News

Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass is ranked third nationally in Law360's article naming the 25 Ceiling Smashers – law firms with the top female partner percentages.

The 25 Best Law Firms For Female Partners by Jake Simpson

Law360, New York (April 20, 2014, 4:29 PM ET) -- Law360 is pleased to announce its 2014 class of Ceiling Smashers, the 25 U.S.-based law firms out of nearly 400 surveyed that have the highest percentage of female partners.

The Glass Ceiling Report: 2014, based on a survey of more than 380 law firms, found that while women make up 43 percent of the nonpartner ranks at U.S. law firms, they comprise just 21 percent of partnerships. 
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While no U.S. firm has 50 percent or more women at the partner level, the inaugural class of Ceiling Smashers all fall well above the average. Women make up at least 29 percent of the partnership at all the Ceiling Smashers, and at the top 10 firms, at least one-third of partners are women.
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Congratulations to all the 2014 Ceiling Smashers.

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Justice & Diversity Center Honors Outstanding Legal Services and Diversity Educational Program Volunteers

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California Carol Corrigan was on hand to present awards

April 18, 2014 -- San Francisco – The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) celebrated its most outstanding volunteers at its annual Appreciation Celebration on April 17.

More than 250 people attended the event, held at the Louis B. Mayer Lounge at UC Hastings College of the Law. Guest of honor Associate Justice Carol Corrigan, Supreme Court of California, provided inspirational remarks at the awards ceremony and greeted awardees. JDC honored the top 15 percent of the volunteers in its Pro Bono Legal Services Program, Homeless Advocacy Project, and Diversity Educational Programs with Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service Certificates. JDC also recognized four individual volunteers and a law firm with special awards.
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Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass received the 2013 Outstanding Law Firm in Public Service Award. The firm was the second to sign onto JDC’s Right to Civil Counsel Pilot Program, and in 2013, the firm’s attorneys volunteered on behalf of low-income tenants, consumers and taxpayers. In addition to its pro bono legal services work, in 2013, Coblentz also sponsored one of JDC’s Bay Area Minority Law Students Scholarships, a $30,000 three-year commitment, and hosted a reception introducing the scholarship recipients to their donors.”

Coblentz recipients honored with Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service Certificates were Jeff Bernstein, Jana Contreras, Bejan Fanibanda, Fred Fields, Mark Hejinian, Misti Schmidt and Katharine Van Dusen.

Click here for further reading.

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Tim Crudo is quoted in “Gibson Dunn, Fenwick Advise HP on $108 Million FCPA Settlement” by Julia Love, The Recorder
April 09, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Hewlett-Packard Co. will pay more than $108 million to resolve allegations that it bribed foreign officials in Russia, Poland and Mexico to win lucrative government contracts.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice announced sweeping settlements with HP on Wednesday that address alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the three countries. As part of the deal, HP's Russian subsidiary admitted it paid bribes to land a technology contract with the Russian government and will plead guilty to violating the FCPA. The company's subsidiaries in Mexico and Poland also admitted wrongdoing in exchange for nonprosecution and deferred prosecution agreements, respectively.

HP will shell out nearly $76.8 million in criminal penalties and forfeiture. The company will also pay almost $31.5 million to settle administrative proceedings brought by the SEC. HP and its subsidiaries netted about $29 million from the schemes, according to the SEC's order.
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Wednesday's deals settle the matter for HP, but its employees may not be in the clear. Both the SEC and the DOJ have vowed to go after individuals in recent years, and FCPA cases are no exception, though the prosecutions can be tricky to carry out, lawyers say.

"I think that if they can make cases against individuals, they will," said Timothy Crudo, who heads the white-collar defense and government enforcement practice group at San Francisco's Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass. "But these kinds of cases often by definition involve folks in far-off countries."

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Employment lawyer Gina Roccanova is quoted in the Human Resource Executive article “Taking a New Route: After California recently enacted a law mandating that larger employers in San Francisco offer commuter benefits, legal experts say other metro areas may not be far behind” By Kecia Bal

“The Commuter Benefits Program, which was recently signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown, requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees within the jurisdiction of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in San Francisco to choose among four commuter-benefit options.

But while these employers must have their options in place by Sept. 30, the program does not require employees to take advantage of the benefits, says Tom Flannigan, the district's public information officer.

