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ATTORNEY CHEATED CLIENT, JURY FINDS A Contra Costa County jury that hit Lafayette attorney Thomas Camp with a rare $2.1 million compensatory damage verdict for cheating a former client has added $80,000 in punitive damages. In Evans v. Camp, 00-00729, unemployed barber Thomas Evans asked Camp to help him invest about $850,000 that he inherited. While Evans served two years in state prison for robbery, he gave his lawyer power of attorney over his real estate investments. Camp told his client to invest nearly the entire sum in a shopping center and in a tract of Central Valley land that the lawyer owned. Last week, jurors found that Camp committed fraud and malpractice when he sold the Newman property to his client at an inflated price. Evans also accused Camp of not sharing crucial financial information about the two investments, including how much tenants paid in rent. Evans alleged that the lawyer only gave him a small portion of the profits and allowed parts of the properties to go into foreclosure. Camp and his Walnut Creek attorney, Howard Melamed, could not be reached for comment. One of Evans’ attorneys, Thomas Trapani of San Francisco’s Adams Nye Sinunu Bruni Becht, said he wasn’t surprised that the punitive damages were much less than the first verdict. The punitive damages were tied to Camp’s net worth, which, according to Camp’s court testimony, has dwindled to $300,000. Evans v. Camp is the highest legal malpractice verdict for Adams Nye, and Trapani described it as a rarity. “Most legal malpractice suits settle,” Trapani said. — Jahna Berry BEYER, WEAVER TAPS FIRST FEMALE PARTNER Beyer Weaver & Thomas has elevated Berkeley-based patent attorney Mary Olynick to partner, making her the first woman to join the partner ranks at the firm. After serving as a summer associate at the firm in 1995 and 1996, Olynick, 36, joined the firm full time in 1997. A former engineer, Olynick specializes in electronics, semiconductor metrology tools, semiconductor fabrication and network systems. She earned her J.D. in 1997 from Stanford Law School. Beyer Weaver & Thomas now has eight partners and 23 attorneys in offices in Berkeley, Mountain View, Monterey and Minneapolis. — Jason Dearen THELEN REID & PRIEST NAMES NEW PARTNERS Four San Francisco associates are among the seven lawyers Thelen Reid & Priest elected recently to the ranks of partner. The 427-lawyer firm announced last week that Christopher Baker, James Cowan, Stephen Holman and Becky Troutman are the newest partners in the firm’s San Francisco office. Baker is an employment specialist who graduated from the University of Cincinnati Law School in 1994. Cowan, a corporate lawyer, is a 1992 Hastings College of the Law graduate. Holman specializes in project and asset finance and is a 1994 graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law. Troutman, a corporate lawyer, graduated from the George Washington University Law School in 1993. The newest L.A.-based partner is Charles Gossage, who specializes in construction and government contracts. In New York, the new partners are corporate and finance lawyers Walter Godlewski III and Kimberly Reisler. There are now 142 partners at the firm. — Renee Deger

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