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IF PD WINS, HE’LL MAKE DAVIS HIS RIGHT-HAND MAN Contra Costa County Assistant Public Defender Paul Mariano believes he’s figured out a way to keep Gov. Gray Davis in charge even if he’s recalled. Vote Mariano for governor. Mariano has turned in papers to run in the recall, and if elected, said he’ll decline the governor’s salary, refuse to live in the governor’s mansion and appoint Gray Davis his chief of staff, allowing the recalled governor to keep running the daily operations of the state. The 26-year PD veteran said he opposes the recall, but sees his candidacy as the only way to ensure that Davis can stay in charge. The recall “has become both insane and a joke,” Mariano said. “It makes California look like a joke.” Mariano said the problem is with the recall ballot: First, voters will decide yes or no on whether they want to recall Davis. Then they’ll pick a successor. But Davis is not allowed to run. So even if the yes-no majority vote is tight, Davis doesn’t have a chance to compete in the second section, the winner of which will be determined by plurality. Mariano’s effort is serious. He’s already submitted the $3,500 and 65 signatures needed to qualify as a candidate and is prepared to spend at least $1,500 more to put a candidate statement on the ballot. He’s put together a campaign team made up of others from the PD’s office and the county alternate defender’s office, and he plans to open a fund-raising committee. Mariano said he voted for Davis last fall and is not sure he’d do so again — he doesn’t like the governor’s parole policy or judicial appointments. Even so, he’s disturbed because he said the recall, if successful, could just spawn more recalls financed by rich people who want to be governor. “Democrats will push against the recall, and it will be interesting to see what they say about the second half [of the ballot],” Mariano said. “I’m assuming that [Davis] will vote for me.” – Jeff Chorney A KEANE OBSERVER Golden Gate University law school dean and local legal commentator Peter Keane hasn’t tried a case in five years. But he’s returning to the courtroom to represent one of his students who was arrested at an April 7 anti-war protest. Law school student Olga Kelly was one of 25 people criminally charged in the wake of the Port of Oakland demonstration. Oakland police have been widely criticized for firing rubber bullets, dowels and other projectiles at demonstrators. While police say protesters threw objects and refused to disperse, demonstrators say the event was nonviolent. Dozens of people injured during the incident have filed civil rights suits against the city. Kelly was a legal observer at the protest. She was charged with trespassing, blocking a place of business and failing to obey the police, Keane said. Keane is a former San Francisco chief assistant deputy public defender who has flirted with runs for public office. His last trial was a death penalty case. Kelly faces up to six months in jail for each count, the dean said. Kelly isn’t involved in civil suits against Oakland. Meanwhile, other port criminal cases are winding though the system, according to Bobbie Stein, a San Francisco attorney who’s involved in the defense effort. She and several other attorneys — including Stuart Hanlon and Tony Tamburello of San Francisco’s Tamburello & Hanlon, Scott Sugarman of San Francisco’s Sugarman & Cannon, and Petra DeJesus of Oakland’s Kazan, McClain, Edises, Abrams Fernandez, Lyons & Farrise — have volunteered to represent the defendants. — Jahna Berry AN EXPENSIVE ERROR Fish & Richardson admits it made a big mistake in missing a deadline for filing a client’s foreign patent application. But the firm says the error didn’t cost its client $30 million in damages. That’s the amount San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Carl Holm recently ordered Fish & Richardson to pay San Diego-based Kairos Scientific Inc. for malpractice and breach of contract. Holm concluded that Kairos could have obtained $30 million in licensing and royalties from two companies that were negotiating a license before the company lost foreign rights to the patent. The patent covers a device and process for screening enzymes. Fish & Richardson failed to file a so-called Patent Cooperation Treaty application within one year after filing an application in the United States. The PCT filing deadline was April 1999. But because of a human error at Fish & Richardson — someone deleted the deadline from the firm’s docket system — attorneys did not file the application until June 1999. “The real issue is whether Kairos was damaged to the extent it alleged,” said Peter Devlin, managing partner of Fish & Richardson. “We think Kairos didn’t incur the damages they allege.” Fish & Richardson is appealing the award. In his July 28 ruling, Holm said Fish & Richardson had denied there were any “consequential damages” other than the filing fees, which the firm returned to Kairos. And he said the firm argued that even if the PCT application had been filed on time, the foreign patents would not have been granted. But Kairos attorney Natasha Roit, a solo practitioner in Malibu, said the patent was clearly valid since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the patent to Kairos. — Brenda Sandburg

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