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Law firm Stoll Berne shortens name
Law Firm Marketing | 2008/03/01 19:28
pStoll Stoll Berne Lokting amp; Shlachter PC is shortening its firm name to Stoll Berne in recognition of senior partners Robert Stoll and Gary Berne. /ppIt's the same firm, but a simpler name, said Keith Ketterling, managing shareholder. David Lokting and Rob Shlachter are, and will continue to be, a huge part of the heart and soul of our firm. They're not going anywhere. /ppFounded 30 years ago, the Portland firm specializes in complex business litigation and commercial real estate/business transactions. The firm has 10 partners and nine associates. /p

Two more law firms turn to Tactix to search for new space
Law Firm Marketing | 2008/03/01 14:15
pTactix Real Estate Advisors kicked off the year picking up two additional major law firms in the market seeking space, continuing its dominance representing the local legal sector in lease deals. /ppThe Radnor-based boutique brokerage is now representing an 80,000-square-foot Center City firm that it can't disclose the name of -- yet -- and Richards Layton amp; Finger, a Wilmington-based law firm that leases roughly 125,000 square feet at the Chase building. Tactix, which solely represents tenants, is also running around with Saul Ewing, which is in 110,000 square feet in Centre Square, which is has occupied for the past 30 years, and Fox Rothschild, which leases 90,000 square feet at 2000 Market St. Saul Ewing's lease expires in May 2010 and Fox Rothschild's at the end of next year. /ppIn all, Tactix has wrapped up leases in its 10 years on 35 law firms. For example, in December it closed on Buchanan Ingersoll's 80,000-square-foot lease at Two Liberty Place, Hamilton Lane at One Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd, and numerous deals for Fox Rothschild throughout the region and across the country. It also helped Dechert and Woodcock Washburn secure the first leases at Cira Centre in 2004, kicking off construction of the new tower. /ppI think we understand law firms because a lot of us were lawyers, said Glenn Blumenfeld, who left Dechert in late 2002 to become a partner at Tactix. Judd Wambold, who formed Tactix in 1997 with Sal Ambrosio, was also an attorney at Dechert. Many of its hires have also been lawyers who left area law firms.

A Legalpalooza Only Dickens Could Love
Legal Opinions | 2008/03/01 14:07
pYou can't go home again. After two federal criminal trials charging him with looting Westar Energy, David Wittig has become all too familiar with that aphorism in his six-year legal odyssey./ppBut if you do go home again, it seems, you should first reacquaint yourself with local legal rates, which are likely to be far less than the high prices charged on the East Coast./ppThat seems to be the message of he most recent legal sideshow in the Westar case, sometimes dubbed the Enron of Kansas. /ppFirst, some background: In 2002, Federal prosecutors accused Wittig and another Westar executive, Douglas Lake, of wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and circumventing of internal controls in the process of looting Westar, an electrical utility in Topeka, Kansas./ppTheir first trial, in 2004, ended in a hung jury. In September 2005, the jury at their second trial convicted the men of multiple counts, but an appeals court overturned the verdicts in 2007. It also threw out many charges, saying prosecutors had failed to prove the men violated any federal regulations. Their third trial is scheduled to start on September 9./ppWho has been paying Wittig's and Lake's multimillion-dollar legal bills while they have stymied their former employer all these years? Why, Westar itself. Under the company's bylaws, Wittig and Lake, as former officers, are entitled to payment of emreasonable/em legal defense costs, at least until they are convicted of criminal wrongdoing. /ppNot surprisingly, Westar is getting tired of writing the checks. And so it has challenged how much it is on the hook to pay. Specifically, does reasonable defense costs mean reasonable for Kansas City, where Westar is based? Or reasonable for New York and Washington, D.C., where Wittig and Lake found lawyers they like?/ppSince 2005, Westar has fought payment of lawyers for both Wittig and Lake, suing them in separate lawsuits, claiming outrage over the high prices charged by lawyers from the East Coast — and, so far, failing miserably in each of these cases. /p

FSUPD, local law firm host Bike-A-Thon
Press Release | 2008/03/01 14:05
pThe Florida State University Police Department and the law firm of Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster amp; Gwartney is hosting the free Stop DUI in 24 Hours Bike-A-Thon from noon today to noon Sunday.

/ppFSU PD Maj. Jim Russell invites FSU students and staff and concerned community members to grab their bikes and helmets and meet at FSU's Westcott Plaza between 10:30 a.m. and noon today to participate. According to event founder Major Jim Russell, this is the second year, the FSUPD is leading the bike-a-thon to raise awareness concerning impaired driving with a goal of reducing the number of DUI related offenses and fatalities./ppA public send-off ceremony will be held at noon Saturday at Westcott Plaza; also from noon until 5 p.m. a free safety village will be staged on the Plaza by the fountain with entertainment and a chance to make donations of $10 per lap to individual or teams hoping to win with the most laps. Dean LeBoeuf, one of sponsoring attorneys, stressed this is not a race but a safe, escorted three-mile circuit through campus that anyone may enjoy. Cyclists may ride as much or as little as they choose during the 24-hour time period. Throughout the ride, events will be held to raise awareness concerning impaired driving, traffic safety, and drug and alcohol abuse./ppThe first responder and law enforcement cyclists will stop at FSU residence halls between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to offer DUI awareness presentations. The ride will conclude with a public awards ceremony on the steps of the Westcott Building on Sunday at 1 p.m. Cyclists are asked to bring a helmet and bike with lights if they plan to ride in the dark. All riders will be provided with a free set of head and tail lights, however they must bring a set of batteries. Registration forms are available on-site or may be downloaded at the FSUPD website at a href=, click on the FSUPD Stop DUI in 24 Hours logo in the right hand column. Cyclists under 18 must have a signed release from a parent or guardian or they will not be permitted to ride./p

Barnhart establishes his own law firm
Law Firm Marketing | 2008/03/01 14:01
pIf you have been wondering about the newly painted red building situated in a prominent location at the corner of Martin Avenue and West Pine Street in Canton, the guesswork is over.

