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WK&G's Casey Jorgensen, Christopher Marks, Carin Marney and Robert Pentimonti Promoted to Member and Lisa Wiese Promoted to Of Counsel
Seattle, Wash. (January 4, 2006) - As of January 1, 2006, Seattle Associates Casey Jorgensen, Christopher Marks and Carin Marney, and Tacoma Of Counsel Robert Pentimonti have been promoted to Member. Seattle Associate Lisa Wiese has been promoted to Of Counsel.

Mr. Jorgensen’s business and transactional practice concentrates on all aspects of commercial real estate, commercial finance and lending, corporate transactions, business formation, protection, registration and licensing of trademarks and trademark disputes, as well as sports law.

Mr. Marks’ practice focuses primarily on complex civil litigation in Washington and Oregon, representing clients in both commercial and tort-related matters, and serving as national trial counsel defending toxic tort claims.

Ms. Marney’s practice emphasizes civil litigation in such areas as professional liability, product liability, personal injury, commercial disputes, construction defect, and insurance coverage.

Mr. Pentimonti’s practice involves estate planning, business law, and real estate with an emphasis on complex tax planning. Bob has a high level of tax knowledge and years of experience focusing on tax law with a national accounting firm.

Ms. Wiese has a wide range of experience in tort and commercial litigation, with a primary focus in consumer products liability, food products, toxic tort, premises liability, medical malpractice and insurance defense.

01-01-2006

Big Deals/Big Suits: WellPoint Acquires WellChoice
In a deal that closed December 28, 2005, Indianapolis-based WellPoint, Inc. acquired New York-based WellChoice Inc., a successor of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, for $6.5 billion in cash and stock.

Rejected twice by the majority shareholder, the New York Public Asset Fund, WellPoint finally convinced all parties to accept its offer to pay $38.25 in cash as well as 0.5191 of its shares for each WellChoice share. The fund, whose chairman is appointed by the New York governor, stands to receive $2 billion in cash and 27 million WellPoint shares.

"It was a challenging transaction because of all the many different parties with different interests," said Daniel Dufner, Jr., the M&A partner at White & Case in New York advising WellPoint.

According to WellPoint's Deputy General Counsel Michael Wyatt, Dufner "is very prepared going into each negotiation—this quickly creates an advantage for his client and a disadvantage for the other side."

Last spring WellPoint hired Dufner for its $185 million acquisition of health benefits provider Lumenos, Inc. That smaller deal led to White & Case's role as lead counsel to WellPoint in its WellChoice acquisition.

In addition to Dufner, the other members of the White & Case team include partners John Reiss, David Joyce, Kevin Keogh, Kenneth Raskin and David Dreier.

01-01-2006

Twelve Weston Hurd Attorneys Named Ohio Super Lawyers for 2006
Twelve Weston Hurd attorneys have been named Ohio Super Lawyers for 2006 by Law & Politics Magazine. Their names and the category of work for which they were recognized appeared in the January 2006 issue of Cincinnati Magazine and the Ohio Super Lawyers 2006.

The Ohio Super Lawyers are determined through a process that includes balloting of more than 35,000 active Ohio attorneys, a review by a blue ribbon panel of lawyers from each area of practice and a research process that includes interviews, independent research, data verification and a good standing review. Only five percent of the lawyers in Ohio are named Super Lawyers.

Weston Hurd’s 2006 Ohio Super Lawyers include Mark O’ Neill, a partner, who was recognized as one of the Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers and Angela C. Carlin, a partner, who was recognized as one of the Top 50 Female Ohio Super Lawyers.

All 12 of Weston Hurd’s 2006 Ohio Super Lawyers have been named Ohio Super Lawyers in previous years:

James S. Aussem – Recognized in the Closely Held Business Category (Ohio Super Lawyer - 2005 and 2006)

Jason C. Blackford – Recognized in the Business/Corporate Category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Angela C. Carlin – Recognized as one of the Top 50 Female Ohio Super Lawyers; also recognized in the Estate Planning/Trust Category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Beverly Harris – Recognized in the Medical Malpractice Defense Category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004 and 2006)

John W. Jeffers – Recognized in the Civil Litigation Defenses category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Timothy D. Johnson – Recognized in the Civil Litigation Defense category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Kurt Karakul – Recognized in the Real Estate Transactions category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Mark O’Neill – Recognized as one of the Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers; also recognized in the Business Litigation category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Timothy P. Ristau – Recognized in the Insurance Defense: Personal Injury category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004 and 2006)

Harry Sigmier – Recognized in the Insurance Defense: Personal Injury category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Joseph B. Swartz – Recognized in the Labor & Employment category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Hilary S. Taylor – Recognized in the Business/Corporate category (Ohio Super Lawyer – 2004 and 2006

01-01-2006

GALVAN-JOHNSON JOINS VORYS
COLUMBUS, OH (January 2006) -- Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP is pleased to announce that Lisa M. Galvan-Johnson has joined the law firm’s Columbus office as a staff attorney in the Corporate group.



