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‘(Redacted) v. Ashcroft’ filed by the ACLU It must have felt like d�j� vu all over again when the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the United States over a provision of the secrecy-shrouded USA Patriot Act, but had to file it under seal because of a gag order. The suit was announced just last week after the ACLU worked out an agreement with the government to allow partial disclosure, according to the ACLU. Still heavily redacted, the complaint does not even disclose the other plaintiff’s name. The suit challenges the National Security Letter provision of the act, which allows the FBI to demand personal information from Internet service providers without any judicial oversight. The Justice Department did not return calls for comment. (Redacted) and ACLU v. Ashcroft, No. 04-Redacted (S.D.N.Y.). Google’s big choice Silicon Valley lawyers may be envious that Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is representing Google Inc. in the billion-dollar initial public offering it filed papers for last week, but few are surprised. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm has been a shoo-in for years. Wilson Sonsini has represented the popular Internet search engine outfit since firm Chairman Larry Sonsini incorporated the company in 1998. And David Drummond, Google’s director of corporate development and general counsel, is a former Wilson Sonsini partner. “I can’t imagine a better position to be pitching from,” said Weil, Gotshal & Manges partner Rod Howard of Wilson Sonsini’s selection as company counsel. “It’s kind of yours to lose.” Google, of Mountain View, Calif., said it plans to raise as much as $2.72 billion. $1B fen-phen award John M. O’Quinn persuaded a Beaumont, Texas, jury to return a record $1 billion verdict in a fen-phen suit on April 27, but the Houston plaintiffs’ lawyer now faces the harder task of convincing the trial judge and appeals courts that the finding avoids a statutory cap on punitive damages. O’Quinn said the $900 million in punitive damages in the wrongful death suit will pass appellate muster because the jury found that Wyeth knowingly or intentionally destroyed, altered or concealed public documents. Wyeth maintains otherwise. Vinson & Elkins partner William D. Sims Jr., the lead trial lawyer for the defense, said the cap will limit any punitive damages. “We think the court erred in instructing the jury on that issue,” Sims said. Wyeth, which made the Pondimin taken by the plaintiff, will appeal any adverse judgment in Coffey v. Wyeth. Pondimin, recalled in 1997, is one of the drugs that was prescribed in the diet-drug combination known as fen-phen.

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