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JUDGE RETIRES IN WAKE OF HIS ARREST Alameda County Superior Court Judge Judge Jackson “Jack” Gifford, who was arrested for trying to buy sex from a police decoy, has decided to retire, his attorney said. In an unusual plea deal, Gifford avoided probation by paying a $270 fine and pleading no contest to disturbing the peace. A recent bout with health problems prompted the 76-year-old judge to step down, said Gifford’s Walnut Creek attorney Michael Cardoza. While on a monthlong vacation following his arrest, Gifford underwent medical treatment for ongoing heart problems. The judge eventually recovered from complications from the procedure, but the ordeal made him rethink his future plans, Cardoza said. “He will enjoy the rest of this life now,” Cardoza said. Gifford’s arrest may have played a small role in that decision, he added. “I don’t believe so, but how could it not?” the lawyer said. Another factor may have been his assignment. Because of the criminal conviction, ethics rules would have barred Gifford from presiding over criminal cases for two years, said Presiding Judge Barbara Miller. “That’s what he has done for most of his career,” the PJ said. The judge’s retirement caps a 40-year legal career. Colleagues say that Gifford was a down to earth, no-nonsense judge who was proud of his years as a merchant marine and blue-collar worker — and his tattoos. “He basically grew up at the docks and was a union laborer before law school,” said Judge Vernon Nakahara, who opposed Gifford in court when they were attorneys and later became his bench colleague. As a lawyer, Gifford was in private practice for more than two decades representing fellow “working stiffs” in criminal cases, said Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Kingsbury. Gov. Jerry Brown tapped him for the municipal court bench in 1981 and Gifford was elevated through unification. The judge was married to former Peralta Community College District Trustee Dorothy “Dodie” Gifford for 51 years. She died in 1999 after her health deteriorated. “He has a hard time with Dodie’s illness, but he came to work every day,” Nakahara said. “He was not one to shirk responsibility.” — Jahna Berry LINERBOARD SUIT BRINGS $ 202M IN SETTLEMENTS PHILADELPHIA — An antitrust class action against the leading manufacturers of corrugated paper products has resulted in more than $202 million in settlements — the largest ever in a price-fixing case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania — now that a federal judge has granted final approval of the final two settlements. In his 27-page opinion in In re Linerboard Antitrust Litigation, Senior U.S. District Judge Jan DuBois concluded that the final two settlements — $92.5 million paid by Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. and $34 million paid by Packaging Corporation of America and Tenneco Inc. — were “fair, adequate and reasonable.” DuBois had previously approved a $68 million settlement by three defendants — Weyerhaeuser Co., International Paper Co. and Georgia-Pacific Corp. — and an “icebreaker” settlement of $8 million by defendants Temple-Inland Inc. and Gaylord Container Corp. Although the two final settlements effectively end the class action, a significant portion of the litigation will continue because some of the biggest purchasers “opted out” of the class action to pursue their own suits. Among the companies that opted out of the class action are Proctor & Gamble Co., Kellogg Co., Sara Lee Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., General Mills Inc. and Hallmark Cards Inc. — The Legal Intelligencer

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