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BILL LOCKYER: ATTORNEY GENERAL AND BIRTHING COACH California’s busy attorney general and newlywed Bill Lockyer got a crash course in what he described as “yuppie” parenting during the recent birth of his son. In the old days, Lockyer said, the father was not allowed in the birthing room and had to watch doctors and mom do all the hard work from behind a window. But on June 20, Lockyer, like many American fathers these days, was right next to his wife, Nadia, as she gave birth to the 7-pound, 9-ounce Diego Wallace Lockyer. “I’m in the O.R. I’m taking photographs. Dad is much more involved now,” Lockyer said, describing his duties in the Santa Ana hospital where Diego was born. That’s compared to 35 years ago, when Lockyer’s daughter was born, he said. Lisa Lockyer is also an attorney and works at the NASA Ames Research Center in Santa Clara County. Lockyer, 62, married Nadia Davis, 32, in April. He said they named their son Diego to reflect Nadia’s Hispanic and Native American heritage. Diego’s middle name comes from Nadia’s deceased father, Wallace Davis, a civil rights attorney whose cases included successfully suing the Santa Ana Unified School District for placing limited-English Latino students in classes for children with mental disabilities. Lockyer said he’s adapting well to fatherhood, including the modern duties that come with being a “yuppie.” “I long thought I was passionate about changing the world,” Lockyer said. “Now I’m changing diapers.” — Jeff Chorney SEARCHING FOR JUSTICE Gordon Erspamer was feeling pretty downhearted about the justice system a few weeks ago. For 26 years his client, Vietnam veteran Philip Cushman, has been fighting to get full disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. During the war, a 100-pound sandbag was accidentally dropped on his back, causing permanent injury and making it impossible for him to work. A few years ago Cushman discovered that someone at the VA had altered his medical records to say that he could do sedentary work, and as a result the agency denied his claims. Erspamer, who took on Cushman’s case pro bono 2 1/2 years ago, argued before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2. The following day the court affirmed the Court of Veterans Appeals’ decision in favor of the VA. “I was shocked,” said Erspamer, a partner at Morrison & Foerster. On a case that raises a lot of important issues on the administration of justice, Erspamer said, it was surprising that the court did not address the issue of forgery on the merits. “There is a question of whether veterans ever get a hearing in the Federal Circuit.” Erspamer has fought against the VA on behalf of veterans throughout his career. His first case was for his father, a scientist who participated in the 1946 atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The senior Erspamer later died of leukemia caused by radiation exposure, but the VA denied his death was related to the atomic testing. The Court of Veterans Appeals later reversed the decision. Cushman had begged Erspamer to take his case for several years, and Erspamer eventually agreed to do so. He and MoFo associates Daniel Doporto and R. Chad Hales have spent about 900 hours on the case. “The more I started reading about it, the more convinced I was that he was a victim of foul play,” Erspamer said. While Erspamer lost his round before the Federal Circuit, he said the battle is not over. “We’re mulling over what to do next,” he said. “Cushman is not going to give up, and I won’t either.” — Brenda Sandburg FOOD FOR THOUGHT The San Francisco Food Bank’s annual Food From the Bar campaign raised more than $90,500 and 11,500 pounds of food this year, making it the most successful campaign in its 11-year history. “We turn every dollar donated into nine dollars in food,” said Carolyn Rohrer, spokeswoman for the Food Bank. “This is the 11th year, and the legal community has been really supportive. All sizes of law firms and legal departments inside organizations get involved and donate their time and money.” The food is distributed to community centers, churches and senior centers throughout San Francisco. There, people can come and shop, selecting their items for no cost. In addition, food is supplied to summer day camps and programs for children who cannot afford meals. The donors were divided into categories based on the amount of money donated. Two firms made “platinum partner,” donating between $12,500 and $14,000. Five firms made “gold partner” by donating $4,000 to $7,000. Thirteen donated between $1,100 and $3,100 and were made silver partners. “This year’s 65 participating firms topped last year’s fund- and food-raising by 17 percent and 45 percent respectively,” said Paul Ash, executive director of the Food Bank, in a press release. “Through the legal community’s generous support, children at day care and recreation programs will have the food they need to learn and grow.” — Jason Dearen

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