lawyers

Political Lawyers

For a top notch lawyer, patrick oxford of bracewell & patterson is doing his level-fine to persuade me he’s clark kent. We meet in his huge corner workplace on the thirtieth ground of the pennzoil location constructing in downtown houston. A public relations manager takes me to his secretary, who takes me to him. He’s dressed legal professional-informal — tie but no jacket — with slicked-back salt-and-pepper hair, a genially competitive way and a deep, oversized texas voice. One wall of his office juxtaposes two contradictory framed images: a far-younger oxford crossing the finish line on the the big apple metropolis marathon, and a long-distance walking poster that reads “there may be no end line.” oxford offers it an ironic, self-deprecating remark — “poetic, isn’t it?” — before brushing off it. The adjacent wall is more applicable anyway, retaining, as it does, evidence of enough felony and political connections to make a lobbyist blush. There are signed, framed photos of texas lawyer popular greg abbott; u. S. Senators john cornyn and kay bailey hutchison; former speaker of the house newt gingrich; alberto gonzalez, felony counsel to president george w. Bush; karl rove, senior adviser to president bush; and president bush himself, who, in his signed remarks, continually addresses patrick oxford with the presidential nickname “oxy.” yet whilst we take a seat down within the reception location of his law office to speak, extremely good lawyer isn’t around. As a substitute, it’s simply this moderate-mannered man. “i want to cut price any mind you would possibly have that you’re talking to a big cheese,” he insists. “i’m no longer. I’m a foot soldier ... And, sincere, now not an essential political man.” nicely, he's a “pioneer,” isn’t he? He did improve extra than $one hundred,000 for george w. Bush’s 2000 presidential marketing campaign, didn’t he? “it seems like a massive deal,” he says, “but it’s virtually not. A thousand greenbacks a pop — when you have a massive event, you can get there pretty effortlessly.” how approximately the 2000 florida recount? Didn’t the bush group send him to florida to head up its efforts in broward county? Wasn’t he there for a month working on criminal and political strategies that helped determine the forty third president of the united states? “we simply organized it,” he says with a shrug. “it became form of a circus.” twice he apologizes for his lack of humility. Each instances he’s speakme approximately his regulation firm. “we do a number of strength work,” he says, “and — forgive the shortage of humility — but we do it quite well.” quite properly. Loss of humility forgiven. He’s now not huge on battle testimonies from the marketing campaign trail or the nittygritty of his political work. While he leans forward conspiratorially it’s usually to percentage records that isn’t very beneficial — including “karl rove is a notable man.” however, he opens up expansively whilst talking about being managing associate at bracewell & patterson, or his paintings with the college of texas gadget board of regents from 1997 to 2003, or a number of the colourful political characters he’s met in his lifetime (john tower, ken towery). But typical he seems to be lacking that gab gene commonplace to maximum criminal and political people. He simply appears uncomfortable talking about himself. Fortunately, his buddies and colleagues aren’t as reticent. “he’s low-keying his connections,” u. S. Senator kay bailey hutchison assures me, before waxing rhapsodic on oxford’s efforts as kingdom chairman of her closing two senate campaigns, and as godfather to her adopted 3-yr-antique daughter. “pat has a number of the nice people talents i understand,” says gene godley of bracewell & patterson’s d. C. Office. “he can length up humans — decide them, evaluate them — and albeit persuade them of his point of view. And he’s an fantastic recruiter.” among his recruits is marc racicot, former governor of montana and cutting-edge chairman of the bush-cheney re-election committee. Racicot joined the company in 2001 because he liked its tradition and direction. He liked the two-day interview system, in which, both face-to-face or via videoconferencing, he met maximum of the hundred-plus companions inside the firm. He sees oxford as the personification of this culture. Indeed, if part of a managing partner’s task is to make sure all and sundry’s on the identical page, oxford has executed his work properly. Nearly all of the companions use the equal phrases to explain bracewell: collegial, pushed, far-sighted, patron-centered. Jennifer jacobs, a 17-yr veteran, describes the company’s 3-pronged technique in language just like oxford’s: “relationships with our clients, vision and course of the firm, and relationships with the companions.” “bracewell is sort of just like the montreal expos,” oxford says, employing one in all his frequent baseball metaphors. “we’re within the bigs, however we’re undermanned. We’re new to the bigs. We’ve come alongside, grown, and now we find ourselves competing with a lot of these high-quality firms, and we’re sticking with the fundamentals.” while it’s mentioned that the expos are the worst group inside the primary leagues this season, he laughs, and adroitly extends the metaphor. “right. But whoever our vladimir guerrero is” — the expos’ longtime slugger who these days signed with any other crew — “he’s no longer going to signal with somebody else. Because he likes what he’s doing.” five years ago bracewell employed 244 lawyers; now it’s up to 369. The american attorney these days ranked bracewell first in the kingdom in terms of mid-degree companion pride. Minority law magazine currently ranked it the no. 1 firm in houston — and no. Four in texas — in phrases of minority hiring. “he has taken a prime firm,” senator hutchison says, “and actually made it grow. He's continually in the middle of ensuring it stays on pinnacle of the game.” slowly, through many interviews, a portrait of oxford emerges. Crew leader. Consensus builder. Dr. John mendelsohn, president of the m. D. Anderson cancer center, of which oxford is a board member, describes oxford recruiting allies, networking, transferring ideas forward. “you’re in a difficult assembly and things don’t appear to be going mainly nicely,” he says, “and pat will arise to you on the quit of the assembly, positioned his arm around you, and say, ‘john, we’ll make it appear. Don’t you fear.’” “he has self belief in himself and that’s a effective characteristic,” says senior presidential adviser karl rove. “he’s assured sharing credit score, and stating humans who've a great idea and heralding it. He’s comfortable pronouncing, ‘i don’t understand. Allow’s ask someone whose judgment i believe who i suppose knows more than i do.’ and that’s rare. Especially while you get to the rarefied levels of the legal community in which he lives.” all of these qualities got here in accessible for the duration of oxford’s intersection with capital-h history. Within the 2000 presidential election, the state of florida became declared for al gore, after which george w. Bush, after which … ? No one knew. Joe allbaugh, bush’s campaign manager, requested oxford to journey to florida to maintain an eye fixed on things. He determined staffs in disaster. He helped prepare method each statewide and in broward county. What requirements were being implemented in each county? Had been they the equal? Shouldn’t they be? Become a pause mark or pregnant chad indicative of vote casting motive? Changed into a hanging chad? He prepared, endorsed, stored egos in take a look at and spirits up. “i’ve seen floridians who were concerned inside the manner,” remembers rove, “who walked away from the 36 days in hell with a wonderful deal of affection and admiration for pat for the way he became able to navigate this very tough state of affairs.” william scherer, a broward county lawyer and republican strength dealer, become one of those floridians. “i accept as true with pat oxford made certain that then-governor bush, now president bush, diagnosed how hard we have been running for him down here. He should have taken all the credit for himself — and he deserved it, because he did lots — however i think he permit or not it's known the form of work we have been doing, and how hard we have been working, and i’m all the time grateful for that. And that’s a real leader.”