(August 4, 2005, New York) –LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Steptoe & Johnson LLP has announced that Michael A. Vatis has joined the Technology Department and Appellate Litigation Practice Groups as counsel. He is resident in the firm’s New York City office, effective immediately.
Mr. Vatis was awarded a J.D. by Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1988, where he was Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Vatis served as a law clerk for US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and for then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude in 1985.
For the past several years, Mr. Vatis has been independently advising businesses, government agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations on counterterrorism, security, intelligence, and privacy issues. From 2003 to 2004, he was the Executive Director of the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, a group of senior business executives, former government officials, technologists, and lawyers that recommended ways in which the government could more effectively use information and technology to combat terrorism while preserving civil liberties. Mr. Vatis managed the group’s activities and was the principal author of the group’s second report. Many of the task force’s recommendations were explicitly adopted by the 9/11 Commission and included in the 2004 Intelligence Reform Act.
From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Vatis served as director of the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College, a national counterterrorism and cyber security research center, and as the founding chairman of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection, a consortium of major universities and non-profit research organizations that developed a national research and development agenda for cyber security and promoted collaboration among researchers in academia and government.
From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Vatis was the founding director of the National Infrastructure Protection Center, an interagency organization responsible for detecting, warning of, and responding to cyber attacks. From 1994 to 1998, he served as associate deputy attorney general and deputy director of the Executive Office for National Security at the Department of Justice, where he was responsible for coordinating the department’s activities in the areas of counterterrorism, counterintelligence, infrastructure protection, and cyber crime. From 1993 to 1994, Mr. Vatis was special counsel at the Department of Defense.
“Michael is universally regarded as one of the most knowledgeable people in the information security field. He adds additional stature and depth to our top notch e-commerce and security capabilities,” said Alfred Mamlet, head of the firm’s Technology Department. “The addition of Michael deepens the firm’s ability to service the full range of our clients‘ technology needs, including e-commerce, counterterrorism, cyber crime, and strategic security issues.”
“My training, experience, and interests could not be better aligned with those of Steptoe’s Technology and Appellate practices,” Mr. Vatis said. “I have known many of the attorneys at Steptoe for nearly 20 years, and have a profound admiration for the people and respect for the work they do. I am excited about this unique opportunity to expand their already strong technology and appellate practices while also helping to grow the New York Steptoe office.”
Roger Warin, chairman of the firm, observed “With Michael joining our firm in New York, we have enhanced our ability to provide one-stop services to our clients who must confront complex technology, security, and e-commerce issues. With the moves we have made in London, Brussels, and New York, Michael’s arrival could not have come at a better time.”
Mr. Vatis’s practice includes advising businesses and other clients on legal matters relating to technology, security, e-commerce, counterterrorism, intelligence, and privacy. He will also represent clients on appeals in federal and state courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
In addition to his legal and consulting work, Mr. Vatis is a frequent speaker, lecturer, and writer on counterterrorism, cyber crime, intelligence, and security issues.