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LIABLE FOR $2.7 MILLION A New Jersey firm is liable for half of the awarded damages of $5.4 million in a suit brought by a Miami developer claiming it was cheated out of its interest in a shopping center project. The developer claimed that Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer of Woodbridge failed to notify him about a deal that diluted his ownership stake, among other things. The verdict by an Essex County, N.J., jury is one of the largest legal malpractice cases ever lost by a New Jersey firm. Wilentz’s defense counsel said the firm will ask the judge to throw out the verdict and if that fails, it will appeal. Froom v. Perel, No. ESX-L-1504-99. SATISFIED CUSTOMERS More than 80% of in-house attorneys are satisfied with work by outside counsel, according to a survey by Kirkpatrick & Lockhart of 106 Fortune 1,000 senior in-house counsel. “The survey debunks the myth that in-house counsel are dissatisfied with the value of work they receive from their outside counsel,” the firm’s press release said. The firm said that nearly half of those polled said controlling the costs of outside counsel is their most difficult financial challenge. Another finding: Twenty-two percent of those polled said they expect corporate governance to be the most challenging area in 2003. The report can be found at www.kl.com. malpractice case A corporation’s guilty plea for bribing a foreign official does not bar a subsequent malpractice action against the lawyer who allegedly advised that the bribery would not violate federal law, the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. Reinstating a dismissed claim against attorney Phillippe S.E. Schrieber, Judge Robert D. Sack wrote that the company’s guilty plea does not prevent it from claiming that it was the victim of malpractice in relying on the attorney’s advice. Schrieber is accused of malpractice for advice he allegedly gave to directors of Saybolt North America Inc., a New Jersey-based commodities testing company that sought to acquire land in the Panama Canal Zone for an office and laboratory. Schreiber argued that the company’s guilty plea should have collaterally barred the malpractice action. Saybolt International v. Schrieber, No. 01-7811. slim summer Responding to continuing concerns about associate overcapacity, most of New York City’s biggest law firms have slashed the size of their New York summer associate classes, some by more than half. A New York Law Journal survey of the city’s 25 largest law offices found that 15 had reduced the size of their 2003 summer classes. Twelve of the 15 cut class size by 20% or more, and seven reduced summer hiring for the second year in a row. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and Sullivan & Cromwell both led the pack by cutting their summer associate classes by 55%. Milbank will bring in 32 summer associates this year, down from 71 last year. Sullivan’s class is down to 50, from 110 a year earlier.

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