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TRIAL LAWYERS FINED OVER PROP 64 FUNDS California’s campaign watchdog agency on Thursday slapped the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles with a $20,000 fine for failing to properly disclose $250,000 it spent trying to defeat Proposition 64 in 2004. Between Oct. 26 and Oct. 29 that year, the trial lawyers’ group made three donations totaling $250,000 to the committee that campaigned unsuccessfully against Prop 64, which curbs an individual’s ability to sue for enforcement of unfair business practice law. State law requires that donations of $1,000 or more made in the waning days of a campaign be disclosed within 24 hours. The Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles did not reveal those donations in the required time and also did not file a required electronic version of its semi-annual statement in January 2005, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission. The FPPC investigator said the group deserved the maximum penalty of $20,000 because it has a political action committee and should know disclosure laws well and because of the multiple violations. The Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles stipulated to the FPPC’s findings and fine order, according to an agreement on file with the agency. The FPPC on Thursday also fined the Arns Law Firm of San Francisco, headed by Robert Arns, $3,000 for not reporting a $20,000 donation to the No on Proposition 64 campaign in a timely fashion. The agency also fined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher of Los Angeles $1,534.50 for failing to file semi-annual campaign statements between 2002 and 2004. � Cheryl Miller SIDLEY AUSTIN MAY BE LIABLE IN AGE BIAS CASE A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled on Friday that Sidley Austin may be held liable for monetary damages in an age discrimination case filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that in addition to seeking an injunction against the 1,584-attorney firm regarding its mandatory retirement policy, the EEOC can pursue money damages for attorneys who claim that the firm unlawfully stripped them of their partnership status or forced them to retire. The decision in EEOC v. Sidley Austin, 06-8002, means that the firm could have to pay millions of dollars to at least 45 attorneys affected by its retirement policy, if a trial court finds that it violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The central issue at stake in the case, which other law firms are closely watching, is whether the partners functioned as employees in the firm, which would make the firm subject to the ADEA. EEOC attorney Laurie Elkin said she was not surprised by the appeals court decision, which affirmed a federal district court ruling. “The case is going to move vigorously forward, ” Elkin said. Sidley Austin had no comment. The decision, written by Judge Richard Posner, was rendered in the middle of the case, an unusual appeals procedure. Also on the panel were judges Frank Easterbrook and Diane Wood. � National Law Journal New Partners GREENBERG TRAURIG TAPS 4 IN CALIFORNIA Greenberg Traurig has promoted four attorneys to its partnership in California, out of 36 nationwide. Last year, the firm promoted 33 attorneys to the partnership, including three in California. The firm has 1,500 attorneys in offices worldwide. The firm promoted Dennis Rasor, 38, who practices corporate and securities law in the firm’s Orange County office. He received a J.D. from Ohio State University College of Law in May 1994. In the East Palo Alto office, the firm promoted Micheal Reagan, 34, who practices corporate and securities law. He graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999. In Los Angeles, the firm promoted Jordan Grotzinger, 33, whose practice includes commercial and entertainment litigation. He graduated from Southwestern University School of Law in 1997. Also in Los Angeles, the firm promoted Naoki Kawada, 33, who focuses on corporate and securities law, and heads the L.A. office’s Japanese practice group. Kawada received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. � Kellie Schmitt

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