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Who but a litigator would write a holiday song lyric rhyming “Christmas Day” with “ex parte”? The perpetrator of that gem is Lawrence Savell, the singer/songwriter behind “You Don’t Wanna Cross Santa,” which surely will become a Yule classic. That’s cross as in cross-examine. Seems the old elf is not so jolly when a rooftop mishap leads to litigation and you grill him too aggressively. “An examination giving him the third degree gives you a lump of coal beneath your Christmas tree,” Savell learns. The tune appears on a three-disc CD collection that the Chadbourne & Parke attorney is pitching on his Web site, www.lawtunes.com. Other titles include the cheeky “Rainmaker Reindeer” and the somber “Billing on Christmas Eve.” According to his Web site, Savell got his start in show business in the University of Michigan Law School’s “Law Revue” and has been self-recording for several years. He says it’s all in good fun and to humanize the profession. “I’m never going to win a Grammy,” he said in an interview. “If it makes lawyers feel better about the hours they put in, and other people feel better about lawyers, then I feel I will have achieved my objective.” Surely worthy goals. But he plans to keep his day job.- From Staff Reports. Savage breast two former caretakers who refused to bare their breasts to a 300-pound, sign-language-speaking gorilla named Koko have settled a lawsuit against the Gorilla Foundation. Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller claimed they were fired after they refused to expose their breasts to the primate, and after reporting sanitary problems at Koko’s home in Woodside, Calif., near San Francisco. The pair claimed that they were threatened that if they “did not indulge Koko’s nipple fetish, their employment with the Gorilla Foundation would suffer,” the lawsuit alleged. Alperin and Keller claimed that Francine “Penny” Patterson, the gorilla’s longtime caretaker and president of the Gorilla Foundation, pressured them to expose their breasts as a way to bond with the 33-year-old female simian. “On one such occasion,” the lawsuit said, “Patterson said, ‘Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples.’ “ The plaintiffs, both in their mid-40s, never undressed, said their attorney, Stephen Sommers. The foundation has denied the allegations. A similar lawsuit by another employee is pending.- Associated Press Problem clients And you thought your client was trouble. Imagine making a living representing fellow attorneys. That’s how Los Angeles lawyer JoAnne Robbins earns her keep. She represents attorneys up on disciplinary charges before the State Bar of California. “They’re an attorney,” Robbins said, “so sometimes they feel they know as much as you do in this area of law.” Beverly Hills, Calif., solo practitioner Theodore Cohen, who specializes in representing attorneys who have substance-abuse problems, said that lawyers “always want to keep sitting there and writing notes to you.” It can reach comic proportions. During a 1997 State Bar Court hearing in San Francisco, now-disbarred lawyer Jerome Berg kept slipping notes to his attorney, Robert Rudolph Jr. When he was handed the third note in 15 minutes, Rudolph angrily crumpled it up and muscled Berg back to his seat. And then there are the cases San Francisco attorney-discipline specialist Jerome Fishkin dubs TSTP-”Too Stupid to Prosecute.” These are cases where attorneys do “something really dumb,” he said. “Threatening state bar discipline for a civil advantage is a violation of the rules,” Fishkin’s girlfriend and law partner, Lindsay Slatter, points out. So is failing to notify a client that the state bar can audit their trust accounts-”an off-the-wall thing,” Fishkin said, “that can catch attorneys by surprise.” - The Recorder

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