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05/29/06

DLA Piper's pro bono effort for 2006

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP has announced their international pro bono initiative of for the year 2006. The initiative, named "New Perimeter," will work with the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, the Global FoodBanking Network and a microfinance project of CHF International. Along similar lines as their 2005 pro bono project, the commitment will require 13,000 attorney hours and more than $6 million.

At the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, DLA Piper attorneys will assist in the creation of an online law library and provide day-to-day legal assistance. The firm has been assisting the Centre since it formally opened in 2005.

DLA attorneys will be providing corporate structuring advice, advice on the negotiation of contracts and tax advice to the Global FoodBanking Network, a hunger relief organization. DLA Piper is also exploring ways to create sustainable funding options for the continuation and expansion of CHF International's micro-lending programs.

The firm was named the 2006 Real Estate Law Firm of the Year by the Who's Who Legal Awards for the second consecutive year.

Global communications cause law firms to seek outside assistance
With an increasing number of firms going global, connectivity and communication are a major issue of concern. The challenge posed by those issues remains, and the sensitive matter of data security has come to the forefront.

Firms like Skadden, Arps, Willcox & Saxbe and Grotta Glassman & Hoffman have recruited the help of Citrix Online to manage data and connectivity. Citrix Online delivers innovative web-based products and services that provide remote access and support for consumers and businesses. The products integrate Citrix Online's core screen-sharing technology, such as GoToMyPC, to provide sophisticated, real-time remote-control solutions.

Citrix provides support to Skadden Arps' 1,700 attorneys worldwide, increasing productivity and enabling remote technical support. Citrix Systems is a global technological leader with more than 160,000 organizations around the world using the Citrix Access Platform.

CRAZY THREAD OF THE DAY

This is one of the nuttier thing posted this week on Judged. ProBonoLifer, one of our favorite new members of the Judged message boards, had this to say about her weirdest clients ever.

Have you heard about the Florence Nightengale syndrome? I don't know if it's true or not, but numerous criminal defendants asked me out on a regular basis. One of them even called me about 40 times in one or two days.

I had an Indecency case involving a Child. The defendant was a habitual felony offender, means he had been convicted of 2 felonies in the past AND had went to prison on those convictions. Every time I asked him a question to try and plan on a defense, he would sit and stare at me with a blank look on his face. Next time we got together, I asked him if he spoke another language and understood my questions or not. He said he had only spoke English and that he understood my questions. I asked him why it took so long for him to answer. He said he was thinking about the question before he answered. Scary. He was acquitted of the indecency charge, but convicted of a low level misdemeanor. Jurors told me that they didn't believe the witnesses. Jurors thought that officer would be angry with acquittal. Jurors thought officer would take it out on them by giving them a ticket. They said if they got in trouble, they wanted me to represent them. Best compliment a defense attorney can get. Had an Aggravated Assault on a Prison Guard. (Just the charge is scary.)

When I met the guy, he looked me up and down like he was sizing up his opponent. I was petrified, but you can't show it. He was actually serving a prison sentence at the time, so luckily he always had an armed guard watching him when he met with me. During the trial, the armed guard got up from the defense table and walked away - leaving me alone with the defendant who was now unhandcuffed for the trial which was on break. I'm only 5'3", 130. I was scared. He was 5'11", 200. I was just a snack for him. He was taking on prison guards. I didn't know what to do. Eventually the guard came back and everything was fine after I went to the restroom to check myself. He was eventually convicted and then got on the stand and talked about how he premeditated it and had spent weeks working on the shank to stick the guard.



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