IF KELLOGG CEREAL CO. wants aggressive representation before the Federal Trade Commission that's what it is getting from San Francisco trial attorney Frederick Furth.
His manner during a hearing on television advertising aimed at children left attorneys who generally practice before the FTC shaking their heads in wonder as the administrative law judge, Morton Needleman, had to continually order Furth to take his seat.
One exchange went like this:
Judge Needleman: Don't you dare interrupt me.
Mr. Furth: You are interrupting me.
Judge Needleman: Your chance to speak was earlier.
Mr. Furth: I don't have a right to answer the question?
Judge Needleman: Your will take your seat sir.
Mr. Furth: I think you are very impolite for interrupting me.
Judge Needleman: You will take your seat, sir.
Mr. Furth: You are an extremely impolite person for interrupting me, and you are making a big mistake.
"My philosophy is if you are going to be a lawyer you are supposed to represent your clients with vigor," said, Furth, who has a reputation as an aggressive attorney.
He began his work for Kellogg in the children's TV advertising procedure by winning a suit in U.S. court here that got FTC Commission Chairman Michael Pertschuk removed from taking any part in the case on the grounds of predudice.
And Furth made it clear at the beginning of the FTC hearing that he would keep a close watch on Needleman, to make sure he acts in an evenhanded manner.
"Well Mr. Needleman," Furth told the administrative law judge after the first time he was ordered to stop interrupting other attorneys, "like every trial lawyer I consider you the judge on trial, too.
"You are going to have to convince me that . . . the whole Washington syndrome, which is understood in Washington but not by those outside of Washington, hasn't so gotten you into its clutches that you can't run a fair proceeding."
Furth explained yesterday that he believes there is "sort of an old boy network" among lawyers who practice regularly before the FTC and that he's not going to be a part of it.
Kellogg must love his tough stance. Recently the big cereal maker hired Furth to replace the old line New York firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in another FTC case, this one charging that Kellogg and two other manufacturers have a shared monopoly.
"You get large firms representing many clients before a particular agency," Furth said, "and I've always had the feeling that there's some trading off-the firm wins one then the agency wins the next."
He made it clear that's not the way he's going to play.
So many new lawyers were sworn in as members of the D.C. Bar on Friday that no room in the new courthouse was big enough for the ceremony. Instead it was moved to Constitution Hall, where D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Catherine B. Kelly administered the oath to about 900 new lawyers.
Washington attorney Thomas Jackson told a Virginia state bar committee that nonlawyers can do title examinations as well as lawyers and at a lower price. Jackson, of course, represents a client with an interest in nonlawyers getting more title business-the American Land Title Association-but what he said tracks many current criticisms of the legal profession.
He said most of the title work actually is done by clerks and secretaries while the lawyers collect the big fees. "I insist that where the filling out of forms requires no knowledge of law it should not be considered the practice of law," Jackson said.
Jackson said the time to consult a lawyers if before signing a contract to buy a house, not when buying title insurance.
Also in Virginia, the State Bar Council will take up new rules for lawyer advertising at its Roanoke meeting Jan. 19. According to the Virginia Bar News, the new rule-required by a U.S. Supreme Court decision 18 months ago that did away with bans on lawyer advertising-will allow ads as long as they are not false, deceptive and misleading. These are the key requirements of the rules in Washington and Maryland.
But the Virginia committee, headed by Rothwell J. Lillard of Fairfax, has gone even further: it requires lawyers who advertise to limit their practice to a particular field of law.
The final decision is up to the Supreme Court of Virginia.
More revolving doors: Richard S. Solibakke, chairman of the Armed Service Board of Contract Appeals, will join the Washington firm of Sellers, Conner & Cuneo which specializes in-guess what-federal contracts.
"I'll clearly get into a lot of that," said Solibakke. "but nothing that was before this board." That will be difficult because half of all the government contracts end up before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals-an indication of just how much the Pentagon spends. Solibakke said there is still enough Defense Department and civilian agency contracts left to keep his practice busy.
Also moving: Retiring Rep. Paul Rogers (D-Fla.), known as "Mr. Health" for his role in health legislation, announced he is joining the Washington firm of Hogan & Hartson. He also will form an affiliation with his brother Doyle's law firm in Palm Beach-Alley, Maass, Rogers, Lindsey & Chauncy. Rogers, 57, retired after 23 years in Congress.
Short takes: Winfred R. Mundle; former chief counsel of the District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics, has joined the firm of Ellis & mundle . . . Maryland Court of Special Appeals Judge Charles E. Moylan Jr. has been elected to the board of directors of the American Academy of Judicial Education.