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Lots and lots of lawyers: Legal teams preparing for Franken-Coleman election contest

Lawyers, lawyers. Lotsa lawyers.

Lawyers, lawyers. Lotsa lawyers. The legal work around the Senate recount and election contest is practically an economic stimulus package on its own.

Spokesmen for both Norm Coleman and Al Franken said the exact legal responsibilities for the upcoming election contest trials haven’t been totally determined.

But here’s a quick look at the legal teams . . .

There is a presumption that former state Sen. Fritz Knaak and Tony Trimble, longtime Twin Cities lawyers with Republican ties, will try the case for Coleman, just as they handled the Canvassing Board matters.

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(Trimble, by the way, is so old school we couldn’t find a website for his law firm.)

Also on Coleman’s team is Dorsey & Whitney’s Roger Magnuson and Matt Haapoja, who is part of Trimble’s firm.

A major Republican lawyer from Washington, Bill McGinley, was also a key recount player for Coleman.

The Franken legal army has been more national in scope.

One key player left last week after the Canvassing Board finished the recount. Chris Sauter, a close adviser to the Al Gore recount team in 2000 and a co-author of a Democratic document called the “Recount Primer,” went back to D.C. to teach a course in election law.

Of course, Marc Elias, from Washington, has been Franken’s legal voice and is expected to remain so. He worked for John Kerry’s campaign in 2004. A partner of his, Ezra Reese, helped with the canvassing board efforts, as did Kevin Hamilton, of Seattle, who represented Washington state’s Gov. Christine Gregoire when she won a recount in 2005 by 129 votes.

Among the key local legal minds working closely on the Franken side are his chief counsel David Lillehaug, the former U.S. attorney, and Charles Nauen of Lockridge, Grindal & Nauen. Lillehaug and Nauen grew up together in  Sioux Falls, S.D.

Bill Pentelovitch, argued for Franken before the Supreme Court. In one of the better lines of the recount, the Daily Kos website said that Pentelovitch “sounds like an Intel processor from Eastern Europe.”