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PAUL, HASTINGS ELEVATES 7 TO PARTNER Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker announced a seven-attorney new partner class Friday. The partners are in six of the firm’s eleven offices, with one in San Francisco and three in Southern California. The new partnerships, which were voted on by the firmwide partner ranks in November, will become effective Feb. 1. This year’s partner class is larger than last year, in which Paul, Hastings elevated six attorneys to partner. The year before that, the firm inducted nine attorneys into its partnership. “Our firm’s commitment to developing a diversified practice in service to our clients has enabled us to continue to grow despite the slowdown in certain sectors of the economy,” Chairman Seth Zachary said in a statement. The new partner in the San Francisco office is Steven Fein, a real estate lawyer who focuses on commercial transactions, including equity investments, joint venture formations and acquisitions and dispositions. A 1981 graduate of Albany Law School in New York, Fein joined Paul, Hastings in 1998 from Heller Financials Inc. Leslie Abbott and Robert Carlson are both in the Los Angeles office. Abbott, a 1991 graduate of Loyola Law School, represents corporate clients in all aspects of employment law including wrongful discharge and wage and hour matters. Carlson, a 1995 graduate of Harvard Law School, focuses on corporate finance. Glenn Briggs, who works in the Orange County office, is an employment lawyer who represents management in discrimination and harassment suits, as well as labor/management relations. He earned his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1994. Elizabeth Brower, a 1989 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law in New York, works in the firm’s Stamford, Conn., office and focuses on general corporate transactions. Claudia Callaway handles complex litigation in consumer finance and employment class action suits. A 1991 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Callaway works in the Washington, D.C., office. David Freeman, who works in the New York office, practices environmental law, assisting buyers, sellers and developers of contaminated properties. He is a 1975 graduate of Harvard Law School. — Alexei Oreskovic SETTLEMENT OK’D IN DOG MAUL CIVIL SUIT A San Francisco judge on Friday approved the settlement of a wrongful death suit brought by the mother and partner of Diane Whipple against landlords of an apartment building where she was mauled to death by two dogs. Although Superior Court Judge A. James Robertson II’s approval concludes the civil matter, the amount paid by landlords Rudolph and Annette Koppl remains undisclosed at the request of the defense. “This settlement is under seal for the privacy and security interests of both sides,” said Richard Williams, the Koppls’ attorney. Attorney Michael Cardoza, who represented Sharon Smith, Whipple’s partner, said his client just wanted to get on with her life. “It’s never been about money,” said Cardoza of the Law Offices of Michael Cardoza. “It’s been emotionally over the top for her.” Smith and Whipple’s mother, Penny Whipple-Kelly, sued the Koppls for failing to take steps to ensure the safety of their building’s occupants against the two aggressive presa canario dogs that mauled the soccer coach to death on Jan. 26, 2001. Williams, a partner at Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley, said his clients had a “good legal case” and “were not responsible” for Whipple’s death. He said none of the witnesses who testified at the criminal trial of the dogs’ owners, Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel, contacted the police or the Koppls with complaints about the animals. Knoller was convicted of second-degree murder and manslaughter. An appellate court later threw out the murder conviction. Noel was convicted of manslaughter. Both are serving state prison terms and could be released this summer. Cardoza said the money from the Koppls will be deposited in Whipple’s foundation, which funds athletic scholarships. Some will also be donated for cancer research, he said. A similar suit against Noel and Knoller is pending, but Cardoza said he’s unsure how his client wants to proceed. Williams said Noel and Knoller claim they have a monthly income of $1,200, but did not disclose the source in court papers. — Dennis J. Opatrny NEW COMMISSIONER IN SANTA CLARA COURT Presiding Judge Richard Turrone has appointed San Jose attorney Steven Yep as traffic court commissioner for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. “Steven has wide experience in traffic matters and dealing with the public. He’s a well-spoken individual and we believe he manifests outstanding judicial temperament,” said Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Jack Komar. An attorney at Yep & Pagkas, Yep has served as a judge pro tem for traffic and small claims matters. Before becoming an attorney, he served as a police officer in Los Gatos, serving 10 years as a motorcycle officer. He is former president of the Asian Pacific Bar of Silicon Valley, a member of La Raza Lawyers Association and a member of the Minority Access Committee. Yep starts his position Dec. 26. — Jason Dearen

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