Lanny J. Davis served as special counsel to President Clinton from December 1996 until February 1998. In this position, he was a spokesperson for the White House on the campaign finance investigations and other related matters. Prior to his work as special counsel to the president, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm Patton Boggs L.L.P. for eighteen years. He returned to his Patton Boggs partnership in February 1998. He specializes primarily in civil litigation, including antitrust, government and commercial contracts, and data processing contracting and transactions. He is the co-author of a textbook on computer contracting and has lectured throughout the United States and Europe on the subject of civil litigation.
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Davis has been active in national, state, and local politics for almost thirty years. He served three terms (1980-1992) on the Democratic National Committee representing the state of Maryland, and during that period served on the DNC Executive Committee and as chairperson of the Eastern Region Caucus. In 1976, he was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Maryland's eighth congressional district, losing narrowly in the November general election. In Montgomery county, Maryland, he served as chairperson of the Washington Suburban Transit Commission on the Reorganization of Montgomery County Government in 1987-1988. In 1992, he was a delegate and floor manager for then-Governor Bill Clinton.
Davis has written extensively on politics for many years in a variety of publications. He is the author of The Emerging Democratic Majority: Lessons and Legacies from the New Politics (Stein and Day, 1973), a political history of the liberal movements of the 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1990 and 1996, he was a bi-monthly commentator for Maryland politics for WAMU-88.5/FM, a Washington D.C. local affiliate of National Public Radio. During much of 1996, Davis appeared on various network television and radio shows addressing issues and questions relating to the allegations concerning Whitewater and other issues. He did so as a volunteer and long-time supporter of President and Mrs. Clinton.
Davis attended Yale College, where he served as chairperson of the Yale Daily News. He received his B.A. in 1967. He then attended Yale Law School, where he won the Thurman Arnold Moot Court prize. He received his LL.B. in 1970. He came to Washington in 1970 to serve as national youth coordinator for the presidential campaign of Senator Edmund S. Muskie. He worked as an associate at the Washington D.C., law firm of Arnold & Porter from 1972 to 1974 and joined Patton Boggs as an associate in 1975.
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