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Getting the Engagement Letter Right

Speaker(s): Alanna Clair, J. Randolph Evans, Suzanne Y. Badawi
Recorded on: Oct. 14, 2014
PLI Program #: 61186

Randy Evans is the chair of the Financial Institutions practice. He handles high profile, complex litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States for some of the largest companies in the world.

In addition, Mr. Evans served as outside counsel to the Speakers of the 104th-109th Congresses of the United States. He represents former Speakers of the United States House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert and Newt Gingrich, respectively, as well as J.C. Watts, former Representative to the United States House of Representatives from Oklahoma. He also represents several current Members and former Members of Congress, as well as elected officials in Georgia.

Mr. Evans is a frequent lecturer and author on the subjects of professional liability and ethics, government ethics and politics. Among numerous articles and publications published, Randy is the Author of two books, The Practical Guide to Legal Malpractice Prevention (Eighth Ed. 2000) and The Practical Guide to Purchasing Legal Malpractice Insurance (Third Ed. 1999).

Mr. Evans negotiates speaking, broadcast and literary contracts including three New York Times bestsellers for political clients. He also advises clients on corporate governance issues.

Mr. Evans has been named in Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Commercial Litigation and Legal Malpractice Law. Atlanta Magazine has recognized him as a “Georgia Super Lawyer” in the area of Business Litigation. JAMES Magazine has recognized Randy as one of Georgia's Most Influential People.

Corporate Board of Directors

Mr. Evans is chairman of the board of the Newt Gingrich Companies. He is also chairman of the board of the J.C. Watts Companies.

Community/Civic Involvement

Mr. Evans served as Special Master to the Georgia Supreme Court from 1999-2004. He is the longest serving Member of the Georgia Board of Elections. Mr. Evans was former General Counsel to the Georgia Republican Party. He was a member of the 1994-1995 Leadership Atlanta class. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Republican National Lawyers Association.


  • J.D., University of Georgia, magna cum laude, 1983 (Order of the Coif, Order of the Barristers)
  • B.A., West Georgia College, summa cum laude, 1980

  • Georgia
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia


Alanna Clair is an associate in the Washington, DC office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (MLA). She is a member of the Litigation Team,
where her focus is professional liability and law firm defense, commercial litigation, insurance defense, and trademark matters. She has experience in complex litigation, including extensive motions practice, trial preparation and depositions, and appellate briefing.

Alanna writes and lectures regularly on issues of lawyer liability, legal malpractice defense, and ethics. She is the co-author of The Lawyer’s Handbook: Ethics Compliance and Claim Avoidance, a legal treatise published by American Lawyer Media that provides practitioners with tools to ensure attorney compliance with ethics rules while minimizing the risks of legal malpractice claims. Alanna also contributed to the representations that led MLA's insurance department to be named the Insurance Litigation Department of the Year for 2012 by the Daily Report.

In addition to the above, Alanna is committed to pro bono and serving the community. Her pro bono efforts often focus on appellate, criminal, and benefits issues. She has been recognized by the D.C. bar as a member of the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll multiple times, as well as by MLA as a Gold Medallion Recipient for over 100 hours of annual pro bono work (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013) and as a Bronze Medallion Recipient for over 50 hours of annual pro bono work (2012). She was also appointed to the D.C. Bar Foundation’s Young Lawyers Network in 2013 for a two-year term.

A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Alanna was a Notes Editor, a quarterfinalist in the Campbell Moot Court Competition, and an active member of Michigan’s Criminal Appellate Advocacy clinic. As an undergraduate at Wellesley College, Alanna was the President of the national champion Mock Trial team.

Notable Engagements

Professional Liability and Law Firm Defense

  • Key member of team defending $100 million legal malpractice claim against law firm and partner that reached favorable settlement
  • Helped team navigate global settlements and legal issues of first impression among potential claimants against law firm in efforts to avoid high profile litigation
  • Successfully defeated class action certification for claims against law firm
  • Defended law firm and individual partners in response to third party subpoenas related to representation of former clients and resulting conflicts issues
  • Advised on issues of unauthorized practice of law and confidentiality for attorneys with multi-jurisdictional practice
  • Assisted in amicus appellate briefing on issues impacting law firm in-house attorney-client privilege and confidentiality
Commercial Litigation and Insurance
  • Key member of team in two trials of coverage action seeking enforcement of multi-million dollar appraisal award; reached favorable settlement
  • Represented company in defense of Fair Credit & Reporting Act case that reached favorable settlement on eve of trial
  • Key member of team resolving multi-national mediation with favorable result for insurance company
  • Routinely assist insurer in second review of value of claim in order to advise on reasonableness of settlement offer or value of case

  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 2008
  • B.A., Wellesley College, honors in Classical Civilization, 2005
Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • Litigation
    • Appellate
    • Business Disputes / Commercial
    • Insurance Litigation
  • Law Firm Defense and Risk Management
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property & Technology
    • Trademarks


  • Insurance

Civic Activities

  • Capital Pro Bono High Roller Honor Roll, 2013
  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2011 and 2012
  • DC Bar Foundation's Young Lawyers Network, Appointed 2013-2015

Suzanne Badawi is a special counsel in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office.

Areas of Practice

Suzanne Badawi is a litigation attorney who handles cases in state and federal courts throughout California. Her focus is insurance law (bad faith litigation and coverage in both the first- and third-party contexts) and professional liability law (legal malpractice).

Ms. Badawi manages cases from inception of litigation through trial or other disposition. She has achieved successful results in numerous lawsuits involving claims of insurance bad faith, breach of contract, Unfair Competition Law violations, fraud, IIED, NIED, and negligence. Examples of her case achievements are listed under the Experience tab. In addition, she advises insurance companies on coverage issues and policy drafting. Ms. Badawi's approach is to litigate cases successfully and cost effectively, with regular communication, to ensure client objectives are met.

Ms. Badawi is an appointed member of the California State Bar Committee on Professional Liability Insurance, which administers the bar-sponsored lawyers Errors & Omissions insurance program.

Ms. Badawi was selected for Fellowship in the Litigation Counsel of America, Trial Lawyer Honorary Society. The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society whose membership is limited to less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellows are selected based upon effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation.

Ms. Badawi is also a frequent lecturer on legal ethics, professional liability law, and insurance law, in California.


LitigationInsurance Litigation




  • J.D., Syracuse Law School, 1996, cum laude
  • B.A. University of Maryland at College Park, 1993
  • California
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California