WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, today announced that U.S. Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) has joined the firm as a Managing Director in the firm's rapidly growing federal government affairs and public policy practice. Cardoza, a former co-chair of the moderate Blue-Dog Coalition, key member of the House Agriculture and Foreign Affairs Committees, and former California State Assemblyman, will utilize his extensive federal and state government experience to advise and strategize with clients on agriculture, energy, foreign affairs and other legislative and regulatory matters. Cardoza will be based in Washington, D.C. but will advise clients facing issues in California and Washington.
Earlier this year Cardoza announced his plan to retire from Congress, where he has represented the 18th District of California since 2002. Cardoza holds a well-deserved reputation as a hard-working moderate with an impressive background that includes service as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture in the 110th and 111th Congresses, and as the ranking member of the Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry in the 112th Congress, where he led the charge to solve the crisis that has plagued dairy producers and the industry in recent years. Cardoza was also a key member of the House Rules Committee, where he was able to play a role in virtually every piece of legislation that went before the House of Representatives.
"A lot of firms were recruiting Dennis, so we are doubly thrilled he will call Manatt home," said James Bonham, chair of the firm's Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy Group. "His expertise with California issues, as well as his deep experience and insight into both federal and state affairs, makes him a terrific resource. Our vertically integrated approach to federal, state, and local government relations in combination with our California heritage made Manatt a natural fit for Congressman Cardoza."
"This is a wonderful fit," said George Kieffer, Chair of Manatt's Government & Regulatory Policy Division and prominent California civic leader. "Dennis is unusually creative and has a proven reputation for getting things done. He's just very special."
Cardoza joins an impressive and growing national government practice at Manatt, with professionals who develop, advocate, and implement integrated business, legal, and government strategies and activities in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, Sacramento, and Albany. Members of the practice have served in leadership positions as United States ambassadors; presidential appointees; senior career federal and state government officials; senior congressional staff; state legislators, leaders, and staff; as well as positions in city and county governments.
"The Manatt connection to government is well known," said Cardoza, "and the firm's high-level advocacy, eminent reputation and strategic client counseling make this transition into the private sector an exciting one. I am pleased to join such a talented team."
Cardoza's arrival follows a number of other high-profile additions to Manatt's Washington office over the past year, including Richard Janis, one of Washington's most well-known and highly regarded white collar criminal defense lawyers with deep experience in congressional investigations and representations; Joel Ario, former director of the Office of Health Insurance Exchanges at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, where he was in charge of implementing the creation of the new health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act; strategist and advocate James Bonham, chair of the firm's Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy Group and a former Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Chief of Staff to Rep. Robert Matsui; and Julie Minerva, who has been listed by Washingtonian Magazine as one of "40 under 40" emerging lobbyists in Washington.
"As we continue to build on our core capabilities and strategically expand our Washington presence, the expansion of Manatt's government bench is a top priority. With his breadth of legislative experience and contacts, Congressman Cardoza is a perfect fit for our thoughtful, bipartisan team. He will bring invaluable strategic counsel to his colleagues and our clients," noted Manatt's Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner William T. Quicksilver, "and we are thrilled to have him at Manatt."
During his five terms in Congress, Cardoza established a reputation as an effective, fiscally responsible legislator who delivered results for the 18th Congressional District. A leading member of the Blue Dog Coalition, Cardoza is known as a coalition builder who deftly brings opposing sides of the issues to the table.
Prior to serving in Congress, Cardoza spent six years in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Rules Committee and helped forge the Moderate Democratic Caucus. A broad group of organizations honored Cardoza as Legislator of the Year for his efforts to cut taxes, help family farms, and promote education and children's safety.
Cardoza earned a B.A. from the University of Maryland and sits on the University of Maryland College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Board of Visitors. He also is a recipient of the UC Merced Chancellor's Medal.
About Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, is one of the nation's leading law firms, with offices strategically located in California (Los Angeles, Orange County, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Sacramento), New York (New York City and Albany) and Washington, D.C. The firm represents a sophisticated client base – including Fortune 500, middle-market and emerging companies – across a range of practice areas and industry sectors. For more information, visit www.manatt.com.
SOURCE Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP