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Florida bar battles bogus faxes Is the Florida bar branching into Viagra and gambling? Some 30 lawyers throughout the state who received a recent fax featuring what appeared to be the Florida Bar letterhead wondered just that. As first reported by the Florida Bar News, the faxes, sent to former bar presidents as well as an assistant attorney general, invited recipients to buy Viagra, Xanax or Valium without visiting a doctor, and to visit gambling and pornographic Internet sites. They bore the bar’s letterhead and address. But the faxes were bogus, the letterheads were fraudulently created and the fax numbers were lifted from the bar’s public Web site, which lists the names and contact information of every lawyer in Florida. The bar did not send the faxes, Paul Hill, bar general counsel, emphatically told the lawyers who called to complain earlier this month. Hill promptly contacted the office of Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist seeking an investigation. Preliminary investigations by the bar were not fruitful. “We learned how hard it is to capture a phone number when people use phone cards,” Hill said. “We discovered it was done offshore, probably in the Philippines.” ‘Double Team’ says ads pay Edward and Alex Shenderovich are living the American dream, squared-a dream fueled by television commercials identifying the identical twin personal injury lawyers as “The Double Team.” They are waiting for your call. At 888-98-TWINS, of course. Since Shenderovich & Shenderovich began advertising on local television six years ago, their Pittsburgh-area law practice has grown by about 500%, they said. “As soon as we put an ad on, the phone started ringing,” said Edward Shenderovich, who was born first and speaks for the duo. Ads like the ones the brothers run today were unheard of when they came to the United States in 1977 as 12-year-old Russian immigrants. Since a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that year allowed lawyers to advertise, the practice has grown into a multimillion-dollar business. But most attorneys on TV are like Shenderovich & Shenderovich, smaller firms looking for a leg up in their local market. The twins spend about $7,500 for 30 or so television ads each month, mostly sprinkled among Pittsburgh’s daytime TV menu. “We had a Web site but we didn’t get any response,” Edward Shenderovich said. Jailed over cell An Oregon prosecutor who won a manslaughter conviction against a man who shook a baby to death was briefly sent to jail along with the convicted man after a beef with a judge over a cellphone. Union County District Attorney Martin Birnbaum was held on June 18, in a cell about 40 feet away from the man he prosecuted, after Birnbaum was cited for contempt of court for refusing to turn on his cellphone during jury deliberations. Union County Circuit Judge Phillip Mendiguren had tried to reach Birnbaum when the jury had a question in the trial of Jeremy Wilson in LaGrande, Ore., but Birnbaum had gone to lunch, according to Undersheriff Dana Wright. When Birnbaum returned to court, Mendiguren ordered him to keep his cellphone on, but Birnbaum refused. The jury eventually convicted Wilson of manslaughter and assault in the death of his girlfriend’s child, and after deputies took him away, they also took Birnbaum to jail with orders from the judge to keep him there until June 20, the following Sunday. But state law allows sheriffs some discretion on when to release inmates on a weekend, and Birnbaum was sent home just before midnight Friday.

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