New York State of Mind

Posted May 21, 2008 at 6:53pm

The law firm HoltzmanVogel, which specializes in lobbying and campaign compliance and nonprofit legal issues, is expanding into Yankee territory.

[IMGCAP(1)]The boutique firm has offices in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., but now it’s opening a New York City office and bringing on the former general counsel of the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign, Larry Levy.

The firm represents a variety of trade associations, public relations and lobby firms, and Fortune 500 companies. It’s also done work for, among others, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), former New York Gov. George Pataki and the Republican National Committee.

New lobbying laws and increased scrutiny on nonprofits have helped the law firm’s business, said one of its partners, Alex Vogel, who is also a lobbyist with Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti. His wife, Jill Holtzman Vogel, who is a Virginia state Senator, is the firm’s managing partner.

“The reality is this used to be a fairly provincial concern, with just a few people in Washington who cared about these compliance issues,” Alex Vogel said. “Now, the reality is people all over the country care about this now and have to operate consistently with it, including large companies in New York.”

Levy is a former New York prosecutor, judge and one-time deputy counsel to then-Mayor Giuliani. Levy also coordinated philanthropic efforts after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Closing Time. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) is officially closing his legal expense fund, according to a letter to the House ethics committee last week.

The North Carolina lawmaker opened the fund in 2004 to pay costs related to a defamation lawsuit filed by his 2002 opponent Carolyn Grant (R).

Grant sued over an advertisement that alleged she misused thousands of dollars from her son’s college fund to purchase a car, but she withdrew the lawsuit in 2006. According to the May 12 letter, Miller’s legal fund has no outstanding debt, and did not receive donations or pay any expenses during the first quarter of this year.

— Kate Ackley and Jennifer Yachnin