Legal Briefing: Health-Care Lawsuit Politics Get Nasty in Georgia

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Legal BriefingA daily look at legal news and the business of law:

Georgia Politicians Wrangle Over Health-Care Reform Suit

Thurbert Baker, Georgia's Democratic attorney general, is lining up with Democratic attorney generals nationally and refusing to add Georgia to the multistate suit against health-care reform legislation recently passed by Congress.

Georgia's governor and legislature, both Republican, share the eagerness to join the suit of their GOP colleagues in several other states. Naturally, they're irate at the AG's refusal. Now, a bill is moving in the Georgia legislature to impeach the AG for keeping the state off the lawsuit, reports The New York Times.

And in the Business of Law...

TheNew Jersey Law Journal notes that two New Jersey law firms will be awarded fees of $3.5 million in total even though the shareholder class they represented got nothing.

An Ohio lawyer is being sued for $2 million by two former female employees for invasion of privacy. Turns out he had a pinhole camera in his firm's ladies' room, reports the ABA Journal.

Above the Law reports that Morgan, Lewis & Bockius associates can celebrate: They're the latest ones to get real raises. Their colleagues at Latham & Watkins, however, just got another reason to be bitter -- a cutback over vacation days. Latham associates were guaranteed 15 paid vacation days a year and could be paid out for that time if they left the firm. Under the new policy, Latham associates can in theory take unlimited days off in any given year -- if they can muster up the nerve while terrified of being laid off -- but cannot store any for a departure payout. As one tipster to Above the Law put it, "What the policy does is removes a guaranteed entitlement to three weeks paid leave each year."

English law firm Lovells is shutting its Chicago office as part of the shakeout stemming from its merger with Hogan & Hartson, reports Legal Week. It's not yet clear how many of the 22 attorneys/47 total employees will keep their jobs.

Despite the layoffs, salary cutbacks and benefit reductions at law firms in the last couple of years, the American Lawyer reports that firms aren't skimping in one key area -- client entertainment, specifically, luxury suites at baseball games.

And last but not least, the ABA Journal reports that yet another attorney has abandoned the field for an unconventional career. Former patent attorney Todd Neufeld now happily spends his time twisting balloons into animals. He must be good at it -- he's been on David Letterman's Late Show and performed for Presidents G.W. Bush and Barack Obama.
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