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Audit of Calif.’s state bar foreshadows fee hikes The State Bar of California faces a potential $12 million deficit by 2010 unless it secures additional revenues, state auditor Elaine Howle concluded in a report released last week. A $25 hike in annual membership fees could prove to be one solution, but bar leaders may have a tough time convincing the Legislature to approve a dues increase unless they complete a long-awaited strategic plan for the organization, Howle said. The audit also found, among other things, that $72.5 million in costs billed to disciplined members remains uncollected. Howrey grabs key IP litigator from Dewey Howrey has lured away the managing partner of Dewey Ballantine’s shrinking Silicon Valley office, another aftershock of the New York firm’s failed merger with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Jeannine Yoo Sano, who was also the co-chairwoman of the IP litigation practice group at Dewey, will join Howrey’s East Palo Alto, Calif., office on May 1. Sano said it was the depth and history of Howrey’s intellectual property practice — the 630-lawyer Washington-based firm focuses only on IP, antitrust and global litigation — that drew her to the firm. The IP litigator counts Rambus Inc. and Intel Corp. among her clients. Goodwin raids six IP partners from Hunton Goodwin Procter lured six Hunton & Williams intellectual property partners to its Washington office, including the former chairman of Hunton’s IP practice, Thomas J. Scott Jr. Scott will also chair Goodwin’s national IP practice, which now includes more than 145 attorneys in its Boston home office, and in New York and Washington. “We continue to invest in both the practices and markets which support our national platform,” said Goodwin’s chairwoman and managing partner, Regina M. Pisa. Adding the lawyers further positions Goodwin as “a national powerhouse with significant resources and capabilities to advance our clients’ business goals,” Pisa added. The other attorneys joining Goodwin Procter as partners are Jennifer A. Albert, Patrick A. Doody, Scott L. Robertson, Stephen T. Schreiner and David M. Young. Montgomery partner gets White House job Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads is feeling the ripple effects of the November 2006 shakeup in Congress. Scott A. Coffina, a partner in the Philadelphia firm’s white-collar practice group, is leaving the firm on April 30 and will start at the White House as an associate counsel to the president on May 7. Coffina said that with the changeover in control of Congress, there are increased oversight demands on the White House. Fred Fielding, White House counsel, has been making some changes in staff, Coffina said. Spitzer proposes merit selection for N.Y. judges New York Governor Eliot Spitzer told an audience of government reformers last week that he will introduce amendments to the state constitution to consolidate the state’s court system and provide for merit selection of all state court judges. The governor said he considers the judicial changes part of a larger reform effort that also extends to the state’s budgeting practices, ethics in state government and limiting political contributions with an ultimate goal of introducing a public campaign financing system. State trial-level judges are currently elected. Seven real estate lawyers join Thompson & Knight Seven real estate lawyers, coming from a variety of firms, have joined Thompson & Knight, boosting the 420-attorney firm’s real estate and banking practice to 54 lawyers. Five new lawyers began at the firm’s Dallas home office in March, and two joined in New York in April. The firm has wanted to expand its real estate practice into New York, said Alfred Meyerson, chairman of the practice group. The firm was able to hire John B. Wood and Bohdan “Bud” S. Kosovych from New York’s Sussman Sollis Ebin Tweedy & Wood.

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