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Motley Rice lawyers sued by their old firm The recent departure of four Atlanta attorneys from their securities class action firm to the high-profile South Carolina plaintiffs’ firm Motley Rice has stirred up some bad blood with the lawyers’ old firm. Chitwood Harley Harnes of Atlanta, which specializes in representing plaintiffs in securities class actions, sued its four ex-lawyers, accusing them of taking proprietary information about the firm’s clients and trying to recruit them to take their business to Motley Rice. Chitwood Harley Harnes v. Antonino, No. 2006-CV-112881 (Fulton Co., Ga. Super. Ct.). Motley Rice was involved in the $206 billion settlement between 46 states and the U.S. tobacco industry in 1998. A second Boies partner goes to Quinn Emanuel A second partner from Boies, Schiller & Flexner has left the firm to join Los Angeles business litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges. Philippe Z. Selendy, a Boies Schiller partner since 2000, focused on litigation involving financial products and antitrust cases. His move follows that of former Boies Schiller partner Stephen Neuwirth, who joined Quinn Emanuel earlier this year. Another Boies Schiller partner, Andrew Hayes, also left earlier in the year to start a nonprofit group. Federal judiciary seeks a budget boost, to $6.3B Rental costs have reached an all-time high and continue to soar. There’s an ongoing push to enhance security and a need for more staff to handle an unprecedented caseload. The federal judiciary estimates it will need nearly $6.3 billion to fund these and other operating expenses during the next fiscal year. The budget request was submitted to Congress earlier this month as part of the White House’s plan for fiscal year 2007. The judicial branch, which devises its own budget proposal without input from the White House, is asking for a 9.4% boost in spending from fiscal year 2006. The budget includes funding for all federal courts, including the Supreme Court, and various judicial offices and agencies, such as the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Last year, the judiciary asked for $5.95 billion, and Congress ultimately approved $5.7 billion. But despite receiving nearly $250 million less than requested, the judiciary still fared better than in previous years, said Chief Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Holland & Knight loses 10 L.A. lawyers to Luce Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps of San Diego has snagged 10 attorneys from Holland & Knight’s Los Angeles office, including its executive partner, Bruce Ross, and four other trust and estate partners. The defections come just three months after Holland & Knight announced the closure of nine offices nationwide and layoffs for 41 attorneys and 45 staff. Ross acknowledged he had “some concerns” about the firm’s decision to withdraw from Seattle and Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., a community to the north of San Diego. But Jerome Levine, a Holland & Knight partner tapped to take over the management of the Los Angeles office, dismissed the closures, saying they were an indicator of the firm’s health. “Everyone in our field was wondering what took us so long to strengthen our firm by reducing some of the offices we had,” Levine said. “There is extremely strong support for West Coast offices by our firm.” According to a survey published in The American Lawyer, a sister publication of The National Law Journal, Holland & Knight was 10th on the “Top Losers” chart of lateral partners in 2005, with the 1,250-lawyer firm seeing 25 departures and 16 arrivals. “In large firms, it’s not unusual for lawyers to join or leave,” Levine said. The firm’s largest offices are on the East Coast and in Chicago. Reed Smith is talking Texas with other firms Reed Smith is eyeing Texas for expansion. The 1,077-lawyer firm would like to open offices in Houston, Dallas and Austin, said Gregory Jordan, the firm’s Pittsburgh-based managing partner. “We have operations up and down the East Coast and in California and in Europe, and have a substantial client base that’s very active in Texas, so we are very interested in the Texas market,” he said. The firm, which was founded in Pittsburgh, has 18 offices in the United States and in Europe. Ideally, Jordan said, Reed Smith would move into Texas by combining with a firm that already has lawyers in Houston, Dallas and Austin. The firm expanded into California that way in 2003, when it merged with 215-lawyer Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May, which had offices in Oakland and Los Angeles, he said. No deal with a Texas firm is in the works.

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