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Week In Review



Friday, Oct. 3

Fisher House Opens Its Doors:

San Diego’s second Fisher House opened at Naval Medical Center San Diego in Balboa Park. The $4 million facility offers free, short-term housing to families of wounded service members who are in the hospital.

, Brad Graves

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Monday, Oct. 6

Heller Attorneys Open Covington Branch:
Heller Ehrman attorneys will help open a San Diego branch of Covington & Burling, a San Francisco-based firm that employs more than 650 attorneys worldwide.

Covington & Burling, which kept quiet while rumors circled about its plans to hire Heller attorneys, said it had signed 50 Heller attorneys to help grow its offices in California and Washington, D.C.

The San Diego office will focus on intellectual property litigation.

, Heather Chambers


Tuesday, Oct. 7

City Reaches Settlement With AIG:
The city of San Diego announced a $5.5 million settlement with its liability insurance carrier, AIG, for legal costs in multifaceted and lengthy litigation involving developer Roque De La Fuente.

Last month, AIG was bailed out of what appeared to be financial collapse by an $85 billion loan that entailed the federal government taking an 80 percent equity stake in AIG.

City Attorney Michael Aguirre took credit for the legal victory in recovering attorneys fees the city spent to litigate cases that date back to 2001 when a San Diego jury initially granted De La Fuente a $94.5 million award.

That verdict was amended, and triggered years of appeals and new trials, all of which ended in favorable rulings to the city, but required legal help from several outside law firms, particularly Latham & Watkins.

In addition to the most recent settlement with a subsidiary of AIG, Aguirre said the insurer agreed to represent the city in ongoing defense costs with De La Fuente, pay 80 percent of the outside legal fees, and 100 percent of court costs.

, Mike Allen


Wednesday, Oct. 8

Halt On Wachovia Litigation Extended:
Citigroup, Wachovia, and Wells Fargo, the three banks involved in a disputed acquisition of Wachovia, agreed to extend a cease-fire on litigation until Oct. 10 after consulting with the Federal Reserve Bank.

Wells Fargo announced it acquired Wachovia Oct. 3 in a stock transaction then valued at $15 billion. This was after a Sept. 29 announcement by Citibank that it was acquiring Wachovia in a government assisted deal for about

$2 billion.

Federal regulators initially backed Citi but have since taken a lower profile, and some analysts speculate the two competitors will divide Wachovia’s 4,820 national branch network, with Wells taking branches in the West and Southeast, and Citi taking the remainder.

, Mike Allen


Thursday, Oct. 9

Moores Not Selling 49% Of Team, Padres Say:
A media report that San Diego Padres owner John Moores is selling 49 percent of the team is not accurate, according to club spokesman Warren Miller.

“The report is highly speculative,” Miller said. “While a partial sale of the team may happen, it’s not a decision that’s been made at this point.”

Moores and his wife of 44 years, Becky, have been in the midst of a divorce since early this year. He has owned the Padres since 1994.

The report says two other local families, including the Jacobses, the founders and managers of Qualcomm, are considering purchasing a stake in the club.

, Mike Allen

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