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SEYFARTH SNARES PRESTON PARTNER Seyfarth Shaw’s San Francisco office has lured partner Thomas Armstrong from Preston Gates & Ellis in its continuing effort to bolster its corporate practice. Armstrong’s move comes after a three-year stint at Preston Gates’ San Francisco office. He said he was attracted to the fact that Seyfarth is focused on building a corporate group and that the 600-attorney firm has a national footprint. Seven of Preston Gates’ nine offices, by contrast, are in the Western United States. A Hastings College of the Law graduate, Armstrong represents emerging companies and venture capital firms in corporate matters such as financings and mergers and acquisitions. “The addition of such a proven and well-known attorney like Tom is a new milestone in the development of a strong corporate and tax practice in the West Coast,” said Seyfarth’s San Francisco managing partner, William Dritsas. — Alexei Oreskovic FIRM’S EX-CLIENT TO GET $1 MILLION MIAMI — A jury has ordered Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and the head of its corporate practice in Miami to pay a former client $1.1 million for failing to protect the client from a financial scam that resulted in millions of dollars in losses. Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and Miami partner Clayton E. Parker were found negligent for failing to do proper investigation and auditing for their client, who was later the victim of a bogus real estate loan investment scheme. A Miami-Dade Circuit Court jury on Jan. 28 found Parker and the 800-lawyer, Pittsburgh-founded firm 50 percent responsible for $2.3 million in losses and interest costs sustained by Bell Holdings Inc., a Miami company that invests in residential mortgages. Bell’s half of the award comes to $1,131,782, according to one of its attorneys, Adam Lamb. Attorneys for both sides in Bell Holdings Inc. v. Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP and Clay Parker say they plan to file post-trial motions. Bell’s attorneys hope to have the defendants found 100 percent liable. Otherwise, Bell president Barry Hechtman said, “It would be the first time in the state of Florida this was done — where a client could hire a lawyer and then have the client considered negligent.” — Miami Daily Business Review GEORGIA GOP WANTS MORE COURT DISPLAYS ATLANTA — Georgia House Minority Leader Glenn Richardson told a gathering of lawyers and journalists Saturday that he will introduce a bill to require all 159 Georgia county courthouses to display the Ten Commandments. Chief Justice Norman Fletcher, a member of the audience at the meeting, said he worries about the proposed bill’s constitutionality. “I don’t understand how the state Legislature can trump federal courts,” said Fletcher, referring to an Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that ordered the Alabama Supreme Court to remove a monument embossed with the Ten Commandments. Richardson said he is undaunted by the potential cost of defending court challenges. If the state could pay several million dollars to defend its redistricting map, he said, then why not spend money to defend the Ten Commandments? Richardson’s proposal comes in the wake of a national controversy over former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s attempt to defend placing a 5,280-pound granite Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court. The Eleventh Circuit ordered the monument removed. Moore refused and was subsequently expelled from his post. — Fulton County Daily Report

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