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BAR/BRI publisher sued by N.C. bar examiners The North Carolina Board of Law Examiners is suing The Thomson Corp. and West Publishing Corp. in North Carolina federal court over alleged copyright infringement for using North Carolina bar examination questions on bar examination preparation materials. The June 8 lawsuit also accuses the legal publishing companies of unfair and deceptive acts in commerce that violate North Carolina state laws. The board is seeking recovery of actual damages sustained by the board or $150,000 for each act of willful infringement as well as costs and attorney fees. Thomson spokesman John Shaughnessy said the company doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation. Three fen-phen lawyers indicted on fraud charges A federal grand jury indicted three suspended Lexington, Ky., lawyers last week, charging them with conspiring to commit wire fraud in representing more than 400 people in a lawsuit over the diet drug fen-phen. William J. Gallion, 56; Shirley A. Cunningham Jr., 52; and Melbourne Mills Jr., 76, could be sentenced to as much as 20 years in prison if convicted. The grand jury also demanded that the lawyers give up $46 million in misappropriated funds and more than $21 million in fees put in a charitable fund. Cunningham and Mills told the Courier-Journal of Louisville they couldn’t comment, according to The Associated Press. Gallion could not be reached. As securities litigation shrinks, firms must adapt The class action securities fraud litigation business will continue to shrink and law firms need to respond by shifting resources, said Joseph A. Grundfest, a former U.S. Securities and Exchange commissioner and nationally recognized expert on securities litigation. But Grundfest, the W.A. Franke Professor of Law and Business at Stanford Law School, added that there is great need for economic experts in the legal field. Law firms need to shift their resources from defending clients charged with securities fraud to areas such as companies’ internal investigations, which continue to be a strong business, he said. Grundfest spoke last week at a breakfast event at The Yale Club of New York City. Wilson Sonsini to close its Salt Lake City office Salt Lake City has gone dry for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Within two months, the Palo Alto, Calif.-firm will close the 13-lawyer Utah outpost it opened in 2001, the firm said. In a firmwide memo last week, CEO John Roos said the move was driven by a decision to bring partner Robert O’Connor back to the Bay Area to help organize and manage the firm’s growing clean-tech practice. Although some of Wilson’s big Utah clients have been acquired � software company Altiris was bought by Symantec for $830 million in January � O’Connor said that was not a factor. Heyburn new chair of federal MDL panel Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has named Chief U.S. District Judge John Gilpin Heyburn II of the Western District of Kentucky to chair the federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Heyburn, appointed effective immediately by a letter dated June 14, replaces Judge William Terrell Hodges of the Middle District of Florida, appointed to a seven-year term on the panel in June 2000 by former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and named chairman in December 2000. The seven-member Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, established by statute in 1968, decides whether to centralize related cases from different federal districts as multidistrict litigation (MDL) for pretrial proceedings. It also decides to which single federal district the cases should be transferred. Survey highlights lack of diversity in Pa. law firms Diversity among attorneys at plaintiffs’ firms in Pennsylvania is slim to nonexistent, research by The Legal Intelligencer, an affiliate of The National Law Journal, has found. Despite increased emphasis on recruiting minority and female attorneys, plaintiffs’ firms in the commonwealth remain predominately the arena of white men. The survey included plaintiffs’ firms ranging in size from big hitters Kline & Specter and Anapol Schwartz to smaller firms like Berger & Green in Pittsburgh and Ross Feller Casey in Philadelphia. Of 301 attorneys accounted for in the survey, eight attorneys were racial or ethnic minorities � less than 3%. Of the 24 plaintiffs’ firms surveyed, 17 had no attorneys who were a racial or ethnic minority, and the few firms that did have attorneys of color usually had only one. The percentage of women attorneys overall was about 23% � 70 out of 301 attorneys.

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