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2/1/05

Three Wilson Sonsini partners leave for O'Melveny


Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is losing three partners, who are slated to join Los Angeles-based O'Melveny & Myers, effective February 1. Steve Camahort, Michael Dorf, and Michael Kennedy will all work at O'Melveny's San Francisco office, according to sources. "They were great partners, and we wish them all the best," said Courtney Chiang Dorman, a spokeswoman for Wilson Sonsini, while an O'Melveny spokesman declined to comment. Kennedy and Camahort launched Wilson Sonsini's San Francisco office after making the jump from Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison in 1999. Dorf had also joined the firm from Brobeck. During their time at Wilson Sonsini, the attorneys represented such clients as Sun Microsystems, Sybase, Veritas, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks.
The Recorder

Brobeck Phleger trustee sues firm's ex-chairman
Tower Snow, Jr., former Chairman of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, has been sued for $2.7 million by Ronald Greenspan, a trustee of Brobeck's bankrupt estate. Snow is the latest among some 224 former Brobeck partners to be hit with individual complaints by Greenspan. The suits demand that partners pay back distributions they received in 2001 and 2002, when Greenspan claims Brobeck was insolvent. The suits also call for paybacks of 2002 bonuses, capital, and recourse debt. Greenspan says that Snow should pay back more than $2.7 million that he received in distributions and returned capital.
The Recorder

Reed Smith continues to grow, adding profits and personnel
Under the leadership of Managing Partner Gregory Jordan, who took over in 2001, Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith has nearly doubled in size and profitability. The firm is always making major strides into markets as diverse as London and California. Reed's Philadelphia office has seen the most change, as a new generation of leaders is determined to run the firm in a different manner. Such change has caused several partners in the Philadelphia office to leave for various reasons in recent years, despite the fact that Reed Smith management says the Philadelphia office is coming off its best financial year ever.
The Legal Intelligencer

Vinson & Elkins settles out of court with former associate
Houston-based Vinson & Elkins, a leading firm in energy and oil matters, has settled an unlawful employment practices and civil rights suit filed by former associate Rhonda H. Wills, an African-American female who alleged that she was the victim of racial and gender discrimination, as well as sexual harassment, while at the firm. The settlement in Rhonda Wills v. Vinson & Elkins averts a federal trial set for February. The plaintiff's lawyers, Broadus Spivey of the Law Offices of Broadus Spivey and Paul Knisely of Knisely & Prehoditch, say they are working out final details of the settlement with V&E. Vinson & Elkins attorney Diana Marshall informed the court in a letter dated Jan. 10 that the suit has settled, except for "some minor details." In 2003, V&E partner John Murchison had called Wills' allegations a "highly fictionalized account of her time at the firm."
Texas Lawyer

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius adds Enron prosecutor to San Francisco office
John Hemann, formerly an Enron Task Force prosecutor, has joined the San Francisco office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Hemann, a 10-year Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Enron's CFO, will work in the firm's white collar crime division. Hemann is joining the firm as a partner and will focus on developing the firm's white collar practice on the West Coast. He'll work with associate Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey, another Enron prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney's Office. White collar practices are hot now, with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act fueling corporate demand for internal investigations. Hemann once prosecuted officials at the San Francisco Housing Authority for selling federal rent subsidies, a case that was closely followed because the government's star witness—who pleaded guilty to 10 felony counts--was the goddaughter of then-San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

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