For U.S. Department of Homeland Security general counsel nominee Stevan Bunnell, an unabashed patriotism can have its perils in private practice.
Testifying Wednesday at a U.S. Senate hearing on his nomination to serve as the cabinet department's top lawyer, Bunnell said he made a faux pas that could have cost him a client during his first appearance in court as an O'Melveny & Myers lawyer. Bunnell, who joined the firm in 2007 after he stepped down as the criminal division chief at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, said he introduced himself in court on the record as "Steve Bunnell, on behalf of the United States."
"The judge was nice about it, but I was actually lucky not to be fired by my client," said Bunnell, who is now the managing partner of O'Melveny's Washington, D.C., office. "If I'm fortunate enough to be confirmed, one of the things that will mean a lot to me is once again being able to say—accurately—that I'm a lawyer for the United States. There is no better client a lawyer can have."