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Coudert IP Group Joins Alston & Bird Four lawyers from the New York intellectual property group of Coudert Brothers, including the group’s head, Philippe Bennett, have joined the New York office of Atlanta’s Alston & Bird. The group, which also includes partners Robert Hanlon and Thomas Parker and counsel Walter Scott, specializes in patent work. Edward Tillinghast, the managing partner of Coudert’s New York office, said the firm retained a two-partner trademark practice in New York, but most of the firm’s IP practice was based in the Palo Alto, Calif., office. Coudert has 142 lawyers in New York and 662 worldwide. Alston & Bird has about 60 lawyers in New York and 675 worldwide. � Anthony Lin Interviews Begin for Administrative Judge Slot Nine judges are vying to succeed Supreme Court Justice Thomas W. Keegan as the next administrative justice for the Third Judicial Department. Interviews are slated for today for the position that will open when Justice Keegan retires this spring. The contenders are Supreme Court Justices E. Michael Kavanagh of Kingston; Bernard J. Malone Jr. of Albany; George B. Ceresia Jr. of Troy; Joseph C. Teresi of Albany; and Leslie E. Stein of Albany. Also in the running are Albany County Judge Thomas A. Breslin, Albany County Family Court Judge Gerard E. Maney, Rensselaer County Surrogate Christian F. Hummel, and Sullivan County Family Court Judge Mark M. Meddaugh. � John Caher Writer of Racist Fliers Loses Ineffective Assistance Bid The First Amendment rights of a man who posted racist fliers to thwart the sale of a home in his Long Island neighborhood to blacks were not violated when he was prosecuted under the state’s hate crime laws, a judge has ruled. Nassau County Court of Claims Judge Victor M. Ort rejected a bid for ineffective assistance of counsel filed by defendant John McDowd, who asserted that his attorney should have argued that the hate crime prosecution ran afoul of his free speech rights. Mr. McDowd pleaded guilty last year to charges that he posted numerous racist flyers in his neighborhood. Prosecutors asserted that he did so after telling a real estate agent that if a nearby house was sold to blacks he would burn it down. Finding that the expression, which reinforced the defendant’s oral threat, was not protected, Judge Ort ruled in People v. McDowd, 811N-03, that the claim of ineffective counsel was not viable. � Leigh Jones Personal Notes on LawyersCraig A. Damast has been elected partner in Blank Rome’s business restructuring and bankruptcy practice group. He concentrates on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. � Evan David Lieberman has joined Block & O’Toole as an associate. He will specialize in significant plaintiff’s personal injury. � Roy F. Kaufman, a partner at Lewis, Johs, Avallone, Aviles & Kaufman, has been named a full member of the Board of Directors of the Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Center. � Gustavo Arnavat has joined Hunton & Williams as counsel and head of its Latin America and Caribbean Practice Group. Previously, he was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. � Piper Rudnick has announced the addition of five new partners: Martin Polevoy, Richard Fries, Alan Linder and Marc Hurel, real estate practice, and Todd Marcus, litigation. All were formerly with the New York office of Swidler, Berlin, Shereff, Friedman. � Schulte Roth & Zabel has elected Kirby Chin, Lawrence V. Gelber, David M. Hillman and Daniel V. Oshinsky as partner in its corporate group. � White & Case has named Jonathan E. Moskin partner in its global intellectual property practice group. He was formerly chair of the trademark, copyright and competition group at Pennie & Edmonds. � James L. Malone III has joined Winston & Strawn as partner in the tax department. He previously worked at McDermott, Will & Emery.

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