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JOHN DEAN OFFERS DEEP THOUGHTS ON DEEP THROAT During a speech at a Hastings College of the Law ethics conference recently, Watergate whistle-blower John Dean said there were telltale signs that Deep Throat was a lawyer. “Deep Throat talked like a lawyer,” Dean said. “He used the word ‘corroboration.’” In addition to that damning evidence, Dean also said Deep Throat knew the details of white-collar crime, an analytical skill Dean thinks only a lawyer could possess. Dean served as White House counsel in the Nixon administration and provided crucial testimony in the case against the president. Dean said his investigation into the identity of Deep Throat began in 1982. He described the process of his investigation, including poring over the original manuscript of “All the President’s Men,” which he said is twice the size of the book and includes much more information about Bob Woodward’s infamous confidential source. Dean’s newest book, published as an e-book by Salon.com, does not name Deep Throat, but instead narrows the list down to four names — none of whom is a lawyer. Originally, Dean planned to include a lawyer close to Nixon named Jonathan Rose in his book. But Rose denied he was Deep Throat and threatened Dean with a defamation lawsuit. The four names kept in the book are Pat Buchanan, Ray Price, Ron Ziegler and Steve Bull. Dean’s name has come up often over the years as a candidate for the mysterious informant. “Dean did what he was supposed to do when he warned the president and the White House staff [of their illegal misconduct],” said Terry Francke, general counsel of the California First Amendment Coalition in a panel discussion directly following Dean’s speech. “And he did go only as a last resort to the one agency overseeing the White House — The Washington Post,” Francke said with a laugh. — Jason Dearen QUIET HEROICS The Santa Clara County Bar Association is honoring the Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County and three South Bay attorneys as its 2002 unsung heroes. Santa Clara County Counsel Ann Ravel, criminal defense attorney Steven Nakano and plaintiffs attorney Jessie Serna have been chosen by the bar association’s minority access committee. The trio was recognized Tuesday evening for encouraging minority attorneys and promoting equal access to justice. Ravel was selected as Santa Clara County Counsel in 1998. She was the first woman to head up one of San Jose’s public law offices. Nakano worked for the public defender’s office from 1981 to 1985 before opening a private criminal defense practice in San Jose’s Japantown. Nakano was a founding member of the Santa Clara Asian Pacific Bar Association. Nakano helped start two drug and alcohol treatment programs in the South Bay, including the Amicus House. Serna is a former president of Santa Clara’s La Raza Lawyers and helped organize a recall election to unseat a council member who made racist comments. She has practiced as a solo in San Jose for 20 years handling primarily medical malpractice, personal injury and criminal law. — Shannon Lafferty SWEET VICTORY Many workers throughout California gave a collective cheer last week when Gov. Gray Davis signed the Paid Family Leave Act, which allows employees to take up to six weeks of paid time off to care for a sick family member or to bond with a new child. For Stephanie Bornstein and Joannie Chang, the victory was especially sweet, as the pair has been involved with the first-of-its-kind law since work on it began a couple of years ago. Bornstein and Chang are both attorneys at San Francisco public interest law firms. Their work representing employees over the years had convinced them of a need for a paid family leave law. “One of the major problems with family medical leave laws is that they’re all unpaid,” said Bornstein, a staff attorney at Equal Rights Advocates. “People don’t want to be forced to choose between being able to have income and being with their dying parent.” While a broad coalition of groups helped make the Paid Family Leave Act a reality, Bornstein and Chang, who is the employment and labor director at the Asian Law Caucus, analyzed the interplay of the various laws that would be affected. The law uses the state’s temporary disability insurance program to fund employees who go on leave, a system that other states may now use as a model. “What we tried to do is make it as similar as possible to existing law so that it would be less confusing,” said Chang. The law doesn’t take effect until 2004, but the two attorneys are already savoring the moment, Chang said. “It’s successes like this that really encourage us to keep doing the work that we do.” — Alexei Oreskovic A WOMAN’S PLACE Morrison & Foerster has retained bragging rights as one of the most supportive places for working mothers. The firm made Working Mother magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for the 13th year since the publication launched its rankings in 1986. MoFo and Washington, D.C.’s Arnold & Porter were the only law firms on the list, which appears in the magazine’s October issue. Making the list is a public relations bonanza, but MoFo may be one of the few firms applying for the honor. Working Mother wouldn’t say how many firms applied to be on the list. But several local firms said they hadn’t thrown their hats in the ring, including Fenwick & West, which has made Fortune magazine’s list of the top 100 best places to work for the past four years. Cheri Vaillancour, Fenwick’s chief employment officer, said she had started to respond to the survey when she realized she wouldn’t be able to make the deadline. Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, which also made Fortune’s list this year, also didn’t apply. Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, which submitted an application for the first time this year, was named by the magazine as one of three companies to watch. “I don’t know what makes us that much different [than MoFo] because I think we have similar or competitive benefits for working mothers,” said John Buchanan, Heller’s communications manager. Like MoFo, Heller offers a part-time work schedule for mothers and parental leave for biological and adoptive parents, including lesbian and gay parents. In determining who makes the list, the magazine looks at five criteria: availability of childcare programs, flexible scheduling, leave for new parents, advancement of women and work/life programs, such as elder care. Working Mother spokesperson Meryl Weinsaft said 75 percent of companies on its list of 100 have onsite or near-site child care compared with 6 percent of companies nationwide. In addition, 98 percent provide child care resource and referral services versus 20 percent of companies nationwide. MoFo said it recently introduced a prenatal and lactation program, expanded its backup emergency child care and elder care programs and implemented a paid adoption leave benefit. In its profile of MoFo, the magazine said the firm provides 50 hours annually of in-home emergency child care in California at a cost of a dollar an hour, which can also be used for elder care. It also notes that 59 percent of MoFo’s work force is made up of women, as are more than one-third of its attorneys and a quarter of its executives and board members. — Brenda Sandburg

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