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Young Lawyers see bleak future No one can accuse the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division of being cheerleaders. A study by the group showed that more than half-that is, 65%-of the lawyers they interviewed said that they would consider switching to nonlawyering jobs within the next two years. The given reason? A stated inability to contribute to the social good through the practice of law. Personality type? There’s a so-called lawyer personality�highly intelligent, short on emotional understanding and combative, especially among big-firm lawyers�that is the subject of a new book: Should You Marry a Lawyer? The publisher is Niche Press and the author, Fiona Travis, is an Illinois psychologist who has been married to a judge for 40 years. Travis includes such hints as how to argue with your lawyer-lover. Spinmeister’s heir Want to know why prosecutors would seek a grand jury indictment in the Michael Jackson case? Curious about how Daniel Petrocelli’s background as attorney in the O.J. Simpson civil case might influence his representation of Jeffrey Skilling? Trying to understand a San Francisco judge’s refusal to issue an injunction in same-sex marriages? For more than a decade, the legal expert the West Coast press turned to-we’re talking some 1,000 cites in the Los Angeles Times and heaven knows how many radio spots-is University of Southern California Law School Professor Erwin Chemerinsky. But the ubiquitous Chemerinsky is going to Duke University in North Carolina. Who will fill the void? The obvious pick is Laurie Levenson, the professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and NLJ columnist whose frequency in newspaper legal stories ranks second only to Chemerinsky. But when those in the legal community are asked whose insight and expertise they’d like to hear, it’s the veteran senior partner types who get mentioned: Jack Quinn, Charles Munger, Ron Olson, Warren Christopher and Browne Greene. As for Chemerinsky’s choice of successor: “I hope I can continue to contribute,” the guru said. Sorry as a tactic Scorched by a body parts scandal with a gazillion class actions looming, the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center did something extraordinary. Officials went public on March 8 with an apology. It will be a while before we know the results, but examples of contrition by litigants and by would-be litigants are popping up all over. New York firm Shearman & Sterling ran Japanese ads saying it was “deeply sorry” it didn’t help former client EIE International. COPIC Insurance of Colorado reported that using the technique in adjudicating 433 claims resulted in just two lawsuits and both were dropped. Boston-based Putnam Investments, hit with civil fraud charges, took full-page ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal pledging to do better. It’s scary for trial attorneys whose conventional wisdom is that clients should lie low. But many have seen “sorry” work. “Often it’s effective in mediation, sometimes in litigation and never in arbitration,” says Ralph O. Williams III, a former defense lawyer who has been a full-time mediator since 1996. “It’s like chicken soup. It’s healing and it can’t hurt.” Being contrite appears most helpful in broken relationships�law firm partners at odds, medical disputes, family fights and employment rifts.

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