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Interim U.S. attorneys named in California THE MOST PRESSING source of uncertainty in the San Francisco federal building was addressed last week when the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Scott Schools will take over for departing U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan on an interim basis. Ryan was asked to resign along with several other U.S. attorneys earlier this year. A Justice Department statement said that Schools, general counsel of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, would take over until a formal appointment is made. The Justice Department also announced last week that prosecutor Karen P. Hewitt will succeed Carol Lam as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California on an interim basis. Number of women JD candidates falls again THE NUMBER OF women enrolled to earn juris doctor degrees in the nation’s 195 accredited law schools declined for the second straight year last fall, according to the American Bar Association. At the same time, the number of male students seeking J.D. degrees has climbed steadily since 2001. Female enrollment in autumn 2005 marked the first time that the number of women seeking J.D. degrees had declined since 1997. Total enrollment for women seeking J.D. degrees fell 0.8% in 2006, compared with a gain of 1.7% for men. No further merger talk for Cozen, Wolf Block COZEN O’CONNOR AND Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen have said that they will no longer entertain the possibility of a merger. The Philadelphia firms said they would not continue the merger discussions that began about three months ago. “As with many merger discussions between major firms, business and structural differences made completing a transaction too difficult,” the statement said. Cozen O’Connor Chairman Stephen A. Cozen said in an interview that “it wasn’t a question of not trying.” No matter how much two firms like one another, Cozen said, it gets to the point when someone has to speak up if things don’t work for them. When asked if that meant the merger plans weren’t working for his firm, Cozen said it was a joint decision to end the talks. Insider-trading scheme leads to associate firing THACHER PROFFITT & Wood has terminated an associate who agreed to pay $42,000 in civil penalties after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused him of insider trading. The SEC alleged that the attorney, Young Kim, a graduate of Cornell Law School who joined the firm in 1998, received information from another firm associate, Amir Rosenthal, who pleaded guilty recently to insider trading and faces five years in prison. Neither attorney was accused of using firm information; Rosenthal received tips from his father, an executive at a pharmaceutical company who also has pleaded guilty. Kim was on vacation last week when the SEC announced its settlement with him. He admitted no wrongdoing. Justice touts pay hikes, trashes court cameras IN A RARE appearance last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy made an impassioned plea for increasing judicial salaries and against allowing cameras in the court. The failure of Congress to give federal judges meaningful raises in recent years is “threatening the excellence of the judiciary,” Kennedy said, adding that the traditional linkage between the salaries of judges and members of Congress “has hurt the judiciary very badly.” As for cameras in the court, Kennedy said more than once, “We don’t want it!” to the committee, whose ranking Republican, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, introduced a bill last month that would require cameras at court proceedings. Bill would bring new judges for immigration WHILE IMMIGRATION reform has sparked one of the hottest domestic debates going on in Congress, a byproduct of that discussion may be that Texas gets three new U.S. district court judges to deal with the thousands of people who illegally cross the Mexican border into the state each year. Senate Bill 389, introduced recently in the U.S. Senate, calls for the creation of 11 new federal judge positions in districts along the United States’ southern border “that have an extraordinarily high immigration caseload.” The bill would place the new judgeships in districts along the border where immigration cases make up more than 50% of the criminal caseload.

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