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LOOSE LIPS In only the latest reminder that judges do not wield the might they did in biblical days, a Maryland judicial disciplinary panel has scolded Judge Durke Thompson for trying to teach a lesson. In January, the Montgomery County jurist sentenced a man, 23, who dallied online with an 11-year-old girl and then molested her. The judge urged the Internet-roving child and her father to remember that “it takes two to tango.” State legislators demanded a probe into the judge’s supposed pattern of bias against women, and the Washington Post cited him in its review of a book arguing that rape is instinctual. In mid-June, the commission cleared the judge but warned him to be more sensitive. ALSO TOO RAW The California disciplinary panel has slammed Orange County Superior Court Judge Susanne Shaw for urging a 1997 defendant to think about “what they do to skinny little white boys in jail.” The judge denied that she made the statement, but five witnesses corroborated the accusation. MEANIE Jim Taylor, 39, is a California Webhead who’s been through two divorces and a few business faceoffs. Unimpressed with counsel, he now joins the legal mockery field with, which teems with bopping barristers and International Society for the Promotion of Cruelty to Attorneys products, including mugs, cartoons and little figurines of J.D.s in cages. He insists that he avoided being malicious. “Believe me, there were product rejects,” he says. A lawyer voodoo doll, however, will be available in a few weeks. MERGER = RELIEF The long wobbling of San Francisco’s once-robust Graham & James L.L.P. is ending. After a year of talks, Squire Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P. vacuumed up 125 of the firm’s lawyers on Jun. 29, giving the Cleveland-based firm 675 lawyers and a respectable West Coast and Asian depth. Not going are G&J’s 50 New York lawyers, who at press time remained unmoored. A dozen of G&J’s Pacific Rim franchise offices, useful when the Asian market was bustling, will now just float away. CASUAL ATTIRE Waco, Texas, federal judge Walter Smith, now presiding over the Branch Davidians’ case, requires every man who sets foot in Courtroom 301 to don a coat. He conveniently provides loaners and sometimes a couple of swirly, straight-from-the-’70s ties that, according to his chambers, came from a Goodwill thrift shop. Many reporters have called Judge Smith’s dress code enforcement “strict.” In fact, he’s Mr. Mellow. The rules of the entire Western District of Texas demand that any male must wear a coat and a tie. According to eyewitnesses, Judge Smith allows men to skip the neckwear. RICH GUY Who’s the wealthiest practicing lawyer in the country? One can never really know with all these tobacco settlements, but don’t overlook Deryl Hamann, of Omaha, Neb. During the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Hamann ran Baird, Holm, McEachen, Pedersen, Hamann & Strasheim L.L.C. (est. 1873), and still practices banking law there. In his free time, though, he has assembled a banking empire that now includes 47 offices throughout the Midwest and boasts $1.5 billion in assets. These banks throw him and his family about $10 million in yearly income. But Mr. Hamann doubts that he’s the richest attorney still on the job — “Not when I read what the hourly charges are at the big-city firms.”

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