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Orange County, CA – January 27, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Networ…

Orange County, CA – January 27, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Pepper Hamilton LLP announced that Michael A. Rule, a corporate and securities lawyer focusing on corporate transactions, intellectual property licensing and trademark work, has joined the firm as a partner in the Orange County office.

“Mike is an engaging and bright corporate and licensing lawyer and a great addition to the firm,” said Sharon R. Klein, the partner in charge of Pepper’s Orange County office. “His representation of national restaurant chains nicely complements Pepper’s retail practice, and his overall practice fits wells with our platform.”

“Sound business counseling and well-maintained intellectual property portfolios are key components in today’s successful company, and Pepper’s national reach and depth in so many practice areas — including IP, tax and employee benefits — are going to be tremendous assets in my work for clients,” said Mr. Rule. “I am delighted to join Pepper and to be part of the exciting growth of its Southern California office.”

Pepper’s Orange County office opened in September 2004, when Ms. Klein, a business lawyer focusing on technology, intellectual property and life sciences issues, rejoined the firm after a one-year hiatus. In addition to Ms. Klein and Mr. Rule, the office includes three associates — Deanna Brown, Emily A. Feagle and Dana T. Nguyen. Pepper’s office currently is in Newport Beach; it will move in February to larger space in Irvine.

Mr. Rule represents public and private businesses, with an emphasis on those in the restaurant, retail and food manufacturing industries. He concentrates on corporate transactions, intellectual property licensing and trademark work, and also handles securities issues, corporate governance responsibilities, directors and officers liability, employment counseling, and leasing and other real estate matters.

Mr. Rule joins Pepper from Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth in Newport Beach, Ca., where he was a shareholder. Before joining Stradling in 2003, he spent six years with Prandium, Inc., a publicly traded restaurant holding company with multiple restaurant chain subsidiaries, including Chi-Chi’s, Hamburger Hamlet and Koo Koo Roo, where he served as its vice president, general counsel and secretary.

Mr. Rule is a graduate of Columbia Law School (J.D. 1990) and California State University, San Diego (B.S. 1987).

Pepper’s Corporate and Securities Practice Group advises clients in connection with all types of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnering arrangements, restructurings and reorganizations, public and private securities offerings, venture capital and other financing transactions. The group also counsels clients on corporate governance issues, including compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related regulations.

The firm’s Technology Practice Group focuses on helping companies grow and succeed. The group includes business lawyers, patent lawyers and other intellectual property experts, litigators and lawyers knowledgeable in government regulations who are experienced in a range of technology intensive industries.

Pepper Hamilton LLP (www.pepperlaw.com) is a multi-practice law firm with 400 lawyers in six states and the District of Columbia. The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world. The firm was founded in 1890.

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