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MOFO JOINS RANKS OF THE ‘TRIVIAL PURSUIT’ ELECT Morrison & Foerster certainly doesn’t have to worry about its branding campaign. The firm’s moniker is so well known that it’s become part of the board game “Trivial Pursuit.” The new edition of the game includes the question: “What four-letter name did the worldwide law firm of Morrison & Foerster enthusiastically adopt for ads?” The answer, as every local lawyer knows, is “MoFo.” The firm learned about its new claim to fame from Denver partner Warren Troupe. He got the news from someone attending a client’s board meeting, who announced that a celebrity was in the room. “We’re amused and pleased to see our firm and nickname having entered the popular culture in this way,” said MoFo Chairman Keith Wetmore. The firm began referring to itself as MoFo in its cable address in the early 1970s. Marshall Small, who was managing partner of Morrison & Foerster at the time, says he approved the nickname, noting that it was similar to previous colloquialisms — like mohofo — for earlier names of the firm. “The issue we had was if we knew it had this other implication,” said Small, now senior counsel. “Some people at the firm claim we didn’t know. But at the time I was aware there was a possible downside to it. “When I approved it,” Small said, “I was motivated by the same spirit as King Edward III when six centuries earlier he adopted the Order of the Garter with the French motto ‘honni soit qui mal y pense’ — which translates as “shame on him who evil thinks.’” In keeping with the telex address, the firm snagged the mofo.com domain name when the Internet came along. The Web address, included in the firm’s radio and print ads, apparently caught the eye of someone involved in producing “Trivial Pursuit.” Hasbro Inc. launched the newest edition of “Trivial Pursuit” in commemoration of the game’s 20th anniversary. Created by a sports editor with the Canadian Press and a photo editor for the Montreal Gazette, the game was introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York City in 1982. That’s the year, by the way, that “Late Night with David Letterman,” USA Today and the TV show “Cheers” launched. It’s also the year “Chariots of Fire” won the Oscar for best film, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series, and the cost of a first-class stamp was 20 cents. Just in case anyone asks. — Brenda Sandburg PROSECUTORS’ PICKS Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante has been left off the California Prosecutors Association dance card. The newly minted political action committee is endorsing virtually a straight Democratic ticket for the statewide races in the November election except for the lieutenant governor race. The prosecutors’ PAC has given the nod — and $15,000 — to Gov. Gray Davis. The group is also endorsing Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Treasurer Phil Angelides, but passed on Bustamante in favor of Republican candidate Bruce McPherson. “It wasn’t so much a negative for the lieutenant governor, but it’s about the relations the DAs have had with Sen. McPherson as chair of the Public Safety Committee in the Senate,” said Santa Clara Deputy DA James Shore, who is the founding member of the California Prosecutors. “He chaired the committee that we work with as DAs more than any other.” McPherson also rewrote the Son of Sam legislation that prevents criminals from profiting from their crimes after the California Supreme Court struck down the original law. “We think that was important legislation to the DA, but also to victims,” Shore said. The 2002 election is the first time the California Prosecutors Association has endorsed in state races. The PAC sent out questionnaires to candidates and examined their track records on issues including domestic violence, labor issues and the death penalty, Shore said. The prosecutors PAC was formed last winter after the Santa Clara prosecutors and public defenders scored as much as a 30 percent pay raise and wanted to help other government attorneys negotiate benefits and pay increases. Founding members also include San Francisco, Contra Costa and Orange County prosecutors. The group is also endorsing in other elections across the state. In San Francisco, Democrats Leland Yee and Mark Leno are getting the nod for state Assembly. Democrats Donna Gerber, Barbara Matthews, Ellen Corbett and John Dutra are being endorsed in the East Bay. Sally Lieber, Manny Diaz, Rebecca Cohn and John Laird are being endorsed in the South Bay. Democratic Sen. Liz Figueroa from Alameda County is the only Senate candidate being endorsed in the Bay Area. — Shannon Lafferty GIRL ATTORNEYS ARE COOL In the Everything I Know About Homicide Investigations I Learned From “Murder She Wrote” department comes “Girls Club,” a vapid attorney drama that has producer David E. Kelley’s fingerprints all over it. The three 20-somethings, all newly graduated from law school, are associates by day at San Francisco’s Myers, Berry, Cherry & Fitch and skimpily clad roommates by night in the Fox show that airs at 9 p.m. Mondays. But lessons can really be learned in the show’s lawyering. Lesson 1: It’s completely reasonable to assume a first-year associate would be defending a man accused of murder by herself. That’s right, she isn’t second-chairing this thing; in fact there is no second chair. Lesson 2: When the prosecution establishes that your client was the only person in the area during the time of the murder, don’t try to establish a time line that may have some holes in it. Instead, on cross, get into a debate with the prosecution’s witness on the merits of your career choice as a lawyer. Lesson 3: If a partner asks an associate to rewrite some briefs, the associate should call the partner a “Praying Mantis” and accuse a fellow associate of sabotage. Did I mention these girls got their law degrees from Stanford? Dean Kathleen Sullivan may have cause for a defamation suit. — Candice McFarland

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