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Two More Up the Ante On Aug. 7, Haynes and Boone partners told the Dallas-based firm’s Texas associates their salary scale had increased, retroactive to Aug. 1, from $135,000 to the new market rate of $160,000 for first-year associates. Haynes and Boone partner Terry Conner says the new salaries for second- and third-year associates are $170,000; $180,000 for fourth-years; $190,000 for fifth-years; $200,000 for sixth-years; $205,000 for seventh-years; and $210,000 for eighth-years. The firm is increasing associates’ bonuses and altering the basis on which those year-end packages are calculated. Conner says Haynes and Boone will offer bonuses of as much as $5,000 to first-year associates and as much as $70,000 to eighth-year associates. As in the past, management will require associate classes, as a group, to achieve certain billable-hour totals for bonuses to be distributed. For the first time, management has added individual billable-hour bonus goals into its computations. Conner declines to detail the breakdown of the group-hours versus the individual-hours requirements, noting that management intends to use some discretion when applying the formulas. For instance, if an associate has worked extensively on law review articles but not reached individual billable-hour goals, he or she may still receive a bonus, Conner says. But the firm has no intention, Conner says, of paying associates bigger bonuses just because they exceed the target individual billable-hour goals. He notes that the firm management wants to make it clear to associates that it prizes the quality of the billed hours more than the quantity. Haynes and Boone has 450 lawyers firmwide and 378 in Texas. Its Texas offices are located in Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Richardson. On Aug. 3, Baker Botts also took the plunge. The Houston-based firm moved to the new $160,000 Texas market rate for first-year associates and $170,000 for second-year associates. With that new higher pay, first-year associates will not receive a bonus in 2007, but second-years will be paid $5,000 in bonus money at the end of the year for working at least 2,000 qualified hours. Third-years earn $172,500 plus an $11,500 bonus; fourth-years earn $175,000 plus a $22,500 bonus; fifth-years earn $180,000 plus a $31,500 bonus; sixth-years earn $185,000 plus a $38,000 bonus; seventh-years earn $190,000 plus a $40,000 bonus; and eighth-year associates earn $195,000 a year plus a $40,000 bonus for 2,000 hours worked. Unlike the new salary scale announced by Houston-based Vinson & Elkins in mid-July, Baker Botts will not defer any of the base pay for upper-level associates who fail to work at least 2,000 qualified hours. The new pay scale at Baker Botts is retroactive to Aug. 1. The V&E plan defers some of the salary for third-year lawyers and up, with those associates required to bill at least 2,000 hours to earn the full base salary. DWI Dismissal Affirmed On Aug. 2, the 13th Court of Appeals affirmed a visiting judge’s decision to dismiss a driving-while-intoxicated charge against 93rd District Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado of Edinburg. In an unpublished opinion written by Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez, a three-justice panel of the 13th Court concluded that the state deprived Delgado of his constitutional right to a speedy trial. Judge Daniel Robles, a visiting judge from Brownsville, dismissed the DWI charge against Delgado in 2005, and Hidalgo District Attorney Rene Guerra appealed. In affirming the dismissal, the 13th Court panel held in State v. Delgado that the more than two-year delay in the case after Delgado’s 2002 arrest was “presumptively prejudicial and unreasonable.” Justices Nelda Rodriguez and Gina Benavides joined Valdez in the decision. Unwilling to give up on the case, Guerra says he will file a petition for review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. McAllen solo Aldolfo “Al” Alvarez Jr., Delgado’s attorney, says Guerra is wasting taxpayers’ money on a case that the courts already have decided. But Alvarez adds, “Obviously, we’re prepared to deal with anything he files.” FDIC v. Hurwitz, et al. The legal battle between Charles Hurwitz and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which has raged for a dozen years in Houston, moved to New Orleans last week. But lawyers for the FDIC and Houston-based Maxxam Inc., where Hurwitz is chairman and chief executive officer, weren’t in New Orleans to eat gumbo or hear some jazz. On Aug. 7, they were there to argue Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Charles E. Hurwitz, et al. before a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 2005 opinion, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of Houston ordered the FDIC to pay $73.3 million in sanctions to Maxxam. The sanctions would reimburse Maxxam for money it spent on legal fees, plus interest, to defend Hurwitz and other officers at the company from a long-running enforcement action. In that opinion, Hughes wrote that the money will not restore completely the damage the litigation has done to Hurwitz, but that he can “make the government pay for its betrayal of the public trust, its invective political assault on a private citizen, and part of the economic loss that it caused him.” The FDIC appealed the sanctions order, arguing in its original brief that Hughes “fundamentally erred” when concluding the FDIC’s suit against Maxxam was “politically motivated � part of a supposed government-wide conspiracy to coerce Hurwitz into surrendering an environmentally sensitive old-growth redwood forest that the “green lobby’ pressured the government to acquire.” The FDIC alleges Hughes’ opinion fails to meet “standards of accuracy and fairness” and is “clearly wrong on the merits.” In his reply brief, Hurwitz alleges the sanctions award should be upheld because the government filed the suit in 1995 “in bad faith and for an improper purpose.” Maxxam General Counsel J. Kent Friedman says he was pleased that the judges on the panel � Patrick Higginbotham, Emilio Garza and Fortunato Benavides � asked questions about the “right issues,” such as the FDIC’s purpose in suing Hurwitz. “We liked the fact that the questions seemed to swirl around that,” Friedman says. David Beck, a partner in Beck, Redden & Secrest in Houston, handled the argument for Hurwitz. The FDIC turned to Gene Lafitte, of counsel at Liskow & Lewis in New Orleans. David Barr, an FDIC spokesman, declines comment.

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