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DON’T LEAVE ME! SONSINI LEARNS NEW KIND OF PLEADING Imagine being an up-and-coming Los Angeles Lakers player and having Shaquille O’Neal and coach Phil Jackson beg you not to leave the team. That’s the situation Caine Moss faced when he decided to jump from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to Greenberg Traurig’s new Silicon Valley office. The top brass at Wilson Sonsini made a full court press to get Moss to change his mind. “Larry Sonsini, Jeff Saper, Marty Korman and Steve Bochner parked themselves in his office for a week, and he eventually succumbed,” said recruiter Gary Davis, of Patterson Davis Consulting, who worked with Greenberg on its move into the Bay Area. A senior associate at Wilson Sonsini, Moss was set to become a partner at Greenberg. Davis said Moss was one of Wilson’s top associates and probably had the largest book of business aside from the firm’s leading partners. Moss did not return a phone call about his move. And a Wilson Sonsini spokesperson said the firm “would rather not provide a comment for the story.” Wilson Sonsini did lose associates Stefan Clulow and Khoa Do to Greenberg, where they were named partners. The 1,100-attorney, Miami-based Greenberg announced March 3 that it had opened a Silicon Valley office with seven partners. They include Cooley Godward associate Thomas LaWer; Tomlinson Zisko of counsel Heather Meeker; Baker & McKenzie associate Frederic Adam; Randall Single, former general counsel for Divco West Properties; and E. Thom “Todd” Rumberger Jr., who previously had been a partner in Greenberg’s Orlando office before joining the venture fund SVIC in Silicon Valley. Greenberg Traurig’s new office is in a space previously held by Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison in East Palo Alto. — Brenda Sandburg Mayor skips Nixon Peabody wonk talk, not cocktails Same-sex marriage may have put San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the national headlines, but affordable housing is still high on his local agenda. On Wednesday, Newsom showed up at an affordable housing forum put on by 600-attorney law firm Nixon Peabody. The seminar was a jargon-fest of affordable housing intricacies, with Nixon Peabody real estate attorneys regaling the audience with presentations on Section 202 loans and “new market” tax credits. The mayor skipped all the dry talk and showed up for the cocktail and dim sum reception that followed the seminar at the Pan Pacific Hotel. In the wake of the March 2 defeat of Proposition J, a housing construction bond measure, Newsom is assembling a task force on affordable housing. Wednesday’s event was a good place to recruit. The pow-wow drew a mix of bankers, developers and urban planners. Monica Sussman, an affordable housing partner at Nixon Peabody, met privately with Newsom at the event and discussed opportunities for community development and affordable housing issues that she said San Francisco ought to be paying attention to. “He was very interested,” said Sussman. He “seems to be very committed to housing and to federal funding.” — Alexei Oreskovic orrick gives helping hand to elementary school Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is already winning over neighbors months before moving into its new South of Market offices. The firm is donating $250,000 over five years to provide an after-school YMCA program at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School on Sherman Street. Orrick’s management is also encouraging lawyers and staff to volunteer as tutors and mentors at the school. “Hopefully we’re going to provide leadership and make a difference in that part of the city that could really benefit from such commitment and contributions,” said Gregory Evans, the Orrick litigation partner responsible for bringing the idea to his firm. Evans, a YMCA board member, said after-school programs in his hometown of East Los Angeles helped him become a good student and eventually win a college scholarship. He wants local kids to have the same opportunities. “I want them to know that despite the fact that they’re living in [single room occupancy housing] or a homeless shelter or despite the fact that mom is struggling with drugs and alcohol or other challenges, if they stay in school and avail themselves of these social services, they can succeed just like I did,” he said. Orrick is leaving the Old Federal Reserve Bank Building on Sansome Street for its new digs on Howard Street in early July. Orrick Chairman Ralph Baxter Jr. said the search for more space, better technology infrastructure and natural light prompted the move. The firm’s new home, minted The Orrick Building, is eight blocks from Bessie Carmichael. — Adrienne Sanders

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