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KamberEdelson, the New York-Chicago firm that sues technology companies in class actions and defends former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in civil suits, is splitting up on Jan. 15. New York partner Scott Kamber and Chicago partner Jay Edelson came together two years ago with eight lawyers. Now, friendship still intact they say, Edelson will form Edelson McGuire — with 17 lawyers in Chicago, Los Angeles and Tallahassee, Fla. — and Kamber will create KamberLaw — with eight lawyers in New York and Los Angeles. The firms will continue to represent plaintiffs suing over consumer privacy and disclosure issues and will keep working together on some cases. Edelson McGuire will also offer political and entertainment consulting services. Edelson, 37, said he is styling his firm after the technology companies he has sued, putting a ping pong table in the firm’s Chicago office and only taking “fun” lawsuits. The average age of the new firm’s lawyers is 28. “We’re trying to change what it means to be a law firm,” he said. Edelson McGuire will hang onto the defense of Blagojevich in six lawsuits filed after he was ousted from office last year over alleged corrupt practices. It’s consulting with candidates in 10 mainly national races, giving them perspective on consumer issues such the recent suspension by some banks of home equity lines of credit, Edelson said. It’s also representing legal clients in 15 class actions against banks, including Citibank and Wells Fargo, over the issue. In the entertainment realm, Edelson is giving more than just legal counsel on six television shows and movies. For instance, he’s an executive producer for the upcoming independent movie “Remnants” about nine survivors in rural Texas in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Edelson said his firm is still focused on technology-related class actions too, reaching a $36 million settlement this month in 27 of about 100 cases filed against cell phone companies over unauthorized billing for ring tones and other services. Kamber, 44, is sticking with technology suits, where he said his interest and expertise lies. He expects final settlement next month of a 2008 case against Facebook Inc. over the company’s disclosure of customers’ personal information for marketing.

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