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EX-JUSTICE IN ON CASINO HAGGLING Gov. Gray Davis has picked former Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso to renegotiate Indian gaming agreements that the governor hopes will net $1.5 billion for the troubled budget. In 1982, Reynoso became the first Latino to serve on the state’s highest court, but he was voted off the bench in 1986 in a push that also claimed the robe of Chief Justice Rose Bird and Justice Joseph Grodin. Voters criticized the justices for their opposition to the death penalty. Reynoso also co-founded La Raza Lawyers of California, an organization that has demonstrated considerable success in getting Latinos appointed to the bench during Davis’ tenure. Since 2001, Reynoso has been a professor at UC-Davis’ King Hall School of Law. Reynoso will be joined on the negotiating team by San Francisco solo Frederick Wyle and retired San Diego County Superior Court Judge Anthony Joseph. Wyle is an attorney, referee, arbitrator and mediator. Recently, he has also served as a bankruptcy trustee for casinos. Prior to becoming a judge, Joseph was an assistant state attorney general. He served on the bench for 20 years, and since retirement, he has worked in mediation, arbitration and as a special master in family law. He has already helped the state negotiate with tribes. Gov. Davis appointed the trio after announcing last week that his plan to close a nearly $35 billion budget gap included money from tribes. Under the provisions of a 1999 agreement with about 60 tribes, only a little money earned by their casinos has to be shared with the state. Thirty more tribes hope to negotiate gaming agreements this time around, according to Davis’ office. Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s office will help with the talks. – Jeff Chorney UC TO FILE SEPARATELY AGAINST WORLDCOM The University of California has broken from a huge class action against WorldCom Inc. in New York and will instead seek to recover hundreds of millions in losses in its home state. UC regents announced the move Thursday, saying the size of the system’s losses — $353 million from an initial $357 million investment in the once-mighty telecom giant — necessitated the break. “While we believe that class action treatment is often preferable, in this case the University of California will likely obtain a more favorable result by withdrawing from the federal class action and filing a separate suit in California state court, asserting claims under California law,” the UC’s general counsel, James Holst, said in a statement. UC is being represented by Burlingame’s Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy. UC is already a player in securities fraud suits involving the major financial scandals of the past 18 months. It has been named lead plaintiff in shareholder suits against Enron Corp. and Dynegy Inc., giving it the right to direct the litigation. In both those cases, UC is represented by Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, the country’s most successful — and most controversial — stockholder plaintiffs firm. UC spokesman Trey Davis said the regents have not chosen their lawyers for the WorldCom suit, but said they won’t be from Milberg Weiss. WorldCom, which filed for bankruptcy in July, has been delisted from the Nasdaq. – Jason Hoppin EAST BAY FIRM NAMES MANAGING PARTNER Oakland’s Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean has named real estate partner Howard Lind its new managing partner. “[Lind] is a team and consensus builder, but willing to make the tough decisions when necessary,” said Charles Hansen, the firm’s outgoing managing partner. “Howard’s experience, integrity and standing in the business and legal communities will provide a perfect foundation for the [firm's] steady and controlled growth.” Lind, 50, has been a partner in the firm since 1985. He started his law career at Wendel, Rosen in 1978. His real estate practice focuses on commercial leasing, the acquisition and disposition of real estate, financing, and construction and architectural agreements. “I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this new role will offer,” said Lind. “There is a terrific management committee in place, which should make this position all the more enjoyable.” Lind earned his law degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1978. – Jason Dearen

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