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Associate-to-partner ratio at mid-1990s level Law firm leverage has returned to the levels of the mid-1990s, according to NALP, formerly the National Association for Law Placement. Overall, the ratio of associates to partners in law firms of varying sizes in 2006 was 0.99 associates to 1 partner, as determined by NALP’s survey on law firm leverage. Associate leverage was at its peak in 2002, when there were 1.16 associates for each partner. NALP’s survey also showed that associate leverage was higher at larger firms. At firms with 701 or more attorneys, the associate-to-partner ratio in 2006 was 1.38 to 1. By contrast, at firms with 50 or fewer attorneys, the ratio was 0.71 to 1. Texas firm is dismissed from Enron class action Houston’s Vinson & Elkins, longtime outside counsel for Enron Corp., was dismissed from a massive shareholder securities class action filed by disgruntled Enron shareholders. In an order signed last week, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of Houston dismissed a number of other defendants from the class action, which is set for trial in April, including former Enron executives Lou Pai, Kenneth Rice, Joseph Hirko, Kevin Hannon and Lawrence Greg Whalley. She also dismissed the estate of former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, who died in July 2006. D.C.’s surprise choice for AG makes quick splash Just three weeks on the job and still awaiting District of Columbia Council confirmation, D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer already has ordered the resignations or transfers of four key administrators in her office. Singer also has proposed taking over local felony cases now handled by federal prosecutors, a proposal that triggered an embarrassing rebuke from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who believes that the attorney general’s office is barely staying on top of its current caseload. A former New York City legal-aid attorney, Singer wants the office to do more to protect consumers and vulnerable populations such as immigrants and the elderly. She has spent the past 13 years in Washington leading the Appleseed Foundation, building it into a nationwide pro bono legal network with 18 centers in the United States and Mexico. DLA Piper does its bit to combat global warming DLA Piper has launched an internal program to combat global warming, which includes a $2,000 reimbursement to employees who purchase hybrid vehicles. As part of the firm’s Global Sustainability Initiative, it also will expand benefits for employees who use mass transit. In addition, DLA Piper plans to reduce pollution created from its workers’ air travel by increased videoconferencing and the purchase of carbon credits, which will be used for environmentally friendly projects elsewhere. The law firm, which has about 8,000 attorneys and other workers worldwide, will also retrofit its printers and copiers for double-sided printing. Hunton & Williams talks lateral move with Jenkens By next month, Dallas-based Jenkens & Gilchrist may look a bit different. Currently, the Dallas office employs the majority of the firm’s lawyers, 140 of 251 attorneys in six cities nationwide. But, according to one current and one former Hunton & Williams partner, the managing partner of another Dallas-based firm and others, all of whom request anonymity, Jenkens management is talking with Hunton & Williams management about a substantial number of lawyers from Jenkens’ Dallas office laterally moving to Hunton & Williams’ Dallas office. “It’s going to be more than 12 but less than 100,” said a Hunton & Williams partner, referring to the number of Dallas Jenkens lawyers who may move to Richmond, Va.-based Hunton’s Dallas office. Evidence of fen-phen fee grab was destroyed One of three lawyers accused of plundering Kentucky’s $200 million fen-phen settlement said he and his colleagues “tore up or burned” notes showing how much they paid themselves and their clients. Depositions obtained by the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., include Lexington attorney Melbourne Mills Jr.’s description of a meeting that he said he and lawyers William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., also of Lexington, held at Gallion’s house in 2001 to divvy up an extra $10 million beyond what they’d already paid themselves from the deal. Attorney Angela Ford, who represents the three lawyers’ former clients, has asked that those lawyers and another attorney, Stanley M. Chesley of Cincinnati, who helped negotiate the settlement, be forced to surrender $62.6 million in funds as well as $59.5 million they paid themselves in fees.

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