Tag: firm

Berkshire Hathaway Says Blue Chip Law Firm Aided Fraud

FRANKFURT — Berkshire Hathaway may have found a way to get back some of the hundreds of millions of dollars it lost after buying a seemingly solid German pipe maker that turned out to be on the verge of going bust.

The conglomerate, led by Warren E. Buffett, is suing Jones Day, the law firm that represented the owners of the pipe maker when it was sold to a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary in 2017. The lawsuit, filed late last month, accuses Jones Day of helping to trick Berkshire Hathaway into paying five times what the German company was worth.

There is not much chance that Berkshire Hathaway will recover any money from the sellers of the pipe maker, Wilhelm Schulz, which was named for its founder. The shareholders have declared bankruptcy and are facing a criminal investigation in Germany. But Jones Day is a prominent international law firm with deeper pockets.

The attempt to collect damages from Jones Day is an unexpected twist in the saga of Wilhelm Schulz, which is based in Krefeld, a city north of Düsseldorf. If the suit is successful, it will be at least a small consolation to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders after the company lost $23.3 billion in the first half of 2020. (Profits rebounded in the later part of the period, however.)

“The fraudulent transaction would never have occurred without Jones Day’s substantial assistance,” according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Houston on behalf of Precision Castparts, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary that makes components for aircraft. The lawsuit accuses Jones Day of withholding documents that would have exposed Wilhelm Schulz’s perilous financial state and calls the firm a “co-conspirator” in a “massive fraud.”

Ulrich Brauer, the partner in charge of Jones Day’s office in Düsseldorf, said the firm would not comment on a pending case.

Jones Day lawyers in Houston and Düsseldorf handled the sale of Wilhelm Schulz, which specializes in pipes for the oil and gas industries. Jones Day also represented the owners, who included Wolfgang Schulz, the son of the founder, when the case went before an arbitration panel in New York.

The panel found in April that Mr. Schulz and other managers had used false sales invoices, computer hacks and phantom customers to make Wilhelm Schulz look healthier than it was and hoodwink Precision Castparts into paying a grossly inflated price. The deal was a rare misstep for the organization run by Mr. Buffett, who is considered one of the savviest investors in the world.

The arbitrators awarded 643 million euros ($756 million) in damages to Precision Castparts, which is based in Portland, Ore. That is the difference between the €800 million that Precision Castparts paid for Wilhelm Schulz and its estimated true value of €157 million. The arbitrators’ decision was upheld in July by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Because the holding company controlled by Mr. Schulz is in insolvency proceedings, “it is unclear if it will pay even a fraction

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Firm hire: Former NI Law Society president leads BLM offices | News

Insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM has appointed former president of the Law Society of Northern Ireland John Guerin as head of both the Belfast and Derry offices. 

Guerin commented: ‘Our clients’ needs are complex and have been compounded by the evolving environment in which we are all operating. I am honoured to be leading such a dedicated team that have our clients’ full confidence.’

John_Guerin

Legal expert Cormac Fitzpatrick has also been promoted to the firm’s strategy setting executive board. Fitzpatrick has overall leadership of the firm’s Irish offices working closely with the operations board, managing partner Vivienne Williams and senior partner Matthew Harrington.

The new leadership team follows the April appointments of partners Sinead Connolly and Olivia Treston as joint heads of office for Dublin.

Fitzpatrick commented: ‘As BLM and the wider law and business sectors adapt to the current challenges of the pandemic, our innovations and new leadership team position us strongly to deliver great outcomes for clients in the coming months and years.

‘Undoubtedly there have been operational challenges, however, our talented workforce has embraced our digital transformation strategy and we are confident that we will maintain momentum and our exceptional service provision across the island of Ireland in the period ahead.

BLM has seen significant business growth in its Northern Ireland office since a merger with Campbell Fitzpatrick Solicitors in 2014.

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Former N.J. law firm office manager stole over $100K from employer, prosecutor says

The former office manager of a Wall Township law firm was arrested Friday after an investigation revealed she stole over $100,000 from her employer, authorities said.

