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Harvard’s Tribe calls it quits on treatise, for now Harvard University’s Laurence Tribe announced recently that he will not be completing the second volume of the third edition of his famed treatise, American Constitutional Law. “It’s like Michael Jordan leaving basketball at the top of his game,” said Ross Davies of George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va. Tribe’s announcement came on April 29 in a letter to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Tribe said he had made his decision because “conflict over basic constitutional premises is today at a fever pitch,” moving rapidly in unpredictable directions. A treatise seeking to explain constitutional themes and pull together seemingly disparate doctrines can’t be done now, he said. Kilpatrick’s N.C. outpost loses seven litigators All seven of Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton’s business litigators in Charlotte, N.C., have jumped to Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where they join a team of 10 litigators in that firm’s Charlotte office. New partners Kurt E. Lindquist II and Fred M. Wood Jr., plus a cadre of five associates, started at Nelson Mullins last week. Columbia, S.C.-based Nelson Mullins has eight offices in the Southeast. Kilpatrick’s managing partner, William H. Brewster, said Kilpatrick will continue to expand its Charlotte office. Coudert Brothers may sue Orrick for ‘poaching’ Coudert Brothers may pursue legal action against Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe after 11 partners in its London and Moscow offices left for Orrick. New York-based Coudert has hired Barry Ostrager, a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, also of New York, to provide advice in the matter. Ostrager sent Orrick Chairman Ralph Baxter Jr. a letter last week noting that before the Coudert partners resigned, Coudert and Orrick had been in merger talks. “We have reason to believe that during the period these discussions were occurring, Orrick and the departing Coudert partners may have engaged in breaches of fiduciary obligations and/or tortious conduct,” Ostrager wrote. An Orrick spokesman said the firm had been in discussions with Coudert partners before Coudert came to Orrick and suggested the two firms might merge. Federal judge rejects Utah doorknob swabs A U.S. district judge has blocked Utah prosecutors from using swabs taken without a warrant from a suspect’s front doorknob and analyzed with “sense-enhancing” technology to determine if drug making was occurring at the residence. Ruling on an issue unsettled in federal court, Judge Dale Kimball in Salt Lake City found that the front doorknob was part of a home’s so-called “curtilage” that prevented a search without a warrant. U.S. v. Miller, No. 2:04-CR-251. [NLJ, 9-13-04]. The judge likened the issue to a U.S. Supreme Court case that found that police officers needed a warrant when they used thermal imaging to detect the presence of heat lamps where a suspect was growing marijuana indoors. Buchanan Ingersoll absorbs Burns Doane Buchanan Ingersoll of Pittsburgh said last week it is acquiring Northern Virginia intellectual property boutique Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis. The acquisition gives Buchanan 57 attorneys and more than 100 staffers and will bulk up its IP capabilities. But it also gives Buchanan an IP boutique that has been hit by the departure of major rainmakers. For Burns Doane, which had signed leases in Alexandria, Va., and Redwood Shores, Calif., near the top of the technology bubble, the coupling with 345-attorney Buchanan Ingersoll should give it financial stability as it seeks to stem the tide of departures that have more than halved the firm’s head count over the past five years.

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