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Ohio judge bars Calif. firm from his court An Ohio state court judge has barred Novato, Calif.-based Brayton Purcell and one of its lawyers from appearing in that court due to their alleged dishonesty in litigating a mesothelioma case. Kananian v. Lorillard Tobacco Co., No. 442750 (Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, Ct. C.P.) Read the full text of the decision (1.6 MB PDF). Judge Harry A. Hanna, who presides over the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas asbestos docket, where the state’s asbestos cases are concentrated, said that Brayton Purcell attorney Christopher E. Andreas’ alleged lies and misrepresentations to the court and opposing counsel in discovery and at deposition warranted the decision. But the judge declined to dismiss the case of mesothelioma victim Harry Kananian’s estate against Lorillard because the Kananian “family did nothing improper,” and Bruce Carter, a Fairfield, Ohio, solo practitioner who is current counsel for the plaintiff, “was completely blameless as well.” Brayton Purcell did not return calls seeking comment. N.Y. bar wants halt to firm mandatory retirement The New York Bar State Association has called for an end to mandatory retirement policies at law firms. In a report released last week, a special committee of the New York State Bar Association concluded that such policies were “inconsistent with accepted employment practices in this country.” The committee also determined that age alone was not an appropriate criterion for determining professional capacity or employment status. Some 57% of law firms with 100 or more attorneys have mandatory retirement programs among those with documented policies, according to Altman Weil, a law firm consultancy. Among all law firms, 38% require retirement at a certain age. Williams Mullen merges with Maupin Taylor Virginia firm Williams Mullen is heading further south with its pick-up of 53-lawyer North Carolina firm Maupin Taylor. As a result of the merger, which is pending partner approval, the firm will grow to about 300 attorneys, and expects to expand its regulatory and cross-border transaction work, said Julious Smith Jr., chairman and CEO of Williams Mullen. “We have looked at Raleigh for a long time,” said Smith. “The lawyers are similar. The practices are similar, and that’s what attracted us.” Exit of U.S. attorney in San Francisco announced Just about the entire San Francisco federal bar figured U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan would be on his way out this year. They just didn’t bank on his departure being part of an apparent Bush administration purge of U.S. attorneys. Rumors of Ryan’s departure have gained steam over the past year, as his first four-year term neared its end last July-and since two Department of Justice audits knocked his management style. But it appeared that Ryan may have been swept up in what some are calling a Bush administration housecleaning of several U.S. attorneys-and not a victim of the audits performed last spring by the DOJ’s evaluation and review staff. Ryan spokesman Luke Macaulay had no comment on whether Ryan was leaving in connection with the audits. But Macaulay acknowledged that the decision was not Ryan’s alone. Top Milbank partner goes to Quinn Emanuel Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges has recruited a top bankruptcy partner from New York’s Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Susheel Kirpalani had been the youngest associate ever promoted to partner at Milbank in 2001 and had served as the top deputy to bankruptcy chairman Luc A. Despins, with whom he represented the creditors’ committees of both Enron Corp. and Refco Inc. Kirpalani, 36, will become national chairman of the bankruptcy litigation practice of Quinn Emanuel, working out of the Los Angeles-based firm’s 85-lawyer New York office. Duane Morris opens in Singapore, plans for more Duane Morris Chairman Sheldon Bonovitz is making good on his plan to expand his 600-attorney Philadelphia firm to more than 1,000 lawyers with offices across the globe. The latest move gives the firm a six-attorney outpost in Singapore. New York partner Eduardo Ramos-Gomez, the former Mexican ambassador to Singapore, will serve as managing partner of Duane Morris’ office there with a group of five new partners culled from several international firms. The firm will also open two offices in Vietnam in the next several months, one in Hanoi and the other in Ho Chi Minh City.

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