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N.D. California U.S. Attorney Nominee Has a Wayback Female Predecessor

It was big news when Quinn Emanuel decided to put Kathleen Sullivan's name on the proverbial door (and, quite possibly, an actual door; I haven't been in one of their offices in many years). I, for one, was surprised to discover that Sullivan was the first female name partner at an Am Law 100 firm.

A female U.S. Attorney is, thankfully, not necessarily news. But, I had a definite "Hmm. You don't say!" moment when I read the International Law Grrls' post about the new nominee to head up the Northern District of California's office. As I, and they, said, not such a big whoop that President Obama tapped a woman, Orrick partner Melinda Haag, for the spot.

The local news coverage of the nomination revealed that Haag, if confirmed, would not be the first woman to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in San Francisco. But the eyebrows went up a bit upon discovering when that trail had been blazed. Because it was back in the day when first priority might have been to enforce the Sedition Act.

Yes, the one prior female U.S. Attorney for N.D. Cal. was Annette Abbott Adams, who served from 1918-1920. How 'bout that? She couldn't necessarily vote, but was running an office full of gunners who could send your ass to the Pen for operating a speakeasy. Bravo, Annette, and bravo Woodrow Wilson for the appointment. Raise your hand if you love history.

Posted by Eric Lipman on March 29, 2010 at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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