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Courts in Calif. surprised by $25M in program cuts Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger threw a flurry of fiscal jabs to California’s courts and public lawyers recently, vetoing more than $25 million in state budget spending for conservatorship reforms, environmental litigation and raises for court-appointed counsel. The judicial spending cuts were among dozens made to agencies statewide that total $703 million. The biggest hit to the court’s budget was the elimination of $17.4 million for improving California’s beleaguered guardianship and conservatorship system. “We are devastated,” said Kate Howard, director of the Judicial Council’s Office of Governmental Affairs. “The courts have been gearing up . . . to implement these important reforms that affect some of the most vulnerable Californians.” Calif. bar denies access to bar exam race data The state bar of California has rejected a request by a group of legal scholars that wants to use data it collects regarding bar exam test-takers’ race, gender and other details for research. The group wants the data in order to conduct research related to affirmative action admissions in law schools. The bar association rejected the request because it said it was not authorized by exam-takers to release the data to third parties. One of the scholars seeking the information is Richard Sander, a University of California at Los Angeles School of Law professor. His controversial study, published three years ago in the Stanford Law Review, asserted that preferential admissions create a “mismatch” between the educational level of some black students and the demands of the law schools that admit them. [See Page 5]. Proskauer set to enter the London market Proskauer Rose is set to make its entrance into the London market with the New York law firm in talks to recruit the former head of O’Melveny & Myers’ London arm to launch its U.K. law practice. The firm is in advanced discussions with O’Melveny private equity partner Matthew Hudson about leading the new venture � ending months of speculation about its entrance to London. The London office would be Proskauer’s 10th office overall but only its second in Europe alongside its Paris arm. Lerach announces plans to retire from practice Securities class action lawyer William S. Lerach, who has been in plea talks with federal prosecutors pursuing a criminal investigation into kickbacks, announced last week that he would retire on Aug. 31 from the firm he founded. Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins will be known as Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins. In a press release, the San Diego-based firm stated that Lerach is stepping down to focus his “time and energy” on the criminal investigation while giving the firm the ability to “move forward with its work.” Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf Lamb to merge Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae agreed to merge, creating a firm of more than 1,300 lawyers. Expected to become effective by October, subject to partner approval, the planned combination is the largest ever between New York-based firms. The combined firm, which will be known as Dewey & LeBoeuf, will have 550 lawyers in New York, making it the fifth-largest in the city.

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