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Law firm leak tied to insider trading Confidential information leaked by a secretary to a senior corporate partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom fed an insider-trading ring that included the former chief of staff of New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC brought civil insider trading charges last week in federal court in New York City against Fiore J. Gallucci, Ronald A. Manzo and Gary B. Taffet. Taffet served as McGreevey’s chief of staff from 2000 to 2003. U.S. Attorney David N. Kelley of New York’s southern district also said on June 16 that Gallucci and Manzo had pleaded guilty to criminal charges. There are currently no criminal charges against Taffet. In a statement, Taffet’s lawyer, John B. Harris of Stillman & Friedman of New York, said he had not had a chance to analyze the SEC’s complaint, but added that he was “disturbed” by the charges. Robert C. Sheehan, executive partner at New York-based Skadden, declined to comment on the secretary’s status at the firm, but stressed the firm’s cooperation in the investigation and its commitment to maintaining client confidentiality. Amid turmoil, Clifford backs a Valley partner Reeling from defections from its San Francisco office, Clifford Chance appears to be throwing a rope to its California practice by voting a Silicon Valley partner into its firmwide partnership council. Daniel Harris, an intellectual property partner in the firm’s six-attorney Palo Alto, Calif., office, was recently elected to Clifford Chance’s partnership council. The committee, which is composed of 11 partners, represents partners’ concerns to upper management. It is considered the most important firmwide committee after the management committee. Harris may end up being the sole Clifford Chance partner in the San Francisco Bay Area. The legal community has been buzzing about the expected defection of the firm’s California securities litigation group�which is virtually the entire San Francisco office�to another firm. Lawyer ads panned The number of attorney advertisements that exceed the boundaries of good taste disturbs Connecticut Chief Justice William J. Sullivan-and he plans to do something about it. At the Connecticut Bar Association’s recent annual meeting, he told attendees that he would form a committee to determine if lawyer-advertising regulations should be revamped or merely better enforced. Speaking to an audience of 200, Sullivan said he despises television ads promoting lawyers as being “very aggressive.” “Frankly,” he added, “the number of ads that exceed the boundaries of appropriate content is over the top, in my opinion.” New tack on appeal bonds: It’s up to judges Illinois joined at least 26 states last week when its Supreme Court revised a rule governing appeal bonds. But its approach differs from that of the other states: Instead of establishing a cap, it leaves this to a judge’s discretion. Traditionally, a judgment debtor secures a judgment by obtaining an appeal bond equal to the verdict plus anticipated costs and interest. States have adopted reforms that cap the amount required. Some caps apply to all litigants, some only to the tobacco companies that signed the Master Settlement Agreement. Illinois set off a national debate last year when a state court judge hit Philip Morris with a $10.1 billion verdict in a “light” cigarette case and initially set the appeal bond at $12 billion�an amount the company claimed it couldn’t afford. The judge later reduced the amount to $6.8 billion, which also provoked controversy. The Illinois Supreme Court’s revised rule now grants judges the discretion to do this.

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