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Legal Ethics

2 Phila.-Based Law Firms Join Probe of 9th Circuit Chief Judge

Posted Sep 24, 2008 2:09 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Two Philadelphia-based international law firms have been retained to help pursue an ongoing internal investigation of the chief judge of the San Francisco 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dechert and Morgan Lewis & Bockius have been retained by a panel of 3rd Circuit judges who were assigned to pursue the investigation, which was initiated at the request of Chief Justice Alex Kozinski himself, reports the Daily Journal (sub. req.). Partners Robert Heim and J. Gordon Cooney Jr., respectively, are overseeing the two law firms' work in the investigation.

Kozinski is represented by partner Mark Holscher of Kirkland & Ellis, who declined to comment.

As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, the 3rd Circuit judicial council investigation concerns sexually explicit material that reportedly was posted on the Internet. However, Kozinski's son has said he is primarily responsible for the private family website, and Kozinski's wife has said much ado has been made over a few items of "raunchy humor" among more standard-issue fare.

"The firms frequently argue cases before 9th Circuit panels, though none is currently known to be on Kozinski's docket," the legal publication writes.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "3rd Circuit Panel to Hear Complaint Against 9th Circuit Chief Judge"

ABAJournal.com: "Justice Kennedy Hits ‘Silly’ Attitude of Critics, Supports Kozinski"

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