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PILLSBURY LOSES ONE MORE TO JONES DAY Jones Day’s recently launched San Francisco office has acquired another partner with the addition of Pillsbury Winthrop attorney Shawn Hanson. A commercial litigator in Pillsbury’s San Francisco office, Hanson specializes in insurance, ERISA and managed care cases. According to his biography on the Pillsbury Web site, he has 12 published opinions. Hanson is the fourth attorney to move from Pillsbury Winthrop to Jones Day in the past three months. In April, Jones Day lured antitrust litigator Robert Mittelstaedt to be part of the initial team launching a new San Francisco office. Pillsbury Winthrop spokeswoman Crystal Rockwood called Hanson’s move an ordinary departure. “People leave for as many reasons as people come,” said Rockwood. “Shawn is well respected and liked throughout the firm.” Elwood Lui, the managing partner of Jones Day’s San Francisco office, did not return a call seeking comment. The Jones Day San Francisco office has nearly 20 attorneys. The firm recently signed a lease for permanent office space at 555 California St., the former Bank of America headquarters. Until now, the group has worked out of temporary office space on Montgomery Street. – Alexei Oreskovic FEDERAL LEAD PAINT STATUTE CITED IN SUIT NEW YORK — A rarely invoked federal lead paint disclosure statute is the linchpin of a new lawsuit filed in Albany, N.Y., by a major upstate lead litigation team. The law in question, the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, was enacted to protect consumers from unknowingly purchasing a house containing lead paint. It requires anyone selling a single-family home built before 1978 to notify potential buyers of a possible lead problem. Apparently, the statute is rarely the basis for litigation. This month, however, the lead litigation group at O’Connell and Arnowitz, an Albany, N.Y., firm handling dozens of upstate lead paint cases, cited the warning law in a case involving a state trooper who bought a farmhouse in Schoharie County. Sommers v. Whipple, 3584-03, alleged that George Sommers bought the property in 2000 from a real estate broker, Henry Whipple. It contends that Whipple received the proper notification when he purchased the property in January 2000, but did not share the information when he sold the house to Sommers nine months later. Sommers, according to the complaint, performed renovation work without realizing the century-old structure contained lead, and inadvertently poisoned his 1-year-old son. Under the disclosure act, sellers and real estate agents are required to reveal known lead hazards and to provide buyers with an educational brochure. A knowing violation exposes the seller or broker to treble damages, punitive damages and attorneys fees. O’Connell and Arnowitz attorneys Peter Danziger, James Nixon and Mark Richter, who are handling the case for the plaintiff, are demanding $5 million in damages. Whipple was not immediately available for comment. – The New York Law Journal N.Y. LAWYERS CHARGED WITH INSURANCE FRAUD NEW YORK — Three personal injury attorneys have been charged in an insurance fraud scheme along with employees at Queens and Nassau, N.Y., insurance brokerages and medical facilities. The employees allegedly sold information about auto accident victims to middlemen who steered the victims to clinics for unnecessary medical treatments and to the attorneys to file phony claims. Nineteen people were arrested and arraigned on felony charges of conspiracy in the fourth degree, a Class E felony, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and state Insurance Superintendent Gregory Serio announced Thursday. If convicted, the defendants each face up to four years in prison. Attorney Hal Meyerson of Meyerson & Ramos allegedly paid for referrals of accident cases from the manager of medical facilities in Brooklyn and Queens. The victims had been sent to the facilities by “steerers” — including two former police officers — who had bought information about the victims from an employee of Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and the manager of a medical clinic affiliated with Jamaica Hospital, the criminal complaint said. Attorneys Michael Weinreb of Weinreb & Weinreb in Great Neck, N.Y., and Paul Ajlouny of Feraru & Ajlouny in Garden City, N.Y., participated in another fraud scheme that centered on referrals from employees of Nassau County-based insurance brokerages to steerers and then the lawyers, the complaint said. Weinreb and Ajlouny and the eight others charged in the Nassau ring were arraigned Thursday in district court in Nassau, a spokesman for Spitzer said. – The New York Law Journal

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