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Judicial conference urges end to ‘secret’ dockets The judicial conference took steps last week to end “secret” dockets in federal courts and, eventually, to put audio of federal court proceedings online. Meeting at the U.S. Supreme Court, the conference-the policymaking body of the federal judiciary-urged all federal courts to end the practice whereby some cases under seal “vanish” from electronic dockets and databases. When software changes are made, at least the notation “Case Under Seal” or “Sealed v. Sealed” will appear with a docket number, giving the media and others the ability to challenge or examine the circumstances behind the seal, says Chief Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Weil Gotshal loses four bankruptcy lawyers Just as Weil, Gotshal & Manges welcomes back prominent bankruptcy partner Harvey Miller, the firm is saying goodbye to four other restructuring stars who are leaving to join a rival firm. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has recruited George A. Davis, Deryck A. Palmer, John J. Rapisardi and Andrew M. Troop as partners in the firm’s New York office. The move, involving four of Weil Gotshal’s most prominent bankruptcy partners apart from Miller and practice co-heads Martin Bienenstock and Marcia Goldstein, points to a major realignment among elite bankruptcy practices. $3M fee suggested for Holocaust legal work Burt Neuborne, who has spent eight years as the lead settlement counsel for Holocaust survivors around the world, should receive $3 million in fees for his work, a federal magistrate judge recommended last week. The recommendation from Magistrate James Orenstein of the Eastern District of New York attempted to reach a middle ground in an at times unseemly dispute that has made Neuborne, who has helped to amass more than $1 billion in reparations, into a figure worthy of contempt in the eyes of many of the survivors. Orenstein said the parties had “lost sight” of the “admirable example” they set when they settled-eight years ago, and with Neuborne as lead pro bono counsel-a $1.25 billion suit against Swiss banks that assisted the Nazis in stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from Jews. Winstead adds 12 more lawyers from Jenkens Dallas-based Winstead, which added 18 lawyers this month from the San Antonio and Austin, Texas, offices of Jenkens & Gilchrist, will add 12 more Jenkens lawyers, including six from its Dallas headquarters. Winstead will have 302 lawyers as of March 31; Jenkens, which once had close to 600 lawyers, has dropped to less than 200 in recent weeks. Greg Erwin, the lateral hiring shareholder in Winstead’s Houston office, said his firm is continuing hiring discussions with 10 other Jenkens lawyers. California’s case against ex-H-P executives folds California’s case against Hewlett-Packard Co. executives ended with a whimper last week, when a Sacramento judge agreed to dismiss charges against H-P’s former chairwoman and refused to impose jail time on three others. Ex-Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, now battling a reoccurrence of ovarian cancer, declined to enter a plea last week to a reduced misdemeanor charge of fraudulent wire communications. Judge Ray Cunningham then tossed out the case against Dunn. He also rejected no-contest pleas to the same charge from a former H-P ethics chief and two private investigators hired by the computer giant.

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