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The allure of Washington lingers for Howard Berman

March 15, 2013|By Richard Simon
  • Former Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, pictured here at his campaign headquarters last June, plans to start work at a Washington law firm after losing his seat.
Former Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, pictured here at his campaign headquarters… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

WASHINGTON -- Howard L. Berman, a longtime Los Angeles political fixture, has joined a Washington, D.C., law firm, following his defeat last year to fellow Democrat Brad Sherman in a San Fernando Valley race.

"The appeal of Washington lingers on,’’ the former congressman told The Times.

Berman, who served in the House for 30 years after a decade in Sacramento, will become a senior advisor in Covington & Burling’s global public policy and government affairs practice, the law firm announced.  Berman will be based in the nation’s capital but expects to continue to spend time in Los Angeles.

The former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will advise clients and members of the firm on "a wide range of foreign affairs and domestic policy issues, including tax, intellectual property, defense, entertainment, technology, and immigration,’’ according to the firm.

Berman is following a path taken by many former members of Congress. Former House members are prohibited from lobbying their colleagues for a year. Berman said he expects to spend most of his time, after the one-year cooling off period is up, working as a "strategic advisor.’’

The firm noted that Berman chaired the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the court, Internet and intellectual property, "where he successfully led efforts resulting in major changes to patent law and a range of intellectual property laws affecting the entertainment and high-tech industries.’’ 

Berman joins former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who also was recently hired at Covington & Burling. Berman expects to begin the job April. 1. 

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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