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California court lets gay marriage ban stand In a split decision last week overturning a San Francisco trial court, California’s First District Court of Appeal concluded that the ban on same-sex marriage now woven into California law is constitutional. “We believe it is rational for the Legislature to preserve the opposite-sex definition of marriage, which has existed throughout history and which continues to represent the common understanding of marriage in most other countries and states of our union,” Justice William McGuiness wrote for the 2-1 majority, “while at the same time providing equal rights and benefits to same-sex partners through a comprehensive domestic partnership scheme.” In re Marriage Cases, No. JCCP 4365. Troutman Sanders snags five Hunton partners Atlanta’s Troutman Sanders has snagged the head of the capital markets and corporate governance group at Richmond, Va.’s Hunton & Williams, as well as four other partners from the same firm. David M. Carter started with Troutman on Sept. 29. Carter will be co-head of Troutman’s securities and capital markets practice group with partner James J. Wheaton. The other partners are: John Owen Gwathmey, R. Mason Bayler, David I. Meyers and Coburn R. Beck. Beck will be attached to the firm’s Hong Kong office. Scalia’s ‘tequila’ remark in court offends some During oral arguments last week in an immigrants’ rights case, Justice Antonin Scalia made a reference to one of the parties, a Mexican who has been deported back to his country, as unlikely to be “abstaining from tequila down in Mexico because he is on supervised release in the United States.” The comment offended some who were told about the remark afterward on the ground that it perpetuates stereotypes about Mexicans. Lawyers directly involved in the case could not be reached or declined to comment publicly. The comment came during arguments in Lopez v. Gonzales and Toledo-Flores v. United States, challenges to the government’s interpretation of the federal law that allows deportation of immigrants who commit aggravated felonies. Scalia declined to comment on his remark. Controversial tax code’s compliance date delayed The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have pushed back the full compliance date for the controversial tax code that governs various types of deferred-compensation plans-including stock options-one year, to January 2008. [NLJ, Sept. 18]. Although the agencies have required good faith compliance with the law since January 2005, final regulations have yet to be issued. Lawyers have criticized the wide-ranging code, called 409A, for the high cost of compliance and stiff penalties for noncompliance. This summer, the American Bar Association Section of Taxation asked Congress to reconsider the law and to hold hearings. “The ABA Tax Section is very pleased that the IRS has acknowledged the need for immediate guidance on transition rules for 409A,” said Susan Serota, the chair-elect of the ABA Taxation Section. Two firms with ‘Foley’ in name settle lawsuit Foley & Lardner has settled a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Foley Hoag by agreeing to change its use of the word Foley in advertisements and other written and oral communications. Foley & Lardner, which has its largest office in Milwaukee, agreed not to use a logo with the word “Foley” unless Foley & Lardner is displayed prominently and in close proximity. The firm also agreed not to call itself “Foley” in written or oral communications unless the context made it clear that it was referring to Foley & Lardner. The settlement preserves Foley Hoag’s brand name, said Foley Hoag’s co-managing partner Robert Sanoff. “Our reputation is something of enormous value to the firm,” he said. “We will continue to use the name Foley.” Boston-based Foley Hoag registered its name as a service mark in 2002, which led the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny Foley & Lardner’s request to register “FOLEY” as a trademark in 2004.

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