District judge given probation in gun incident

Court News 2008/03/05 14:19   Bookmark and Share

A former district judge pleaded no contest yesterday to carrying a concealed firearm without a license following an altercation with his father-in-law.

Senior District Judge Donald H. Presutti, 60, of Kilbuck, was given nine months' probation for the misdemeanor violation. Allegheny County Judge Randal B. Todd ordered him to complete 120 hours of community service and anger management classes. The judge also prohibited him from contact with his father-in-law.

Raymond Billotte, district court administrator for Common Pleas Court, said Mr. Presutti is not currently on call for arraignment judges' roster. He said President Judge Joseph James would be seeking counsel from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts as to how to proceed with Mr. Presutti's status since his plea.

The former judge admitted to police he had a 9 mm pistol tucked in his suit pocket when he was arrested Nov. 29, 2006, at West View Auto Body on Perry Highway.

He told officials he had the gun loaded, cocked and concealed because he was afraid of his father-in-law, Earl Quillen, whom he said had swung at him and grabbed him by the neck earlier at the auto body shop.

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Judge at Rezko Trial Keeps Jurors Secret

Headline Legal News 2008/03/05 14:16   Bookmark and Share
The judge in the corruption trial of a prolific fundraiser for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich) says she's keeping the identities of jurors secret.

Twelve jurors and six alternates are to hear opening statements Thursday in Antoin "Tony" Rezko's trial.

U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve says she's not releasing the jurors' names or numbers. She has left the door open to releasing some information later.

The 52-year-old Rezko is accused of shaking down companies hoping to invest teachers' pension money or build hospital expansions. He denies wrongdoing.

Rezko has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Blagojevich and sizable amounts for Obama. Neither politician has been charged with anything.

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US Judge Awards $37M in Peru Massacre

Headline Legal News 2008/03/05 13:43   Bookmark and Share
A federal judge has ordered a former Peruvian army officer to pay $37 million for his role in a 1985 massacre in Peru in which 69 civilians were slain, including elderly people and infants.

U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit filed against former Maj. Telmo Hurtado by two women — Ochoa Lizarbe and Pulido Baldeon — who were 12 at the time and survived the attack.

Jordan had previously found in the lawsuit that Hurtado was had committed torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Hurtado, 46, is in federal custody in Miami while fighting deportation to Peru, with a hearing set for March 26. He did not contest the lawsuit, did not have a lawyer and refused to testify last month when he was brought to court for a hearing on damages.

Jordan said the money can be awarded under a 1991 U.S. law allowing torture victims to collect damages in this country for violations if a foreign government refuses to do so. Neither woman has received any compensation from Peru's government.

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Alston & Bird LLP Forms Subprime Taskforce

Legal Marketing 2008/03/05 12:57   Bookmark and Share
The national law firm of Alston & Bird LLP announced today that it has formed a multidisciplinary taskforce of 50 partners to assist clients in the U.S. with issues arising from the current credit crunch.

The subprime taskforce is comprised of attorneys from across the firm who specialize in financial litigation, securitization, class actions, finance, insurance coverage disputes, real estate, bankruptcy, workouts, structured products, retirement plans, banking regulation and derivatives. The group is chaired by Brian Cox, a finance partner in the firm's Charlotte office, and John Latham, a securities litigation partner in the Atlanta office. Contacts in the New York office are Gary Roth, a partner in the financial services group, and Michael Johnson, a litigation partner.

About Alston & Bird
With more than 800 attorneys, Alston & Bird is a leading national AmLaw 100 firm. The core practice areas of the firm are complex commercial litigation, corporate, tax and intellectual property, with national industry focuses in energy, financial services, health care, and public policy. The firm has been highly recognized for its workplace environment, having been ranked on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the past nine years, including four rankings in the top ten.

For more information on Alston & Bird please visit www.alston.com.
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Johnson Bottini, LLP Announces Update on Brocade Options

Press Release 2008/03/05 12:56   Bookmark and Share
Johnson Bottini, LLP, Co-Lead Counsel in the shareholder derivative lawsuit involving the manipulation of stock options at Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., announces the following update on the case. Several motions in the case will be heard on March 28, 2008 in Santa Clara, California. Plaintiffs are seeking to amend the complaint to assert declaratory relief claims against Gregory Reyes, the ex-CEO of Brocade, and Stephanie Jensen, the former V.P. of Human Resources. Reyes, who was convicted of securities fraud by a jury in San Francisco on August 7, 2007, was sentenced on January 16, 2008 to 21 months in prison.

Jensen was convicted on December 6, 2007 of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and of falsifying Brocades books and records. She has not yet been sentenced. In the lawsuit, Plaintiff is seeking to recover damages for the benefit of Brocade and against Reyes, Jensen, KPMG LLP and other defendants. Plaintiff believes that the damages Brocade has suffered exceed $200 million. If you are a Brocade shareholder and would like more information about the status of the case, contact Frank A. Bottini, Esq. at 619-230-0063 or frankb@johnsonbottini.com or go to www.johnsonbottini.com.
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Touro chief says law school not for sale

Legal Business 2008/03/05 12:50   Bookmark and Share

Discussions about the sale of the Touro Law Center to Stony Brook University never made it past the preliminary stage, Stony Brook president Shirley Strum Kenny said yesterday.

"We had very preliminary talks," Kenny said. "We were certainly not at the point of negotiating."

Bernard Lander, founder and president of Touro College, whose main campus is in Manhattan, said yesterday he would never sell the law school. The college operates the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip.

"I never met with anybody or spoke to anybody at the state university," Lander said in an interview. "I had one meeting with Sen. [Kenneth] LaValle. Period. I never negotiated with anybody." Lander said that when Touro law school dean Lawrence Raful asked him for his opinion and that of the school's board, "I said the law school charter is never for sale. Period."

Talk of a possible sale surfaced in early February in an effort to make Stony Brook the second university after the University of Buffalo in the State University of New York system to have a law school.

Kenny confirmed she and Lander had never met to discuss the law school. "There were conversations with people in the law school," she said, "but they were very preliminary discussions. We never got into any negotiations."

Kenny said those discussions did serve a purpose: They revived the idea of adding a law school at Stony Brook.

"Dr. Kenny and I have agreed to move forward and look at and explore the possibility of establishing our own law school at Stony Brook," said LaValle (R- Port Jefferson).

"It's not a new concept," Kenny said, noting that university officials first considered the addition of a law school in the 1970s and then again in the 1980s. "But now people feel it's the last piece of putting together a major research university. ... It's something we will be considering very seriously."

Though no agenda has been put in place, Kenny said a committee will be formed to study the feasibility of building a law school. "I think there is a lot of interest now in the possibility of developing a law school at Stony Brook. Now, nothing has happened on that score."

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