Patricia Vaughn, 62, of Toms River, was charged with theft and released on a summons, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced Monday.

The investigation began in January after the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by the Wall Township Police, who had received a theft report from the owner of the firm stating Vaughn had stolen funds, according to a release from the office.

Investigators combed through various business and personal accounts related to the law practice and found numerous unauthorized transfers from the accounts to the firm’s operating account that were made by Vaughn from 2011 through 2019, the office said.

Vaughn hid these transfers by creating false bank statements and used the money she added to the operating account to give herself unauthorized salary increases and extra paychecks which totaled $105,552.50, Gramiccioni said.

Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a voluntary subscription.

Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com.

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Lawyers claim knife attack at law firm was inspired by Priti Patel’s rhetoric

Britain’s top lawyers have written to Priti Patel to express their concern after a knifeman threatened to kill an immigration solicitor last month in an attack colleagues say was directly motivated by comments made by the home secretary.



Priti Patel smiling for the camera: Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters

On 7 September a man with a large knife entered a London law firm and launched a “violent, racist attack” that injured a staff member before the assailant was overwhelmed.

A confederate flag and far-right literature were allegedly found in a bag he was carrying. According to documents about the incident, police described the knife as a “weapon designed to cause serious harm”.

Days before, on 3 September, Patel dismayed the legal profession by claiming “activist lawyers” were frustrating the removal of migrants.

It was Patel’s remarks which the law firm – not being named for security reasons – believe inspired the incident. “Responsibility and accountability for this attack, in the eyes of this firm, lies squarely at the feet of Priti Patel,” say documents containing witness statements and details of the attack.

The day after the incident, the firm wrote to the Law Society asking it to raise the issue with Patel, government lawyers, the lord chancellor and the Ministry of Justice to “ensure that public attacks on the legal profession are prevented from this point forth”.

The letter said: “It must be ensured that no further lives are endangered as a result of her untruthful and deliberately inflammatory rhetoric. Put simply, this must stop now, before innocent lives are taken and other irreparable damage is done to those who work in this field.”

It added: “This must involve all previous statements made by Priti Patel being publicly retracted, and an apology or acknowledgment that such action to date has been inappropriate. Urgent reassurance is required from the government that this will not be repeated. The position as it stands is untenable, dangerous, and cannot be allowed to persist.”

On Saturday the Law Society confirmed it sent correspondence last month on the attack to the Home Office and Ministry of Justice.

Patel appears not only to have ignored its concerns but doubled down on her attacks against immigration lawyers.

Last Sunday, almost a month after the knife attack, Patel used her speech at the Conservative party conference to target “do-gooders” and “lefty lawyers,” claiming those who represented asylum seekers were “defending the indefensible”.

Two days later, in his keynote speech, Boris Johnson went even further, claiming the entire criminal justice system was “being hamstrung by lefty human rights lawyers”. It remains unclear to what extent, if any, the PM was aware of the knife attack.



Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson has claimed the criminal justice system was ‘being hamstrung by lefty human rights lawyers’. Photograph: Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Boris Johnson has claimed the criminal justice system was ‘being hamstrung by lefty human rights lawyers’. Photograph: Reuters

Last night the body representing the legal profession reminded the government that inflammatory rhetoric had consequences. The Law Society revealed it had heard from other law firms which had received increased “levels of abuse, threats

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ROSEN, A TOP LAW FIRM, Reminds Qutoutiao Inc. Investors of Important October 19 Deadline in …

Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Qutoutiao Inc. (NASDAQ: QTT): (1) pursuant to and/or traceable to Qutoutiao’s September 2018 initial public offering (“IPO”); and/or (2) between September 14, 2018 and July 15, 2020, inclusive (the “Class Period”), of the important October 19, 2020 lead plaintiff deadline in the securities class action. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Qutoutiao investors under the federal securities laws.

