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ABA law student group to tackle depression Daniel Suvor wants law schools to recognize the elephant in the living room � or rather the classroom � with an initiative he is pushing as the leader of the nation’s largest law student group. This month, the American Bar Association Law Student Division will launch a mental health initiative with the goal of helping law students who are battling depression and anxiety. “It’s something that no one talks about,” said Suvor, a third-year student at George Washington University Law School and chair of the 51,500-member group. Part of the ABA Law Student Division’s plan is to establish March 27 as the group’s National Mental Health Day at law schools. The organization will provide schools with an online information source available to students. Scruggs pleads guilty in judicial bribery case Mississippi plaintiffs’ attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy in a judicial bribery case. The surprise plea came on March 14 during a hearing in Oxford, Miss., on pretrial matters. His trial was set to begin at the end of the month. Scruggs and co-defendant Sidney Backstrom both pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe a judge. Prosecutors said they would recommend five years in prison for Scruggs and 2 1/2 for Backstrom, penalties significantly lower than what they could have faced. The three were accused of conspiring to bribe a Lafayette County circuit judge for a favorable ruling in a dispute over $26.5 million in legal fees from a mass settlement of Hurricane Katrina cases. Paul Weiss attorney will represent Spitzer New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has selected Michele Hirshman of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to represent him in the criminal probe of his alleged involvement as a client in a prostitution ring. Hirshman served as the first deputy attorney general under Spitzer when he was New York state attorney general. Second-in-command in the AG’s office, she joined Paul Weiss in May 2007, where she focuses on internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense. Spitzer will resign, effective on March 17. Also representing Spitzer from Paul Weiss are Theodore V. Wells Jr. and Mark F. Pomerantz. Jenner & Block names new managing partner Jenner & Block has voted to promote partner Susan C. Levy, a commercial litigator, to the firm’s managing partner post in July, making her the first woman to be appointed to the post. “It’s a great honor and privilege,” Levy said of winning unanimous backing this week from the firm’s policy committee. Levy, 50, will replace Greg Gallopoulos, who is leaving to take a position with the law department of firm client General Dynamics Corp. after spending his entire 23-year career at Jenner. Levy said she expects to devote the bulk of her time to firm matters once she assumes the post. Gallopoulos couldn’t be reached for comment. Federal judiciary adopts national discipline rules The federal judiciary’s policymaking body has adopted the first nationally binding judicial discipline rules, curtailing the decentralized self-regulatory system that let individual circuits set their own standards. The Judicial Conference of the United States, meeting behind closed doors last week, set uniform standards among the circuits and closed “jurisdictional gaps,” according to Judge Ralph K. Winter of the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who is chairman of the Conduct Committee that compiled the reforms. The reforms provide chief judges guidance on when a complaint rises to the level of requiring appointment of a special investigative committee. The reforms also clarify when chief judges may initiate discipline proceedings without receiving a complaint, and when cases should be transferred to another circuit for review.

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