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‘LADIES’ NIGHT’ DOESN’T SIT WELL WITH MEN’S GROUP Santa Monica lawyer Steven Martin went beyond the usual legal arguments in opposing the state Supreme Court review of a case in which a group of men contend that “Ladies’ Night” discounts are discriminatory. Martin got personal, saying the suit was one of many filed against Los Angeles-area clubs not for egalitarian reasons, but as part of a “fee-generating scheme” for lawyers. “This lawsuit, and countless others brought by both the trial and appellate counsel for petitioners, arose not from the complaints of aggrieved victims of discrimination,” he wrote in court documents last month, “but were conceived by the attorneys, who use their ‘clients’ to wrest settlements from hundreds of businesses throughout this state by making claims of discrimination regardless of whether or not there are facts to support the charges.” Martin argued that the plaintiffs and their attorneys visited clubs with the sole intent of filing lawsuits claiming the statutory minimum of $4,000 in damages allowed under the state’s anti-discrimination Unruh Civil Rights Act. He accused the plaintiffs of using the Unruh act “as a vehicle to create a ‘cottage industry’ by engaging in a form of legal blackmail,” and compared their lawyers to the Trevor Law Group, whose attorneys were disbarred in 2004 for allegedly shaking down small businesses. It’s rare for lawyers to make such extreme allegations in opposing review, and it looks like it did Martin no good. On Oct. 19, five justices voted to hear the case anyway, with Justice Joyce Kennard absent and not participating. The case was filed in 2002 by four men who claim that L.A.’s well-known Century Supper Club � now simply the Century Club � discriminates against men by offering discount admission prices to women on certain nights. While men paid $20 for admission, they argue, women were either charged $15 or let in free. The lead plaintiff is Glendale attorney Marc Angelucci, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Coalition of Free Men, a group devoted to fair treatment for the male gender. Los Angeles’ Second District Court of Appeal tossed the suit in June, ruling that the men couldn’t sue for discrimination unless they had requested, and been denied, equal treatment. “The principle is consistent with longstanding California law,” the court said, “which holds that a plaintiff cannot sue for discrimination in the abstract, but must actually suffer the discriminatory conduct.” In successfully seeking high court review, San Diego attorney Alfred Rava argued that the appeal court had misunderstood prior case law. He also responded to Martin’s allegations by noting that even the 3,000-member Consumer Attorneys of California filed a letter supporting his petition for review. “It is not surprising,” Rava wrote, “that only an attorney for a serial discriminator like [Century Supper Club] would have the temerity to compare these thousands of socially conscious attorneys to the disgraced and disbarred attorneys of the Trevor Law Group.” The case is Angelucci v. Century Supper Club, S136154. &# 151 Mike McKee KOZINSKI CELEBRATES 20 YEARS ON BENCH After 20 years on the Ninth Circuit, what’s left to write about Alex Kozinski? The judge has been profiled in the legal press, the business press and the outdoor sports press. Last year, the Web site Underneath Their Robes named Kozinski the “#1 male superhottie of the federal judiciary” (after the judge wrote a letter lobbying for the distinction). And he’s clearly a favorite of the people who run the Ninth Circuit coffee shop on Mission Street. Since former President Ronald Reagan made Kozinski the youngest-ever federal appeals court judge on Nov. 7, 1985, he has wooed reporters with the shocking notions that a federal judge doesn’t have to act like a cloistered snob, and that a conservative can be into activities like snowboarding. The press has in turn presented an evolving portrait of Kozinski, from precocious novelty to, in the words of his letter to Underneath Their Robes, a “graying, pudgy, middle-aged man with an accent close to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s.” During his tenure, Kozinski has turned in many 18-hour work days, authored a bevy of opinions, spent a brief time labeled by the press as a U.S. Supreme Court hopeful (doubtful now, given the lengthy paper trail.) And he’s also developed a celebrated friendship with Judge Stephen Reinhardt, one of the Ninth Circuit’s more liberal members. Kozinski said last week that he’s enjoyed the occasional manhandling of his public persona by the press. “I get notoriety because I’m willing to do it,” he said. “I find it fun a lot of times, but a lot of times I find it tiring or tiresome.” But, he added, he still feels an obligation to be speak publicly about the court. “Most judges view the job as being sort of cloistered, and I don’t really see it as such,” he said. Yet after all the interviews he’s done, the video game reviews, magazine articles and court opinions he’s written, Kozinski last week professed that he had little to say about his two decades on the appellate bench. But that’s frequently how he begins conversations that turn into extended testimonials on the nature � and limits � of judging. “You want divine justice?” Kozinski asked Wednesday. “You die; then you get divine justice. On earth, you get human justice.” After several such pronouncements, Kozinski said his anniversary on the court crept up slowly. In fact, Kozinski said, he believes he’s aged pretty well. And, he added, what’s 20 years? “I hope you don’t get the impression there’s any kind of celebration,” he said. “I don’t celebrate anything.” � Justin Scheck SPENDING A LOT OF TIME IN COURT Rambus Inc. is like a litigation magnet. Embroiled in several patent disputes, the Los Altos company last week continued its quest to get documents in one case unsealed, while its attorneys gave closing arguments in another case. On Oct. 31, Rambus was in Judge Richard Kramer’s San Francisco Superior courtroom where it is accusing several of its rivals � including Micron Technology Inc., Hynix Semiconductor and Infineon Technologies � of conspiring to run the firm out of business. Rambus claims that several hundred pages of documents that defendants had successfully sealed would reveal the conspiracy. The company is asking Kramer to break the seal and discuss the evidence in open court. Despite additional media requests to see the documents, Kramer sternly replied: “I can’t just unseal records, and I can’t give legal advice. Sealed records are sealed.” Pausing, he then added, “Thank you for your interest.” The day ended with Kramer suspending a ruling and instead suggesting that Rambus and its rivals continue negotiations. If, however, they still remained at an impasse in a couple of weeks, Kramer told the attorneys to “get me on a conference call. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get going on this.” Kramer has put this matter on hold until early January. The case is Rambus Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., 04-431105. Additionally, Rambus is defending itself in San Jose’s federal courthouse against claims that it purposely shredded evidence in the late 1990s, when it was preparing to sue rivals for infringing one of its chip patents. Rambus argued in its closing statements Nov. 1 that it hadn’t made definite plans to file complaints against anyone when it decided to shred its records. It is now up to U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte to decide whether Rambus had acted improperly. The case is Hynix Semiconductor v. Rambus, CV-00- 20905RMW. � Julie O’Shea

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