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L.A. Firms Raise First-Year Associate Pay The past few weeks have been good ones if you’re an associate at a big Los Angeles-based firm. And non-California firms are also taking note. • Howrey’s New Year: Firm Loses Two Partners to Start ’06 The ink has yet to dry on law firms’ revenue figures for 2005, but Howrey already has a case of the New Year’s blues with the departure of two partners to Kaye Scholer last week. • Taxing Away: White & Case Hire Four Attorneys from Akin White & Case poached four tax attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld last week in an attempt to boost its tax dispute work inside the Beltway. • Flying Shrimp, Hidden Damage?: Restaurant Blamed in Death A trial in the case of a 47-year-old furrier who died 10 months after dining at Benihana, the popular Japanese steakhouse chain, opened last week in a New York court. • Mergers-R-Us: Survey Shows Mergers Getting Bigger Firms keep on merging, and the mergers are getting bigger. Those are the basic findings of Hildebrandt International’s annual MergerWatch survey, released last week. • Still Pending: Anthrax Malpractice Suit Revived A $20 million legal malpractice suit filed by the family of a postal worker who was killed in the 2001 anthrax attacks was reinstated last week after the D.C. Court of Appeals found that the suit contained sufficient allegations to meet the pleading requirements. • Arrested Developments: Assistant Police Chief Can be Held Liable in Class Action Suit D.C. Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Peter Newsham can be held personally liable in a class action for violating the constitutional rights of nearly 400 protesters, the federal appeals court in Washington said last week. • In the Family: Judicial Vacancies Going to Family Law Practitioners Prosecutors and defense attorneys historically have been natural picks for judicial vacancies on the D.C. bench, but lately family law practitioners have been getting the nod.

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