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Intel asks law firms to assist its pro bono initiatives

Computer chip-maker Intel Corporation solicited law firms' support for its pro bono initiatives. With this aim, Intel issued a formal RFP last fall, trying to find law firms that would partner with its attorneys at the Silicon Valley headquarters on community service projects. Their efforts were met with an enthusiastic response which emboldened the firm to expand its initiative to three other offices. The company's formal approach to enlist law firms to help forward its community service initiatives was appreciated by all. Esther Lardent, president of the Washington, DC-based, Pro Bono Institute, a charitable consulting group said, "This really is a model."

Intel sent requests out to more than 10 law firms in the San Francisco area with pro bono coordinators to help with projects at its Santa Clara, CA, campus. Intel finally chose one long time associate, Baker & McKenzie and also another firm Nixon Peabody. Jeffrey Hyman, Group Counsel and Intel's pro bono committee chairman, said that the initiative which started with an extensive survey of its U.S. legal staff last March, brought mixed results. The survey was conducted among 300 department employees, including 180 attorneys. Questions included personal volunteer efforts, interest in pro bono, and obstacles to doing community service work at the company.

The company also offered pro bono training to about 20% of the 110 legal employees in its Santa Clara office, in December, says nylawyer.com. The firm's staff attorneys already started work with Nixon Peabody on two projects with two San Francisco-based public interest groups. One effort, the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, assists low-income business owners on various matters like real estate and trademarks. The other, Legal Services for Children resolves guardianship disputes for children. A third project, with Baker & McKenzie and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, is on the anvil. This project will negotiate disputes for special education students in local schools.

Reed Smith strengthens State Tax Controversy practice
Reed Smith LLP hired four partners in its Philadelphia office to handle the firm's state tax controversies for Fortune 500 companies and others across the U.S. The four partners are Lee Zoeller, Kyle Sollie, David Kraus, and Frank Gallo. The four comes from Dechert where Zoeller was formerly the chair of that firm's state tax practice group. The four have together represented a diverse group of large companies in state tax controversy matters mainly concentrating on the East Coast.

Reed Smith started its Tax Controversy Group in 2005 with Jim Kleier, Brian Toman, and John Messenger from Preston Gates & Ellis. Later it hired Philadelphia-based member Phillip A. Pillar from Ernst & Young LLP. The Group counsels and litigates on diverse tax related issues from state tax issues associated with e commerce to franchise, income, sales, use, property, business and occupation, and other excise taxes.


Baby Bookworm bags bounty but fails to best the bank
Rhiannon Barnes's babysitter admits that she bought a thrift store book for only 25 cents upon pleas from the passionate bookworm. Sheila Laughridge was dumbstruck when Rhiannon pulled a brown bag filled with old dollar bills out of the book. The envelope was stuffed with old $100, $50, $20, and $10 bills dating back to the 1960s. Sheila took a total found amount of $1300 to a local bank who decided to pay only $300 in exchange. Although the bills were admittedly torn and in pieces, it's a shame that $1000 out of it was worthless. The bank claims that they sent the bills to the Treasury. Not to worry baby Barnes, they do that all the time to big bookworms too.

Reed Smith LLP

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