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Monday, May 7, 2012

Maybe Out-Of-State Based Firms Can Clean NY Legal Cesspool... a little

LeClairRyan Boosts New York Office With Eight From Epstein Becker
The American Lawyer by Brian Baxter  -  May 7, 2012

Epstein Becker & Green is losing eight attorneys—seven of them partners—in New York to LeClairRyan, the latest in a series of hires the Richmond-based firm has made in recent months in a push to expand its corporate, litigation, and commercial real estate expertise.  Leading the team headed for LeClairRyan is Adrian Zuckerman, cochair of New York-based Epstein Becker's corporate services practice. Zuckerman will cohead the real estate industry group at LeClairRyan.  Joining Zuckerman in LeClairRyan's New York office, which now boasts 32 lawyers, is Barry Cozier, a labor and employment litigation partner and former Appellate Division, Second Department judge; Scott Drago, health care and life sciences partner, corporate partners Cynthia Mitchell, Ralph Berman, and Linda Bielik, and senior corporate counsel Andrea Lawrence, who joins LeClairRyan as a partner. Associate Lauren Margiano and two staff members are also jumping to LeClairRyan.  LeClairRyan had 342 lawyers at the end of 2011, an increase of nearly 30 lawyers over the previous year, according to annual head count data compiled by affiliate publication The National Law Journal. The firm picked up 14 of those lawyers by merging in July with New York's Biedermann, Reif, Hoenig & Ruff in a bid for more European work. That move came six months after LeClairRyan opened an office in Rochester, N.Y., and bolstered its presence in four other cities by adding 16 lawyers from Nixon Peabody.  LeClairRyan also held merger talks last year with Bullivant Houser Bailey, a struggling Portland, Ore.-based firm.

As for Epstein Becker, the firm issued a statement on the departures, most of whom joined the firm in 2007 from Lowenstein Sandler.  "The firm fully supports Adrian's decision to find a platform that better suits his group's objectives and wishes them the best of luck," Epstein Becker chief operating officer Steven Di Fiore said in the statement. "We are pleased this worked out mutually for both the firm and the departing attorneys."  Epstein Becker added that it is proceeding with its strategy of focusing on the fields of health care and life sciences, labor and employment, litigation, corporate services, and employee benefits.  Founded in 1973, Epstein Becker suffered several key lateral departures last year. Among the biggest blows: the loss of the 14-lawyer Houston office to Cozen O'Connor and the defection of seven San Francisco-based lawyers to Crowell & Moring. The firm also lost its real estate practice chair in Atlanta to DLA Piper and closed its Miami office after partners departed for Duane Morris and Gordon & Rees.  At the same time, Epstein Becker notes that it has also brought on 15 hires of its own in several cities throughout the country since January 2011. This year, the firm hired former Proskauer Rose special labor counsel Adam Abrahms in Los Angeles as a partner, as well as litigation partner William Barron, the former head of the New York litigation practice at Atlanta-based Smith, Gambrell & Russell.  @|Brian Baxter, a reporter for The American Lawyer, an affiliate publication of the Law Journal, can be contacted at


Anonymous said...

The corrupt New York players will soon spread their version of Law and Order to the out-of-state attorneys. The result will simply be more greedy lawless lawyers.

NY Realist said...

More nonsense. The new lawyers will quickly adopt to the NY system of corruption or fail in New York. Actually, the best "honest" lawyer in New York is the one who arranges the proper payments to win your case, instead wasting your time playing games only to lose because your attorney isn't "honest" enough to tell you the truth and arrange to fix the case.

Searching For Rule Of Law In America said...

if anyone out there thinks that the NY state of mind ends at the Hudson... just pick your favorite corrupt official and do a lil research on em... you'll soon find that their tentacles reach far beyond the borders of the Empire State...

--Michael A. Hense is Searching For Rule Of Law In America

Anonymous said...

This look more like a fast-track buy-in to the corruption.

Anonymous said...

Beginning to think Florida is more corrupt than NY, since most of the NY lawyers retired to Florida and are now plying their wares down here

Anonymous said...

Many Fla. lawyers have licenses in both NY & Fla. The same person commiting mortgage fraud for state employees in NY.Doing the same in Fla. Why both states have much the same mortgage fraud..a lot.

Anonymous said...

Majorde Blasio appoints a fmr judge im very familiar, more for wat he didn't do than any presumed accomplishments. But a bigger story is his cover up during his tenure as administrative judge at queens family court. The best anesthetic is light.

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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