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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER In an effort to dissuade associates from fleeing to New York City for bigger paychecks, New Jersey’s largest firm, McCarter & English, has announced salary increases of up to 33 percent for senior associates. The new pay scales at the 241-lawyer firm take effect next year with the first-year associates earning as much as $116,250 and senior associates garnering up to $172,500 — including merit bonuses. The announcement shows how concerned McCarter & English is about defections, particularly among veterans. The firm is offering the largest pay hikes to its senior associates “in whom it has already invested time, money and training,” said Andrew Berry, chairman of the executive committee. “We want our more experienced associates to know that we appreciate them.” The incoming fall 2001 class of associates will earn a base salary of $95,000 with up to $21,250 in potential bonuses. First-year associates this year will earn $80,000 per year with a $5,000 bonus. Even so, this is nowhere near New York City’s figures, where some firms pay first-year associates as much as $160,000. Berry is philosophical. “We know that even with those increases, any one of our best and brightest could get a good deal more money in New York — and not have a life.” From American Lawyer Media PRACTICING PAYS OFF As a kid piano student in Summit, N.J., Katherin Nukk-Freeman suspected that no matter how hard she studied, she would never play with a world-class orchestra. As a grown-up lawyer in Newark, she gets to help run one. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has just appointed Nukk-Freeman to its board of directors, which gives her lots of work — none of it billable — when she’s not plugging away as a senior associate at Newark-based Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione. She says her appointment harmonizes her firm’s encouragement of lawyers to take part in community activities and the orchestra’s desire to attract younger people. At 32, she will be the youngest member of the 50-member board, says David Zanella, NJSO’s director of development. Right now, Nukk-Freeman is organizing the orchestra’s next fundraising auction, scheduled for February. She also is on the board’s Human Resources Committee, a fitting assignment for someone who specializes in employment law. From New Jersey Law Journal ELUSIVE PARKING SPACE Not long ago, Christopher Aidun was a well-regarded attorney with name recognition in New York’s Silicon Alley — who found himself locked out of his office by the brass of Loeb & Loeb. Aidun, who counts “Reader’s Digest” as a client, was being courted by other firms, and Loeb & Loeb found out. Tossed on the street, he drove into the New York branch of Chicago’s Winston & Strawn. Evidently he couldn’t find the brake pedal, because he recently started work at New York powerhouse Weil, Gotshal & Manges. “It was very disappointing to us,” said Winston’s New York chief, Bob Bostrom. “I wish I could call him a creep, but Chris is a terrific lawyer.” Bostrom admitted that he might not have turned down the offer, either, had it come his way. From The National Law Journal COURTROOM JESTERS Put more than 60 of the nation’s top litigators in one courtroom, and you’re bound to hear some witty repartee. The subject — whether health maintenance organizations gave doctors financial incentives to cut costs by withholding treatment — was deadly serious, but the tone at the hearing on whether to dismiss the suits was lighthearted. Start with state Sen. Walter G. “Skip” Campbell, who, looking around the packed room — it was standing-room only — cracked, “I was trying to figure out how many billable hours are in this room.” Attorney Dickie Scruggs, who looked nothing like the actor who portrayed him in the film “The Insider,” displayed the charm that helped win him $300 million from Big Tobacco. “At my age, you might think my name should be Richard or Dick,” said Scruggs, in his Mississippi twang. “Well, in the Deep South, anyone born between 1945 and 1950 had a choice of having an ‘ie’ after his name or a Bob. I chose the lesser of two evils.” From Miami Daily Business Review

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