"The program has been designed to provide flexibility for employers and to minimize administrative and reporting requirements," says Flannigan. "The program simply requires employers to make commuter benefits available. Employers are not required to achieve any performance standard or target, nor are any employees required to change commute mode."
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Flannigan says HR professionals also need to designate a commuter-benefits coordinator; submit an online registration form to the Air District/commission and update company registration information annually; notify employees of the commuter-benefit option and maintain records to document. Employers also may be asked to provide information requested for program evaluations, he says.

Of the options, the most complex may be the fourth, says Gina Roccanova, senior employment and labor attorney with San Francisco-based Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass.

"I think the thorniest issue for HR leaders is going to be in the area of alternative-benefit plans," she says.

"You must show that your alternative will result in the same reduction in single-occupant vehicle trips as the first three, and you do have to go through a preapproval process, she says. "Because employers have six months to comply, if they are considering something other than those first three options, they should already be gathering the data they are going to need to support that option’s approval."

Options that already have been tested -- such as those used under existing commuter-benefit programs -- are safest, she says.

Other metro areas may follow suit, says Roccanova, especially in light of changes to federal law -- which took effect in January and reduced the amount of pretax benefits for parking or transit from $245 to $130 monthly.

"I think that the chances are pretty good, in part because many municipalities are in favor of increasing transit options and bettering air quality, especially [in] larger areas," she says. "Unfortunately, the federal government is going the opposite direction. [The pretax option decrease] might incentivize people to drive instead of take a bus. Since that time, there has been some discussion at the local level. It’s the local level that bears the brunt of this -- not just air quality but congestion, parking, all of these other things."

For further reading click here.

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Alan Gennis and Misti Schmidt represented Trulia Inc. in the negotiation of Trulia’s new headquarters lease at 535 Mission St. in San Francisco, a $210 million, 27-story office tower that is under construction, which “is one of several new office towers under construction in San Francisco that will add about 3.7 million square feet of new office space to the market during the next two years.” The lease was with landlord Boston Properties for a total of 79,277 square feet, with options to lease another 40,000 square feet.

Click here for the full article.

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Congratulations to Coblentz clients' projects recognized in the following categories:
Winner, Deal of the Year: CPMC Rebuild
Winner, New Office: Foundry Square III
Winner, Rehab/Renovation: 680 Folsom St.
Winner, Rehab/Renovation: 140 New Montgomery St.
Winner, Community Impact: University of San Francisco Lo Schiavo Science Center for Science and Innovation
Winner, Land/Outside San Francisco: Crossing/900
Finalist, Market-Rate Residential, San Francisco: 38 Dolores

Click here to see the full list of 2013 winners and finalists and their categories recognized in the San Francisco Business Times Real Estate Deals of the Year Awards.

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Tim Crudo is highlighted in “Coblentz Patch Snags Ex-Latham & Watkins Partner” by Kurt Orzeck, Law360

“Law360, Los Angeles (February 07, 2014, 6:09 PM ET) -- Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP has recruited a trial lawyer who formerly served as a Latham & Watkins LLP partner and an assistant U.S. attorney to head its white collar defense and government enforcement practice, the firm said Thursday.

Timothy P. Crudo, who joins Coblentz Patch's San Francisco office, has deep criminal and civil jury, bench and arbitration experience that encompasses multiple major white collar and corporate fraud criminal trials, according to Coblentz Patch.

Crudo has represented a wide range of clients in white collar, securities, trade regulation, unfair competition and corporate governance investigations and cases brought by criminal prosecutors, government regulators and shareholders, according to the firm. He has also represented corporations, boards of directors and their committees and individuals in industries encompassing banking and financial services, audit and accounting, communications, life sciences, clean technology, the Internet and the automotive industry, Coblentz Patch said.

"Along with our existing team, [Crudo] will allow us to continue to provide our clients with the full range of top-flight services needed in this era of increased government regulation and enforcement,” Jeffrey Knowles, co-managing partner and co-leader of the firm’s litigation practice.

“I am thrilled to join Coblentz and work with the top-caliber lawyers here," Crudo said. "The firm has a terrific history of outstanding lawyers and community service, and I look forward to continuing to build the white collar and regulatory enforcement practice at Coblentz.”

Crudo, a San Francisco native, worked in the securities fraud section of the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of California from 2003 to 2009. During the last year, he served as chief of the section.

While at the U.S. Department of Justice office, he investigated, prosecuted and tried white collar and securities fraud crimes such as complex accounting fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, investment fraud and bankruptcy fraud cases.

