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EX-FENWICK PARTNER RETURNS TO THE FOLD After a four-year odyssey as an Internet company executive, Mark Stevens is returning to his job as a Fenwick & West partner. Stevens, who left Fenwick in January 1999 after 16 years to become a business development executive for the now-bankrupt ExciteAtHome Corp., will start work May 19. “It was a difficult decision,” Stevens said. “When I left, I wasn’t sure I would be coming back to practicing law.” Stevens left ExciteAtHome in August 2001 because his job had withered away as the company faced financial and strategic problems. The company went belly-up two months later. Stevens worked as a consultant and dabbled in private equity investing, spending four months at Granite Global Ventures in Menlo Park. Then, in November, he signed on as acting in-house lawyer for Electronic Arts Inc., a longtime client from his Fenwick days. Once back at Fenwick, Stevens said, he hopes his business experience and lawyer skills will attract clients even in the current down cycle. “I’m assuming and certainly have already gotten good indications that companies, investors and clients will want to work with me,” Stevens said. Gordon Davidson, Fenwick’s chairman, said he was tickled to have a longtime friend return to the fold. Stevens had joined Fenwick in 1983. “There’s always room for a star like Mark,” Davidson said. – Renee Deger PERSONAL INJURY CASE LAWYER FEES TARGETED NEW YORK — New York was one of 12 states where petitions were filed Tuesday with lawyer discipline authorities to limit attorneys’ contingency fees in personal injury cases that reach quick settlements. The proposal would limit attorneys fees to their hourly rates in fast-settled tort cases, with a maximum cap of 10 percent of the recovery. A contingency fee of one-third of the recovery is routinely charged in personal injury suits. The nationwide effort is spearheaded by a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group, Common Good, which is headed by Philip Howard, a vice chairman of Covington & Burling and the author of several books criticizing the American legal system. Michael Horowitz, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, who was general counsel to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan administration, also played a key role in the effort. The author of the brief filed in New York is Harold Reynolds, a former clerk of the New York Appellate Division, 1st Department, who took on the assignment pro bono, as did counsel in the other 11 states where petitions were filed. Reynolds contends in his brief, which is similar to those filed in other states, that in cases that settle rapidly, a one-third fee vastly overcompensates an attorney for the work performed and the amount of risk faced in bringing a suit that may fail. Also, the briefs contend that by creating an economic incentive for defendants to settle early, the rule change will help clear congested court dockets. – The New York Law Journal

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