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‘Junkets for judges’ are on the rise, report shows Despite negative publicity about “junkets for judges” in recent years, a watchdog group reports that more federal judges than ever are taking subsidized trips. Community Rights Counsel (CRC), which first detailed what it describes as judges’ “corporate junketing” eight years ago, says that data from 2002 to 2004 indicate a 60% increase in questionable trips taken by judges over a similar period 10 years earlier. Judges’ publicly available financial disclosure forms indicate that from 2002 to 2004 (the last year available) federal judges took an average of 110 trips per year sponsored by the “big three”-three organizations that, according to the CRC, “share a similar libertarian/pro-big corporation ideology.” Those organizations are the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE), George Mason University’s Law and Economics Center, and the Liberty Fund. The organizations funded an average of 68 reported trips by judges annually from 1993 to 1995, according to the report. Pete Geddes, executive director of the Montana-based FREE, asserts that the implications of the CRC’s report are absurd. The CRC, he said, seems to think that “we give the judges a horsy ride and implant the microchip” that tells them how to vote. Another state bar asks about depression history If Abraham Lincoln were alive, he would encounter several difficulties gaining admittance to the Connecticut bar-assuming he deserved his reputation both for honesty and for “melancholia.” That’s because the state Bar Examining Committee has re-introduced depression as one of the conditions listed on the mental health section of the bar application. Depression made the list in 2000, but public outcry led to its removal-until now. Connecticut joins several other states in seeking information on depression, including Colorado, Florida, Delaware and Kentucky. Lieutenant Governor Kevin B. Sullivan, who has criticized the application questions in the past, said that the amended phrasing is legally suspect, but noted, “[w]ill anyone who has standing seek admittance to the bar and sue at the same time? No.” Patton Boggs launches into N.Y.-from N.J. Washington-based Patton Boggs has long looked to secure a toehold in the New York market. The firm recently announced its first foray into the region with the acquisition of nearly 30 lawyers from Latham & Watkins’ Newark, N.J., office. The six-partner, two-dozen-associate group brings upward of $20 million in business from a roster of blue-chip clients like Ford Motor Co. and Monsanto Co. Though Latham’s $1.4 million profits per partner dwarf Patton Boggs’ $850,000, the Latham attorneys believe they will fare better under their new firm’s “eat what you kill” compensation system. “We have said for a long time that getting a successful presence in New York was our most important strategic objective, and we’re delighted that we’re well on our way to doing that,” said Patton Boggs managing partner Stuart Pape. Goodwin debuts in L.A. and San Francisco Goodwin Procter, one of Boston’s biggest firms, has made its San Francisco and Los Angeles debut with a handful of partners plucked from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Cooley Godward. Joining Goodwin in its new San Francisco office at 101 California St., which officially opened last week, are the former head of Cooley Godward’s real estate practice, Paul Churchill, and fellow real estate attorney Mark Goldberg. Churchill will lead the office’s real estate practice, which will be fleshed out with former Pillsbury litigation partners Forrest Hainline and Patrick Thompson. Churchill has represented real estate investment firm Menlo Equities LLC and Woodside Hotels & Resorts among other clients. Spearheading the Los Angeles office, which also opened last week, will be former Pillsbury real estate head Lewis Feldman, who has advised clients in both the public and private sectors on more than $50 billion in capital markets deals. Besides Boston, Goodwin also has offices in New York and Washington.

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