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School for Scandal Talk about sticking it to the man: A group of Dickstein Shapiro attorneys working pro bono helped two high school students win a lawsuit against their local high school and sheriff’s department. Three years ago the two students were strip-searched during a drug sweep at Kent County High School in Maryland. Earlier this month the former students were awarded $285,000 in damages, plus formal apologies from the school and the sheriff’s office. The insurance carrier for the school system agreed to pay $67,500 to one student and $57,500 to another. The insurer will pay an additional $160,000 to the two on behalf of the sheriff’s office. The Maryland American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on the girls’ behalf in November 2005 in Kent County Circuit Court. Partners Joseph Tydings and Barry Fleishman; counsel Vivek Chopra; and associates Christopher Branch, Carolyne Sanin, and John Snodgrass worked on the case. “Every school board and sheriff’s department in the country now knows about this case,” says Tydings. “I can’t imagine that a sheriff would go into a school without a warrant in the future.” The ACLU announced the terms of the settlement for the girls, who were 15-year-old sophomores when a female sheriff’s deputy searched them in April 2004. Drug dogs were also brought in, sniffing through more than 200 backpacks in a dozen classrooms at the high school.
Wone Anniversary Marking the one-year anniversary of her husband’s unsolved murder, Kathy Wone spoke to the public last week at a news conference held at the offices of Covington & Burling. “Having a murder on your conscience is no small load to carry as you try to live as normal a life as possible,” Wone said, reading from a prepared statement as a group of about 120 friends, family, and lawyers looked on. “Confessing will be one of the hardest things you can do but also one of the most freeing things you can do for yourself.” D.C. police have not made any arrests in the murder of her husband and former Covington associate Robert Wone, who was killed on Aug. 2, 2006, while staying overnight at a friend’s home near Dupont Circle. Kathy Wone is represented by Eric Holder, a former U.S. attorney and Clinton Justice Department official, who spoke at the press conference. He directed his remarks at the three men who were present in the house when Wone was slain. “You need to truly, truly ask yourselves, ‘Have I provided police with all the information I know?’?” Holder said. “Only your conscience and your God can answer that. If you truly care about Robert and Kathy Wone, you will come forward. You’re either a friend or you’re not. It’s very clear.” The firm invited representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to the conference, but none attended.
Deal Flow Capital One, a McLean, Va., financial services company, announced last week it will purchase NetSpend Holdings for $700 million. NetSpend, based in Austin, Texas, is a retail seller of prepaid debit cards. The deal was staffed by lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The team was led by Howard Adler, co- chairman of the firm’s corporate transactions and securities practice. It also included Washington tax partner Art Pasternak, Denver associate Scott Davies, and Washington associate Ben Rippeon. Capital One’s chief counsel of transactions, Shahin Rezai, worked as in-house counsel on the deal. The acquisition gives Capital One, best-known for its credit card offerings (and for commercials showing nomadic Vikings terrorizing shopping malls and dowtown eateries), a toehold into the growing market of prepaid debit cards, which is aimed largely at the estimated 70 million Americans who don’t have bank accounts. Last year, prepaid debit cards generated $104 billion in revenue, according to Aite Group, an industry research firm. NetSpend has more than 1.5 million customers and more than $3 billion in annual transactions. Baker Botts’ Austin office represented NetSpend.
Jeri Rigged OK, just to get this cleared up once and for all: Jeri Thompson is not a lawyer. In recent weeks, several stories about Jeri Thompson, the 24-years-junior wife of presumed presidential candidate Fred Thompson, included the tidbit that she was once a lawyer and lobbyist. Only Jeri has never been a lawyer. What may have led to the mix-up is that Jeri once worked as a political consultant at then-law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand. That firm of course merged in 2002 with Piper Rudnick, which has since metastasized into the intergalactic Death Star also known as DLA Piper. So that’s settled. Now the media may have to go back to calling her a “trophy wife.”
Switching Teams Clifford Chance picked the pocket of Sidley Austin‘s white- collar practice in Washington last week. The firm added three new partners: Juan Morillo, Steven Cottreau, and Stephen Nickelsburg. The trio represents major companies being investigated by the government and during complex civil litigation. Cottreau and Nickelsburg have a Supreme Court clerkship pedigree. Morillo was honored by The American Lawyer as being one of its “Fab 50 Young Litigators.” Clifford Chance also brought on Wendy Wysong, the former deputy assistant secretary of commerce for export enforcement in the Commerce Department, as a partner. All four new partners will practice in Clifford Chance’s litigation and dispute resolution group. Another move of note: Martin Dunn, deputy director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance, announced he is leaving the SEC at the end of August to become a partner at O’Melveny & Myers.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Got a tip? Contact Senior Editor Douglas McCollam at [email protected].

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