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GEL CANDY MAKER HIT WITH $16M VERDICT A Santa Clara County Superior Court jury returned a verdict Monday of more than $16 million against makers of a popular gel candy.The case was filed on behalf of the family of 12-year-old girl Michelle En-rile, who choked on the candy and spent two years in a vegetative state before dy-ing. It was the first of several such cases being brought by San Mateo firm O’Reilly, Collins & Danko. After widespread reports about the dangers of the popular candies, several retailers, including Safeway and Albert-sons, pulled it from their shelves. A lawyer for the deceased girl’s family, Terry O’Reilly, said in court papers that the Food and Drug Administration also repeatedly asked the Taiwanese manufac-turer, Sheng Hsiang Foods Co., to pull the candy from stores. The FDA imposed a ban in 2002. Several other U.S. deaths — and more abroad — are blamed on the plug-shaped candy.Lawyers involved in the case could not be reached for comment. Enrile v. Sheng Hsiang Foods Company, 784959, is before Judge Jamie Jacobs-May. — Jason Hoppin NEW OFFICE GETS HIRES FROM SOLO’S N.J. FIRM Lisa Spiegel, a corporate immigration lawyer, has joined the recently launched San Francisco office of Sills Cummis Radin Tischman Epstein & Gross. A solo practitioner who maintained Spiegel & Associates for the past 10 years, Spiegel officially joined Newark, N.J.-based Sills Cummis as a partner in April. Spiegel’s other employees — an attorney, three paralegals and a support staff member — also moved to Sills Cummis. Spiegel said she was attracted to the firm’s East Coast immigration resources, as well as its immigration database. The fact that 154-lawyer Sills Cummis services clients in other practices also appealed to Spiegel. “I felt that in today’s world it was nice to offer my clients not only immigration services but all the extra bells and whistles,” said Spiegel. Sills Cummis has five attorneys in San Francisco and has recently moved into office space at 1 Market St. A past chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Spiegel is currently president of the board of the nonprofit Immigrant Legal Resource Center. — Alexei Oreskovic ‘APPRENDI’ DOESN’T APPLY RETROACTIVELY NEW YORK — The rule regarding fact-finding for criminal sentences that was announced in the U.S. Supreme Court’s far-reaching Apprendi decision does not apply retroactively to initial habeas corpus petitions, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled. A divided three-judge panel, addressing an issue of first impression in the circuit, said it was joining the “chorus” of federal appellate courts on retroactivity under Apprendi. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that any fact — other than a prior conviction — that “increases a defendant’s term beyond the statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” While Apprendi dealt with New Jersey’s hate crimes statute, its logic has been applied most notably in drug cases, where defendants have successfully challenged sentence enhancements based on a post-conviction finding of drug quantity by a judge, and not a jury. In the case before the Second Circuit, Coleman v. United States, 01-2262, William Coleman was challenging his 20-year sentence, which was imposed after a judge found by a preponderance of the evidence that Coleman had possessed more than 50 grams of cocaine base. — The New York Law Journal EX- SEC CHAIR RETURNS TO SCENE AS CONSULTANT WASHINGTON — Harvey Pitt is back. The erstwhile chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and longtime leader within the private securities bar has embarked on a new consulting venture, several sources close to Pitt confirm. Dubbed Kalorama Partners LLC, and based in Washington, D.C., Pitt’s new consultancy is still in a formative stage, some of these sources say, although they note that Pitt has already been retained by at least two clients. The name of the venture appears to be a reference to the tony Kalorama section of D.C., where Pitt owns a home. Pitt is expected to bring in a few partners, two sources familiar with the matter say, including Terry Lenzner, chairman of D.C.-based private investigation firm Investigative Group International Inc. Lenzner’s firm conducts, among other services, internal investigations of potential fraud within companies and other organizations, such as nonprofits. Pitt declined to comment on the matter, other than to say, “There are a number of things I want to do. I’ll probably be doing some teaching, and I am interested in setting up a consulting firm, which I’m in the process of doing.” Lenzner, who is a lawyer, did not reply to two requests for comment. — Legal Times

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