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GET OUTTA HERE Every New York firm, great and small, wants to be known in that city’s Silicon Alley. As the national head of Loeb & Loeb’s corporate group, Chris Aidun has co-chaired a key venture conference and otherwise made himself visible, if not booked. Which explains why, say three sources on two coasts, Seattle’s Perkins Coie rang to see if he might want to lead a New York outpost for it. But Aidun left for a vacation without a deal. When he returned, he found his office gone. Loeb & Loeb’s firm fathers, seething that one of their go-to guys for the future wanted out, had sealed his digs and booted him from the firm’s computers. Aidun ended up at Chicago’s Winston & Strawn, while Perkins Coie consoled itself with his former Los Angeles partners Peggy Bui and Michelle Beuerlein. Every last one of them refused comment. … New York’s Epstein Becker & Green also wants its name on Silicon Alley’s marquee. But the employment firm has decided to take the race for tech work to a higher level. Its head e-lawyer is former Maryknoll nun and trade secrets counselor Frances Maloney, who can even boast of a second way to pray for relief when deal talks grind down: She sometimes sits Zen. ETHICS ERROR? Can a private lawyer/special prosecutor investigate a district attorney if he continues to practice as a criminal defense attorney? Charles Reddick, the Homerville, Ga., attorney appointed by a judge to poke into doings in the Alapaha District Attorney’s Office, says yes, if he’s paid by the hour and gets waivers from his clients. The Georgia Court of Appeals concurs, for “to cut off the livelihood of the most qualified of these criminal attorneys would make it almost impossible to find a competent private attorney who would accept the position.” The DA says no: Reddick serves two masters at once. Monroe Freedman, ethics professor at Hofstra University School of Law, also says no — but that the DA made the wrong argument. The real problem: An assistant DA, if she wants to conceal something, might be tempted to curry favor with Reddick by offering, say, a favorable plea bargain. “I guess the prosecutor’s office doesn’t want to be quoted in the newspaper saying that,” muses Freedman. OVER BUDGET The U.S. Department of Justice must pay Latham & Watkins more than $1.7 million in attorney fees for pursuing an ill-advised civil rights suit. The feds claimed that the city of Torrance, Calif., had discriminated by using literacy tests to screen would-be police officers and firefighters. A May 11 memo from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backs up U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer’s award to Latham, the city’s counsel. She found the action “frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.” The appellate panel added that the “record amply supports” that finding. Latham lawyer Wayne Flick noted that taxpayers funded both sides of the case. CHANGING SIDES Over 10 years, City Hospital of Philadelphia paid $1.3 million in fees to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. So why did ML & B begin representing Independence Blue Cross in a dispute against the hospital before the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission? The firm claimed that the hospital had signed a waiver allowing its adverse representation — in 1990. The hospital balked. Partner Michael Banks called to reassure the hospital that Morgan was really on its side. Eventually the commission threw the firm off the case. ML & B promptly ditched the hospital, saying that it could no longer trust the institution. Now they’re at odds in federal court. Annual fees from Blue Cross could run into the millions.

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