To join the Qutoutiao class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-register-1934.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Qutoutiao replaced its advertising agent with a related party, thereby bypassing third-party oversight of the content and quality of the advertisements; (2) Qutoutiao placed advertisements on its mobile app for products whose claims could not be substantiated and thus were considered false advertisements under applicable regulations; (3) as a result, Qutoutiao would face increasing regulatory scrutiny and reputational harm; (4) as a result, Qutoutiao’s advertising revenue was reasonably likely to decline; and (5) as a result of the foregoing, defendants’ positive statements about Qutoutiao’s business, operations, and prospects, were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than October 19, 2020. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. If you wish to join the litigation, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-register-1934.html or to discuss your rights or interests regarding this class action, please contact Phillip Kim, Esq. of Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-767-3653 or via e-mail at pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com.

NO CLASS HAS YET BEEN CERTIFIED IN THE ABOVE ACTION. UNTIL A CLASS IS CERTIFIED, YOU ARE NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL UNLESS YOU RETAIN ONE. YOU MAY RETAIN COUNSEL OF YOUR CHOICE. YOU MAY ALSO REMAIN AN ABSENT CLASS MEMBER AND DO NOTHING AT THIS POINT. AN INVESTOR’S ABILITY TO SHARE IN ANY POTENTIAL FUTURE RECOVERY IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON SERVING AS LEAD PLAINTIFF.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-rosen-law-firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 3 each year since 2013. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm’s

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Stephen Barnes, Partner in Law Firm With Cellino, Dies at 61

“Deeper Understanding. Better Solutions,” one venerable law firm promises. “A Broader Perspective,” another pledges. “Character Comes Through,” still another avows.

In less than a generation, though, Ross M. Cellino Jr. and Stephen E. Barnes transformed their two-partner outpost in Buffalo into perhaps the most famous personal injury law firm in America not by invoking lofty slogans but by blitzing the airwaves with visceral advertising — “Injury? Head-on? T-bone? Rear-end?” — an indelible callback phone number and, as one publication described it, an “earworm” of a jingle.

All of it together made the two lawyers’ names and faces (Mr. Barnes was the bald one) familiar to almost anyone in New York and California who for years heard Cellino & Barnes radio spots, watched their television commercials or encountered their billboards.

It didn’t last, however. In 2017, continuing grumbling between the partners about nepotism and mismanagement finally boiled over bitterly in court.

Mr. Cellino sued to dissolve their professional corporation and open his own family firm. Mr. Barnes countersued, charging trademark infringement. The divorce was finalized this summer, with each man regrouping with relatives and loyal employees in his own firm.

Last Friday, Mr. Barnes was piloting his TBM 700 turboprop six-seater plane from Manchester, N.H., back to Buffalo for his mother’s birthday party when the aircraft crashed near Pembroke, about 20 miles east of Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Mr. Barnes, 61, was killed.

So was his only passenger, his niece Elizabeth D. Barnes, 32, who, like her father, Richard Barnes, was also a lawyer in the firm. Federal officials were investigating the cause of the crash.

In a statement afterward, Mr. Cellino called Mr. Barnes “a fearless advocate for his clients.”

“His passing is a significant loss for the legal community,” he said.

Before their falling out, the two had complemented each other. Steve Barnes, two years younger than his partner, was a former Marine officer who could eviscerate a hostile witness in the courtroom and struggled to smile through the firm’s marketing campaigns. In their ads, the more laid-back Mr. Cellino wore the easy smile.

The two men founded their firm in 1994 and commissioned an advertising slogan from a local jingle writer for $500: “Cellino and Barnes. Injury attorneys. 800-888-8888 — Don’t wait. Call eight!”

Having bought that easy-to-remember telephone number for $1.7 million, the lawyers over time pumped more than $150 million into radio and television advertising, billboards and other promotions, taking advantage of successful court challenges in the 1970s, on free speech grounds, against rules that had barred advertising by lawyers.

The Cellino & Barnes jingle was so ubiquitous that it was spoofed on “Saturday Night Live” and even reinterpreted by Broadway stars and others in an internet “Cellino & Barnes Challenge.”

