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Off the Hook Two of the law firms sued for legal malpractice and other wrongdoing in the wake of the bankruptcy of Anacostia’s Greater Southeast Community Hospital Corp. can breathe easier. Last year bankruptcy trustee Sam Alberts of the D.C. office of White & Case sued Kutak Rock and Epstein, Becker & Green for a whopping $242 million over transactional work the two firms did for the hospital’s parent company that flooded the hospital group with high-interest debt. But late last month Judge S. Martin Teel Jr. of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia threw out most of the allegations against the firms, including the mammoth legal-malpractice claim. “The court has said it before and will say it again,” Teel wrote. “Lawyers are not responsible for the business decisions of their clients.” Though the decision was a boon for the law firms, a number of Alberts’ claims against the hospital company’s executives were not dismissed. In April, seven top executives of the Ohio-based finance company that issued the struggling Greater Southeast millions in loans were indicted in Cincinnati on charges including securities fraud and money laundering.
London, Here We Come Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll is gearing up to set up shop on the other side of the Atlantic. The D.C.-based plaintiffs firm, which already has affiliations with various European firms, has plans to open a London office in January 2007, says name partner Michael Hausfeld. The office will focus on competition, securities, and employment matters initially, he says. Hausfeld notes that the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany already allow some form of group or class action-style litigation, and many other European countries are considering following suit, especially in the competition and securities arenas.
Where in the World Is T.L.? The revolving door swung open at two law firms last week as Covington & Burling and Arnold & Porter brought Thomas “T.L.” Cubbage and Matthew Keisler back into the fold. Cubbage exited Covington three years ago to join his then-primary client, energy company Kerr McGee Corp., as senior counsel. But after chemical giant Anadarko Petroleum Co. bought out Kerr McGee this spring in a $16.5 billion deal, the grass started looking greener at his old firm. This time around, Cubbage rejoins as a partner in Covington’s ERISA practice. Keisler, who spent the past two years as senior counsel for employment in the Office of the Chief Counsel for Employment in the Senate, joined Arnold & Porter in 1997 as an associate. He rejoins the firm as counsel. “We thought his service in the Senate was potentially extremely valuable to our clients,” says Michael Sohn, Arnold & Porter’s chairman.
A Rose by Any Other Name Boston-based Foley Hoag and Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner have settled their squabble over the use of the Foley name. Last October, Foley Hoag sued Foley & Lardner in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts over the use of the name “Foley,” which Foley Hoag had registered as a service mark in 2002. The suit was dismissed earlier this year, but the firms agreed last week that Foley & Lardner won’t use the single name Foley as a logo without a reference to its full name in close proximity. Foley & Lardner Chairman Ralf Boer says his firm doesn’t think there was any confusion in the marketplace, but was as eager as Foley Hoag to avoid any possible mix-ups and started making these changes last year. Now, if only law firms could agree to trim their five-part names . . .
Power Play Chadbourne & Parke is representing Tenaska Power Fund in its $1.6 billion acquisition of natural-gas-fired power plants from Baltimore-based Constellation Energy. Tenaska Power Fund, a private equity partnership affiliated with Omaha, Neb.-based Tenaska Energy Inc., agreed to buy six power plants totaling 3,145 megawatts in California, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia, and Illinois in a deal that is expected to close late this year or in early 2007. Chadbourne’s multioffice team includes D.C.-based partner Robert Shapiro and D.C.-based associate James Scarrow.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Got a tip for Alexia or Anna? Contact them at [email protected] or [email protected]. Reporter Jason McLure contributed to this report.

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