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ABA to call for death penalty moratorium The American Bar Association will call for a nationwide moratorium on executions on Oct. 29 based on flawed death penalty systems in eight states. The association’s Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project has analyzed death penalty systems in eight states and identified key common problems, including racial disparities, incompetent indigent defense services and irregular clemency review processes. The eight states are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The project’s steering committee will release findings of the three-year study and hold a panel discussion in Washington. High-profile bias suit settled at Sullivan Sullivan & Cromwell said last week it had reached a settlement with former associate Aaron Charney, who sued the New York law firm earlier this year for sexual orientation discrimination. Charney, then a fourth-year mergers and acquisitions associate, filed his initial pro se complaint against the firm in January. He claimed several partners discriminated against him because he is gay and that the firm retaliated against him after he filed an internal complaint. The discrimination described by Charney, 28, included some acts of hostility, including one instance in which partner Eric Krautheimer allegedly threw documents at the associate’s feet and ordered him to pick them up. Tough times continue for Heller Ehrman Just weeks after 65 staff were laid off at Heller Ehrman, two leading partners have left for rival firms. Patricia Gillette, a co-chairwoman of the labor and employment practice, has jumped to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe along with another labor partner and four associates. Her exit in San Francisco comes at the same time that Jerry Marks, Heller’s Los Angeles managing partner and a well-known securities litigator, is leaving for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The 631-lawyer firm lost half of its San Diego corporate practice in the spring and has warned partners that profits may be less than projected at the beginning of the year. Last month, 65 support staff were cut, though the firm said the layoffs had nothing to do with the business slowdown. Indicted partner resigns from Baker & McKenzie Baker & Mckenzie said last week that it had requested and received the resignation of indicted partner Martin Weisberg. “Effective immediately, he is no longer associated with our firm in any capacity,” the firm said in a statement. Weisberg was indicted recently in Brooklyn, N.Y., federal court on charges that he participated with five other defendants in a stock-fraud scheme that netted two overseas short-sellers $55 million in illegal profits. He has pleaded not guilty. The New York Law Journal, an affiliate of The National Law Journal, recently reported that Weisberg had previously been tried and acquitted on similar charges in a 1991 case brought by federal prosecutors in Texas. Morrison takes 3 Tokyo partners from O’Melveny Morrison & Foerster has expanded its major presence in Tokyo, acquiring three new partners for that office from O’Melveny & Myers. Gary M. Smith, David Litt and Randy Laxer joined the roughly 100 lawyers at Morrison & Foerster and its registered affiliate, Ito & Mitomi, in Japan. All three partners are fluent in Japanese and will focus on Asian corporate issues from private equity, joint ventures and cross-border mergers. During the past four years, Morrison & Foerster has tripled the size of its Tokyo office, going from 35 to 100 lawyers. Smith said of the defection from O’Melveny to Morrison: “We were especially attracted to Morrison & Foerster because of their demonstrated commitment to the Japanese business community, as well as their collegial and supportive approach to practice.” Smith handles a range of international transactions, including cross-border acquisitions of U.S., Japanese and European companies.

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