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ALLEN MATKINS OFFERS UP CLIENTS FOR REAL ESTATE CAUSE Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis has teamed up with an economic research center at UCLA’s business school to present a clearer portrait of L.A.’s commercial real estate market. The survey by the UCLA Anderson Forecast is the first in a series that will poll leaders in the office space development and investment markets to gauge the state of real estate in California. Allen Matkins, a 230-lawyer firm known for its real estate practice, aided the UCLA effort by offering up its clients, including developers and leaders of real estate investment trusts. “We helped them get a broad cross-section so they know that the data they’re obtaining represents the breadth and depth of the market,” said John Tipton, the partner chairing the real estate department at Allen Matkins. About 15 of the firm’s clients attended a lunch meeting at UCLA to offer input. Afterward, about double that number of clients participated in the survey itself. While that’s a relatively small pool, the similarity in responses gave the economists confidence about the predictability of the data, Tipton said. The overriding message of that survey: The Los Angeles market for office space is expected to get tighter and tighter over the next three years, further driving down vacancy rates. (For a more expansive report on those results, visit this recent post on the Legal Pad blog.) “Therefore, rental rates, which have already gone up at a healthy pace, would be accelerating,” Tipton said. The data collected will be incorporated into the research center’s econometric models to sharpen upcoming predictions on the region and California overall, according to Jerry Nickelsburg, an economist with UCLA Anderson Forecast. Allen Matkins wanted to get involved, in part, because of its role in the real estate market in California, Tipton said. “What it does for us is it helps us, in a public way, provide a helpful tool for the real estate market in California,” he said. “Obviously, good publicity is involved, but it’s also a way of giving back.”

Kellie Schmitt

WHEN LAWYERS DON’T QUIBBLE Heather Meeker spends her days negotiating IP-heavy business agreements for tech companies. But when it came time for the Silicon Valley Greenberg Traurig partner to broker her own deal with a publisher for a new book, she just signed on the dotted line. “I had negotiated a [book] contract with a client,” said Meeker. “I knew from experience the things they would negotiate, and they weren’t of great interest to me.” The book � which she is just finishing up � is a manual for business people trying to deal with open source licensing issues, she said. Available this winter, it’ll be called “The Open Source Alternative: Understanding Risk and Leveraging Opportunities,” and will be published by John Wiley and Sons, which is responsible for the “For Dummies” series. Previously, she’d negotiated the “Firefox for Dummies” title for Blake Ross of Mozilla Firefox fame, she said. A former programmer, Meeker has published a number of articles, including a column on the Linux Insider, a news site for the prominent free operating system. The book was inspired by her clients. “A lot of my clients have asked me for materials on open source,” she said. “Most of the materials out there are philosophical and by advocates of open source � my approach is more practical and more neutral.” Meeker said that businesses often struggle with how to comply with the GNU General Public License, the most popular license for open source software, which requires any modifications to the computer code to be made freely available. It’s not the first time Meeker’s written a book. While working as an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and teaching a class at Hastings College of the Law in 2001, she put together “A Primer on Intellectual Property Licensing.“ Though rewarding, Meeker said it’s been more than a full helping to be a partner at a law firm while writing a book over the last year and half. After finishing up most of the current book over the July 4th holiday, she said she told her husband to stop her if she ever starts writing another book.

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