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SECOND CIRCUIT LASHES OUT AT DISTRICT COURT NEW YORK — A judge’s decision to reveal that a sex discrimination case ended in a “multimillion-dollar settlement” has drawn the ire of the Second Circuit U.S Court of Appeals. The appeals court called Southern District Judge Harold Baer’s public revelation on the settlement between plaintiff Virginia Gambale and Deutsche Bank AG a “serious abuse of discretion,” but said nothing could be done to remedy the error. “We simply do not have the power, even were we of the mind to use it if we had, to make what has thus become public private again,” said Second Circuit Judge Robert Sack, writing for the court in Gambale v., Deutsche Bank, 03-7621. “The genie is out of the bottle, albeit because of what we consider to be the district court’s error. We have not the means to put the genie back.” Gambale, a former managing director who was a partner in the Deutsche Bank Capital partners unit, sued in 2002. She claimed she was passed over for promotion because she is a woman and that the bank maintained a work environment hostile to women. The two sides entered into a confidential settlement in 2003. At a conference about the settlement, Judge Baer “wondered aloud why the public should not know about discrimination at a major banking institution,” the Second Circuit opinion said. Judge Baer unsuccessfully pushed the two sides to make the information public. Ultimately, he ordered the unsealing of several documents in the action, including a study of gender diversity in the bank. The documents did not disclose the settlement amount, but Judge Baer’s order said, “On the eve of trial, the parties agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement.” The order was promptly published on the databases of Westlaw and Lexis. — New York Law Journal HOLOCAUST VICTIMS’ LAWYER FACES JUDGMENT NEW YORK — A lawyer well known for his role in Holocaust recovery cases is facing a $3.2 million legal malpractice judgment for suing the wrong party in a personal injury case and failing to oppose its dismissal. Attorney Edward Fagan rose to fame as one of the attorneys suing Swiss banks and German corporations for profiting from Holocaust victims’ assets and forced labor. The banks and corporations settled the suits for more than $6 billion. But a former client, Allen Tavel, claimed in a 2001 suit that Fagan’s involvement in the Holocaust cases led him to neglect a case against Honda Motor Corp. and the manufacturer of a seat belt that allegedly failed. He hired Fagan to represent him after a 1994 car accident. At the time, Tavel earned a living primarily as a musician. He was driving his Honda Civic in New York when he collided with another car head-on. He suffered multiple fractures and damage to major organs. He has since undergone reconstructive surgeries and is unable to work or care for himself, according to a referee’s report. Honda recalled the seat belts the year after the accident, he said. Fagan did not contest Tavel’s malpractice suit, which resulted in a default judgment. In May, Justice Shirley Kornreich of Manhattan Supreme Court awarded Tavel $1.2 million for his economic losses and $2 million for pain and suffering. Tavel’s lawyer said he is moving to enforce the judgment. Fagan received about $5 million for his work in the Holocaust cases. — New York Law Journal

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