Ms. Galvan-Johnson focuses her practice on immigration matters.

Ms. Galvan-Johnson is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyer's Association (AILA).

Ms. Galvan-Johnson received her J.D. from the Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and her B.A. in Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace College.

The law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP has Ohio offices in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, as well as in Alexandria, VA, and Washington, DC. With more than 370 lawyers, Vorys is one of the largest law firms in the United States.

01-01-2006

Two Securities Partners Join Firm's New York Office
James P. Jalil and Richard S. Heller have joined the firm effective January 1, 2006. Both partners will be located in our New York office.

Jalil specializes in securities law and regulation, mergers and acquisitions, international and domestic finance and general corporate law. He also counsels public companies in connection with ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission compliance. Prior to joining the firm, Jalil was head of the Securities and Corporate Department at Shustak Jalil & Heller, where he was one of the founding members. Since 1998, he has served as an adjunct professor of law at Fordham University School of Law. He served on the securities law committee for the New York State Bar Association from 1986-1992. Jalil received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and his A.B. from Holy Cross College.

Heller, also a founding partner of Shustak Jalil & Heller, headed its Securities Compliance Department before joining Thompson Hine. He specializes in securities matters, including the preparation of documents related to public and private offerings, as well as Securities and Exchange Commission and state “Blue Sky” filings, hedge fund formation and ongoing compliance matters. Heller has served three times on the Securities and Exchange Commission's Business Forum on Small Capital Formation, which has published recommendations to the White House. Heller received his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law and his B.A. from Rutgers College.

About Thompson Hine LLP

Established in 1911, Thompson Hine today is among the largest business law firms in the United States. For the last several years, the firm has been named one of the Best Corporate Law Firms in America (in an annual survey of 2,000 corporate directors conducted by Corporate Board Member magazine). With more than 370 lawyers, Thompson Hine serves premier businesses worldwide. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Brussels, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, New York, and Washington, D.C.

01-01-2006

Thompson Coburn Announces Three New Partners
For more information, contact Jessica Welck Thompson Coburn LLP (314) 552-6271 jwelck@thompsoncoburn.com

St. Louis, December 30, 2005 - Thompson Coburn is proud to announce that Matthew S. Darrough, David B. Jinkins and Susan L. Werstak have been selected to become partners in the firm, effective January 1, 2006.

Matthew is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation and Appellate practices. He handles significant business litigation at all levels of the state and federal courts. Matthew has litigated cases involving complex insurance coverage issues, contract disputes, business torts, lender liability claims, and creditors’ rights. He is a former clerk to the Honorable Clifford H. Ahrens of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. Matthew earned his J.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, where he also earned a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science.

David is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice. David’s practice includes representing clients in a variety of intellectual property disputes, including patent, trademark, trade dress, trade secret and copyright infringement actions in Federal trial and appellate courts and the United States Patent and Trademark Office; non-infringement and freedom to operate opinions; and patent prosecution. David earned his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. He also holds a M.S. in Molecular Cellular & Development Biology from the University of South Carolina and a B.S. in Biology from Presbyterian College.

Susan, who practices in the firm’s Tobacco Litigation practice, has represented most of the major cigarette manufacturers. She has represented tobacco companies in individual personal injury actions as well as complex mass tort actions including, small and large consolidated personal injury actions, a medical monitoring class action, and third party payor actions. She has been involved in all phases of litigation from pre-trial pleadings, discovery and motions practice, through trial, post-trial briefing and appellate review. Susan earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from Villanova University School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Stonehill College.

Thompson Coburn has approximately 300 attorneys nationwide and has offices in St. Louis, Missouri; Washington, D.C.; and Belleville, Illinois.

01-01-2006

New York State Increases Minimum Wage Effective January 1, 2006
Effective January 1, 2006, the minimum wage in New York for non-exempt employees, other than food service workers receiving tips, increased from $6.00 to $6.75 (a 12.5% increase), pursuant to the Empire State Wage Act of 2004 (the “Empire Act”). Effective January 1, 2007, the minimum wage in New York will increase to $7.15. Besides these significant increases, New York employers must be aware that the rise in the hourly rate also results in an increase in the overtime rate that they must pay minimum wage workers (generally calculated at 1.5 times the hourly rate).

The Empire Act also increases the minimum hourly wage for food service workers in New York who receive tips (“Tipped Workers”). Effective January 1, 2006, the minimum wage for Tipped Workers in New York increased from $3.85 to $4.35 (a 13% increase). Effective January 1, 2007, the minimum wage for Tipped Workers in New York will increase to $4.60.

01-01-2006

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