Partners

Kamala Harris' husband takes leave of absence from BigLaw firm

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Kamala Harris and Douglas Emhoff

Kamala Harris and Douglas Emhoff in 2017. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Douglas Emhoff, the litigator husband of Sen. Kamala Harris—a Democrat from California and the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee in the 2020 election—has taken a leave of absence from DLA Piper, where he is a partner in the Los Angeles office.

DLA Piper confirmed to the American Lawyer, Law360 and the New York Times that Emhoff is taking the leave. He is transitioning his clients to other lawyers, a spokesman told the American Lawyer.

The New York Times reports that ethical concerns could arise if Emhoff remained at DLA Piper and his wife became vice president. Emhoff represents clients with government interests, which could raise concerns that the clients are receiving special favors in a Joe Biden administration.

Emhoff’s DLA Piper profile says he “represents large domestic and international corporations and some of today’s highest profile individuals and influencers in complex business, real estate and intellectual property litigation disputes.” Before joining DLA Piper in 2017, Emhoff headed Venable’s Los Angeles office, according to Law360.

A USA Today story on Emhoff’s Twitter presence said he practices entertainment and intellectual property law. Emhoff describes himself on Twitter as a “dad, @kamalaharris hubby, lawyer, wannabe golfer, advocate for justice and equality.”

O: The Oprah Magazine listed “eight things to know” about Emhoff, gathered from several other publications. They include:

• Emhoff has two children from a previous marriage who call Harris “Momala.”

• Emhoff and Harris met on a blind date. They were engaged after nearly a year of dating, and got married in a courthouse wedding about four months later.

• Emhoff’s hobbies include golf and fantasy football. One of his teams was named Nirvana, after the ’90s grunge band.

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