Oregon State Bar Bulletin — AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006

Ater Wynne’s litigation group has launched the Oregon Business Litigation blog, hosted by litigators in the firm’s Portland office. The group developed the blog as a resource for in-house counsel, business executives, human resource managers and others who monitor litigation and legal issues affecting Oregon business. It covers current legal issues critical to all Oregon businesses, ranging from employee benefits to intellectual property to antitrust and more.

Visit the blog at www.aterwynneblog.com.

The newly released Altman Weil Survey of Law Firm Economics, 2006 edition, reports profits per equity partner were up only 2.9 percent in 2005, while non-equity partners and associates realized compensation increases of 6.3 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.

"Equity partners funded the better-than-inflation increases for non-equity partners and associates in 2005." notes Altman Weil principal James Cotterman. "The upward movement was fueled by rapid increases in starting salaries and bonuses to new graduates which pushed all other non-owner lawyer salaries up, although those other groups experienced compensation compression relative to first-year associates."

The 2005 trend comparisons were drawn from a super-group of nearly 200 law firms that have participated in the survey over sequential years.

The median profits per partner (defined as salary/draw, bonus/distribution in cash, plus benefits/distribution in kind) for law firm equity partners was $297,899 in 2005, a rise of 2.9 percent. Non-equity partners nationwide saw their total compensation increase by 6.3 percent to $187,000. Median associate compensation was reported at $118,475, up 5.7 percent.

The median starting salary and bonus offers for new graduates in 2005 was $80,000. At larger law firms, in the 150-plus category, new graduates received a median $95,625, and averaged $129,000 in the top decile.

Average revenue per lawyer in law firms nationwide was up 5.37 percent to $397,394 in 2005. Law firm expenses were up 3.9 percent, outpacing the 2005 inflation rate of 3.4 percent, and leaving per lawyer income up a respectable 6.4 percent.

For additional information visit www. altmanweil.com.

Perkins Coie recently released the third edition of its popular guide to corporate governance issues, "The Public Company Handbook: A Corporate Governance and Disclosure Guide for Directors and Executives."

The book provides an overview of important legal matters relevant to directors and executives at public companies. Easily accessible, even for those who do not have a legal background, it provides information and practical guidance on regulatory issues in plain language.

The new edition of the book amplifies many of the key issues facing company directors and executives, such as Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, that were addressed in 2003, when the second edition was published.

"The handbook is intended to provide useful, basic guidance, in a plain English style," says Stewart Landefeld, chair of Perkins Coie’s national business practice, who is the book’s editor-in-chief and a co-author. "It’s the kind of book that a director can pick up on the way to a board meeting, read on the airplane in order to prepare for specific issues that will come up and then tuck away."

Attorneys Andrew B. Moore and Jens M. Fischer co-authored the 329-page softcover book with Landefeld. Complimentary soft copies can be downloaded or hard copies can be requested at www.bowne. com/bsc/pubs.asp.

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The online weekly magazine, "The Full-Court Press," began publishing in July 31. The enterprise is, in the words of its publisher and editor, OSB member Bernard Levy, "devoted to unique literary style, humor and serious contemporary commentary." The journal operates under the motto: "Dedicated to Searching For and Publishing the Truth, Wherever It Leads."

Recurring features include: "The Inane Asylum" (Congress); "Hidden Stories" (those not covered or only marginally covered by mainstream media); "Pet Advice;" "The Mediocre Housekeeper;" and hard-hitting commentary on business, politics, government and world issues.

Levy is a practicing ("Will I ever get it right?" he jokes) Oregon attorney and an inactive California attorney and CPA. He is also a published columnist and is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the Society of Professional Columnists.

Check it out at http://thefullcourtpress.com