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Mandatory retirement dropped at McCarter New Jersey’s largest law partnership has abandoned compulsory retirement at age 70, and other large firms in the state are reviewing their own policies in the wake of a nationwide backlash. For years, lawyers who reached age 70 at McCarter & English of Newark could no longer be paid or take part in firm management, though they could remain of counsel. But the 400-lawyer firm has now decided to let elders remain as nonequity partners at pay levels determined on a case-by-case basis, said Andrew Berry, the firm’s executive committee chairman. The decision adds McCarter & English to the list of firms around the country that have backed off mandatory retirement. [NLJ, Nov. 19]. Documents unsealed for Katrina insurance probe A federal judge has agreed to allow the Mississippi Department of Insurance to view allegedly purloined documents to aid its investigation into State Farm Insurance Co.’s handling of some Hurricane Katrina claims. U.S. District Judge William M. Acker Jr. of the Northern District of Alabama agreed to allow the insurance department to view documents that Acker had previously placed under a protective order. The documents, a subject of great controversy, were given to Mississippi plaintiff attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs by two former employees of a State Farm contractor. Scruggs is now facing criminal contempt charges for giving the documents to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood in what Acker has called a violation of his protective order. Morrison’s operations handed to a nonlawyer When Morrison & Foerster Chairman Keith Wetmore decided that having a chief operating officer would give his firm a competitive advantage, he didn’t just look outside the firm to fill the position, he looked outside the field. Morrison recently announced that the position is being filled by Pat Cavaney, a nonlawyer and former vice president of business operations for Hewlett-Packard Co.’s worldwide services group. Like other firms, Morrison is hoping to capitalize on real-world business experience to run its operations, said Wetmore. SUNY-Binghamton looks at launching law school The State University of New York at Binghamton is in the early stages of planning to open a law school, which would be the state’s third public law school. Binghamton University President Lois DeFleur said that she has been in ongoing talks with State University of New York officials and with the American Bar Association about the school. The proposal would need the approval of state’s education department and the governor. Other public schools in New York are the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and the City University of New York School of Law at Queens College. Prominent litigator bolts from Wilson to Quinn Prominent Litigator Robert Feldman is bolting from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges after more than 20 years at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Wilson. Feldman headed up Wilson’s litigation practice from 2000 to 2004 and has recently represented companies facing lawsuits over stock-options backdating. Earlier this year, Feldman served on a committee charged with interviewing candidates for the vacant San Francisco U.S. attorney position, which was recently filled by Joseph Russoniello. Mintz trio jumps to Thelen’s Wash. office Three labor and employment partners have jumped to Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner’s Washington office from Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. Edmund Cooke Jr., the former head of Boston-based Mintz’s corporate diversity and risk management practice, moved to Thelen with Darlene Smith and O’Kelly E. McWilliams III.

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