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THE ARTISTIC TEMPERAMENT NEEDS NURTURING, NAPS It might have been the first gallery opening in San Francisco where the lollipops went faster than the cheese and fruit on the refreshment table, and the accessories were more Harry Potter than Harry Winston. The works of the 2- to 13-year-old artists — children of employees at the city attorney’s office — have been hanging there for a couple of weeks now. “This is our opening, as it were,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said as the crowd milled around him in a small conference room at City Hall on Thursday. Not coincidentally, he said, the event was timed to coincide with “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” Deputy City Attorney Christine Sacino remembers asking her daughter, Catherine Heinin, “You want to draw a picture for Mommy’s office?” The answer was “sure,” and Catherine’s chosen subject was Paris. Catherine, who’s been there, presented Paris through the eyes of a child. Sacino points out where her daughter drew “the Easter Bunny scaling the Eiffel Tower” and a Parisian candy shop where all the merchandise is free. Herrera credits Anne Taupier, confidential assistant to the city attorney, for coming up with the idea to brighten the offices at City Hall and Fox Plaza with the kids’ art. But the real inspiration, Taupier said, was 5-year-old Maris Winslow. “We were always kind of talking about how our hallways didn’t have anything hanging in them,” Taupier said, but she noticed that the office of Director of Special Projects MaryJane Winslow was always covered with her daughter’s creations. “She draws pictures that have titles like, ‘High-Heel Shoe in a Box,’ or ‘Fast Car.’ It’s so postmodern,” Taupier said. The art — propped on easels and hanging on the walls in donated, matching white frames — boasted many similarly explanatory titles: “Creepy, Scary Person” was a portrait of a man with a zigzagging scowl on his face. Among the computer-animated “Things You Don’t See Under the Sea” were a starfish mowing seaweed and a shark flossing his teeth. Taupier said she hopes to some day expand the office’s stock to include art from participants in the city’s juvenile probation program. — Pam Smith THANKS FOR NOTHING Some former Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison staffers were a bit incredulous when they heard their former bosses had come up with a plan to help them land new jobs. After all, the initiative — proposed by Brobeck partners who joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius — was launched a week after employees hired an attorney to help them pursue severance pay claims. And, staffers say, they were never officially notified that Brobeck partners were looking out for them. The initiative came to light when a Morgan, Lewis associate passed along an internal e-mail message to former Brobeck information technology staffer Jim Lewis, who runs an e-mail listserv for Brobeck staff and associates. In the e-mail message, dated Feb. 26, partner Stephen Finn told Morgan, Lewis lawyers and personnel that an “employment team” had been set up to help former Brobeck staff and associates find employment “within 60 days of Feb. 21.” “The new Morgan will begin to define itself by what we do as we take care of those left behind,” Finn wrote. “During the course of the unwinding of Brobeck, a number of former brethren have been left unemployed. We are going to cure that with considerable efforts from all of us.” But some staffers are skeptical of the partners’ concern. Lewis said he sent an e-mail message to Finn and the employee designated to coordinate the program. “I told them I had a list of over 400 people that I was in contact with daily and that if they sent this information to me I’d forward it along,” Lewis said. “I never heard back from them. . . . That cinched it for me that the offer of assistance was not genuine.” Staffers regard Lewis, who regularly posts notice of job openings and other Brobeck-related news, as the hub for information on the firm. He said he has not heard of any former employees getting jobs through the Brobeck program. Jayne Loughry, a former senior counsel at Brobeck and one of the plaintiffs in the employees’ suit, said she believes the “Morbeck initiative,” as she dubbed it, was intended to counter bad publicity. “What kind of an initiative is it if you only tell people who have jobs about it and not those who don’t have jobs?” she said. “It looks like internal spin.” Loughry also questioned the 60-day time frame for finding people jobs. The employees’ complaint claims Brobeck and Morgan, Lewis violated the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification [WARN] Act and California Labor Code by failing to provide employees 60 days’ notice — or 60 days’ severance pay in lieu of notice — that the firm was to close or a mass layoff was to occur. Finn could not be reached for comment. But Eleanor Kerlow, Morgan, Lewis’ director of marketing, said the program was recently expanded. On April 1, Finn met with former Brobeck lawyers and staff now at Morgan, Lewis and asked them to recruit colleagues at other firms to help unemployed Brobeck people find jobs. Kerlow said she didn’t know if anyone had gotten a job through the program. — Brenda Sandburg SUPPORT EXTRAORDINAIRE Attorneys are accustomed to getting kudos for their pro bono work. But they’re not the only people in law firms donating hours to worthy causes. On Thursday, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe recognized the members of its support staff who have shown a commitment to community involvement and volunteer work. In San Francisco, Heller staff and attorneys gathered in the afternoon for an awards ceremony honoring paralegal Donna Ciccolini. Since 2001, Ciccolini has worked with San Francisco’s probate court guardianship monitoring program, ensuring that children under court-appointed guardianship are receiving proper care. For 20 hours a month, Ciccolini works as a court visitor and a records researcher, visiting the homes of guardians, making inquiries and reviewing guardianship files. Ciccolini was one of eight staff members at various Heller offices selected by their peers as part of the firm’s annual professional support staff community service award. In the Silicon Valley office, paralegal Carla Rabuy won for her volunteer work with abused and neglected children through the Child Advocates Organization. Heller will make a $3,000 donation on behalf of each of the winning staff members to the charitable organization of their choice. — Alexei Oreskovic

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