Ehrlich to Help Open Md. Branch of Law Firm
By John Wagner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 22, 2007; B01
Former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) announced yesterday
that he and several former aides are launching the Maryland office of a
North Carolina-based law firm, which will include a public relations
Ehrlich, who lost his reelection bid last year to Martin O'Malley (D),
shared his plans to become a partner with Womble Carlyle Sandridge
& Rice during a series of media interviews at an Annapolis hotel.
Womble Carlyle employs about 550 lawyers in 11 offices, including in
the District and Tysons Corner, with clients in such areas as life
science, health care, manufacturing, transportation and communications.
Ehrlich, who in 2002 became the first Republican in a generation to be
elected governor of Maryland, said his office will serve the firm's
existing clients and seek to expand the practice.
"We want to build the firm here in Maryland, and that's really the
first charge," Ehrlich, 49, said during an interview in which he was
joined by former North Carolina governor James B. Hunt Jr. (D), a
prominent member of the firm.
After the election, Ehrlich said he was interested in going back to
work for a law firm and possibly pursuing activities including radio
appearances and political consulting.
Before serving eight years in Congress, Ehrlich worked for the law firm
of Ober Kaler Grimes and Shriver, including during his tenure as a
Ehrlich said he is bringing three other lawyers with him to Womble
Carlyle: David Hamilton, formerly of Ober Kaler, who served as
Ehrlich's personal attorney in recent years; Edward B. Miller, a former
deputy chief of staff; and J.P. Scholtes, who worked in Ehrlich's legal
Also joining the firm are three former members of Ehrlich's
communications team: Henry Fawell, Greg Massoni and Paul E. Schurick.
In addition to legal matters, the office plans to assist clients with
communications strategies and crisis management.
Ehrlich said that talks began with Womble Carlyle shortly after the
November election and that it is important to him to have the
opportunity to "bring successful people with me who made the state
Ehrlich said there could be additional staffing announcements.
The firm's Maryland office will be near the Baltimore-Washington
International Thurgood Marshall Airport and is expected to open Monday,
Hunt, who served four terms as North Carolina's governor, said
Ehrlich's work to foster economic development in the state would be an
asset to Womble Carlyle's corporate clients.
"He's an economic development governor, as I tried to be in North
Carolina," Hunt said.
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