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Media maven Among the lawyers who appeared on TV analyzing developments in Scott Peterson’s Redwood City, Calif., murder trial, many were well-known heavyweights from the San Francisco Bay Area legal community. But occasionally, a relative unknown like Harjot “Ginny” Walia would make an appearance. With four trials under her belt and less than two years on her bar card, the San Francisco-based Puri & Walia partner is establishing herself on the legal talk circuit. While many legal commentators earn their media moments after years in the trenches, Walia caught hers by chance. She recalls she was at the Redwood City courthouse for a workers’ compensation fraud case in August when a producer from Fox News Channel approached her. The chance meeting led the criminal defense lawyer to her first guest analyst appearance. She estimates she’s made more than a dozen since, mostly on Fox News Live, but also on local news station KRON 4, as well as a local NBC affiliate, The O’Reilly Factor and Court TV. Walia looks at TV as a way to draw business to her fledgling firm. “You need a lawyer with media experience!” her firm’s Web site proclaims. -ALM Santa Susman Associates with Houston-based Susman Godfrey will have some extra cash to play around with this year. Each of the 20 associates with the firm’s Dallas and Houston offices who have been with Susman for a full year received bonuses valued at more than their annual salary; each received in excess of $110,000 in a lump sum, said Susman member Joe Grinstein. “This year we are just having an extremely good year,” he said. The source of this largess was Microsoft Corp.’s announcement in November that it had agreed to pay $536 million to Novell Inc. (Susman’s client) to settle a potential antitrust suit. -ALM

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