Local attorney Nathan Hochman will be sworn in as U.S. assistant attorney general for the tax division this week during a ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.

In his new post, Hochman will oversee all civil and criminal tax enforcement matters such as those involving alleged tax evaders and suspect tax shelters.

"I am looking forward to having the United States as my client again," said Hochman, who was an assistant United States attorney in Los Angeles for seven years before going into private practice. "The opportunity to do public service is very special and to be given a chance to head one of the premiere litigation divisions of the Department of Justice is a true honor."

Hochman served in several different divisions over the course of his tenure as a federal prosecutor, including heading the Los Angeles Disaster Fraud Tax Force created in the aftermath of the Northridge Earthquake. The task force convicted over 70 individuals of defrauding federal disaster assistance programs and recovered over $16 million.

For the past 10 years, Hochman has been an attorney at the Beverly Hills firm Hochman Salkin Rettig Toscher & Perez PC, which was co-founded by his father, Bruce, in 1961.

In private practice, Hochman, 44, has specialized in representing individuals and organizations involved in state and federal criminal investigations and trials. He has also represented clients in tax disputes.

Since being confirmed by the Senate to the Justice Department post last month, Hochman has been handing over active matters to other attorneys at his firm.

"I am surrounded by some of the best tax litigators in the nation, and so it has been easy to assure my clients that they will be in excellent hands," Hochman said.

Hochman was nominated for the tax job by President Bush in November, after earlier being considered by the administration for the open U.S. attorney position in Los Angeles. That job went to Thomas O'Brien, who was chief of the office's criminal division.

While Hochman has moved to Washington to assume his new job, he will be spending many weekends in Los Angeles.

His wife, Vivienne, an attorney at Telepictures Productions, and three young children will remain in Southern California.

"I will be commuting back and forth periodically," Hochman said. "But whatever sacrifice is far outweighed by the unique opportunity I will have with this new position."

Estrich Move

Legal scholar and cable news commentator Susan Estrich has joined the Los Angeles-based law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges LLP as of counsel this month.

Estrich is currently a professor at USC's Gould School of Law as well as a legal and political commentator for Fox News Channel, and will continue in both roles.

She was the first woman to head a national presidential campaign when she served as campaign manager in 1988 for Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. While in law school, Estrich was the first woman to be selected president of Harvard Law Review.

"Susan is a star in every sense of the word," said John Quinn, managing partner of Quinn Emanuel, in a written statement. He has known Estrich since their days as law students at Harvard.

Quinn added, "Not only is she renowned as a highly skilled and effective litigator, she is also well-known in media and legal circles for her credibility and her judgment as well as her legal scholarship."

Estrich's addition hasn't been the only news coming out of Quinn Emanuel in recent weeks. The firm reported gross revenues of $385 million, a 21 percent increase over last year's figure.

With these latest numbers, the 350-attorney Quinn Emanuel vaults into the realm of profits per partner in excess of $3 million. This is a feat usually reserved for a small number of elite New York-based firms.

New Dean

The dean of Loyola Law School, David Burcham, was named provost and executive vice president of Loyola Marymount University earlier this month.

The school has begun a national search for a replacement, but in the interim, Victor Gold, a professor at the school, was named dean and senior vice president.

New Partners

The Los Angeles law firm Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava MacCuish LLP has elected three new partners: Kyle Ostergard, J. Chris Sweeney and Shiraz Tangri. The attorneys practice in a variety of areas including labor and employment, real estate and land use.

"We are delighted that these exemplary attorneys have joined our partnership. (They) represent a broad range of proven legal expertise," said Edward Casey, the firm's managing partner, in a written statement.

Staff reporter Drew Combs can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 228, or dcombs@labusinessjournal.com .

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