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APPELLATE JUDGE SCORES YOSEMITE JOB SAN JOSE — Sixth District Court of Appeal Justice William Wunderlich is leaving San Jose to serve as a federal magistrate judge in Yosemite National Park. Wunderlich was one of five candidates to interview for the job in November. He said the federal judges stationed in Fresno offered him the job, pending a federal background check. Federal magistrates serve eight-year terms. Wunderlich, a Republican, was appointed to the San Jose appellate court by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1993. He was elected to the Monterey Superior Court in 1985. His departure leaves a vacancy on the seven-seat court, now dominated by Republican appointees. Wunderlich, 57, described the Yosemite position, which includes a house in the national park, as one of the most sought-after judicial posts in the country. “The court and the house are in the shadow of Yosemite Falls,” Wunderlich said. Wunderlich and his wife grew up in Nebraska. He said the new position will be a great fit. – Shannon Lafferty WILSON GIVES BONUS BUMP TO ASSOCIATES Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati announced Thursday it would increase associate bonuses for 2003 by up to 60 percent for the most junior of associates. The firm said it plans to award merit bonuses — that range from $4,000 to $35,000 — to its 425 associates. “We are pleased to provide an increase in merit bonus levels, which reflects the strong productivity and contributions of all of our attorneys,” Courtney Dorman, a firm spokeswoman, said. The bonuses the firm paid out based on the firm’s performance in 2002 ranged from $2,500 to $30,000, according to the firm. The big bump comes despite the conservative estimate Wilson Sonsini managers provided to illustrate 2003 performance. The firm said earlier this month it expects to gross $360 million by the time its fiscal year ends Jan. 31, which would translate into an 8 percent decline in revenue from 2002. Wilson Sonsini gave the same dollar amount the prior year as well, but the firm later reported it had grossed $387 million by the end of its fiscal year. – Renee Deger 11TH CIRCUIT TAKES UP GOLF DISPUTE CASE ATLANTA — The PGA Tour Inc. and a Georgia-based media company teed off in oral arguments last week before the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over who may publish real-time golf scores. At issue is whether the PGA can force media outlets that cover its tournaments to delay the publication of real-time scores provided through the PGA press center. In recent years, Internet use has increased both the demand for real-time scores and their revenue-generating potential. This market has pitted the PGA’s official source for real-time scores, www.pgatour.com, against Augusta-based Morris Communications Corp., which seeks to sell the same information to other media outlets. In a case that combined antitrust and First Amendment issues — and some heated debate — both sides couched their arguments in economic terms. The PGA’s attorney, Jeffrey Mishkin of New York’s Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, argued that because PGA tournaments are private events, unauthorized profiteering is akin to selling property stolen from a home. Morris’ attorney, George Gabel Jr. of Holland & Knight’s Jacksonville, Fla., office, disputed the theft analogy. He argued that the PGA invites news organizations and tens of thousands of spectators to each event and actively seeks the publicity they generate. Gabel asked the three-judge panel to increase “consumer choice” and the need for a competitive marketplace. Mishkin also invoked the competitive marketplace concept, but he asked for the law’s protection of his client’s “commercial product.” In its brief, Morris alleges the tour violated antitrust laws and exhibited “predatory behavior” by conditioning media access to its tournaments on an agreement to delay publication of real-time scores. This policy, Morris contends in its brief, results in a virtual monopoly on reporting and raises the question of “who, if anyone, controls the news.” In its pleadings, the PGA counters that it is not seeking to control coverage. Rather, it wants to protect its sophisticated golf-score reporting system from those who would sell the scores to third parties — without compensating the PGA. In 2002, Judge Harvey Schlesinger of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled in the PGA’s favor. He found that it has a “property right in the compilation of scores” and a protected ability to sell or license that right, and to prohibit others from doing so. During arguments before the Eleventh Circuit on Jan. 14, Morris’ attorney, Gabel, assailed Schlesinger’s decision, calling the PGA’s policy “offensive.” He asserted that golf scores enter the public domain as they occur (rather than when they are received by the press center), making the scores fair game for publication by news organizations. – Fulton County Daily Report

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