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Paul F. “Pete” Wellborn III celebrated his 37th birthday by taking Earthlink away from Atlanta-based Arnall Golden Gregory’s client base. The former Arnall Golden technology partner and chair of the firm’s INTECH (Internet and New Technologies) group left the firm on Monday and started The Wellborn Firm. “Earthlink has been with me and is leaving with me,” he says. Wellborn’s new office is across the street from his marquee client. He’ll practice Internet law exclusively and says he’ll refer cases involving pure tax, telecommunications, immigration and other non-Internet issues to his old firm. He hopes Arnall Golden will reciprocate with Internet law referrals, he says. Arnall Golden managing partner William H. Kitchens says his firm’s 25-lawyer technology team can handle most Internet issues. But if a conflict prevents the firm from handling a case, Kitchens says, they might refer it to Wellborn. Wellborn says his sense of entrepreneurship outweighed his desire to practice law at Arnall Golden. “I’ve always liked being the one in charge,” he says. Earthlink uses its technology and legal muscle to fight spamming and Internet fraud — Wellborn’s specialty — so the client is a natural fit for him, he says. Also, Wellborn has what he calls an “underground construction practice” for Dewberry Capital Corp., a developer, and other construction clients. He intends to continue that while keeping his primary focus on technology and Internet issues. Wellborn says clients Simtrex Corp., a software company, and UNUM Provident Corp., a disability and life insurance company, also are staying with him. He’s not sure whether he’ll add more lawyers. He says he told the landlord at his new office, “I don’t know in six months’ time whether I’ll be one attorney, six attorneys or 25 attorneys.” The loss of Earthlink, Kitchens says, will not have a significant financial impact on Arnall Golden. “It was not something that at this point had generated a lot of work,” he says. Kitchens declined to comment on the amount of work Arnall Golden did for Earthlink. According to David N. Baker, Earthlink’s vice president of legal affairs and public policy, Hunton & Williams performs most of the company’s corporate work. In October, James W. Butler III, who co-chaired the INTECH group with Wellborn, left Arnall Golden to chair Morris, Manning & Martin’s Internet group, a division of the technology practice group. THREE LEAVE FRAGOMEN OFFICE The Atlanta office of immigration firm Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy has been halved because of three depatures. Last month, three of Fragomen’s six Atlanta lawyers left for labor and employment firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. Andrew P. Galeziowski, a senior associate at Fragomen, joined Ogletree Deakins as a shareholder. Russell C. Ford and Jay C. Ruby, both former associates with Fragomen Del Rey, joined Ogletree as associates. Galeziowski says Ogletree’s labor and employment focus gives it an advantage over the Fragomen firm. Immigration work within a labor and employment firm, Galeziowski says, gives immigration attorneys a better overall picture of client requirements. “I think it provides us with a better feel for what the client needs are,” he says. “I think you have a better understanding of a company and its philosophy.” For example, Galeziowski says, at the Ogletree firm his team can consult with purely labor and employment attorneys on issues relating to immigration. He couldn’t do that at Fragomen, which practices employment law exclusively. Brian J. Reilly, head of Ogletree’s business immigration practice, says his group brings in more than $10 million in revenue each year. Currently, there are about 14 full-time business immigration attorneys in Ogletree’s practice nationwide. The business immigration group represents management in large companies, Reilly says. The attorneys arrange for the hire and transfer of foreign executives, managers, specialists and other professionals, Reilly says. Atlanta office managing partner Robert E. Banta says “some” of the Fragomen’s clients followed the three associates to Ogletree. But Banta adds that there is enough work in the Atlanta office to add three more lawyers. In addition to the business immigration practice, Ogletree represents management in labor, employment and benefits issues. It has more than 150 attorneys in 13 offices nationwide. Nortel Networks Ltd., Lockheed Martin Corp., and ABB Ltd. are among Ogletree’s clients, Reilly says. The Fragomen firm has more than 165 lawyers in its 20 offices in the U.S. and Europe, Banta says. The firm represents about 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies, he said, but declined to name them. Briefly … Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough merged with two of the three lawyers at the Greensboro, N.C., law firm of Amos, Jeffries & Robinson. Public utility attorneys Jerry W. Amos and James H. Jeffries IV moved to Charlotte and joined Nelson Mullins on April 1. They brought all of Amos Jeffries’ clients including Piedmont Natural Gas Company, North State Telephone Company and NUI North Carolina Gas with them. “We had more business than we could do and we needed some help in doing it,” Amos says. “We also needed some expertise in areas we did not have” like tax and labor law, he adds. Russell M. Robinson III, the third lawyer in the Amos Jeffries firm, took a position as assistant general counsel for Burlington Industries in Greensboro. Starting Monday, the Keenan’s Kids Foundation will sell a CD containing video and audio presentations of 23 closing arguments from child injury and death cases. Members of the Inner Circle of Advocates deliver the arguments, which represent more than $363 million in verdicts. The Inner Circle is an organization of 100 attorneys who have won eight or more $1 million verdicts. Don C. Keenan of the Keenan Law Firm founded Keenan’s Kids in 1993 to help homeless and at-risk children. All proceeds from the sale of the CD go to the foundation. The CD costs $75 for Atlanta Trial Lawyers Association members and $100 for nonmembers. For more information, call (404) 523-2200.

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