WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The law firm of Williams & Connolly has confirmed that Brendan Sullivan will soon be hired to represent 18 state attorneys general in the Microsoft antitrust case.
The announcement is expected today from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
Sullivans arrival indicates that states are becoming concerned that the Department of Justice may not take a hard enough line against Microsoft in ongoing settlement talks. The parties have until Nov. 2 to reach an agreement.
If a settlement is reached, the Tunney Act requires a judge --in this case U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly -- to approve it. In this scenario, Sullivan would likely represent the states tougher stance in an effort to alter the outcome.
The states as well as DoJ originally asked for a break up of Microsoft and sweeping behavioral punishments, including opening Microsofts application programming interfaces. The breakup is now off the table and both the states and the Justice department have said they want a punishment that keeps Microsoft from continuing its operating system dominance.
Sullivan is a defense attorney best known for representing Oliver North. His quick intellect and equally deft tongue have made him a leading litigator in the country.
Microsoft has been found to be an illegal monopoly and currently faces remedy hearings in March if a settlement is not reached.