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BROBECK’S POLE LANDS AT SIDLEY AUSTIN Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison complex product liability litigation partners Debra Pole and Gregg Farley have joined the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. Pole has played a leading role in large-scale product liability litigation. In one of her most well-known cases, she has been the national coordinating and trial counsel in silicone breast implant litigation for Baxter Healthcare Corp. She began that work at her former firm, the now-defunct Dickson, Carlson & Campillo, and took it with her when she joined Brobeck in 1995. Pole’s lucrative work for Baxter was at the heart of a suit brought by Dickson, Carlson against Pole and partner William Fitzgerald Jr., who jumped with her to Brobeck. The Santa Monica firm claimed the two breached their fiduciary duty in sharing proprietary information about Baxter with Brobeck prior to their departure. Dickson, Carlson also sued Brobeck for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and interference with contractual relations and unfair competition. With Brobeck’s demise, the fate of the litigation is uncertain. Keker & Van Nest, which has been representing Pole, Fitzgerald and Brobeck, filed a motion Feb. 24 to withdraw as counsel, citing a conflict. A hearing on the motion is to be heard today before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Cesar Sarmiento. Keker & Van Nest partner Elliot Peters said he could not say what conflict arose as a result of Brobeck’s dissolution. “There is a reason, and if necessary I will describe it to Judge Sarmiento in camera,” Peters said. “We represent multiple clients that no longer have a harmony of interests.” Pole declined to answer any questions Monday. Brian Lysaght, a partner with O’Neill, Lysaght & Sun and counsel to Dickson, Carlson, said he does not care if John Keker withdraws from the case, but does not wish to relinquish an April 8 trial date for the tort phase of the suit. Peters said Brobeck partner James Miller, a member of Brobeck’s liquidation committee, had informed the court that the firm has no money and would need to get new counsel and thus would not be ready to proceed with a trial by April 8. As for whether Dickson, Carlson will be able to get remuneration from Brobeck if it prevails in court, Lysaght said that Brobeck was a general partnership at the time the suit was filed and thus anyone who was a partner then would be “jointly and severally responsible for the debt.” But Peters said that if Lysaght pursues this tack he will have to amend the Dickson, Carlson complaint to name the individual partners and they in turn would need counsel, which would make the April 8 date impossible to meet. “If they get a judgment against Brobeck, what’s that worth?” Peters said. “They get in line behind the bank, employees and everyone else.” In other partner moves, Norman Klivans Jr., formerly a partner with Skjerven Morrill, has joined Morrison & Foerster’s patent practice group in Palo Alto. — Brenda Sandburg HELLER NAMES NEW HEAD FOR S.F. OFFICE Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe has appointed a new managing shareholder to its San Francisco office. Jonathan Hayden, a 21-year Heller Ehrman veteran, succeeds David Brownstein, who has headed the firm’s San Francisco office for the past three years. Hayden first joined Heller Ehrman as a summer associate and has served as a co-chair of the San Francisco office’s litigation department for the past three years. His practice focuses on complex class action defense, and he has served as lead counsel in trials representing banks, real estate developers and corporate policy holders. While managing Heller Ehrman’s roughly 176-lawyer San Francisco headquarters will require a big-time commitment, Hayden will maintain his litigation practice. “My goals are to actively explore the possibilities for building on the firm’s strengths here in San Francisco,” said Hayden, “trying to put some of the growth effort that we’ve been devoting to other offices and direct a little bit of it back to San Francisco.” According to Hayden, Brownstein is stepping aside as his three-year term comes to an end because he’s a member of a trial team moving to New York. — Alexei Oreskovic

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