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As reported in your March 22 edition, [ Judge Montali OK's Brobeck settlements], almost all the former Brobeck partners have now been allowed to settle their personal liabilities. The bankruptcy Trustee had sued for $275 million, the amount which the Trustee compellingly argued the partners had wrongfully paid themselves over the last two years of Brobeck’s existence. Undoubtedly these partners are relieved and even delighted to have been given a rare chance to settle for a mere 10 cents on the dollar. These 207 partners can now put the Brobeck mess in the past and fully enjoy the huge amounts they’re making at Morgan, Lewis; Paul, Hastings; O’Melveny; Akin Gump; Sidley Austin; Orrick and other large firms where Brobeck partners landed. Before closing this chapter on the former Brobeck partners, I’d like to note a few other facts. It is of course well-known that the partners left Brobeck with some $50 million in secured bank debt, but when the partners fled Brobeck they also left Brobeck with hundreds of millions in unsecured debt owed to more than 19,000 creditors. That’s 19,000 employees, vendors, service providers, and even clients, left holding the bag. The banks can walk away, their secured debt having been paid from Brobeck’s receivables and other assets. The 207 former partners can walk away, having settled for just under $24 million. Left, however, are more than 900 unsecured creditors who still have claims on file for more than $200 million and who, at best, will recover only a small fraction of what they’re owed. And left completely out are thousands of businesses and individuals who will never get a penny back because the time for filing bankruptcy claims has passed. Many litigators might describe settling for 10 percent of potential liability as a nuisance value settlement. Partners at other debt-burdened law firms might now think of using Brobeck as the model for avoiding liability, but if so, they should factor in the likelihood of getting such an accommodating bankruptcy trustee. In any event, 207 former Brobeck partners are now free to move on, without further concern or accountability for the massive debt or the thousands of creditors they left behind. Going forward, perhaps the only interesting question is, how could anyone –� employees, vendors, service providers, clients, or even colleagues — ever feel safe doing business with any of the former Brobeck partners? Jayne Loughry San Francisco You can send Letters to the Editor to The Recorder, 10 United Nations Plaza, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102; by fax at (415) 749-5549; or at [email protected].

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