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DAVIS NAMES FRIEND TO BENCH IN YOLO SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gray Davis has appointed Yolo County Supervisor David Rosenberg, an old friend who also serves as a California Lottery commissioner, to the Yolo bench. Rosenberg, 56, served as an aide to Gov. Jerry Brown from 1976 to 1981 and then practiced law with Felderstein, Rosenberg & McManus and Diepenbrock Wulff Plant & Hannegan in Sacramento. Rosenberg — who cites Davis as his mentor on his Web site — has also been on the California Law Revision Commission, among other state and local boards, and was a member of the Davis City Council. The appointment was Davis’ first since the week of the recall, when he named several new judges. Davis spokesman Steve Maviglio said the governor would not be able to fill all the approximately 15 judicial openings left in the state before leaving office. Davis will be out by Nov. 15 at the latest. — Jeff Chorney COUNCIL APPROVES FAST-TRACK CHANGES The California Judicial Council on Tuesday changed court rules to give judges more flexibility in setting civil trial dates. It’s the most significant change to scheduling rules since the Trial Court Delay Reduction Act in 1986. That law, frequently referred to as “fast-track,” was intended to decrease the amount of time it takes civil cases to reach trial. Both plaintiffs and defense lawyers have complained that judges are too rigid in imposing the fast-track rules. Tuesday’s changes give judges more leeway to grant continuances and more cushioning in the goals they’re supposed to meet as they craft their calendars. Meanwhile, the Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed Tuesday to publish an opinion in which it said defendants’ due process rights can trump fast-track provisions. Several defense lawyers asked the court to publish its Sept. 24 opinion in Polibrid Coating Inc. v. Superior Court, G032459. Polibrid lawyer Pamela Dunn, of Pasadena’s Dunn Koes, said Tuesday that the rule change and the now-published opinion on the timing of summary judgment motions complement each other. In other business, the council approved revisions to appellate rules, OK’d guidelines for unsealing court records and limited contracting with former court employees. As usual, every item that came up for a vote on the council’s agenda was passed without opposition. The council put off a vote on one item, a court rule regarding the responsibilities for attorneys in juvenile court proceedings, until its Dec. 5 meeting in Los Angeles. — Jeff Chorney MORGAN, LEWIS ADDS LAWYERS TO S.F. OFFICE Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has added 13 new lawyers to its two Bay Area offices, including a partner, two of counsel and 10 associates. The new hires follow Morgan, Lewis’ acquisition of the bulk of Washington, D.C.-based Zevnik Horton, a boutique focusing on insurance coverage litigation. Morgan, Lewis acquired 27 lawyers and new offices in Chicago and Boston through the deal. The new hires included seven partners. One of them, Jeffrey Raskin, joined Morgan, Lewis’ San Francisco office. A graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law, Raskin’s practice focuses on insurance coverage advice and litigation. Also joining the firm’s employee benefits/executive compensation practice in San Francisco is Eva McComas, previously of counsel at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich. Intellectual property lawyer David Johnson joins Morgan, Lewis’ litigation practice as of counsel in San Francisco. The firm also added four lateral associates and brought six first-year associates into its San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. “We are extremely busy so we are growing quite actively,” said Franklin Brockway “Brock” Gowdy, managing partner of Morgan, Lewis’ San Francisco office. He said the firm is recruiting lateral partners primarily in IP litigation, labor and employment and business and finance. The firm now has 130 lawyers in the Bay Area. — Brenda Sandburg

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