Thursday, June 01, 2006

News and notes

Jessica Walker of the DBR had two interesting stories yesterday:

1. Holland & Knight raised 1st year associate salaries to $120,000: "In a change of plan, Holland & Knight is bumping salaries for first-year associates in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach from $105,000 to $120,000. That will include a $5,000 signing bonus. Holland’s move raises the ante for other major South Florida corporate law firms, which are paying $115,000 at most for entry-level associates. Only White & Case in Miami is known to be paying first-years $120,000. Holland’s announcement Tuesday was unexpected, because major salary increases typically are announced around the start of a law firm’s fiscal year. Holland’s fiscal year begins on Jan. 1."

2. "In a dramatic reversal, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga in Miami overturned a $78 million jury verdict against Arriva Pharmaceuticals and dismissed the case. In a post-trial judgment issued Friday, Judge Altonaga ruled in favor of the Alameda, Calif.-based pharmaceutical company. A Miami jury had awarded Clearwater-based AlphaMedPharma- ceuticals $48 million in compensatory damages in December, and $30 million in punitive damages in January. It was one of the largest patent infringement cases in U.S. history. . . . Arriva, represented by Akerman Senterfitt shareholder Jonathan Goodman, filed a post-trial motion arguing that the verdict should be vacated because the likelihood that AlphaMed actually held a patent to a drug that would be successful was very slim, making the damages awarded unreasonable. "

3. Also here's a story by the Herald's Oscar Corral about the appeal of the detention hearing of alleged Cuban agent Elsa Alvarez before Judge Moore: "The detention of accused Cuban agent Elsa Alvarez was discussed in federal court Wednesday, about five months after she was jailed for allegedly sending information to the Cuban government. Alvarez, a counselor at Florida International University, and her husband, FIU psychology Professor Carlos Alvarez, were arrested in January. The couple is accused of being unregistered agents for Cuba. Jane Moscowitz, a lawyer for Elsa Alvarez, said that a federal judge would decide in the next couple of weeks if Alvarez will be released on bond. Moscowitz said that the court gave a strong indication that it was leaning toward granting Alvarez a bond, subject to certain conditions as she awaits trial. The court did not indicate the amount of the bond, Moscowitz said. ''Elsa and her family are looking forward to being reunited,'' Moscowitz said."

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