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FIRST SHE GOT A BREAK, THEN SHE PAID HER DUES Civil rights pioneer Eva Paterson says she is a living example of the benefits of affirmative action in California. “Affirmative action gave me an opportunity — but I cracked the books, did the work, and passed the tests,” says Paterson, who has been a strong voice in the state’s affirmative action movement since her days as a student leader in the 1960s. For her efforts, she was scheduled Sunday to receive the ACLU of Northern California Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award at the Argent Hotel in San Francisco. Paterson gained admission to Boalt Hall School of Law through an affirmative action program, and since passing the bar exam on her first try in the early 1970s, has spent her legal career working to improve civil liberties and civil rights in the Bay Area. After her first job as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Alameda, she joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in 1977 as assistant director. “At the interview, I told them I would be there two or three years,” she said. Paterson has now worked there for 25 years. Dorothy Ehrlich, executive director of the ACLU-NC, said Paterson’s career has served as an inspiration to a new generation of lawyers. “This is our most prestigious award. It’s been given to Rosa Parks; it’s an important honor. We chose [Paterson] because she’s been an inspirational leader in the Bay Area. She’s knitted the civil rights community together by being a founder and leader of the California Civil Rights Coalition.” Of Paterson’s accomplishments, one of her proudest is the anti-discrimination suit she helped bring against the San Francisco Fire Department. In the end, despite hate mail and calls, she and her colleagues helped provide more opportunities for women and minority firefighters in San Francisco. In addition to her legal efforts, Paterson co-founded a shelter for battered women called “A Safe Place,” and has served on the boards of the national and local ACLU, Equal Rights Advocates and the San Francisco Bar Association Foundation. — Jason Dearen EMPTY NEST SYNDROME That sound you hear is the latest round of Crosby partners heading for the exits. As Pittsburgh’s Reed Smith and Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May’s Jan. 1 wedding date nears, Crosby equity partners continue to leave, many of them appellate lawyers. And a rainmaker who helped Crosby shepherd the national Sulzer Orthopedics Inc. joint implant litigation — which ended in a $1 billion settlement — is bolting to start his own firm with two Crosby associates. Kenneth Seeger, who worked at Crosby 14 years, said he left in November with six-year Crosby associate Brian Devine and Adam Salvas, another Crosby hire who used to work in-house for Sulzer, in tow. Their San Francisco firm Seeger Salvas snagged Crosby clients Sulzer, heart products manufacturer Guidant Corp., Zenith Insurance Co. and LeapFrog, an educational toy manufacturer. This week appellate lawyer Christina Imre, who worked in Crosby’s L.A. office, moved to Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold. She joins Crosby alum Jacqueline Jauregui, who left Crosby in October after 22 years because the Reed merger created client conflicts. The women join former Crosby partner Stephen McFeely and Howard Janssen, who will leave at the end of the month. Although departing partners have said that Crosby leaders asked them to stay, it’s clear that their departures helped the Oakland firm slim its equity partner ranks — Crosby and Reed say only 55 of Crosby’s equity partners will retain their ownership stakes after the firms merge. That’s roughly 30 less than the 87 equity partners that the firm reported to the AmLaw 100 in 2001. Getting the firm’s associate-to-equity- partner ratio down to 3-1 was a key part of the deal, both firms’ leaders have said. Half of the defrocked Crosby partners have left and about half stayed. Imre says she is leaving because Reed represents policyholders and she represents insurance carriers. Joseph Mascovich, an appeals lawyer who specializes in railroad cases, left to work in-house for Union Pacific. Then there’s longtime partner Ezra Hendon, who’ll retire at the end of the year. Hendon, 66, has worked on appeals on everything from death penalty cases to the 1996 Ninth Circuit Bambi copyright infringement case, Twin Books Corp v. Walt Disney 83 F.3d 1162. He joined the firm in 1986. Peter Davis, the founder of the appellate branch, is scaling back his practice, a current and former Crosby lawyer said. Davis could not be reached for comment on Friday. “If I were younger, I would be extremely excited by it,” Hendon said of the merger. Crosby’s appellate chair Kathleen Banke said that Crosby’s highly regarded appellate practice, which she says has 11 lawyers, would continue to thrive under Reed Smith. “Reed is really excited about the appellate practice that we have developed over the past decade,” said Banke, adding that Reed wants to build a national appellate practice. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us.” — Jahna Berry IF YOU CAN’T TAKE THE HEAT… No passing the buck. A supervising attorney is responsible for a paralegal’s blunder, the Second District has ruled in reversing a judgment from L.A. County Superior Court. “A paralegal’s mistake is attributable to the attorney responsible for supervising the paralegal,” the court held in Hu v. Fang, 02 C.D.O.S. 11790. The case began when attorney J. Flores Valdez failed to appear at a status conference in a suit for breach of contract and common counts. The trial court issued an order to show cause for failure to appear, and Valdez was mailed a copy. The OSC hearing was set, but again, Valdez was a no-show. A transfer and continuance was set, and Valdez given notice. Once again, no appearance. Valdez later said his paralegal, Ben Lui, made a mistake in calendaring his appearances. Lui agreed, saying it was his fault. The trial court concluded, “It’s a tough call, but if you choose to use paralegals and have them do your work, then I don’t think it’s your mistake that they make a mistake.” Wrong, says the Second District opinion, authored by PJ Candace Cooper. “The attorney is the professional responsible for supervising the work of his legal assistants. � Thus, Valdez was responsible for supervising Lui’s work and is responsible for Lui’s work product, including his mistake in calendaring the OSC hearing.” — Recorder staff IP FREEDOM Robin Gross is taking her fight against the expansion of copyright law into the international arena. An intellectual property attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation for the last four years, Gross left the San Francisco group at the end of November to launch a new organization called IP Justice. The nonprofit group will work with independent organizations around the world to promote a balance between intellectual property law and freedom of speech. Gross said she got the idea for IP Justice during her travels to Copenhagen, Venezuela, Berlin, Zurich and Paris where she met with groups seeking greater access to copyrighted information. Talking to electronic, computer science, library and hacker groups “showed me how all these people are working on a shared objective but in a fragmented way,” Gross said. “It would be good for them to work together” against the expansion of copyright law. Unlike EFF, Gross’s organization will deal exclusively with IP and free speech and will not handle litigation. Gross said a major focus of the group will be on so-called anti-circumvention laws, which prohibit individuals from circumventing technologies that block copying. Gross said one such law, the European Union Copyright Directive, is about to be adopted. Gross joined EFF after graduating from Santa Clara University School of Law. The founder of EFF’s Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression, Gross has worked on several leading IP cases in the last three years. She helped defend 2600 Magazine and Web site publisher Andrew Bunner, both sued for publishing and linking to computer code that unscrambled encrypted DVDS. EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn said IP Justice would be a welcome addition to the struggle for civil liberties in the IP arena. “There aren’t nearly enough of us on this side of the debate,” Cohn said. When Gross announced she was starting a new group, Cohn said, “I think we all said ‘Hallelujah.’” — Brenda Sandburg

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