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LOCKYER CONTINUES 17200 CRACKDOWN SACRAMENTO — Attorney General Bill Lockyer went after another lawyer accused of abusing the state’s unfair competition law Thursday, taking court action to enforce a subpoena that is part of his statewide investigation. Lockyer filed a petition in Sacramento County Superior Court to compel Brian Kindsvater, a solo in the Sacramento suburb of Mather, to comply with a subpoena issued Feb. 18. Last week, Lockyer filed a civil lawsuit against the Trevor Law Group, which he had also subpoenaed. The Beverly Hills firm that has been at the center of a debate in the Legislature about reforming the unfair competition law, Business & Professions Code � 17200. Lockyer and others claim a small group of attorneys — including Trevor partners and Kindsvater — use shell consumer groups to file lawsuits against small businesses that are tantamount to extortion. Kindsvater is affiliated with a group called Consumer Action League and has filed dozens of lawsuits against real estate and mortgage companies and other businesses. Kindsvater’s attorney, Steven Horan, a partner at Porter, Scott, Weiberg & Delehant in Sacramento, denied the accusations and said he already filed a motion to quash Lockyer’s subpoena. Today, Horan and Lockyer’s attorneys are scheduled to square off in court. A judge will decide which filing takes precedence, Horan said. — Jeff Chorney ORRICK LAWYERS JUMP TO LEBOEUF, LAMB Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has lost two bankruptcy and restructuring partners and an associate to Leboeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae. Partners Neal Wolf and Todd Padnos and associate Brett Kitei joined Leboeuf last month. Neal and Padnos are splitting their time between the firm’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, while Kitei is based in Los Angeles. “This is a premier bankruptcy restructuring group which will enhance our core strengths in energy and insurance as well as add to our commercial litigation capability on the West Coast,” said James Woods, managing partner of Leboeuf’s San Francisco office. With the new hires, the firm has 30 bankruptcy lawyers nationwide. Neither Wolf nor Padnos could be reached for comment. But Woods said their portfolio of clients includes five insurance companies, several banks and several large restructuring and Chapter 11 matters. Wolf and Padnos joined Orrick about three years ago. Wolf was previously a partner at Chicago-based Winston & Strawn, and Padnos previously practiced at Schwartz, Cooper, Greenberger & Krauss in Chicago. New York-based Leboeuf opened a San Francisco office in 1983 and now has 50 attorneys split between its San Francisco and Los Angeles outposts. The firm has more than 650 lawyers in 14 U.S. offices and 10 countries overseas. — Brenda Sandburg FENWICK ETHICS GURU JUMPS TO S.F. FIRM Fenwick & West’s internal ethics partner, John Steele, left the firm to join San Francisco’s Rogers, Joseph, O’Donnell & Phillips, where he plans to build a bigger ethics practice. Steele ended his 13-year tenure at Fenwick last week and plans to start work as a partner on March 24 at Rogers, Joseph, a litigation boutique that specializes in malpractice and fiduciary responsibility cases. An ethics instructor at Boalt Hall School of Law since 1997, Steele said he wanted to devote more time to representing clients with ethical problems, but Fenwick’s client base posed some conflicts in increasing the size of his practice. “There are conflicts in trying to represent a wide variety of lawyers when you’re at a law firm negotiating deals across from those lawyers or litigating against them,” Steele said. “I wanted to go to a place that specializes in it.” Margot Wenger, the managing partner of Rogers, Joseph, said the firm was fortunate Steele wanted to bring his range of litigation and ethics experience to the firm. Steele will become the 17th partner at the 30-lawyer firm. Malpractice and professional responsibility are particularly busy areas these days because of firm dissolutions and partners moving from one firm to another, Wenger said. — Renee Deger

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