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Miami duo win $96M ininternational arbitration In a coup for Miami’s growing community of lawyers who handle international arbitration, a multinational legal team led by two Miami attorneys has won a $95.7 million award in a closely watched arbitration case in London. The case involved a dispute between Luxembourg “smart card” maker Gemplus International S.A. and its co-founder and former chairman, Marc Lassus, over an $85 million payment Gemplus made to him before he departed. Gemplus won. Daniel E. Gonzalez and Richard C. Lorenzo, partners in the Miami office of Washington-based Hogan & Hartson, led the winning legal team of 15 lawyers. Voting with a lawsuit Jones Day partner Elwood Lui has alleged that “The Oakland Tribune stole memos out of our system.” Jones Day’s client, Diebold Election Systems, is under investigation by the California secretary of state for selling counties glitch-ridden voting machines. Diebold could be fined, or barred from the state, but just how much trouble it faces became public when the Tribune ran an April 20 story headlined “Memos Detail Lawyers’ Strategies.” Citing “memos obtained by the Tribune,” a reporter wrote, “Jones Day’s lawyers advised Diebold to retain a white-collar criminal defense specialist . . . at an additional $5,000 to $10,000 a month with an eye to ‘persuading authorities not to bring criminal charges.’ ” Lui filed suit in Los Angeles alleging conversion against the Tribune‘s parent and the reporter. Fen-Phen challenge OK’d A New Jersey state judge last week sweetened the stakes for a diet-drug maker sued over alleged heart-valve damage, ruling that Wyeth could challenge the eligibility of plaintiffs to opt out of a federal $3.75 billion class action settlement and to bring their own suits. Wyeth will not be bound by a determination of doctors who read the echocardiograms and found the requisite heart damage, but “may challenge the medical reasonableness of that position,” Bergen County Superior Court Judge Charles Walsh ruled in In re Diet Drug Litigation, No. L-7718-03. Fen-Phen came off the market in September 1997 after a public health advisory about a possible link to heart disease. Mich. prosecutor charged A suburban Detroit prosecutor was indicted last week on charges that he helped a convicted rapist win a new trial in exchange for contributions to his failed 2002 run for Congress. Carl Marlinga, prosecutor for Macomb County, Mich., was charged with conspiracy and fraud. Authorities said he helped reopen the case of convicted rapist Jeffrey Moldowan. Moldowan eventually was granted a new trial and was acquitted. Marlinga, 57, returned the contributions after an outcry from the Republicans. He has repeatedly denied intervening improperly in the appeal. “It’s so unfair, and it’s so not right. I don’t understand what evidence they have,” he told the Detroit News. N.Y. panel gives voice to solos and small firms New York Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye announced last week the creation of a commission to examine the difficulties facing solo and small-firm practitioners, a contingent that totals about 80% of lawyers in the state. Chaired by Rochester, N.Y., solo practitioner June Castellano, the 28-member panel is to provide a way for solo and small-firm lawyers to have a voice in the rules and requirements established by the state Office of Court Administration. Small-firm attorneys have cited increased filing fees, the logistics of multiple court appearances and recent restrictions on fiduciary appointments as troublesome areas. Associate gets jail time A former associate at White & Case has received a jail sentence for stealing more than $111,000 from her law firm and for helping her boyfriend orchestrate a scheme that defrauded investors, including a number of White & Case employees, of more than $260,000. Jennifer M. Hampton was sentenced last month by Acting New York County Supreme Court Justice Renee White to a prison term of 1 1/2 to four years. Hampton pleaded guilty in November to charges of first-degree fraud and second-degree grand larceny. At the sentencing, White castigated the 34-year-old ex-lawyer, who earned a six-figure salary as a White & Case associate, for turning to crime to support an ostentatious lifestyle. Hispanic first in N.J. Roberto A. Rivera-Soto, a partner at Philadelphia’s Fox Rothschild who previously spent 11 years as general counsel to Atlantic City, N.J., casinos, has become the first Hispanic nominated to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court. Some viewed the Rivera-Soto nomination, which must be confirmed by the full New Jersey Senate, as somewhat surprising since he has not practiced full time in the state in more than a decade.

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