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EX-PTO CHIEF PLUGS INTO GENERAL ELECTRIC The General Electric Co. has hired a former head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and one of Howrey Simon Arnold & White‘s top partners as its chief intellectual property lawyer. Q. Todd Dickinson will start his new job as vice president and chief IP counsel around May 1. Dickinson “represents a tremendous level of experience and a proven ability to show leadership,” says GE spokesman Peter Stack. “I think his work record speaks for itself.” Aside from Howrey and the PTO, Dickinson’s work record includes past positions as IP counsel to Sun Co. Inc. (now Sunoco Inc.) in Philadelphia, and as counsel with Philadelphia’s Dechert Price & Rhoads. He became head of the PTO under President Bill Clinton in 1999 and joined Howrey in 2001. Dickinson will be GE’s first chief IP counsel to serve as a corporate officer. Stack says the decision reflects the company’s increasing focus on technology. Dickinson’s perspective will be needed in both the development and protection of intellectual property, Stack says. Dickinson says his new gig “is one of the best IP jobs in the world. I’m very excited about working there.” He will be reporting to Vice President and GC Brackett Denniston III and Scott Donnelly, senior vice president for global research, out of the company’s Fairfield, Conn., offices. GE’s previous top IP lawyer, Ronald Myrick, retired last August. Myrick, now a partner at D.C.’s Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner in its Cambridge, Mass., office, said in a statement that Dickinson “will have a great team to lead who already share many of his values.” Dickinson’s work in private practice and as PTO head developed his understanding of complex issues in IP and policy, says Sharon Barner, a partner at Milwaukee’s Foley & Lardner, which represents GE on many IP matters. Dickinson says he hasn’t had a chance to review whether he will make changes in the company’s outside intellectual property counsel. According to Legal Times affiliate IP Law & Business magazine, GE also named Armstrong Teasdale; Cantor Colburn; Hunton & Williams; and Nixon & Vanderhye as primary IP counsel. At Howrey, Dickinson helped develop an IP consulting arm to add to the firm’s predominantly IP litigation practice. “He energized some people on the strategic side of IP,” says Robert Ruyak, Howrey’s managing partner. Strategic planning is important for large corporations, such as GE, to understand how they can exploit their IP rights, including licensing, says Ruyak. It is an area Ruyak calls Dickinson’s “strength,” and a reason GE is a good fit. Howrey will continue its work on the transactional side of IP without Dickinson, Ruyak says, though “we would have liked to have him a little longer.” — Christine Hines TOO POOR TO PARTY Federal court leaders say the judiciary is at a near crisis point unless Congress boosts its funding. And close to home, there’s some immediate fallout from the money crunch. The Richmond, Va.-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has decided to cancel its annual judicial conference for budgetary reasons, says Deputy Circuit Executive Thomas Schrinel. The conference had been set for June at the upscale Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. (A D.C. Circuit source says that circuit’s biennial conference will go on as scheduled at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., in June.) The judiciary is seeking $5.7 billion for fiscal 2005, an 11.5 percent increase over current levels. Nationwide, 54 people have already been let go, and court leaders say thousands more are set to be furloughed this year. Judge John Heyburn II of the Western District of Kentucky testified earlier this month on Capitol Hill that unless funding is boosted from levels in the president’s budget, 3,800 employees will have to be fired or laid off. “We run the risk of creating a second-class system of justice,” Heyburn said, noting that slashing the number of probation officers can reduce the supervision of convicted felons and increase crime. — Jonathan Groner OFF TO OHIO The Cincinnati-based media company E.W. Scripps Co. has created its first-ever general counsel position and is filling it with a D.C. lawyer. Anatolio Cruz III, who has been in-house at D.C.-based Black Entertainment Television, says, “It’s one of those opportunities that you really couldn’t ignore.” Cruz will move to Ohio and coordinate legal activities for all Scripps divisions. At BET, Cruz was involved in the company’s $3 billion merger with Viacom in 2001. A former Wiley Rein & Fielding associate, Cruz will also become a senior vice president at Scripps when he starts at the end of March. — Christine Hines WAIVER WARFARE The long-standing debate over when companies facing federal criminal investigations should be required to waive attorney-client privilege in exchange for more lenient treatment raged on last week before the U.S. Sentencing Commission. With commission members poised to vote April 8 on proposed amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines for organizations, the Justice Department and corporate defense lawyers butted heads over the contentious issue at a public hearing March 17. CarrAmerica GC Linda Madrid, testifying on behalf of the Association of Corporate Counsel, said the group is concerned that proposed changes give federal prosecutors too much influence. “It’s hard