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JUDGE BROKE RULES IN CANDIDATE DONATION Contra Costa County Presiding Judge Garrett Grant violated state ethics rules when he donated $750 to district attorney candidate Robert Kochly, election records show. According to the state’s code of judicial ethics, judges may not give more than $500 to one non-judicial candidate per year. Grant, who has made a series of donations to Kochly during the race, said he did not intend to break the rules. The judge added that he was unaware of the limit when he made the donation. “I thought the maximum was $1,000,” said Grant, whose term as presiding judge ends in January. Kochly’s campaign returned the excess contribution once newspaper reporters brought it to Grant’s attention, the judge said. “If there is a claim [filed with the commission] that contributions are in violation of the canons, then the commission will look into it,” said Victoria Henley, the director and chief counsel for the Commission on Judicial Performance. Citing commission confidentiality rules, Henley said she could not confirm or deny whether a complaint about Grant had been filed. Judges who violate the code can face discipline that ranges from private or public admonishment up to removal from the bench. Henley said she could not remember a complaint about campaign contributions that resulted in any type of public discipline. The incident is part of a string of campaign fund-raising violations that have surfaced during the heated district attorney race between Kochly, who is the chief deputy of the Contra Costa County DA’s office, and Michael Menesini, a San Francisco prosecutor. Earlier, Menesini and Kochly broke county rules that bar candidates from accepting more than $25,000 from political action committees. Although Kochly exceeded the limit by $800, Menesini had collected more than $40,000 from PACS. Both candidates have returned the excess donations. — Jahna Berry EIGHT NEW PARTNERS AT GORDON & REES Gordon & Rees has elevated eight attorneys to partner in the firm’s San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego offices. Stephanie Bradshaw, 35, works in the firm’s employment law practice group in San Francisco. She has represented management and employers in state and federal courts. She earned her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1993. A member of the firm’s insurance practice group in San Francisco, Laura Geist, 32, joined Gordon & Rees in 1996. Geist received her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1995. New partners in San Diego include Eric Young, 51, who works in the real estate group. He earned his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1987. John Sidell, 54, practices real property, corporate, commercial and business law. He earned his law degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1973. Practicing corporate securities, contract, real estate and taxation law, Richard Clampitt, 47, earned his J.D. from Hastings in 1981. Richard Sybert, 50, served as California’s state planning director and the governor’s chief of research from 1991 to 1993. He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1977. In the firm’s Los Angeles office, Marc Hankin, 40, practices intellectual property law. He earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1982. Peter Schwartz, 45, a member of the firm’s insurance group, earned his law degree from Loyola in 1983. — Jason Dearen

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