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After finding itself at the wrong end of a nasty $150 million malpractice suit in September over its work on the development of a potentially hazardous site for Los Angeles’ Belmont High School, Los Angeles’ O’Melveny & Myers has embarked on some spin control. The Los Angeles Times reports that the 736-lawyer blue-chip firm has hired political consultant Cerrell Associates to urge politicians to overcome the environmental obstacles and complete the half-built school. If successful, that could reduce O’Melveny’s financial liability and shore up the firm’s reputation. In its suit, the Los Angeles Board of Education claims that O’Melveny lawyers gave it bad advice on the site’s toxic waste problem. But it gets thornier. Apart from the suit, while O’Melveny was representing the school district the firm also separately advised the project’s construction company, Kajima Corp. — a potential conflict of interest.

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