to imagine a case in which the prosecutor would not rather make its case from an admission of the defendant or by introduction of potentially damning conversations between the defendant and its lawyer. . . . Of course, [prosecutors] will ask for the privilege to be waived hoping to find just that,” Madrid said. Meanwhile, Mary Beth Buchanan, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said the proposed changes do not go far enough. “The government is in a unique position to assist the court in determining whether the defendant has effectively cooperated and whether a waiver of the attorney-client privilege or work product protection is necessary for full cooperation,” Buchanan said. — Vanessa Blum SEEKING SECURITY Former National Security Council official Joseph Myers has joined the D.C. office of Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman as counsel. Myers, most recently director of international financial affairs in the NSC’s Office of Combating Terrorism, will focus on anti-money-laundering issues. Myers, 43, says Katten Muchin was an attractive choice because it had a strong anti-money-laundering practice, a rarity among D.C. firms. “They’ve got a lot of depth and a lot of practical experience,” he says. Myers says the practice has grown since the passage of the Patriot Act, which requires certain financial institutions and others to implement internal money-laundering controls. While at the NSC, Myers oversaw the financial battle in the war on terrorism and was instrumental in the recovery of assets from the former Iraqi regime. Myers “played a pivotal role in developing and implementing many of the laws and regulations our clients are now navigating,” says Carol Van Cleef, chair of the firm’s anti-money-laundering group. — Marie Beaudette TAX TIPS If you want to become a local D.C. judge, you’d better do community service work, develop a local courts practice, and — please — pay your taxes. These were among the tidbits of advice that 35 would-be judges received March 19 at a forum on “Uncovering the Judicial Application Process” at the 2004 D.C. Judicial and Bar Conference. “I’m amazed that people have applied to us with huge tax delinquencies,” said Georgetown law professor Susan Low Bloch, a member of the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission. “So clean up your act.” Bloch also noted that her panel looks for community service. “If you don’t have any, do some, and then come forward.” D.C. Superior Court Judge Melvin Wright, another panelist, said he applied four times before he was selected for the bench in 1998. “Don’t let it stop you if you are rejected,” he said. “And civility plays an important role. If you step on people on the way up, they may be waiting to step on you.” — Jonathan Groner SILICON VALLEY RALLY Law firms in technology-heavy Northern California hired in droves during the boom of the late 1990s, and they seemed to shed attorneys just as fast when the recession hit. But at a recent Law Firm Leaders Forum in San Francisco, Danilo DiPietro, head of the law firm group at Citigroup Private Bank, said firm managers may have cut too deeply. Now that the economy is rebounding, Silicon Valley players “are going to be challenged to find enough talented people,” DiPietro said. The banker’s comments were based on Citibank’s national survey of 116 firms, which shows a healthy uptick in the legal business — particularly in Northern California, where the recession started earlier and lasted longer than in other parts of the country. But managers at Silicon Valley firms are still being cautious. Mark Pitchford, chief operating officer at Palo Alto’s Cooley Godward, says his firm hasn’t yet confronted a need to hire a significant number of people. Says Pitchford: “We’re still mindful of lessons learned in terms of the large amounts of hiring that were done.” — Adrienne Sanders, The Recorder IT’S A BUSINESS Harvard Law School, saying it recognizes that law firms are a critical part of the global economy, has launched a program to study the evolution of the legal profession into big business. The school says the “Program on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry” is the first of its kind in the nation. It aims not only to study questions facing the multibillion-dollar industry of law, but also to train new lawyers to understand the business of law. The program will be headed by David Wilkins, Harvard law professor and expert in legal ethics. The program’s first project will be to study how corporations purchase legal services. — Marie Beaudette A DEAN’S LEGACY Sandra Oakman, assistant dean of admissions at American University Washington College of Law, died March 12 after a short illness. Oakman, 58, who had served as director of admissions since 1995, had recently been appointed assistant dean and was responsible for selecting 400 students from thousands of applications. “Sandy Oakman had a smile for everyone and had a brightness about her,” says Andrew Popper, law professor and chair of the admissions committee. The school’s associate dean of student affairs, David Jaffe, says Oakman was able to take thousands of applications and come up with a talented, diverse class year after year. “There’s a little bit art and a little bit of science to it,” he says. A funeral service was held March 19 in Concord, Mass., and a memorial service will be held at the school March 29. — Marie Beaudette

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