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FISH & RICHARDSON LAWYERS RIDE TO HOLLISTER’S RESCUE Hollister, a mecca for bikers, is attracting a new crowd of rabble-rousers: intellectual property attorneys. Six associates from Fish & Richardson’s Silicon Valley office have been trekking into the city to help San Benito County District Attorney John Sarsfield prosecute a backlog of cases. He deputized them as special assistant district attorneys about six months ago. Associate John Picone III had pitched the idea to Sarsfield as a way to give the DA’s office extra manpower — Sarsfield has three assistant DAs — while giving Fish & Richardson attorneys courtroom experience. “The lawyers here are really smart and have great backgrounds but it will take a long time to get seasoning for the front row” in the kind of cases Fish & Richardson litigates, Picone said. A 10-lawyer team, for instance, just won a summary judgment for Microsoft Corp. in which plaintiff HyperPhrase Technologies LLC was seeking $2 billion in damages. The associates initially have handled misdemeanors that involve penalties of up to a year in jail. Their docket has included a domestic violence case and an Internet fraud case in which someone was selling nonexistent items over eBay Inc.’s auction site. The lawyers do the work pro bono while holding down their day jobs at Fish & Richardson. Hollister, a city of 35,000 about 90 miles south of San Francisco, gained fame as the biker-abused small town in Marlon Brando’s “The Wild One.” It was in the media spotlight again two weeks ago. Sarsfield held a press conference at the Hollister police department to announce that prosecutors under his predecessor had withheld police reports from defense attorneys in as many as 60 cases. A former deputy district attorney in Monterey County, Sarsfieldwas elected San Benito DA in 2002, replacing longtime DA Harry Damkar. He said he learned from police officers that information had been withheld in these cases. The Fish & Richardson attorneys weren’t brought in to deal with this controversy, however. “It wasn’t a factor,” Picone said. — Brenda Sandburg GETTING CREATIVE Lawyers may not be known for their artistic talent, but Pillsbury Winthrop attorneys will have their artwork displayed across the country later this year. The firm has invited its lawyers and staff members to submit designs for the annual holiday cards. The winning designs will be printed on roughly 25,000 cards, dispatched to the firm’s clients, vendors and friends this December. “We wanted to do something that included as many people on our team and family as possible,” says Orange County Managing Partner Craig Barbarosh. In fact, spouses and children are also welcome to participate in the competition. So far, the interest has been so strong that Pillsbury has extended the deadline for submissions. A panel of judges comprised of Pillsbury attorneys and marketing staffers will narrow the entries down to eight finalists, which will then be submitted to a firmwide vote. Pillsbury will pick up four winning designs. Besides the national exposure, each winning artist will get to designate a favorite charity to which Pillsbury Winthrop will donate $2,500. — Alexei Oreskovic DOWN IN PALO ALTO Nancy Clark is the Palo Alto Area Bar Association’s new president. The group elected its new officers earlier this month. Clark is a deputy county counsel in Santa Clara focusing on labor and employment. Soyeun Choi, a Redwood City intellectual property attorney, was elected vice president. Serena Patitucci Torvik, a Palo Alto business and real estate litigation attorney at Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McLean, was elected secretary. Criminal defense attorney Michael Armstrong, of Palo Alto’s Nolan, Armstrong & Barton, is treasurer. Bar association members also selected Mark Shepherd, a specialist in estate law; Sara Marinelli, a specialist in conservatorship law; and Angela Castro, a real property attorney at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, to serve on the board of directors. Clark said the group is gearing up for its community law night, Oct. 29, when 30 lawyers will be on hand to give free legal advice to Palo Alto residents. – Shannon Lafferty

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