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Snow and ice shut down law firms on Monday and Tuesday, along with the rest of the city. Several of the big firms maintained skeleton staffs but most smaller firms closed. At Alston & Bird, a receptionist answered the phone on Monday morning but a call to King & Spalding was routed to the firm’s Washington office. Smaller firms shunted calls to their after-hours recordings. On Tuesday, Alston still had a receptionist, and calls to King & Spalding’s Atlanta number were being routed to Washington. The Washington receptionist at K&S said the firm’s Atlanta office hoped to open on Wednesday. Alston’s receptionist also said the firm hoped to open on Wednesday. “We’re taking it day to day,” she said. Sutherland and Kilpatrick Townsend were closed Monday and Tuesday, as were Morris, Manning & Martin and Arnall Golden Gregory. DLA Piper, located, like Alston, in One Atlantic Center, was closed and calls were routed to the firm’s Tampa office. Kilpatrick’s director of public relations, John Page, said lawyers were working from home and that the firm did not want to endanger people’s safety by asking them to come to the office. Alston’s director of operations, Michael G. Stephens, said the firm put up about 10 people in hotels near its Midtown offices on Sunday evening, and they committed to a two-night stay. The office needed to maintain a skeleton staff, Stephens said, since Atlanta is Alston’s headquarters. “We’re a national firm run out of Atlanta. It’s not like closing a branch office,” he said. “The help desk needs to support the firm, whether for people in Dallas or L.A.” Stephens said the Atlanta crew included help desk personnel, secretarial support, IT people and the receptionist. “We’ve done rehearsals for this in the past, but the weather has never been this bad,” he added. Stephens said Alston’s Charlotte office also was closed and that its Raleigh office closed at 2:30 on Monday as the storm headed that way. As at other firms, Alston’s lawyers continued to work remotely via cell phones and the Internet. “Even though the firm is closed, there is a lot of business going on right now. Lawyers are working from home and talking to clients,” said Stephens. He said the corner of West Peachtree and 14th Street, the hub for Midtown law firms, was very quiet. “There is an occasional car driving down the street,” he said. Stephens reported that he’d seen no one in the “mini-me” building, Atlantic Center Plaza, across the street from One Atlantic Center, where his office is located. Troutman Sanders put up four people at a hotel on Sunday near its Midtown location in the Bank of America building. Lawyers with Monday deadlines and staff volunteered to stay there overnight, said the firm’s spokesman, Mark Braykovich. “And they’re staying there again tonight,” said Braykovich on Monday. Freeman Mathis & Gary, located near the Cobb Galleria, was closed on Monday, with people working from home, said the firm’s director of client relations, Patricia O’Toole. The office planned to open at noon on Tuesday but reversed course and stayed closed because people were having too many difficulties getting to the office. O’Toole, who was working remotely, added that a few lawyers had been in the firm’s office on Monday. “You can’t keep them out,” she said. +++++ Troutman Sanders has elected five new partners, including two lawyers in Atlanta: Paul D. Fancher, in the firm’s securities and corporate governance group; and Heather S. Smith in the energy group. The firm’s New York, Raleigh and Richmond offices each gained a new partner as well. +++++ Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice has elected 11 new partners. Three are in Atlanta: Andrew N. Claerbout and Dana E. Stano, both patent prosecutors; and George Kurlyandchik in the finance practice.

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