Now that his Rhodes scholar buddy Bill no longer resides in the White House (replaced as he was by anti-scholar Dubya), U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins is planning to take a job with the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson, a Boston-based law firm that represents and its parent, sources say.

Coggins, whose stint as chief federal prosecutor in Dallas gave him depressingly ample experience prosecuting white-collar crimes, is going to establish a criminal practice that focuses on the corporate victims of theft of trade secrets and intellectual property. Tom Melsheimer, a partner at Fish & Richardson, says Coggins also will eventually work on representing alleged criminals, specifically companies sued by the government under the false claims act, for instance.

Got it? When you take off the white hat, make sure that you wear one in a color that attracts clients who can pay a lot of green.

She will: Since news broke several months ago that Dallas City Councilwoman Laura Miller and her husband, state Rep. Steve Wolens, had purchased property in North Dallas, we here at international Buzz headquarters have been troubled by two questions: Will Miller run again? and Whose city council butt will we have to kiss for tidbits if she doesn't?

Well, don't be expecting mash notes from Buzz anytime soon, council persons. Miller will run again in her Oak Cliff district this May, provided elections actually take place then.

Miller confirmed her plans to us after first telephoning Wolens to see if he had any final thoughts on the matter. She says even if they build a new house outside her district, it wouldn't be finished until after another term is up. Besides, the couple may not even build on the lot they purchased, she says.

"Should I run for office?" "What about district boundaries?" Domestic conversations in the Wolens/Miller household apparently are a bit more sophisticated than those in Buzz's family, whose talks tend toward "It's your turn to clean up the cat puke," and "Are we out of beer?"

"It's confusing because no one knows if we're even going to have a May election," Miller says. Census data needed to draw new political boundaries won't arrive until April, and population shifts from southern to northern Dallas likely will make for some hard decisions over how to maintain ethnic parity on the council. "I just think it's going to be really, really tough for us to redraw those district lines," she says.

It's even conceivable that someone or some group could file suit to delay the May municipal elections until November, after the council redraws the districts, Miller says.

Things could get ugly real fast as coalitions dissolve in the fight over southern seats. Think musical chairs with kindergartners, only all the kiddies have lawyers. Not that we want anything bad to happen. Just something unpleasant. And funny.

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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