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Reich Indicted on Federal Bribery Charges Federal prosecutors have indicted a Brooklyn attorney on charges that he accepted more than $10,000 in bribes when he was appointed by courts to oversee the sale of foreclosed properties. Edward S. Reich, a former president of the Brooklyn Bar Association and past chairman of its judiciary committee, was arraigned in January. In the 14-count indictment handed down Friday, Eastern District prosecutors accuse Mr. Reich of receiving bribes to sell properties at less than the highest bid or to arrange for the return of a down payment after the bidder decided to back out of the purchase. Mr. Reich has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His attorney could not be reached for comment. � Tom Perrotta Blake Cassels Opens New York Office The Canadian law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon has opened a New York office with two partners. The Toronto-based firm has sent securities partners Timothy Unwin, co-leader of the practice, and Michael Gans from Canada to take charge of the office. Blake Cassels follows several Canadian firms that have opened in New York, the largest being Torys, which has more than 40 lawyers in New York and practices U.S. law. Blake Cassels has no plans to practice U.S. law but will focus on cross-border transactions involving Canadian companies. The firm also recently opened a Chicago office with one partner. � Anthony Lin Lease and Leak Issues Close the Fourth District Courthouse Beginning Monday, the Nassau County Fourth District Courthouse in Hicksville will close and will be housed temporarily at the District Court Building at 99 Main Street in Hempstead. The court was moved from the location at 87 Bethpage Road due to “lease issues” and the facility’s conditions, including a leaky roof, a Nassau County court spokesman said. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Marano, administrative judge of Nassau, recently signed an order providing that all matters scheduled at the Hicksville facility will be handled in Hempstead starting March 29. Justice Marano is looking for a new site for the Fourth District location. � Leigh Jones Commission Seeks to Muzzle Executive Director David Grandeau, the outspoken executive director of the state Lobbying Commission has been told by his bosses to stop speaking out, at least until the commission disposes of cases. Mr. Grandeau said yesterday he disagrees with the policy adopted unanimously by the six commissioners last week but will implement it. The new policy bars commission members and employees from making “public statement or comment in response to inquiries from the press or any other party on any individual matter not yet placed before the commission board.” Said Mr. Grandeau, “It was not my recommendation. I thought we were better served by the old policy of answering questions truthfully and honestly when asked.” � Associated Press Judge Permits Testimony About Fetus Pain A pediatrician can testify that a fetus could experience pain during an abortion, a federal judge has ruled in a legal challenge to a new law banning certain abortions. Southern District Judge Richard Casey ruled last week that the testimony will be allowed at a trial scheduled for later this month. He rejected arguments by lawyers for the National Abortion Federation that the testimony was irrelevant and insufficiently reliable. He said it will help him assess “Congress’s factual findings that partial-birth abortion is a ‘brutal and inhumane procedure’ and that ‘during the partial-birth abortion procedure, the child will fully experience the pain associated with piercing his or her skull and sucking out his or her brain.’” � Associated Press

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