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ABA rejects warrantless domestic spying program The American Bar Association denounced President Bush’s warrantless domestic surveillance program last week, accusing him of exceeding his powers under the Constitution. The program has prompted a heated debate about presidential powers in the war on terror since it was disclosed in December. The ABA adopted a policy opposing any future government use of electronic surveillance in the United States for foreign intelligence purposes without first obtaining warrants from a special court set up under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The ABA has urged Congress to affirm that when it authorized Bush to go to war, it did not intend to endorse warrantless spying. DLA Piper joins the billion-dollar club DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary reported last week global revenue of more than $1.5 billion for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2005. The results give a first look at combined revenue figures since the merger of British firm DLA with U.S. firm Piper Rudnick, which earlier had agreed to merge with Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich. DLA Piper, which has more than 3,100 lawyers, reported that profit per equity partner for the combined firm surpassed the $1 million mark, hitting $1,036,000. More indictments to come in Pellicano case? As word of attorney Terry Christensen’s indictment spread across Los Angeles last week, lawyers made phone calls, swapped e-mails and wondered whether the first indictment of a lawyer in the Anthony Pellicano case was a harbinger of more indictments to come. Several sources close to the case said that more indictments are expected in the coming weeks. Prosecutors said last week that the investigation is ongoing. The two-count indictment by a federal grand jury alleged that Christensen, 65, had paid Pellicano at least $100,000 to record and report on telephone conversations between Lisa Bonder Kerkorian and her attorney in 2002. At the time, Christensen represented billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, the former head of MGM Studios, in a child support dispute with Bonder Kerkorian. Christensen “would use the information gleaned from the illegal wiretap to secure a tactical advantage in litigation by learning Lisa Bonder Kerkorian’s plans, strategies, perceived strengths and weaknesses, settlement position and other confidential information,” according to the indictment. Kelley Drye may merge with Collier Shannon New York-based Kelley Drye & Warren is in advanced merger talks with the 82-lawyer Washington firm Collier Shannon Scott, both firms confirmed last week. The firms have yet to sign a letter of intent, but both partnerships are expected to make a decision in the coming weeks, said Brad Mutschelknaus, managing partner of Kelley Drye’s Washington office. “I would describe myself as guardedly optimistic,” Mutschelknaus said. “There are a lot of moving parts, and any one of them could cause it to go south.” A combined firm would more than double Kelley Drye’s Washington presence, to about 125 lawyers, and bring the corporate litigation firm a mix of regulatory practices, including Collier Shannon’s advertising, international trade and antitrust groups. The merger would be the latest in a string of acquisitions in the Washington legal market, which has seen many local midsize firms swallowed up by out-of-town players looking to bolster their presence inside the Beltway. Wyeth wins big as Fla. court halts class action In a huge victory for pharmaceutical giant Wyeth, a Florida appeals court last week halted a class action that claimed its hormone replacement drug could harm hundreds of thousands of Florida women. A three-judge panel of the state’s 3d District Court of Appeal unanimously held in Wyeth Inc. v. Arlene Gottlieb, No. 3D05-491, that the claims were not common enough for the case to move forward as a class action. Instead, women who claim they may suffer future health problems because of their use of the drug Prempro will have to file individual suits against Wyeth. The Wyeth decision reverses a ruling last February by Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Lawrence A. Schwartz certifying the class. It was the latest class action setback for Miami attorney Stanley Rosenblatt, who represented the class, which was estimated to include 300,000 Florida women. The appeals court said that the case did not meet the standard for a class action because “individual issues of law and fact exist.”

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