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Harvey Siskind Jacobs, a leading intellectual property law firm and a fixture in San Francisco’s Financial District for more than three years, announced today that it will not dissolve. The announcement came after a late night meeting, during which the issue of dissolution was briefly addressed, apparently by accident. The decision not to dissolve stunned practitioners throughout San Francisco’s legal community. Harvey Siskind Jacobs is the only local firm to face the issue and vote against dissolution in recent years. Its decision marks a departure from the course other San Francisco IP firms have followed. Just last week Skjerven Morrill voted to dissolve. In the past two years, Lyon & Lyon, Limbach & Limbach, Majestic Parsons Siebert & Hsue, and Flehr Hohbach Test Albritton & Herbert have all either dissolved or merged out of existence. News of the non-dissolution vote began circulating throughout the Financial District almost as soon as the firm partnership meeting adjourned. “I’m pinching myself,” said recruiter Larry Watanabe, of Watanabe, Nason & Seltzer, while pinching himself. “If this can happen at Harvey Siskind Jacobs, it can happen anywhere.” Indeed, as the news spread, other firms also began considering not dissolving. According to sources, Heller Ehrman, Morrison & Foerster, and Bingham & McCutchen have all appointed committees and hired outside consultants to weigh the pros and cons of not dissolving. Some observers professed not to be surprised by the non-dissolution announcement. “Given the fact that the firm was basically shut out from the dot-com craze, we all should have seen it coming,” said Blane Prescott, a law firm consultant with Hildebrandt International. “Or rather, not coming.” Indeed, despite the pervasive shock, there were strong warnings that such a move was not only not coming, but not coming imminently. Several major firms have confirmed that Harvey Siskind Jacobs did not approach them recently about a potential merger. “We get approached about six or seven times a week by firms looking to merge,” said Pillsbury Winthrop Chairwoman Mary Cranston. “We have a place in the lobby where they sign up and take a number. I’ll have to check my DayTimer, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t one of them.” At Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, which voted to dissolve late last month, departing attorneys reacted to the news of the non-dissolution with a mixture of ennui and mild irritation. “What’s the firm’s name again?” one securities partner asked. “Do you think they’re hiring?” A senior litigation associate, between trips from her office to her Lexus double-parked on Market Street, said, “Please get out of my way, I’m busy.” When a reporter persisted, she added, “I have no idea why they didn’t dissolve, but I bet it’s Tower Snow’s fault.” Snow was not available for comment. In a related development, a team of lawyers from Philadelphia-based Morgan, Lewis & Bockius flew into San Francisco late last night, shortly after the news reached the East Coast. “We are sincerely concerned about Harvey Siskind Jacobs, and its future,” said Francis Milone, Morgan, Lewis’ chairman. “We want to help their attorneys in any way we can. So where are they, where did they go?” Meanwhile, sources inside the firm are still trying to reconstruct the chain of events that led to the surprise announcement. According to one source, a junior partner, intending to raise the issue of staff morale, had attempted to insert “disillusion and despair” into a document containing the firm’s partnership meeting’s agenda. He misspelled “disillusion” so badly, however, that his computer’s spellchecker changed his entry to “dissolution and despair.” At the meeting, the firm’s partners were momentarily surprised when they saw the item listed on the agenda. Recovering, they proceeded to vote against dissolving. In view of that vote, they decided that “despair” was moot, and promptly adjourned. The mood at Harvey Siskind Jacobs today was stoic. Employees showed up at work, more or less on time, many carrying large cardboard boxes. “If you want a nice potted plant,” one employee explained, “all you have to do is hang around Market Street for a while. There are some real bargains.” The firm is confident that its clients will stay with them, despite the announcement. “Naturally, we’re as surprised and confused as anyone,” said the general counsel of one Silicon Valley client. “But I understand that Harvey is staying. And so is Siskind. Likewise Jacobs. And all the other lawyers and the whole staff. So I guess ultimately the news doesn’t really affect us all that much.” Not every observer welcomed the news. “It’s just like those people at Harvey Siskind Jacobs to pull a stunt like this,” a litigation partner at a competing IP law firm said. “They’re just a bunch of contrarians. Whatever other firms say or do, they always take a contrary position.” “No, we don’t,” retorted an anonymous member of Harvey Siskind Jacobs, when asked for comment. Contributing Writer Lawrence J. Siskind, of San Francisco’s Harvey Siskind Jacobs LLP, specializes in intellectual property law. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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