Law Practice

Giuliani 'Stepping Back' as Practitioner

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Rudolph Giuliani’s decision two years ago to become a partner in the Manhattan office of a Houston, Texas, law firm at a point in life when many practitioners are retiring was about more than just a lust to practice law.

It was, in all likelihood, at least partially a political decision tied to the former New York City mayor’s plans to run for president of the United States, according to American Lawyer. But now the political spotlight cast on Giuliani, 63, is creating some discomfort at Bracewell & Patterson, the publication says. The 332-lawyer firm’s work for energy companies has been scrutinized, and it has had to focus on special issues, such as Federal Election Commission penalties that would apply if Giuliani’s compensation could be considered a campaign contribution.

Now the firm’s managing partner says Giuliani will soon be “stepping back,” due in part to a desire to avoid further “cavity searches,” as Patrick Oxford characterizes the effects of the campaign spotlight on all concerned, American Lawyer reports. “As he becomes more involved in his campaign, public appearances on behalf of the firm can be misunderstood,” Oxford says, noting that Giuliani remains a partner.

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