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Making Nieuw Law Add Dutch law to the list of things New Jersey federal judges need to know. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Faith Hochberg became the first jurist anywhere, including the Netherlands, to decide whether the Dutch legislature made new law or merely codified existing requirements in 2003 when it passed an act obliging patent agents to keep their work for clients confidential. In 2002, the defense in an intellectual property suit by Organon Inc. of West Orange sought documents from Organon’s Dutch patent agents. Hochberg, applying Dutch law, decided that the confidentiality privilege existed even before the law was enacted. To help her make the decision in Organon Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Hochberg had opinions from three Dutch law professors serving as the parties’ experts. Not only are the Dutch now enlightened about one of their own statutes, they have learned a truth about American law: Victories are rarely total. Hochberg ruled that the defense could get other Dutch documents that aren’t covered by the crime-fraud exception or attorney-client privilege. Scouts Out As national debate rages over gay marriage, the Supreme Court will soon consider a throwback to an earlier gay rights issue: whether states may deny Boy Scouts access to government benefits or facilities because of the group’s policy excluding gays. The Court is expected to discuss Boy Scouts of America v. Wyman, No. 03-956, at its conference March 5. The Supreme Court, in the 2000 case Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, upheld the First Amendment associational right of the Scouts when it ruled that New Jersey could not require the Scouts to admit homosexuals under its public accommodations law. In spite of the ruling, government entities around the country continued to examine whether Boy Scouts would be allowed use of public facilities and whether they would have access to charitable campaigns. In the case before the Court, Connecticut excluded the Boy Scouts from its state employee charitable campaign, which allows workers to make payroll donations to approved groups. After the New Jersey court ruled against the Boy Scouts, Connecticut began to examine whether the Scouts’ policy against admitting gays made it ineligible for inclusion in the charity campaign. The Connecticut human rights commission ruled that the Scouts’ continued participation would violate state antidiscrimination and gay rights laws. After the Supreme Court’s Dale ruling, state officials determined that Connecticut could exclude the Scouts so as not to further discrimination. The Boy Scouts sued state Comptroller Nancy Wyman but lost at the district court and appeals court levels. Playing Doctor Discipline looms for a lawyer who fondled his doctor’s female employees, not once or twice but repeatedly for four years. Flemington solo practitioner William Wolfson pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact after a medical technician complained to police that Wolfson had touched her breast and an investigation disclosed he had behaved similarly on 10 to 15 occasions with at least six women in the office. He was granted pretrial intervention and entered a counseling program. The Disciplinary Review Board recommended a three-month suspension, based on the state Supreme Court’s In re Addonizio, which approved that quantum of punishment for sexual misconduct by a lawyer. But last Wednesday, Office of Attorney Ethics Counsel Richard Engelhardt urged the Court to double the suspension, noting that Wolfson’s illicit touchings had gone on for four years. Wolfson’s lawyer, David H. Dugan III of Medford, asked the Court to consider that Wolfson immediately realized he had a problem and entered into therapy when the woman filed the complaint. “His case does not involve him being in a power position, such as a lawyer with a client,” said Dugan. “He’s very humiliated and sorry for what he has done.” Bad Timing Timing is everything. Just ask Maureen Milan, the one-time New Jersey Transit vice president who lost her job and is serving a three-year sentence for accepting tickets to the “Producers” and other gifts from a bus company that does millions of dollars in business with the state. Nine days after she began doing time, Gov. James McGreevey signed a bill that repeals N.J.S.A. 2C:27-4(2), to which Milan had pleaded guilty last September. That left Milan the only person convicted under the law, passed in 1999, which criminalizes the receipt of “benefits” from one in a position to benefit from an official’s violation of duty, even absent a quid pro quo. Last Wednesday, Essex Judge Peter Vena posted online his Feb. 6 ruling refusing to vacate Milan’s plea despite her unique situation. She is appealing. Her lawyer, Stephen Brooks, a partner with Boston’s Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRensis & Holland and a former assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey, says he would have handled things differently if he had known a repeal was in the works. “Others who did what she did would be fined or slapped on the wrist,” he adds, declining to name names. - By Henry Gottlieb, Tony Mauro, Michael Booth and Mary P. Gallagher

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