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National Law Firm Moves West Coast Offices to Del Mar Heights

A national law firm recently relocated its West Coast headquarters from Orange County to Del Mar Heights.

Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch LLP, an intellectual property law firm based in Falls Church, Va., moved to be closer to the biotechnology industry in the county, said Managing Partner Leonard R. Svensson.

Svensson said the relocation was two years in the works and done to cement relations with area biotechnology and pharmaceutical concerns.

The Del Mar Heights office will focus on non-litigation intellectual property work. Svensson said the new office anticipates adding additional counsel during the first quarter of 2007.

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The local professionals include IP administrator Susan Brady Blasco, registered patent agent John Burr, and attorneys Susan W. Gorman and Thomas M. Small.

BSKB has been providing a full range of intellectual property services for more than 25 years. BSKB specializes in biotechnology, chemistry, computer science, diagnostics, electronic technologies, health care, mechanical technologies, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

The firm has earned national recognition and recently ranked third in number of patents obtained by Intellectual Property Today, a publication that focuses on legal issues in intellectual property, including patent, trademark and copyright law.

The Costa Mesa office was open for eight years.

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Nov. 20 Bar Exam Now History:

The State Bar of California reported Nov. 20 that 4,616 applicants, or 51.8 percent, passed the July general bar examination. This rate is higher than the 48.8 percent passing rate in the July 2005 general bar exam.

The Bar reported that preliminary statistics show that of the 8,908 applicants, 70.3 percent were first-time takers. The passing rate for first-time applicants was 67 percent, and 15 percent for repeat applicants.

The three-day exam is given twice a year, in February and July.

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Late Fees On Dues Instituted:

The State Bar of California sent out bar dues bills Nov. 15 and if you’re one of the 60,000 California lawyers who typically pay late, you now face a penalty.

State Bar dues are due Feb. 1, 2007. Dues not postmarked or paid online by Feb. 1 will be considered late and subject to a $100 late fee. In years past, the bar has offered a 45-day grace period before late fees were added.

The State Bar Board of Governors enacted the tougher measures in August to shorten the time and lessen the expense on dues collection. The bar estimates that $60,000 to $90,000 is spent on second, third and fourth mailings for nonpayment.

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Wage Claim Lawsuit Dismissed:

Carlsbad-based Islands Restaurants has won a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 500 current and former assistant managers and 28,000 hourly employees, claimed overtime pay and meal and rest break penalties.

The ruling, believed to be one of the first class action lawsuits resulting in a denial of wage claims in the restaurant industry, was dismissed by the court because it found that the plaintiffs could not provide needed evidence regarding time spent doing hourly tasks.

The case was dismissed Nov. 3 by the Orange County Superior Court.

Islands operates 59 restaurants in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Colorado. Islands posted $155 million in 2005 sales.

Send law news to Michelle Mowad at mmowad@sdbj.com. She may also be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 3112.


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