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Orrick Herrington set to snare Paris law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is nearing a deal to acquire well-known Paris law firm Rambaud Martel, the latest move in an aggressive overseas expansion this year by Orrick. The 744-lawyer Orrick would pick up about 50 lawyers, including name partner and rainmaker Jean-Pierre Martel, to boost its Paris presence to about 90 attorneys, an informed source confirmed. Orrick opened in Paris three years ago with 42 lawyers who defected from U.K. firm Watson, Farley & Williams. Earlier this year it added two partners, George Yates and Philippe Rincazaux, from the Paris office of New York-based Coudert Brothers, which is dissolving. Salaries for chief legal officers up 4.1% the median salary for chief legal officers in corporate law departments this year climbed to $280,000, up 4.1%, according to a survey conducted by Altman Weil and the Association of Corporate Counsel. Bonuses for chief legal officers jumped 39.5%, with the median bonus totaling $150,000, and stock option values rose 44% to a median $888,600. The survey also found that salaries for new law school graduates are flat at $60,000. Desegregation trumps ‘No Child Left Behind’ A federal judge in Georgia has ruled that in cases where a key component of the U.S. Education Department’s “No Child Left Behind” policy conflicts with court-ordered school desegregation, desegregation must take precedence. U.S. District Senior Judge Robert L. Vining Jr. of Georgia’s northern district recently made the ruling in an ongoing Meriwether County, Ga., school desegregation case. Attorneys for the school district had asked for guidance, saying that No Child Left Behind is in conflict with a 2004 desegregation consent order. The conflict involved the potential requirement that students be offered the choice of transferring to another school. The consent decree, in most instances, bans intradistrict transfers. “Since the court’s consent decree was grounded in the Constitution, it necessarily trumps statutory requirements of the act,” Vining wrote. U.S. v. Ridley v. State of Georgia, No. 1:689CV12972. Gay partners can’t pursue wrongful death action Same-sex partners cannot pursue a wrongful death action in New York, a divided intermediate appellate court ruled last week in a closely watched case involving two New York men who had entered into a civil union in Vermont. The 3-2 majority of the New York Appellate Division, 2d Department, said such a right is only available to married couples, and that any ruling affording the same right to a gay couple would amount to a judicial sanction of same-sex marriage. Only the state Legislature could offer such an endorsement, the court said. “The circumstances of the present case highlight the reality that there is a substantial segment of the population of this State that is desirous of achieving state recognition and regulation of their relationships on an equal footing with married couples,” Justice Robert A. Lifson wrote in Langan v. St. Vincent’s Hospital, No. 2003-04702. DeLay motion to quash alleges misconduct U.S. Representative Tom DeLay alleges in a motion to quash the indictment against him that Travis County, Texas, District Attorney Ronnie Earle and his staff engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by attempting to “browbeat” a grand jury that returned a no-bill against DeLay. DeLay further alleges that Earle, a Democrat, attempted to delay public disclosure of the no-bill and violated laws that require grand jury deliberations to be kept secret. DeLay stepped down as majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives after being indicted in connection with the alleged unlawful direction of corporate funds to Republican candidates who ran for Texas House seats in 2002. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office in Austin said in a written statement, “These claims have no merit. Because of the laws protecting grand jury secrecy, no other comments can be made. The investigation is continuing.”

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