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Changing Venues Pennsauken’s Alan Milstein made his bones as a litigator first in medical malpractice cases and then in suits targeting research centers that botch pharmaceutical tests. Nowadays, though, the Pennsauken lawyer has been a frequent fixture on ESPN as the lead lawyer for Maurice Clarett, the sophomore running back that Ohio State dropped from its NCAA championship team after he allegedly received improper benefits from a family friend and then lied about it to investigators. Clarett, 20, decided to turn pro and declared himself eligible for the April National Football League draft. The problem: NFL rules prohibit any team from drafting players who have been out of high school for less than three years. Clarett missed that by one year. Last Thursday, Milstein, a partner at Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky, convinced U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlein in Manhattan that the draft-eligibility rule violates antitrust laws. Though an appeal is likely, Clarett might make the draft. What puzzles area lawyers is not that Milstein won, but how Clarett came to hire him to begin with. Milstein, an art critic who attended the University of Maryland and the University of Kansas, has no apparent background in sports law. “It’s another situation of someone who is seeking justice from an institution,” says Milstein. “I have a lot of contacts in the African-American community.” Movin’ Out, and Up? After only half a year on the job as second in command in the Department of Law and Public Safety, First Assistant Attorney General Edward Neafsey is leaving his post — possibly with an eye toward a judgeship. His office announced Friday that Neafsey is “stepping down in the spring to pursue other career options” and that Attorney General Peter Harvey‘s current chief of staff, Mariellen Dugan, will take over as first assistant. Harvey’s spokesman, Chuck Davis, would not comment and Neafsey was not available for questions. The Feb. 1 “The Auditor” column in The Star-Ledger said that Neafsey was being evaluated as a judicial nominee. Gov. James McGreevey’s spokesman, Micah Rasmussen, would not comment on potential nominations, saying only, “We have been very happy with Mr. Neafsey’s tenure at the Department of Law and Public Safety” and “we only have the highest things to say about him.” Former Attorney General David Samson, who was Neafsey’s prior boss, won’t say if the governor’s office has consulted him about a nomination. “If he wants to serve on the bench, I hope he’ll succeed in achieving that because he possesses all the necessary talents, from intelligence, honesty to judicial temperament,” says Samson. Neafsey, a veteran environmental and criminal prosecutor, also served as inspector general and insurance fraud prosecutor. Dead as a Bona Fide Office Rule Staten Island practitioner Brian Solomon and the Community Funeral Home in Passaic had a deal. For free legal services, the home let him an office so he could see other clients once a week. Unfortunately, for Solomon, the Disciplinary Review Board found the arrangement to be dead wrong. On Jan. 30, it reprimanded Solomon for violating the bona fide office rule in effect until late last year. A DRB opinion said court personnel hearing a collection case Solomon filed in New Jersey in 2001 tried to reach him at the Passaic phone number he put on the pleadings. Funeral home workers answered, the Office of Attorney Ethics was called in and the arrangement was unearthed. The DRB said Solomon had a similar space-for-services deal from 1996 to 2001 with a transport company that had offices in the middle of an oil refinery in Linden. Ironically, Solomon’s choice of offices from 1996 to 2003 would be ethical now. Last September, the state Supreme Court abolished the office requirement for New Jersey admittees who have bona fide offices in other states. Sue Me Twice, Shame on You Anyone who thinks Olds v. Donnelly, 150 N.J. 424 (1997), guts the entire controversy doctrine in legal malpractice cases doesn’t have it quite right. A court invoked the doctrine last week in a client’s suit against her former divorce lawyer, saying the client should have raised the claim when the lawyer sued her for fees. Anna Vogt defaulted in 1998 on fee payments to Pollyann Toll of Cherry Hill. Toll sued her for fees and Vogt later filed a suit for malpractice. Burlington County Assignment Judge John Sweeney dismissed the suit and last week, the Appellate Division affirmed. While the doctrine did not require Vogt to raise the malpractice claim in the underlying matrimonial case, she should have done so in the fee case. It made no difference that Pollyann Toll, P.A. sued for fees while Pollyann Toll was the defendant in the malpractice case, because “Toll was always the real party in interest.” The entire controversy doctrine is “still alive and well,” remarks Toll’s lawyer, John Slimm, a partner with Cherry Hill’s Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin. Vogt’s attorney, Mark Molz, who heads a Hainesport firm, did not return a call seeking comment. - By Michael Booth, Charles Toutant, Henry Gottlieb and Mary Gallagher

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