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SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER In Chicago, three judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have cleared Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson partner Peter Woodford of harassing secretary Donna Pryor when he allegedly said he’d love to see pictures of her in Frederick’s of Hollywood undergarments — among other questionable acts. The firm still faces an embarrassing trial, though. Chief Judge Richard Posner observed that its manner of firing her three months after she filed a claim against the firm was “sufficiently odd” to suggest retaliation. He also knocked late-to-surface characterizations of her work as unsatisfactory and insisted that the firm should have more assiduously documented its actions. “Especially,” he wrote, “from a law firm like Seyfarth that specializes in employment law!” Seyfarth managing partner Michael Warner says, “What the 7th Circuit had — no one should be misled that those are the facts in the case.” The firm is representing itself. What’s the old adage about the client who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer? From the National Law Journal STACKED DECK Dallas family court judge Craig Fowler is in hot water following an investigative report by WFAA-TV. The Dallas station reported a litigant’s complaint alleging the judge played computer solitaire while she testified in a case. He denied to WFAA that he has ever played a computer game while on the bench, but the news station shot a video that appears to show solitaire on the judge’s computer screen, according to a WFAA news account of the investigation. Mary McKnight, a Dallas family lawyer, says she once witnessed solitaire on the judge’s computer during a hearing. But Brian Webb, a Dallas family lawyer, is dubious. “I don’t know of anyone who is more fair-minded … and less likely to play solitaire on the computer [than Judge Fowler],” says Webb. “At least during hearings. I guess we all do it during our off time.” Daryl Gordon, a Dallas family lawyer, says he was present when WFAA shot the video that allegedly shows solitaire on Fowler’s computer. At the time, Gordon says, the lawyers were picking a jury. “There was nothing for him to do for three hours while we were picking a jury. … Just sitting up there and looking at us has got to get boring.” From Texas Lawyer LATER, DUDE With all the hype over Northern Virginia’s Internet boom, it’s no longer surprising to read about D.C. lawyers leaving law firm life for the glamour and stock options of high-tech start-ups. But summer associates, too? Gene Koo, a second-year Harvard Law student clerking at D.C.’s Hogan & Hartson, left the firm after just five days to pursue his own dot-com dream. Koo says he recently secured angel financing for his company, Open Source Knowledge Share, and realized that he would not be able to work or study full-time and develop his business simultaneously. “With a little more maturity, I might have realized that sooner,” Koo, 24, says. “I’m quite sorry to have put the firm in a bad position.” But Hogan partner Eve Howard, who heads the firm’s summer associate program, says there are no hard feelings. “We hope we’ll see him in the future,” Howard says. “Either as an associate — or as a client.” From Legal Times A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD It may be the world’s largest and most authentic collection of famous autographs. The Los Angeles Superior Court is ground zero for the battles of the rich and famous — a place where one afternoon, news cameras had to choose between chasing Joe Montana at one end of the corridor and Peggy Lee at the other, where John Updike paced the cafeteria terrace, Rick Nelson aired family problems on the second floor, and Elizabeth Taylor snuck in through the garage. However, security for the documents is a major issue, because some people try to cash in on the celeb signatures. One example is Tyson v. Horne, BC187250. One exhibit is a hand-printed and notarized contract, complete with cross-outs and the misspelling “Micheal,” that Mike Tyson signed in an Indiana prison while doing time for rape in 1994. Collectors say it could easily bring $2,000 at auction, as there is virtually no possibility it is a fake. Celebrity-signed contracts are at least 10 times more valuable than the standard autographed publicity photo, says Richard Khoury, a veteran in the field. But he personally wouldn’t touch the Tyson contract. “A recent contract like that is likely to have come from a court file, and we have our integrity to protect.” From The Recorder

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