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FARELLA LOSES ONE TO BAKER & MCKENZIE Baker & McKenzie has added a new lateral partner to its global equity services practice group in San Francisco. Maria Pizzoli joins the firm from the San Francisco office of Farella Braun & Martel. “Her expertise in the corporate governance and securities law aspects of equity plans will complement the international focus of our team,” said Edward Burmeister, chair of the global equity group, in a press release. Pizzoli advises clients on compensation and employee benefits matters relating to equity compensation plans, compensation and severance arrangements, and insider trading. She also advises clients on corporate governance regulations, including Sarbanes-Oxley and new NYSE and Nadaq listing requirements. In addition, Pizzoli serves as an adjunct professor of federal securities law at Golden Gate University School of Law. She earned her J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1993. – Jason Dearen ‘SLEEPING LAWYER’ CASE REACHES AN ENDING HOUSTON — After fighting tooth and nail for almost two decades to defend the death sentence handed Calvin Burdine in 1984, Harris County prosecutors made an offer that will move Burdine off death row but should keep him behind bars for the rest of his life. On June 19, Burdine — the man whose case made national headlines after it was alleged that his attorney napped off and on during his first trial — pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, felony possession of a weapon and capital murder. Judge Joan Huffman, of Houston’s 183rd District Court, sentenced Burdine to life for each charge, with the sentences to run consecutively. “Today, the so-called ‘sleeping lawyer’ case was finally put to rest,” says Danalynn Recer, one of Burdine’s lawyers and director of the Gulf Regional Advocacy Center, a nonprofit organization formed last year to do capital trial work for indigent defendants. Robert McGlasson, the Georgia attorney who won a new trial for Burdine, says the resolution reached in the case is what would have happened 20 years ago if Burdine had received adequate representation at his first trial for the 1983 robbery and stabbing death of W.T. “Dub” Wise. Burdine’s case has had a tortured history. In 1995, then-183rd District Judge Jay Burnett concluded in a habeas corpus proceeding that Burdine deserved a new trial. Burnett reached his conclusion after hearing testimony from three jurors and a court clerk that Burdine’s attorney, the late Joe Frank Cannon, had slept through portions of his trial. Cannon, who died in 1998, testified at the 1995 hearing that he closed his eyes to concentrate but did not fall asleep. The Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief to Burdine. In 1999, U.S. District Judge David Hittner of Houston determined that Burdine’s Sixth Amendment rights to effective assistance of counsel and a fair trial were violated because of his attorney’s napping. A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed Hittner in a 2-1 decision in October of the following year. The Fifth Circuit, sitting en banc, vacated Burdine’s sentence in August 2001 and ordered a new trial for him in a 9-5 decision. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the New Orleans court in June 2002, paving the way for Burdine to be retried. – Texas Lawyer

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