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Perils of Dehyphenation People with an old Internet bookmark for the St. John & Waynesite will get a surprise next time they load the Newark firm’s home page in their browser. StJohn-law.com is now being used to sell the Paris Hilton sex video. The firm has changed its Web address to the similar but more streamlined www.StJohnlaw.com, abandoning the hyphen. The unfortunate consequence has been that the old address has been taken over by an operation called “Pay Site Guide,” which describes itself as “Your Guide to Great Porn.” Aside from the Hilton, er, deposition, StJohn-law.com also touts content featuring “midgets,” “feet,” “uniforms” and “wrestling.” On its own that’s not a problem, except that the old address remains listed in directories for the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the Washburn University School of Law, FindNYC.com, New Jersey Insider and editions of Martindale-Hubbell published prior to 2002. “I can assure you we’re only running a law firm,” says co-managing partner David Freinberg. Letter From London Nearly one year after lawyers at Dewey Ballantineinfuriated the Asian-American community by performing a stereotype-laden parody song at their annual dinner, the law firm is again dealing with allegations of racial insensitivity, this time stemming from a partner’s joke that was e-mailed to all of the firm’s New York employees. Last Monday, an employee sent a firm-wide e-mail advertising the availability of some puppies for adoption. Douglas Getter, a London-based American who heads Dewey Ballantine’s European mergers and acquisitions practice, sent a firm-wide reply. “Please don’t let these puppies go to a Chinese restaurant!” Getter wrote in his e-mail. His joke, derived from stereotypes about Asian predilections for consuming animals Westerners consider pets, drew immediate criticism from others at the firm, and Getter sent out an apology. The firm’s co-chairs, Sanford Morhouseand Morton Pierce, also issued a response. “This afternoon an offensive e-mail was circulated by a partner,” Morhouse and Pierce wrote. “Comments of this nature are inconsistent with the values of this firm and will not be tolerated. We extend our immediate apologies to the entire Dewey Ballantine community.” Dewey has 582 lawyers worldwide, with almost 350 in New York. Carpenter for Hire Carpenter, Bennett & Morrissey, a 106-year-old mainstay of Newark’s legal scene, has a vaunted employment law practice and DuPont as a client, making it just the kind of firm an out-of-state giant would want to woo. As it turns out, one of the prospective suitors is home-grown, Morristown’s McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney. Five lawyers outside the firms said last week they have heard that partners at 68-lawyer Carpenter and 128-lawyer McElroy Deutsch are talking about a merger, though they say no deal appears imminent. McElroy, Deutsch managing partner Edward Deutschand Carpenter, Bennett administrator Jack Banyar didn’t want to comment last week. Lawyers who know both firms say the prize for McElroy, Deutsch would be Carpenter, Bennett’s employment and worker’s compensation practice. “It looks like it would be a nice fit,” says an employment lawyer in another firm who doesn’t want to be identified. Francis Dee, who manages Carpenter, Bennett and heads its employment practice, was out of the office on Friday and couldn’t be reached for comment. End-Run Penalty A saga that began in 1982 when a malfunctioning Kenilworth traffic light caused an accident that left Mark Waldorf a quadriplegic drew to an anticlimactic end last Thursday when an appeals court affirmed the dismissal of the borough’s malpractice suit against its attorneys. Shanley & Fisherrecommended the borough stipulate to liability in Waldorf’s personal injury case, resulting in a $3 million verdict against the town. After adverse pretrial rulings in the malpractice case against Shanley, now Florham Park’s Drinker Biddle & Reath, the borough dropped its opposition to a defense motion to dismiss so it could obtain a final judgment that would allow it to appeal the prior rulings. The tactic backfired. The appeals court, stating it disapproved of the town’s maneuvering, held the appeal moot because the town had consented to dismissal and had not preserved its right to refile. Saying it wanted to put the case to rest, the panel discussed the merits in a manner that Bruce Goldstein, of Newark’s Saiber Schlesinger Satz & Goldstein, who represents the Shanley defendants, calls “a complete vindication.” Kenilworth’s lawyer, Totowa solo practitioner Diane Acciavatti, did not return a call seeking comment. - By Jim Edwards, Anthony Lin, Henry Gottlieb, Mary P. Gallagher

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