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Keeping partners safe from drugs The king of the Blawgers, Howard J. Bashman, only seems unstoppable. In a Sept. 17 entry, he apologizes to his readers for scanting them on the details of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative appeal. The case is a pending challenge to the Bush administration’s policy on medical marijuana. Bashman, who heads the appellate group at the Philadelphia office of Pittsburgh-based Buchanan Ingersoll, says he’d love to check out a link said to offer more information. But, he reports, “my law firm’s Web filter prevents me.” It seems that the case triggers a verboten category: abused drugs. Concludes Bashman, “Aargh!” No secret code Someone is having a bit of fun at the expense of Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz is on the defense team for discredited Park Avenue fertility doctor Niels Lauersen. Convicted of fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in reimbursements from insurance companies, he was sentenced to prison by Judge William Pauley III. Dershowitz argued on appeal that Pauley should have recused himself because he owned stock in one of the victim companies. On Sept. 15, the 2d Circuit rejected that argument in an opinion written by Jon O. Newman. Footnote 7 discusses the advisories issued by the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee, and notes that at oral arguments, Dershowitz “contended that the Guide to Codes of Conduct was confidential and unavailable to the public.” The court said it determined the guide is widely available. In fact, “The library of the Harvard Law School advises that it has a copy.” Fruit-bowl ready Nixon Peabody’s slogan is “A firm prepared for changing conditions.” If those conditions entail cantaloupe bowling, the 120 lawyers in its Rochester, N.Y., office are prepped and ready to go. Cantaloupe bowling was one of the events in an office fundraiser held this summer to benefit homeless and runaway young people in upstate New York. Other contests, each held weekly during lunch hour, included water balloon basketball and an office chair regatta. For the grand finale to the Wacky Office Olympics, lawyers and staff volunteered for 15-minute stints at a dunk tank set up in the courtyard. Winners of the earlier events had one free toss each, with more for sale. Among the volunteer dunkees was office managing partner David M. Schraver. Public relations manager Bill Albert said they raised more than $1,400 for Monroe County’s nonprofit Center for Youth. It was a first in the 128-year history of the firm that used to be known as Nixon, Hargrave, Devons & Doyle. Albert said everyone had fun and something similar will probably be held next summer. Edison reborn Speaking of wacky, the U.S. patent office shows no signs of sobering up. It took three years from when he first filed the application, but Clayton T. Holbrook, an inventor in Bluffdale, Utah, has been granted patent No. 6,599,545 for a new way to make sandwiches. The traditional sandwich is a leaky affair, Holbrook explains. The filling is, well, sandwiched between two pieces of bread. But what if a hole were drilled in a bun and the filling (he suggests a piece of meat, a piece of cheese and chopped vegetables or fruit) were inserted, using a sort of collar that could then be slid out, leaving the filling encased? The patent includes more than two dozen pages of drawings and diagrams, among them drills and collars.

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