Asa Hutchinson, Former Arkansas Congressman and First Under Secretary for Department of Homeland Security, Returns to Venable

Former U.S. Attorney and head of Drug Enforcement rejoins to work on

corporate and congressional investigations and return to the courtroom

Jan 05, 2007, 00:00 ET from Venable LLP

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Venable LLP announced that Asa
 Hutchinson, former Arkansas Congressman and the Department of Homeland
 Security's first Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security, is
 rejoining the firm as a partner in the Washington office.
     Mr. Hutchinson, who served on the House Judiciary Committee during his
 three terms in Congress, will add depth to Venable's well-regarded
 investigations and litigation practices. A key factor in the return of Mr.
 Hutchinson, a former U.S. Attorney with more than 100 jury trials under his
 belt, was the opportunity to return to the courtroom.
     "Every trial attorney loves the thrill of arguing his client's case in
 the courtroom," Hutchinson said. "Venable's robust litigation practice will
 give me the opportunity to once again exercise my litigation skills in a
 variety of venues."
     Mr. Hutchinson joins the long list of distinguished former federal
 prosecutors currently serving in Venable's litigation and investigations
 practices, including former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti. In
 1982, Mr. Hutchinson became the youngest U.S. Attorney in the nation when
 President Reagan appointed him U.S. Attorney for the Western District of
     "It is a great pleasure to welcome Asa Hutchinson back to Venable,"
 said Venable Managing Partner Karl A. Racine. "Few, if any, lawyers in
 America possess Asa's combination of significant litigation, top law
 enforcement credentials, legislative, and executive branch experience.
 Asa's talents and judgment will be of immense benefit to our clients. We
 are particularly pleased that Asa will focus his practice on litigation,
 internal investigations, and government oversight."
     In addition to his litigation practice, Hutchinson will work with
 Raymond Shepherd III, former chief counsel and staff director of the U.S.
 Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, in Venable's new
 Congressional Investigation Group. The group will advise Venable clients on
 interactions with and responses to Congressional committees responsible for
 oversight and investigations.
     Mr. Racine noted that with the new Democratic Congress set to fully
 exercise its investigatory powers, Mr. Hutchinson is returning at an
 optimal time. "It is likely that the number of Congressional investigations
 will increase in 2007, impacting a wide array of businesses," he said. "Asa
 is well positioned to counsel companies, directors, and senior management
 in all areas of litigation, including civil, investigative, and matters
 that are the subject of Congressional scrutiny."
     Mr. Hutchinson noted the growth of Venable's investigations work as
 well as its recent expansion into the New York and Los Angeles markets as
 factors in his decision to rejoin the firm. "In deciding to go back to the
 practice of law, Venable was clearly my first option. It is a highly
 dynamic firm, with an established national platform and particular
 strengths in litigation, government affairs, and homeland security work
 that fit well with my experience and interests," he said.
     Mr. Hutchinson will divide his time between Venable and his Little
 Rock- based consultancy, The Hutchinson Group, which advises industry,
 technology firms and other clients, largely on border security and homeland
 security issues.
     Prior to first joining Venable in 2005, Mr. Hutchinson served as Under
 Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security. As
 one of the nation's top-ranking Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
 officials serving under Secretary Tom Ridge, he was responsible for more
 than 110,000 federal employees in such agencies as the Transportation
 Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and
 Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Mr.
 Hutchinson was in charge of managing overall security of U.S. borders and
 transportation systems. He also set immigration enforcement policies and
 developed new visa security measures.
     Among the initiatives Mr. Hutchinson led during his tenure were:
 modernizing border inspections through the successful reorganization of
 Customs and Border Protection; advancing new border technology, including
 development of the US-VISIT program -- an historic biometric entry-exit
 system for foreign visitors to the U.S.; and enhancing the security of
 transportation systems through new federal security requirements for the
 aviation, rail and transit sectors, innovative technology pilot programs
 for passenger and baggage screening, and more effective cargo inspections,
 as well as increased information sharing among formerly fragmented
     Venable has established itself as a leader in homeland security legal
 counsel, creating one of the first homeland security practices in 2002,
 shortly after the adoption of legislation creating a national department.
 The firm's Homeland Security Group advises corporations, governments,
 government contractors, and an emerging segment of start-up companies borne
 of the new security regulatory system. In September 2004, the firm authored
 the Homeland Security Deskbook, the first legal handbook examining all
 aspects of the nation's homeland security regime.
     Prior to serving at DHS, Mr. Hutchinson led the U.S. Drug Enforcement
 Agency for two years. He also served three terms in the U.S. House of
 Representatives, where he was a prominent member of the Judiciary and
 Intelligence Committees. He was one of the 13 House managers selected to
 prosecute the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton before Chief
 Justice William H. Rehnquist and the U.S. Senate.
     Mr. Hutchinson earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School
 of Law and his B.S. from Bob Jones University.
     Note: As one of The American Lawyer's top 100 law firms, Venable LLP
 has lawyers practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex
 litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves
 corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients
 throughout the U.S. and internationally from its headquarters in
 Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and
 Virginia. For more information, visit
     Allan Ripp
     Joshua Spivak
     Charles Wilkins