The Work

November 17, 2009 1:54 PM

Williams & Connolly Partner Brokers Palin Book Deal

Posted by Brian Baxter

UPDATE: Nov. 18, 5:27 p.m. A Davis Wright Tremaine partner is calling "cockamamie bullshit" on Sarah Palin's claims in her new book that she helped plaintiffs suing Exxon over a massive 1989 oil spill.

While Sarah Palin touts being a D.C. outsider in her new memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, she turned to a Beltway insider during negotiations with publishers.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Williams & Connolly partner Bob Barnett, no stranger to extracting seven-figure sums from publishers, advised Palin on her literary contract. The former vice presidential candidate reportedly received at least $1.25 million from HarperCollins, which is publishing the book. We gave Bob a buzz about the deal but so far haven't heard back.

Barnett, a well-known D.C. power broker, is the lawyer of choice for the political elite. He's represented both Clintons on their multimillion-dollar book deals, as well as Democratic strategist Howard Wolfson. He also has his fair share of Republican clients, including Dick Cheney, Laura Bush, Karl Rove, and Paul Wolfowitz. (A staunch Republican was also the reason Barnett's notoriously closed firm temporarily dropped its 22-year ban on lateral hires.)

The veteran litigator isn't alone in catering to prominent pols pushing publishers to pay for tomes about their times on the Potomac.

Another accomplished D.C. attorney, Hogan & Hartson's Robert Bennett, formerly of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, has also handled a few book deals in his day. Bennett has even written his own memoir, In the Ring: The Trials of a Washington Lawyer, published by Random House last year.

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