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RECORDER’S MCKEE WINS AP AWARD For the second consecutive year, Recorder Associate Editor Mike McKee is being honored by the Associated Press. McKee won a second-place award in the feature writing category in this year’s AP News Executive Council competition. The award was for “An Eye on the Kids,” McKee’s in-depth look at the issue of secrecy in California’s juvenile dependency courts. The story focused on the death of an 8-month-old boy who was under a San Mateo County Superior Court dependency order. “�An Eye on the Kids’ was one of our biggest projects last year,” Recorder Editor in Chief Scott Graham said. “Mike put a lot of time, energy and heart into that story, so it’s great to see it recognized by Associated Press.” All newspapers in California and Nevada were eligible for the competition. The Recorder competed in the 25,000 and under circulation category. McKee won a first-place award for sports writing in the same competition last year with “Out on the Field,” which profiled a movement among lawyers and sports specialists at the National Center for Lesbian Rights to combat homophobia in the realm of sports. – Recorder staff ASSISTANT DAS GET NEW ASSIGNMENTS In addition to the recent hiring of new attorneys, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris is moving several lawyers in her office around to new posts as part of a policy of regularly rotating lawyers among different units. Most new assignments will take place May 1. According to information provided by the DA’s office, the moves affect not only supervisors but a slew of line prosecutors as well. Sharon Woo and Elizabeth Aguilar-Tarchi will swap jobs — Woo will take over the narcotics unit, and Aguilar-Tarchi will lead the domestic violence unit. Susan Eto, who had been assigned to Department 22′s master criminal calendar, will become managing attorney of the sexual assault unit. Managing Attorney Adrian Ivancevich will become a prosecutor on that team. Robert Gordon of the gangs unit will join the homicide team as its fifth prosecutor. Sheila Ross recently left that unit and took a job offer in Georgia, district attorney spokeswoman Debbie Mesloh said last month. Michael Menesini, of the general litigation team, will be the newly designated assistant managing attorney for misdemeanors. Several other lawyers are moving to misdemeanors, including Scarlet Gordon from narcotics, Paul Kelly from general litigation, and Franklin Yee from juvenile. Gangs unit Managing Attorney George Butterworth will keep his leadership post, but his team will shrink from five lawyers in January to three. Tiffaney Gipson from the career criminal unit and Pamela Hansen from juvenile will join the gangs unit. — Pam Smith 2ND CIRCUIT FINDS MOTHERHOOD BIAS NEW YORK — Stereotyping about the qualities of mothers and their ability to balance work and home is a form of gender discrimination, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The court said gender discrimination based on attitudes toward motherhood can be alleged “in the absence of evidence about how an employer treats fathers,” in Back v. Hastings on Hudson Free School District, 03-7058. The decision concerned alleged discrimination against Elana Back, a school psychologist at the Hillside Elementary School in New York’s Westchester County. She claimed that her superiors launched a campaign to deny her tenure after making several comments about her commitment to the job when she returned to work after having a baby. Back said she received several outstanding performance reviews before and after giving birth. But as her tenure review approached in 2000, she claimed, two superiors repeatedly questioned whether she would be able to work a full day at the elementary school. One allegedly said “she did not know how she could perform her job with little ones” and it was “not possible for [her] to be a good mother and have this job.” Her bosses, Back claimed, also questioned whether she would show the same level of commitment once she had tenure, given that she was raising a family. Back alleged that the superiors encouraged parents who had complained about her in the past to put their complaints in writing, and that she soon began getting negative evaluations of her performance. The defendants vigorously disputed her claim that the negative evaluations were a pretext for discrimination. — New York Law Journal SOFTWARE MAKER WINS $1.1M IN DAMAGES MIAMI — A federal judge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has awarded a Boca Raton, Fla., software sales company $1.1 million in damages because software giant Microsoft and one of its business partners engaged in a “scheme” to defraud and deceive the firm as part of Microsoft’s effort to protect its copyrights. U.S. District Judge James Cohn issued the bench verdict against Houston-based Wetmore Printing in February after a weeklong trial in December. Microsoft was not a party to the case, styled HGI Associates Inc. v. Wetmore Printing Co., but it was part of the fraud, Cohn said in his ruling. Amy Petty, a spokeswoman for Microsoft, declined comment. Ron Swartz, the owner of Lauderhill-based HGI Associates Inc., sued Wetmore in July 2001 for breach of contract, alleging that Wetmore failed to deliver thousands of licensed software kits it promised to sell him for $2.50 each. The suit was filed in federal court on diversity grounds. Swartz claimed he suffered nearly $1 million in lost profits and lost future earnings of $16.7 million. In HGI’s amended complaint, the company contended that Wetmore and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft conspired to enter into a sales agreement with him for the sole purpose of determining whether HGI was violating software copyrights. Cohn found the plaintiff’s contentions meritorious. — Miami Daily Business Review

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