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May 11, 2012 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. District Judge Louis Pollak, a former dean of the Yale and University of Pennsylvania Law Schools and a seminal figure in the litigation emerging from the early civil rights movement, died Tuesday at his home in West Mount Airy after a long illness. He was 89. Judge Pollak, who began his legal career as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge, played a critical role in the legal battles over racial segregation. He forged a close friendship with former U.S. Transportation Secretary William Coleman while the two served as Supreme Court clerks from 1949 to 1951 and then later when they went to work at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2012 | Chris Mondics
When the law firm of Offit Kurman began toying with the idea of expansion seven years ago, it comprised only a handful of lawyers in a small office in suburban Baltimore. The nation was well on its way to recovering from the recession of 2001-02, and the firm hatched an expansion plan that would take it south through the bustling, high-income suburbs north of Washington and on into northern Virginia. Then, it set its sights on Philadelphia. That was a counterintuitive strategy.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2012 | Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
If Tuesday's oral arguments before the Supreme Court were a reality check for the Obama administration and its hopes for its health-care overhaul, Wednesday's session may have been the day that dreams were shattered. A close reading of the arguments would seem to suggest that the tide of battle, for the Obama administration at least, had worsened. Too many inferences sometimes are drawn from the tenor of the back-and-forth bantering between Supreme Court justices and lawyers arguing their cases.
NEWS
January 24, 2012 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Steven M. Dranoff, 68, of Society Hill, a personal-injury and civil-litigation lawyer, died Sunday, Jan. 22, of colon cancer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. For more than a decade, Mr. Dranoff headed Dranoff Associates in Center City. Over the years, by word of mouth, he became well-known as a lawyer in the Asian community and represented Korean, Vietnamese, and Cambodian clients, his wife, Carol Epstein Dranoff, said. Through his practice, he and his wife had several Asian friends.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2011 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
It has been almost two months since Philadelphia lawyer Michael Kwasnik was charged with stealing more than $1 million from an elderly Cherry Hill widow and accused in a lawsuit by New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow of running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors of many millions more. What comes through most from conversations with the people in the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics is just how satisfied they are with the way they have handled this matter. Kwasnik, according to the agency's own records, has been on its radar since at least 2006, with multiple allegations of fraud and misconduct.
NEWS
September 22, 2011 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
James C.N. Paul, 85, a Philadelphia native and former dean of Rutgers Law School in Newark, N.J., who helped found the first law school in Ethiopia, died of prostate cancer Tuesday, Sept. 13, at home in Trappe, Md. While teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the early 1960s, Mr. Paul made several trips as an Eisenhower Fellow and on behalf of the Peace Corps to universities in Ethiopia and other African nations. In 1963, he accepted an invitation from Haile Selassie University, now Addis Ababa University, to oversee the creation of a law school.
BUSINESS
September 2, 2011 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
As a Washington reporter for The Inquirer during the tumultuous years of the President Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings and, later, the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq, I certainly knew of Jerome J. Shestack, the prominent Philadelphia lawyer who died Aug. 18 at age 88. He had been the American Bar Association president in 1997 and 1998, and earlier had sat on the ABA screening committee that split on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of...
NEWS
August 25, 2011 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Arnold B. Cohen, 72, of Valley Forge, a professor at Villanova School of Law for 41 years who was an innovator in the use of computer technology in the classroom, died of complications of leukemia Tuesday, Aug. 23, at home. Mr. Cohen specialized in bankruptcy, secured lending, and e-commerce. In 1997, a law textbook he authored on bankruptcy was published as an electronic casebook employing hypertext technology, which enabled students and other users to link to cases, statues, forms, and other relevant materials early in the Internet era. Mr. Cohen contributed to several other books on bankruptcy, and wrote numerous articles on bankruptcy and secured lending issues.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2011 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
As a former assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, Michael A. Schwartz was acutely aware of the enormous power a prosecutor wields. But it wasn't until he left the Justice Department and became a white-collar defense lawyer that he truly grasped how a government case can take a terribly wrong turn. Schwartz, a partner at Center City-based Pepper Hamilton L.L.P., defends pharmaceutical executives and other business figures in criminal investigations that can involve enormous gray areas.
NEWS
June 23, 2011 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
H. Peter Somers, 88, of Willistown Township, a retired lawyer, equestrian, and conservationist, died of melanoma, Friday, June 17, at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester. Mr. Somers began his career with a law firm in Boston before joining Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia in 1956. He became a senior partner, chaired the firm's personal-law section, and served on its management committee. He retired in 1989. For 50 years, Mr. Somers was a member of the Radnor Hunt Club and was still riding to the hounds with the Cheshire Hunt at 87, his son Stephen said.
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