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FIVE YEARS AGO New York attorney Lynne Stewart, under indictment for allegedly passing along terrorist messages on behalf of a client, delivered a lively speech to the Bay Area Progressive Forum in Berkeley. “I’m in trouble,” the 62-year-old Stewart began, drawing laughter. “The attorney general of the United States said so on David Letterman, so it must be true.” 2001 was a dismal year for initial public offerings � and 2002 wasn’t looking much better. Bay Area tech firms, which cornered the market for IPOs during the technology boom, took just six companies public in the first half of the year. “I just love doing IPOs,” said Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati partner David Saul, one of the lucky few to do a deal. “I just wish they weren’t so few and far between.”

The outlook wasn’t much better for mergers and acquisitions. In the first six months of 2002, Silicon Valley’s seven most active corporate firms had a hand in just 104 deals, compared to 638 deals in all of the previous year. Tech investors got a brief flashback of the old days when online auction powerhouse eBay acquired PayPal, an online payment service, for $1.5 billion in stock. Partner Alison Ressler in the Los Angeles office of Sullivan & Cromwell represented eBay. Kirkland & Ellis represented PayPal, with partner Richard Porter leading the deal. Edwin Heafey Jr., the chairman of the East Bay’s largest law firm, died of cancer at age 71. Colleagues remembered the Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May partner as a consummate trial lawyer who had watched the legal practice change dramatically during his 47 years as an attorney. 10 YEARS AGO Local law firms were discovering an exciting new tool for marketing and recruiting: the Internet. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s 2-year-old Web site was getting some 5,000 hits a week, The Recorder reported. “I was surprised with the number of hits,” said recruiting manager Marty Martinez. “We thought, ‘Wow, we can use this.’” Martinez also noted that she was receiving many job inquiries from laterals by e-mail. Lawyers like Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison Managing Partner William Sullivan worried about the threat from a “new kind of competitor” � big accounting firms like Arthur Andersen. Andersen Worldwide posted $9.5 billion in revenues last year, The Recorder noted, and was making significant inroads into the European and Asian legal markets, where the regulatory hurdles were more lax. Sullivan predicted that in three to five years a Big Six giant would rock the legal industry by absorbing a U.S. law firm. A new proposal to split the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals � this time into three parts, including separate homes for Northern and Southern California � had the leader of the court worried. Chief Judge Procter Hug Jr. sent letters to House Appropriations Committee members condemning the proposal for seeking “to impose a new judicial structure on the nine Western states and the Pacific territories without any hearings, public comment, or independent research.” The Commission on Judicial Performance was ordered to reveal how each of its 11 members vote each time they decide to punish a jurist. In response to litigation brought by The Recorder, San Francisco Superior Court Judge William Cahill ordered the commission to change its long-standing policy of keeping individual votes confidential. Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May was one of the moving forces behind the Pan Pacific Expo, a proposed six-month festival that envisioned drawing 23 million visitors and 10,000 jobs to Oakland in 2001. “We’re definitely inspired by the Olympic spirit we saw in Atlanta,” Crosby, Heafey’s Norman Tuttle II said. Folger, Levin & Kahn’s Samuel Miller extracted a small measure of revenge against Charles Breyer. Earlier in the year Breyer had beaten out Miller and two other candidates for a seat on the San Francisco federal bench, but last week Miller helped orchestrate a $165 million settlement against one of Breyer’s clients, Caremark Inc. “It’s a small world, indeed,” said Miller. 15 YEARS AGO Sluggish business may have slowed growth at many San Francisco firms in the last two years, but not at Hancock, Rothert & Bunshoft, where the number of lawyers shot up by more than 50 percent. Since 1990, Hancock, Rothert and two other litigation firms � Gordon & Rees and Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold � had added enough lawyers to catapult their firms from boutique status to the verge of Big Firmdom, The Recorder reported. An independent counsel recommended disciplinary action against Sausalito criminal defense lawyer Michael Metzger for purportedly “bizarre and offensive” conduct. Cooper, White & Cooper partner James Wagstaffe suggested that U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong suspend Metzger from practicing in federal court for 30 days, then stay the suspension for a six-month “probation” period. The recommendation also suggested ordering him to apologize to federal prosecutors for his insulting antics. By a margin of only one vote, Los Angeles litigator Harvey Saferstein was elected president of the State Bar of California. Saferstein squeaked by on an 11-10 vote on the fourth ballot. “I am thrilled, delighted and relieved,” Saferstein said. Sen. Al Gore was expected to become Bill Clinton’s choice for vice president in the 1992 election. Duane Garrett, the Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy partner who once served as a senior political adviser to Gore, was taking pride in his good friend’s success. “With the expanded role of the modern vice presidency, there is a tremendous opportunity for Gore to play an enormous role,” Garrett said. And if the Clinton/Gore ticket were to fail, Gore would be left with an “enormous opportunity” to capture the ’96 Democratic presidential nomination, Garrett said. Compiled by Editor in Chief Scott Graham.

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