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BROBECK LAYS OFF STAFF IN S.F. OFFICE Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison laid off “fewer than 20″ employees in its San Francisco office on Friday, the firm confirmed Tuesday. Brobeck said most of the staff members work in the firm’s information technology department. Brobeck would not say how many employees would remain in the department following the layoffs. The head of the department, Chief Information Officer Jonathan Wong, jumped to Clifford Chance last month, joining several other former Brobeck staff members and attorneys who defected earlier this year. Like several other firms that have laid off staff in recent months, Brobeck attributed the cuts to the poor economy. “The continuing soft market leads us to reassess our short-term personnel needs,” said John Pachtner, Brobeck’s director of communications. Brobeck implemented two previous rounds of layoffs this year. In February, the firm cut 54 associates and 85 staff and in May it laid off 35 associates and 24 staff. The firm also eliminated its five-person staff of paralegal supervisors and three of its five knowledge managers this year. The firm is understood to be in merger discussions with Philadelphia-based Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and former Brobeck partners and other industry insiders have said Brobeck would need to trim its overhead to remain an attractive merger candidate. – Brenda Sandburg ATTORNEY TOLD TO REPAY STATE BAR For the first time ever, a lawyer has been ordered to partially reimburse the State Bar’s Client Security Fund — the program that refunds clients who have been burned financially by their lawyers. In a statement released Tuesday, the State Bar said an Orange County Superior Court judge on Friday ordered Anaheim attorney Robert Speer to partially repay the Client Security Fund for money it paid out to Speer’s former clients. The fund is expected to receive more than $50,000 from Speer’s business accounts. “To date,” the statement read, “the Client Security Fund has paid out more than $339,000 to 32 of Speer’s former clients whose settlement funds were received by Speer but never forwarded to the clients. There are a number of claims against Speer still pending.” Speer is not entitled to practice law, and the State Bar is in the process of trying to get him disbarred. — Mike McKee JAMS RESTRUCTURES SENIOR MANAGEMENT Alternative dispute resolution provider JAMS has reorganized its senior management team. The group announced Tuesday that it has shuffled the managers that head up two of its three geographic regions, while bringing in a new marketing executive and creating a post to oversee professional training and development. According to JAMS President and CEO Steve Price, the changes were enacted to allow JAMS to keep pace with its growth over the past several years. Price said the firm has added nearly 60 panelists in the past two years to bring its total to more than 200, while its revenues have grown roughly 20 percent since 2000. Under the new plan, Deana Kardel, formerly vice president of marketing and communications, will oversee the business operations of the firm’s Northwest region, where JAMS has its largest number of neutrals. Amy Moller, who has run JAMS’ Northwest operations for the past several years, will head its growing East/Central region. The former East/Central region vice president, Deborah Masucci, is now vice president of professional development and training. JAMS also brought in Jamie Tran to lead its marketing and communications department. Price said the firm’s plans for the future call for expanding outside of California, as well as increasing its caseload of large, complex arbitrations and international arbitrations. — Alexei Oreskovic

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