Crudo's career case highlights include being the lead trial lawyer in the U.S.'s first two stock option backdating trials, the trials of a Fortune 50 company executive in an accounting fraud case and the investment fraud trial of one of the largest real estate developers in Northern California, according to Coblentz Patch.

He also served as lead trial lawyer in a $100 million Ponzi scheme operated by the owner of a major sports franchise, and in insider trading investigations stemming from the acquisition of a large financial institution and conduct at a major global private investment firm.

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--Editing by Stephen Berg.”

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Timothy Crudo is highlighted in “Longtime Latham defense attorney leaves for Coblentz” by David Ruiz, Daily Journal

San Francisco-based Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP added seasoned trial attorney Timothy P. Crudo to head the firm's white collar defense and government enforcement practice, the firm said Thursday. Crudo joins Coblentz Patch from the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins LLP - a location he helped start in 1990.
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From 2003 to 2009, Crudo served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the securities fraud section for the Northern District of California, rising to become chief of the department in 2007. Crudo said he tried nine cases during his tenure - more than anyone at the office at the time.

Notably, he served as lead trial lawyer in the nation's first stock option backdating case to go to trial. In August 2007, former Brocade Communications Systems Inc. chief executive officer Gregory Reyes was convicted by a jury on 10 counts of illegally backdating stock options and defrauding investors. In the following January, Reyes was sentenced to 21 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles S. Breyer, incidentally a Coblentz Patch alumnus.

"Tim Crudo follows in the footsteps of some very important white collar practitioners, all of whom are on the federal bench," said San Francisco-based K&L Gates LLP partner Jeffrey L. Bornstein, another former federal prosecutor. "Judge Breyer and Magistrate Judges Spero and Corley were all partners at the Coblentz firm. Tim is a worthy successor to their legacy."
Coblentz Patch co-managing partner Jeffrey G. Knowles said the firm has been looking for someone to lead the white collar defense practice ever since Breyer left the firm in 1997. He said the firm had spoken to several candidates for many years, but nobody fit the role well.

"But then Tim appeared on the market and he's terrific," Knowles said. "In addition to having the deep and broad expertise in the white collar subject area and terrific trial experience, he fits really well with our culture, too."
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Timothy Crudo is highlighted in “Former Federal Prosecutor Jumps to Coblentz” by Nathalie Pierrepont, The Recorder

“SAN FRANCISCO — After building his career at Latham & Watkins, Timothy Crudo has jumped to Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass as head of the firm's white collar defense and government enforcement practice.

Crudo, a former federal prosecutor, joined Coblentz earlier this week. The firm's smaller size—about 80 lawyers—and its deep roots in San Francisco were a draw, he said.
"Rather than being one of 50 white collar lawyers, I can be one of a couple to really grow a practice," he said.
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"Tim Crudo is a talented lawyer, a great friend and, like the Coblentz firm, a San Francisco institution," Steven Bauer, global co-chair of Latham's white collar defense and investigations practice said in a statement. "We wish him the very best."

Crudo, a third generation San Franciscan, said he is already working on some matters at Coblentz but plans to tap into his network to bring in business. "Building a practice involves rolling up the sleeves and trying to grow what I have and we have already," he said.”

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Richard Patch is noted in the Law360 article “In-House Counsel Name Client-Friendly Litigators” by Juan Carlos Rodriguez

“Law360, New York (February 03, 2014, 7:56 PM ET) -- Nearly 100 litigators were chosen by corporate counsel as being the most client-friendly thanks to their commitment to understanding business’ needs and goals and finding the right solution to problems that can seem to have many possible answers.

The litigation specialists were among 330 lawyers nominated by their clients in the 2014 BTI Client Service All-Stars report from The BTI Consulting Group Inc.

BTI president Michael Rynowecer said the winning attorneys were recognized by their corporate counterparts for their client focus, innovation, business competency, value provided, legal skills and ability to get good results.

“What really stands out in litigation is clients are looking for flexibility and understanding,” Rynowecer said. “Clients are trying to settle more cases and manage these matters and cases before they ever get to trial.”

He said the all-star litigators have a deep understanding that many clients now want to now get rid of lawsuits instead of try them, and have the wherewithal to act accordingly. . . .

. . .  litigators singled out by general counsel for stellar client service include . . . Richard Patch of Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP.

--Additional reporting by Jake Simpson. Editing by Rebecca Flanagan.”

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