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FITZGERALD’S TIGHT-KNIT CULTURE TETHERS LONGTIME ATTORNEYS In today’s hyper-mobile world, few lawyers stay in one firm as long as Fitzgerald, Abbott & Beardsley partners James Soper and Philip Jelley. The two business attorneys recently celebrated their 50th anniversary at the 25-lawyer Oakland firm. Jelley and Soper, both Stanford Law School graduates, joined Fitzgerald in 1956 one month apart; Jelley straight out of school and Soper following two years in the U.S. Army. Jelley recalled that when he started, all the secretaries had to know shorthand and Dictaphones were just making inroads. Today, Jelley uses his laptop computer chiefly for e-mail or Web searches. When he needs to write a letter, he says he still relies on the “four ladies” in the firm’s word processing department who type “much better than I can.” Though both attorneys have had numerous opportunities to jump ship over the years, the firm’s tight-knit culture has kept them tethered. “I had an opportunity to go on the bench at the San Francisco federal court,” Jelley said. “That interested me quite a bit.” But following discussions with friends who had opted out of law for the courts, he decided the bench wasn’t for him. “You had to have a special judicial temperament and keep from trying the case yourself,” he said, adding that the close personal relationships at work are one reason he “continues to be here so happily.” Said Soper: “I never really seriously considered leaving,” despite offers extended by friends to join bigger Bay Area law firms. Soper’s client relationships in some cases span several generations. He represents family businesses and individuals, as well as industrial businesses. Plus, Soper admits, he enjoys the luxury of living a short 10-minute drive from the office. � Petra Pasternak ‘SAD TO BE SO RIGHT’ There are times when saying “I told you so” just isn’t that gratifying. Ask Jeanne Finberg. The head counsel at the National Senior Citizens Law Center in Oakland said she has spent recent weeks filling holes in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit � gaps she’d been pointing out for some time. “I could tell a year ago that we were headed for major, major problems,” she said recently. Finberg has worked to organize a nationwide network of lawyers and other advocates to help seniors navigate the nettles strewn throughout the drug benefit law. In the process she’s become something of a celebrity expert on the group that’s become known as “dual eligibles,” showing up in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and a list of other newspapers and TV shows. “I have a media clip folder that’s two inches thick,” she said. But that doesn’t help the dual eligibles, people � mainly poor or disabled seniors � who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. Those several million people no longer get the Medicaid drug benefit, which covered all the costs of medication, and have to pick from one of the several complicated Medicare drug plans. And under those plans, they’ll have to pay for drugs they used to receive free. “It’s a big mess,” Finberg said. She said the Law Center is trying to provide information through its Web site, www.nsclc.org, and is trying to persuade state and federal officials to come up with a solution for people facing confusion � and co-payments � as they try to figure out their future medical care. Until then, Finberg said she’s taking no solace in her foresight. “It’s very sad to be so right,” she said. � Justin Scheck TECH INVESTMENT Fenwick & West is donating $100,000 to become the largest sponsor of the Women’s Technology Cluster in 2006. The donation is slightly higher than last year’s, according to a firm spokesperson, and was given in recognition of the networking opportunities and training support the not-for-profit organization provides to women tech entrepreneurs. The San Francisco-based Women’s Technology Cluster has incubated more than 60 companies that have raised more than $60 million in six years. One of those companies is Palamida, an IP risk management and compliance solution firm that Fenwick & West helped secure venture funding for while working pro bono. Susan Morgan, one of Fenwick’s former associates, worked with the group while at the firm and has since left to start her own company, Equilytics, providing software to companies as they undergo various rounds of funding. The investment is already paying off. Both Palamida and Equilytics have since become Fenwick clients. � Marie-Anne Hogarth

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