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HELLER MAKES OWN HISTORY IN HALLOWED BEIJING HALL Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe celebrated the opening of its Beijing office last month with a dinner at the Great Hall of the People on the western side of Tiananmen Square. Heller Chairman Barry Levin joined Carson Wen, head of the firm’s China practice and a deputy of the National People’s Congress, and Chinese government officials in the Great Hall’s VIP room, where President Nixon had his famous meeting with Mao Tse-tung in 1972. Levin said what struck him most was “the combination of China as Americans have viewed it over the years and what China is becoming � a city filled with traffic and construction, and many clients doing the same things that American clients are doing.” About 250 people attended, including clients and shareholders from the United States and Asia. Notables included Fan Fengping, China’s vice minister of justice; Jia Wuguang, secretary general of the All China Lawyers Association; Zhang Ming, a judge of the Supreme People’s Court; and Bowen Leung, chief representative of the Hong Kong SAR Government in Beijing. The Great Hall, which was built by communist volunteers in 1959 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the People’s Republic, is where China’s legislature meets. Former Morrison & Foerster attorney Christina Lau, an anchor on China’s CCTV, was mistress of ceremonies for the evening. “Although many of the guests spoke only Chinese and many of the lawyers from the U.S. spoke only in English, we had interesting conversations,” Levin said. “The dinner was the day after the U.S. presidential election.” Levin’s own attempt at Chinese — a toast — was well received. “They told me I should keep it short because there was a limit to my being able to successfully deliver the toast in Mandarin,” Levin said. He reportedly said words translating to “Welcome. Thank you. Bottom’s up.” — Marie-Anne Hogarth ISLAND ESCAPE What should you do when rainy-day dreariness is compounded by the resounding rejection of California’s populace? If you’re the Consumer Attorneys of California, the answer is clear: Go to Hawaii and come up with a new strategy to revitalize your image. While the trip is an annual affair — a convenient way to get CLE credits away from inclement autumn weather — much of this year’s Nov. 30-Dec. 3 convention had the feel of a postmortem, coming less than a month after CAOC’s Election Day defeats. Apparently not everyone spent the whole trip strategizing. “I played hooky on some of that stuff,” said Bruce Brusavich, the 2003 CAOC president. “It’s the first time I didn’t have any political obligations, and the weather was better than it’s been at this time of year in a long time.” He said recent events have taught the trial lawyers several important lessons beyond the need for a better public face. “One thing we learned from this election is the public, probably because of Arnold Schwarzenegger, has embraced the initiative process as a legitimate way of making public policy,” Brusavich said, adding that this could open the door to putting a consumer protection measure on the next ballot. “A lot of people think it’s time now, in light of the ongoing erosion of consumer rights.” CAOC is now home for the holidays, but not for long: The annual ski seminar starts Jan. 29 in Beaver Creek, Colo. — Justin Scheck JENNIFER WATCH: WEEK 14 While Jennifer Massey may not wow executives in one-on-one interviews, in the boardroom she’s an aggressive, unwavering foe. “I know your company backward and forward,” the Clifford Chance associate told Donald Trump in Thursday’s episode of “The Apprentice.” She said her rival, Sandy, didn’t know Trump’s company’s gross revenues or how many employees he has. And Sandy was forced to admit she had no idea how many people work for Trump. Massey wasted no time in rattling off the number: 15,000. Trump said he loved Jen’s attack and picked her and Kelly as the final contestants, firing Kevin and Sandy. Before the showdown in the boardroom, top executives at Unilever, Pepsi-Cola North America, Bear Stearns and the New England Patriots interviewed the final four contestants and then gave Trump their assessments of the candidates. They had reservations about Jen. “I felt she was saying all the right things,” said Dawn Hudson, the president of Pepsi-Cola North America, “but I couldn’t get her to stop” and be more specific. “There’s a danger if we take on an academic and intelligent woman and discount whether she’s prepared to roll up her sleeves,” another executive said. In the boardroom, Massey said she had the “intellectual horsepower” to handle a job with Trump, pointing to her Princeton and Harvard credentials and her experience in San Francisco’s competitive legal market. “Trust me,” she said, “if I weren’t profitable to partners in my firm, I would have been out long ago.” Jen and Kelly then began their final assignment. Jen is project manager for a charity basketball tournament, and Kelly is in charge of a charity polo cup competition. Six former teammates that Trump fired in earlier shows returned to help out the two finalists. Things looked dismal for both Jen and Kelly as the episode came to a close: Their teammates were denouncing them for delegating key tasks; Kelly was facing a possible rainout of the polo match; and Jen found out NBA star Chris Webber was backing out as the emcee of her event. Meanwhile, officials at Genworth Financial Inc., which is sponsoring both events, were critical of Jen’s performance. “We’ve been very frustrated with Jen,” one of them said. “I think she’s waiting for Genworth to tell her what to do. I hope it won’t be a disaster.” Well, we won’t have to wait long to find out. Thursday’s episode will include the conclusion of the charity events followed by the live season finale, where “someone will be hired.” Fired this week:Kevin and Sandy. Learn more about Jen at her official website www.jenmassey.com. – Brenda Sandburg

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