Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fox To Guard Henhouse

My alma mater, the District of Columbia Office of Bar Counsel, has hired Hamilton P. ("Phil") Fox III as an assistant disciplinary prosecutor. A bar hire is not normally news, but Phil brings a rather unusual background to the position. Among other things, he has served as the Chair of the Board on Professional Responsibility.

As his biography on the Georgetown Law web page indicates, he has had a distinguished career in public service and private practice:

As a member of Sutherland’s Litigation Practice Group, Professor Fox focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense work (trial and appellate) and civil trials and appeals in various courts.  In addition, Professor Fox represents lawyers in the disciplinary process and advises lawyers and law firms on ethical issues and also advises corporations with respect to the implications of the sentencing guidelines and compliance programs applicable to organizations.

Professor Fox received his B.A., with honors, from the University of Virginia and his LL.B. from Yale Law School, where he also was an Article and Book Review Editor for the Yale Law Journal.   He clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for the Honorable Frank M. Coffin and then in the U.S. Supreme Court for Justices Stanley F. Reed and Lewis F. Powell Jr.  Professor Fox spent more than seven years as a federal prosecutor, spending part of his time in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia where he tried approximately 50 jury trials.  He argued approximately 30 appeals in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, including four en banc arguments.

Professor Fox’s appointment with the U.S. Attorney’s Office was interrupted briefly when he worked as an assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.  When he left the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he joined the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.  As the Deputy Chief of that Section, he supervised Strike Forces in six cities as well as the Labor Unit located in Washington.  He also was responsible for approving Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act prosecutions.  Professor Fox left the Department of Justice in 1980 and has practiced in the District of Columbia ever since.

Professor Fox served for 16 months as Associate Special Counsel to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.  In that capacity, he conducted a lengthy investigation into allegations that members of Congress had engaged in misconduct in connection with their supervision of House pages.  Two members of Congress were censured as a result of this investigation.  In January 1989, he was appointed by the Court of Appeals to serve as a member of the Board on Professional Responsibility.

 Professor Fox has served as the Chair of the Legal Ethics Committee for the District of Columbia Bar and General Counsel and Director for the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights.  He is a former member and Chair of the D.C. Circuit’s Committee on Admissions and Grievances and a former Chair of the Board on Professional Responsibility.

I am gratified to see that a lawyer of this quality is willing to devote his energies to this vital public service. (Mike Frisch)

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