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Transactions law and fifth graders wouldn’t seem an obvious match, but a pro bono project appears to be making the combination work. The enterprise is the brainchild of Karen Gelernt, whose day job at New York’s Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft entails helping investors spend their money. It was born of a question that has confounded generations of attorneys: what kind of show to put on when it’s Parents Day at your kid’s school. “I can’t do a trial, because that’s not the kind of law I do,” Gelernt said. “I could just sit there and read a document, but that’s not going to get them going.” What does seem to get them going is a curriculum Gelernt devised with help from her daughter, Ariel, a fifth grader herself. Gelernt introduces concepts like contracts, negotiations and careful punctuation by applying them to the kids’ lives. Mom promised you a party if you cleaned your room? Swell, now define party: milk and cookies or a throw-down full of 18-year-olds? The learning process entails role playing and sounds-dare one say it?-fun, inspiring even. Gelernt has run her program at two New York City schools and is looking for more takers. “It’s exhausting. Teaching isn’t so much easier than doing the kind of work I do all day,” she said. But “maybe 10 or 15 years from now, somebody will contact me and say, ‘I remember when.’ “- STAFF REPORTS Enough about you California death row inmate Charles Ng-convicted of murdering six men, three women and two infants-wants pen pals so he can talk about how he feels “misplaced, sad and lonely-like a dolphin caught inside a tuna net.” Condemned inmate Scott Peterson wrote sadly about how a donation he made to a fund honoring his wife Laci-whom he murdered along with their unborn son-was almost rejected. Neither rants like William Clark, sentenced to death for killing a woman 16 years ago. He said he’s on death row because of “lies by police and civilian witnesses . . . plus an assortment of other corrupt and racist police tactics.” All three plaints can be found on the Web site of the Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty. The group provides online outlets for condemned prisoners wanting to seek out pen pals, showcase their poetry and works of art, or just vent about their convictions. The whole idea gives some criminal defense lawyers the willies. As Santa Clara [Calif.] University School of Law professor Gerald Uelmen noted, anything posted online can be used against prisoners in court. “Defense lawyers tell their clients, ‘Don’t talk about the case with anyone, even your kids,’ ” Uelmen said. “ I would think it is a very risky venture and lawyers would do everything they could to discourage their clients from doing it.” -THE RECORDER Failure is an option Sukhbir Singh Bedi can’t catch a break. After failing the District of Columbia bar exam 12 times, he finally passed in 1999, but the district Court of Appeals has denied his admission as an attorney because Bedi cheated on a 1996 exam, which he failed anyway. (See decision summary, Page 15.) Bedi, who also failed the Virginia bar test six times, falsely claimed during several District of Columbia bar exams that he had dyslexia and he needed special testing accommodations. Bedi cheated during a February 1996 exam by leaving for the bathroom, where exam proctors caught him “reading from notes in the men’s room before destroying them and flushing them in the toilet,” the court said. Bedi claimed that he was taking medication for his dyslexia, but he had no medicine bottle. He later claimed he was using the scissors to cut a bad nail, or he was opening a Pepcid packet with a Swiss Army knife. -LEGAL TIMES

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