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Sincere flattery Words to live by: Don’t go stepping on an intellectual property firm’s logo. New York-based Collen IP has sued the American Bar Association for trademark infringement, saying that the nation’s largest professional association for attorneys cribbed the colors and style of Collen’s green-and-blue C-mark. Collen’s lawyers were dismayed at what they described as two “confusingly similar” emblems, one used by the firm and the other by the ABA’s Section of International Law, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The two parties were scheduled to reconcile their differences in mediation. Collen, which counts Swatch, Yves Saint Laurent and the Andy Warhol Foundation among its clients, registered its mark in 2001. The ABA first started using its logo in 2004, but it is not registered with the Trademark Office. An ABA spokesman said he could not comment on the dispute or provide a copy of its logo for publication in the NLJ because of the pending litigation. (As of press time, it could be seen here: www.abanet.org/intlaw/home.html.) In court documents, the ABA said that its cosmic-themed logo � it looks like a crescent moon, encircled by Saturn’s rings � is far afield of Collen’s coiled C-logo. (For instance, the ABA’s version is framed by a rectangular rather than square border.) � Legal Times F-bombs blow up in lawyer’s face When the client is lobbing F-bombs at opposing counsel, the best response probably is not to chuckle. A federal judge has levied sanctions of more than $29,000 against Chicago attorney Joseph R. Ziccardi and his client. The judge cited the client’s use of vulgar language, insults and dodging of questions � and Ziccardi’s failure to rein him in and “chuckling” at his antics. U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of Pennsylvania’s Eastern District noted that Aaron Wider, the chief executive of defendant HTFC Corp., used the “F word” or variations of it 73 times during the 12-hour deposition. The opinion includes lengthy quotes from Wider’s deposition that Robreno said were “only a few examples” of Wider’s misconduct. In one passage, plaintiffs’ lawyer Robert B. Bodzin of Philadelphia asked Wider to open a file so that Bodzin could ask questions about certain documents. According to Robreno’s opinion, Wider erupted: “‘I’m taking a break. Fuck him. You open up the document. You want me to look at something, you get the document out. Earn your fucking money asshole. Isn’t the law wonderful?’” Robreno said the video shows that Wider would follow his remarks “with a gleeful smirk directed at his counsel, at the transcriptionist, and even directly at the camera.” At one point, Robreno said, Wider patted himself on the back “after a particularly odious instance of obstruction,” in order to flaunt his abuse of the deposition process. Ziccardi said in court papers that he tried to curb his client’s behavior, but most of those efforts were off camera. — The Legal Intelligencer Out of this world Michael Harrington sued after getting snookered out of $44.63 in overtime pay. He settled for $10,500 and sought about $46,000 in attorney fees. Seem out of proportion? California’s 2d District Court of Appeal thought so. It reduced the fee award to $500. “At the risk of understatement,” Justice Miriam Vogel wrote, “there is no way on Earth this case justified the hours purportedly billed by Harrington’s lawyers.” He was represented by Los Angeles’ Harris & Ruble. The appeal court upheld a lower court that found fees in excess of four times the amount received in the settlement were unreasonable. The court said the overtime underpayment seemed an honest mistake. � The Recorder

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