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JURY TO TAKE ANOTHER STAB AT UNOCAL CASE In a ruling that lays some clear ground rules for workplace liability, the California Supreme Court on Monday reversed a $3 million jury verdict against Unocal Corp. and sent the case back to San Francisco Superior Court for a new trial. The justices, in an opinion written by Justice Carlos Moreno, said that the jury had not been given proper instructions when it found Unocal negligent in not disclosing hazardous working conditions at one of its oil refineries near Long Beach. The high court said landowners who hire independent contractors may be liable if the landowner knew or should have known of a latent or concealed pre-existing hazardous condition on their property, the contractor did not know and could not have reasonably discovered this hazardous condition, and the landowner failed to warn the contractor about this condition. But a new trial is necessary in this case, the court ruled, because “the concealed hazards issue was never properly submitted to the jury.” The jury “made no finding about whether Kinsman’s employer, Burke & Reynolds � knew or should have known of the hazard and whether Unocal was or should have been aware that these contractors did not know of the hazard,” Moreno wrote for the unanimous court in Kinsman v. Unocal, 05 C.D.O.S. 10639. (Fifth District Justice Dennis Cornell sat by assignment.) In 1999, Ray Kinsman, an independent contract employee who had worked at Unocal and who was diagnosed with terminal, asbestos-induced lung cancer, sued Unocal. He got a $3 million jury verdict, but in 2003, the First District Court of Appeal reversed, stating that Unocal couldn’t be held liable for Kinsman’s cancer without proof that the oil giant concealed hazardous conditions or took actions that contributed to the worker’s injuries. � Julie O’Shea CLIFFORD CHANCE HEAD STEPPING DOWN NEW YORK � Clifford Chance’s global managing partner Peter Cornell has announced he will not seek re-election to the British legal giant’s top management position when his term expires next April. Cornell, 53, was elected head of the 2,500-lawyer firm in 2000 and relocated to New York from London at the beginning of this year to try to boost the firm’s U.S. practice after a series of high-profile partner departures. In an interview Monday, he declared that effort a success. “The office has a much better mood now,” he said. “There’s much less of an element of us and them.” Tensions between Clifford Chance’s New York and London partners had focused in part on the firm’s cherished lockstep compensation scheme, which many U.S. partners, more accustomed to being paid according to business origination, claimed was not competitive with American firms. The firm, which saw scores of partners depart its U.S. offices over the past three years, voted last week to reform its global lockstep to account for partner pay differences across markets. Cornell said he regarded the reform, an earlier version of which had been defeated in a 2003 vote, as a nice bookend to his tenure as the firm’s global head. “I’m going out while I’m still on top,” he said. David Childs, the firm’s current chief operating officer, is the front-runner to replace Cornell in the spring. Cornell said he had not decided on his next move but said he would be happy to stay at the firm in some management role. A full-time manager for many years, he said his skills as a lawyer were too rusty for him to return to practice. � New York Law Journal

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