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Patriot Act subpoena is ruled unconstitutional Congress’ attempt to fix a key aspect of the USA Patriot Act has failed to satisfy a New York federal judge. Southern District Judge Victor Marrero last week ruled unconstitutional a provision authorizing the FBI to issue a form of administrative subpoena called a National Security Letter, finding that an amended gag order on recipients of the letters still violated the First Amendment. The judge also found that provisions allowing for judicial review for those who refuse to comply with the letters or challenge the secrecy provision was inadequate and violated the separation of powers. Doe v. Gonzales, No. 04 Civ. 2614. Three firms in Atlanta hike pay for first-years More law firms have capitulated in Atlanta’s second round of pay raises this year. Jones Day will raise starting pay to $150,000, and Sutherland Asbill & Brennan and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker will go to $145,000 � an increase of $15,000 at each firm. The raises are effective on Jan. 1, 2008, when pay raises go into effect at several other Atlanta firms, including Alston & Bird, King & Spalding and Troutman Sanders. Pay raises for more senior associate classes at Jones Day will be merit-based, said David M. Monde, the Atlanta administrative partner. Calif. justices assigned mandatory education Starting in 2008, California’s Supreme Court and appellate court justices will have to complete 30 hours of continuing education coursework every three years, the Judicial Council has decided. The classroom standard mirrors one imposed on trial court judges last year, with one difference: Trial court judges are only expected to take the class. Appellate justices will be required to go back to school. Some appellate justices, as well as the California Judges Association, have objected. “I do not believe there should be any continuing education requirements for appellate justices,” wrote Justice Richard Mosk of the 2d District Court of Appeal. “If there is to be any education provided, it should be in subjects with which they have little contact, but can be helpful � international law, tax, bankruptcy.” Linklaters bolsters N.Y. office with key transfer Linklaters has strengthened its New York corporate practice after transferring high-profile mergers and acquisitions partner Nick Rees from London. Rees, who has previously headed up both Linklaters’ Asian corporate practice and the firm’s Moscow office, has been a partner with Linklaters since 1994. He focuses on the infrastructure and utilities sector. The top London law firm has been steadily building its New York office, which has more than 130 lawyers. Head of DOJ’s Civil Division latest to resign Assistant Attorney General Peter D. Keisler, who oversaw the Bush administration’s lengthy legal fight over the rights of prisoners at Guant�namo Bay, announced his resignation last week as head of the civil division. Keisler’s departure comes in the wake of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ own resignation. He is the latest senior official to leave at a time when lawmakers have criticized the department for not being politically independent of the White House.

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