Canton attorney Gary Barnhart will open his own practice at the location on Monday, March 3.

Barnhart has represented clients in Canton and all over Central Illinois for 34 years./ptable class=clear align=righttbodytrtd align=middle!-- AdSys ad not found for news:middle --/td/tr/tbody/tablepBarnhart says that initially he came up with the idea of his own law firm because he wanted to involve his family. Family members include his wife, Susan (Jenkins) Barnhart; a son, Dr. Brett Barnhart, his wife Nancy, and their sons Micah and Cale of Canton; daughter Brynna Barnhart-Themas of St. Louis, Mo.; and son Bryan Barnhart of Macomb.

In addition to his daughter Brynna, who is a practicing attorney in the St. Louis, Mo. area, his daughter-in-law Nancy (Rabel) Barnhart is also an attorney.

Barnhart explains, “My daughter-in-law Nancy will be joining me (at the new law firm) on a part-time basis. She is a former Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Labor Relations Board and brings expertise in the area of labor and employment law to our new office. Nancy also intends to spread her wings into other areas of law and I welcome her knowledge and expertise. She will be a great asset to me and to my clients as well./ptable class=clear align=righttbodytrtd align=middle/td/trtrtd align=middle/td/tr/tbody/tablepBarnhart will also be joined at the new location by his long-time legal secretaries, Kathi Harmon and Shelley Bloyd. “Their experience and knowledge will help provide excellent service for the firm’s clients,” says Barnhart.

With the team assembled for the new location, he adds, “Together, we intend to continue to maintain the high degree of professional service that the clients have come to expect and deserve in the areas of real estate, title insurance, wills and trusts, estate planning and administration, business and corporate law, labor and employment law, family law, plaintiff’s personal injury and cooperative law.”

The building, which was originally the Glenn-Maguire Clinic, is now completely renovated with the expert help of Jerry Jarnagin, explains Barnhart./ptable class=clear align=righttbodytrtd align=middle/td/trtrtd align=middle/td/tr/tbody/tablepThe building was a disaster when we first saw it. We gutted everything but were able to save the original peg hardwood floors and rescue the old water cooler, restoring it to its original state, says Barnhart. The old peg hardwood floor strikes fear into my heart. As a youth, I remember staring at that floor before getting shots from Dr. Glenn.

The roof has been replaced and the parking lot will be replaced early this spring. A handicapped-accessible entrance is now available on the south side of the building.

Barnhart says the basement of the facility is extremely dry and was also completely gutted and will be available for continued expansion./ptable class=clear align=righttbodytrtd align=middle/td/trtrtd align=middle/td/tr/tbody/tablepA unique feature of the renovation is the addition of two stained glass windows - featuring a B- which were specifically created for the family.

The former laboratory of the clinic is now the break room and the front office serves as an office for one secretary. Beyond that, the building has been renovated to include a large waiting area, two large offices and two large conference rooms.

We're excited. All that's left is a little bit of touch-up painting, says Barnhart, who was awaiting a weather-related delayed shipment of office furniture on Friday./ptable class=clear align=righttbodytrtd align=middle/td/trtrtd align=middle/td/tr/tbody/tablepAlong with work by Jerry Jarnagin, cabinetry was constructed by Chris Harmon.


Gary Barnhart/ptable class=clear align=righttbodytrtd align=middle/td/trtrtd align=middle/td/tr/tbody/tablepGary Barnhart, a Canton native, attended Knox College and received a B.A. degree in Economics in 1969. He received his juris doctorate degree from Washington University Law School in St. Louis, Mo. In 1973, he returned to his home town to practice law and has been involved in many community and civic organizations. He has been a Special Assistant Attorney General of the State of Illinois since 1983. He is a member of the Fulton County and Illinois State Bar Associations and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a charter member of the Electric Cooperative Bar Association.

Nancy (Rabel) Barnhart

Nancy (Rabel) Barnhart, also a Canton native, attended Knox College and graduated with a B.A. degree in Economics. She attended John Marshall Law School, graduating with a juris doctorate degree in 1997. She is a former Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Labor Relations Board and has worked as a labor and employment attorney for Davis and Campbell in Peoria. She is second vice-president of the YWCA and active in the Evangelical Free Church, recently leading a “fill the truck” mission project for Katrina workers./ptable class=clear align=righttbodytrtd align=middle/td/trtrtd align=middle/td/tr/tbody/tablepBarnhart Law Office, Ltd. is planning an official ribbon cutting and open house in the near future and “look forward to visiting with persons and providing a tour of the newly renovated building.”

Barnhart Law Office, Ltd. is located at 106 Martin Ave. The office may be reached at P.O. Box 478, Canton, IL 61520. The new phone number will be (309) 647-0100./p

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