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KIRKPATRICK PICKS UP PILLSBURY PARTNER Pittsburgh’s Kirkpatrick & Lockhart added to its banking and regulatory expertise in San Francisco with the addition of Jonathan Joseph from Pillsbury Winthrop. Joseph started work this week at Kirkpatrick’s San Francisco office after more than 13 years with Pillsbury. He becomes the 11th partner in the firm’s 28-lawyer office. “They offered me an opportunity to build a banking industry practice in California by combining my expertise with their expertise,” Joseph said. The firm has a large investment company practice. Peter Sheats, the managing partner of the office, said Joseph’s securities expertise and his work with publicly traded companies rounds out the skills of the firm’s San Francisco team. “We’re trying to beef up the kind of banking and financial industry talent we have,” Sheats said. — Renee Deger CHILD-CARE WAIVERS CAN’T BE ENFORCED Child-care providers cannot enforce contracts exempting them from liability for harm to children in their programs. “To permit a child-care provider to contract away its duty to exercise ordinary care,” Justice Dennis Perluss wrote for Los Angeles’ Second District Court of Appeal on Wednesday, “is . . . antithetical to the very nature of child-care services.” Justices Earl Johnson Jr. and Fred Woods Jr. concurred. In Gavin W. v. YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, B152821, Calvin and Annette W. sued the YMCA after their 4-year-old son and another boy were found with their pants down in a bathroom at the facility’s child-care center. Gavin claimed the other boy — who had engaged in prior inappropriate sexual behavior before and had reported being molested by his grandfather — forced him into oral sex. The parents sued for negligence and breach of contract, but L.A. County Superior Court Judge Howard Schwab found their claims barred by a release they signed that freed the YMCA of any liability. The appeal court found the release unenforceable. “Because we believe child care should live up to its name,” Justice Perluss wrote, “we hold that exculpatory agreements that purport to relieve child-care providers of liability for their own negligence are void as against public policy.” The full text of the ruling will appear in Friday’s California Daily Opinion Service. — Mike McKee COURT INTERPRETERS CHALLENGING SB 371 The California Court Interpreters Association filed suit Tuesday looking to challenge the constitutionality of SB 371, a new law that requires most interpreters to become state employees. The CCIA is seeking declaratory relief for what it argues are numerous violations of state and federal laws meant to curb discrimination based on race, age and gender, among other things. “The majority of interpreters are female, so we feel SB 371 is discriminatory because it’s infringing upon their right to earn a living,” said Arturo Casarez, president of the CCIA. Specifically, the suit claims the law discriminates against women because “women, who seek flexibility in their employment to care for family will be negatively . . . impacted by the provisions of SB 371.” The suit also claims age discrimination. SB 371 allows interpreters 60 and older to remain independent contractors, while their younger colleagues are forced to become state employees. “The rest of the interpreters can become pro tem employees or can stay independent contractors with the limit of working only 100 days per year,” said Casarez. “There are major problems.” The suit also contends that SB 371 discriminates against minorities. “Under the language of SB 371, court interpreters, the vast majority of which are minorities, will not receive the same employee benefits as other employees of the court system.” “We think the law is fair,” said Mary Lou Aranguren, the legislative director for the Bay Area Court Interpreters Association and the California Federation of Interpreters, the sponsors of SB 371. “It provides interpreters many more choices than they’ve had in the past.” The suit names the state of California, the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts as defendants. The Judicial Council had not received a copy of the lawsuit as of press time Wednesday and did not have a comment, said spokeswoman Lynn Holton. — Jason Dearen

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