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N.Y. sues Net marketer for installing ‘spyware’ New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued a major Internet marketer last week, claiming that the company installed “spyware” and “adware” that secretly install nuisance pop-up advertising on screens, which can slow and crash personal computers. Spitzer said the suit, filed in New York City against Intermix Media Inc. of Los Angeles, challenges the company’s practice of redirecting home computer users to unwanted Web sites and its own site that includes ads, adding unnecessary toolbar items, and delivering unwanted ads that pop up on computer screens. An Intermix spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Calif. high court votes to review Prop. 64 issue The California Supreme Court voted unanimously last week to decide whether Proposition 64-the 2004 ballot measure that restricts private attorney general suits-should be retroactive. The announcement comes as a relief to plaintiffs’ and defense lawyers who have been waiting since November to figure out whether the law applies to cases filed before Election Day. Since the ballot measure passed, published opinions have found-with one exception-that the new law applies retroactively to all pending cases. The California Supreme Court is reviewing the exception. Shareholders’ claims against WorldCom fail In another ruling arising from the 2002 WorldCom Inc. bankruptcy, Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez has turned down plaintiff shareholders’ claims against the company’s former directors. What sets his most recent decision apart is the judge’s exploration of exactly what constitutes a derivative action and how it differs from a direct action. In re WorldCom Inc., No. 02-13533. Also last week, WorldCom’s former auditor, Arthur Andersen, paid $65 million to settle claims arising from its role in the company’s $11 billion accounting fraud. WorldCom, the defendant, argued that the injunction granted to it as a debtor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy blocked certain lawsuits directed at the company. Because the claims were derivative in nature, WorldCom argued, they could not go forward. Real estate group leaves Alston & Bird for Piper Atlanta’s second-biggest firm, Alston & Bird, has lost its lucrative 10-lawyer real estate investment trust group in Raleigh, N.C., to rapidly expanding legal behemoth DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. Brad S. Markoff, the group’s leader, said he left Alston for the same reason he joined the firm almost eight years ago: a bigger platform. He’s taking his real estate investment trust group, one of the largest in the country, to 2,800-lawyer DLA Piper, he said, because of the firm’s strong real estate practice. DLA Piper is using the acquisition to open a Raleigh office with Markoff as the managing partner. William R. Klapp Jr., Robert H. Bergdolt, Jeffrey M. Sullivan and Jeffrey D. Miller also join as partners. The firm has two other Southern offices in Reston, Va., and Tampa, Fla. First Olympic bombing case settled in Georgia The first of at least 40 claims brought by victims of the 1996 bombing at Centennial Olympic Park against the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games has settled. The plaintiff, Carletta Ash, who suffered shoulder and nerve damage from shrapnel caused by the bomb, was scheduled to go to trial on May 2 before Fulton County, Ga., State Court Judge Henry M. Newkirk. None of the other plaintiffs has been scheduled for trial. Slappey and Sadd’s James N. Sadd, an Atlanta lawyer representing Ash and 38 other victims, also confirmed that the claim has been resolved. He would not disclose the terms. The other 38 plaintiffs, whose claims are part of the same suit, have not settled, Sadd added. The case is Anderson v. Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, No. 98-VS-142425 (filed July 21, 1998).

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