Lawyer In Charge Of Vetting Sarah Palin Fighting To Keep Day Job

O’Melveny & Myers chairman Arthur Culvahouse was in charge of vetting McCain’s veep Sarah Palin. Not surprisingly, he’s taking a bit of heat.

Maybe the reason Culvahouse waited so long to interview Palin is that he’s distracted: He’s also locked in a high-stakes political battle to keep his chairmanship at O’Melveny.

The good news (for Culvahouse): After the partnership initially favoured a number of other candidates, it looks like Culvahouse will win.  Not sure we can say the same for John McCain. A contested battle for the chairmanship of O’Melveny & Myers may soon end with sitting Chairman Arthur Culvahouse prevailing over four other candidates.

The firm’s election process consists of a survey of the partnership by the firm’s policy committee, which then recommends a candidate to the partnership, which votes whether to confirm the candidate. In recent weeks, that process failed to turn up a clear majority winner according to a former partner and a recruiter.

Both said it is likely that the policy committee will soon, possibly this week, recommend to the partnership that Culvahouse be re-elected. Such recommendations are typically ratified, and they said they expected the partnership would ratify Culvahouse, even though a majority of partners initially supported other candidates.

Those other candidates are former San Francisco Managing Partner Darin Snyder; Los Angeles partner Robert Siegel, the chairman of the adversarial department; Newport Beach, Calif., partner Gary Singer, a co-chairman of the firm’s transactions department; and Washington, D.C., partner John Beisner, chairman of the class actions, mass torts and aggregated litigation practice.

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