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News: Although the California Supreme Court is doing a better job of getting counsel for death penalty appeals, it is still struggling to find habeas corpus lawyers. The Habeas Corpus Resource Center has been forced to file shell petitions to avoid waiving federal habeas claims. HCRC Executive Director Michael Laurence says he is confident the shell petitions will toll the statute of limitations. Comment: Certainly, if the issue ever reaches our compassionate U.S. Supreme Court, the justices will adopt that same point of view. No one would ever be sent to death on a technicality. News: Dickson, Carlson & Campillo is employing a hardball strategy in its suit against its ex-partner Debra Pole and Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Dickson, Carlson’s attorneys are trying to portray Pole as a selfish money-grubber who sold out her colleagues and still wasn’t happy even when she was making $2 million a year. Comment: The jurors won’t care. They already know she’s a lawyer. News: As part of a proposal to correct abuse of California’s unfair competition law, Sen. Martha Escutia’s legislation proposes to add disgorgement of profits as a remedy. This would overrule one of the few California Supreme Court decisions that actually scaled back the sweeping consumer protection law. Comment: Coming soon, Sen. Escutia proposes to reform workers’ comp by allowing workers to sue over injuries unrelated to work; to reform employment law by adding a cause of action for bad office coffee; and to reform personal injury law by eliminating the required element of causation. News: Ryan Allen, the wife of Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge John Allen, wins a $136,000 jury award after being demoted from her job as bartender by a boss who called her and other women “whore,” “cunt” and “fucking lowlife.” Allen’s suit also names the boss’s wife as a defendant, but she is dismissed from the case. At trial Judge Allen testifies about the emotional toll the dispute has taken on his spouse. Comment: We hereby urge President Bush to nominate Judge Allen to the Northern District federal bench. Something tells us his confirmation hearing could be very interesting. News: Immigration attorney Karen Musalo is nervous about new asylum regulations about to be released by the attorney general. Musalo has a client who says she was beaten and raped almost daily by her Guatemalan husband, but that local authorities would do nothing about it. The Board of Immigration Appeals said that does not constitute “persecution,” but AG John Ashcroft’s new regs could overrule them. Comment: What’s to be nervous about? Given our big-hearted attorney general’s respect for women and compassionate attitude toward human rights, deportation under these circumstances would be out of the question. News: Chicago’s Winston & Strawn merges with S.F. bankruptcy boutique Murphy Sheneman Julian & Rogers. Chicago’s Chapman and Cutler merges with S.F. corporate finance and bankruptcy boutique Gnazzo-Thill. Three Murphy Sheneman partners launch their own insolvency practice. Comment: It’s the great California bankruptcy rush of ’03. News: The State Bar of California’s outside auditor says it may be time for the Bar to seek a dues increase. Comment: Insert your own expletive here. News: Women seem to be losing interest in State Bar politics. The 23-seat Board of Governors may include as few as two female members next year. Comment: Women are a lot smarter than men. News: Longtime Thelen Reid & Priest Chairman Richard Gary leaves the firm to join Hildebrandt Inc. as a law firm management consultant. Comment: The company will soon unveil its new slogan, “When cautious, deliberate growth is what you need.” News: Chicago-based McDermott, Will & Emery adds its Palo Alto managing partner, Anthony de Alcuaz, to its management committee. Comment: First order of business — buy a Bay Area bankruptcy boutique.

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