Mr. Barnes said in his 2017 lawsuit that the firm had generated profits of more than $165 million from settling cases for its clients for $1.5 billion. (The lawyers usually got about one-third of the settlements.) By then, he said, the firm’s 250 lawyers in

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law firm gathering evidence for two class-action lawsuits

HALIFAX — A law firm representing the families of victims of the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia has hired a criminal investigation firm as it prepares two potential class-action lawsuits.





© Provided by The Canadian Press


Halifax-based Patterson Law issued a statement Wednesday saying Martin and Associates Investigations will provide expertise about police procedures, crime scene analysis and related matters that may turn up evidence supporting the lawsuits.

One of the proposed class-action proceedings names the estate of the lone gunman who killed 22 people on April 18-19 during a 13-hour rampage that spanned several communities in northern and central Nova Scotia.

The second class-action, which names the RCMP and the Nova Scotia government, focuses on the police response to the killings.

“We are actively seeking the assistance of the public to provide information that may be relevant to the gunman’s actions and the law enforcement response to those actions,” lawyer Robert Pineo said in a statement. 

“The sole purpose of this investigative review is to uncover the truth; truth for the families and truth for the general public.”

The law firm also announced it has set up a Facebook page to solicit tips, documentation, photos and video from people who may have information about the crimes. The page is called “NS Mass Shooting Tip Page.”

Pineo said those who wish to remain anonymous can submit information directly to Martin and Associates, which is also based in Halifax.

Meanwhile, Patterson Law has confirmed it will represent all but three of the victims’ families in a federal-provincial public inquiry, which was announced in July.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Messner’s law firm represented state-run Chinese insurer

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Republican Senate candidate Corky Messner takes a hard line against China in his campaign, but his law firm once represented an insurance company run by the Chinese government that sued a U.S. manufacturer.



This 2020 photo provided by his campaign shows Bryant "Corky" Messner, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the Sept. 8, 2020, New Hampshire primary election.(Amanda Biundo/Corky for Senate Campaign via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
This 2020 photo provided by his campaign shows Bryant “Corky” Messner, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the Sept. 8, 2020, New Hampshire primary election.(Amanda Biundo/Corky for Senate Campaign via AP)

Messner, who hopes to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen next month, is a founding partner of Messner Reeves, a Denver-based law firm with offices in five states. On the campaign trail, he is a frequent critic of China, blaming it for the coronavirus pandemic and calling it a rogue country that has damaged U.S. manufacturing.

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“We need to bring back the economy so our families can preserve the American dream,” he says in a recent ad touting his economic plan. “In my USA Plan, we can provide incentives to American business to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States from China – and create manufacturing jobs here in New Hampshire.”

In 2016, Messner Reeves attorneys represented China Export and Credit Insurance Corp. when it sued The Carlstar Group, a Tennessee-based maker of specialty tires, and several of its partner companies.

China Export and Credit was seeking $1 million it claimed was owed to a Chinese exporter, while The Carlstar Group said its payments were diverted after hackers breached the exporter’s data network. The suit was dismissed in 2017 after the two sides reached a settlement.

Asked about the lawsuit, Messner’s senior campaign adviser, Mike Biundo, said Monday it is impossible for Messner to know the inner workings of each case, given that he built a national law firm with thousands of clients.

“Further, it would not be appropriate for his business to make political decisions about what clients the firm engages with. Our republic is built on the premise that everyone is entitled to lawyer,” he said in an email.

Biundo also took a swipe at Shaheen, via her husband, attorney Billy Shaheen, whose law firm has represented clients accused of sexual assault, stalking and other crimes.

“If the Shaheen campaign would like to discuss the questionable clients Shaheen & Gordon has served, we’d welcome that discussion,” Biundo said.

Josh Marcus-Blank, spokesperson for Shaheen’s campaign, said the senator is not involved in her husband’s law firm. And he sought to contrast Shaheen’s record of standing up for New Hampshire small businesses with what he called “Messner’s willingness to cash in with the communist Chinese government against an American business.”

“Messner is conflating an American’s right to legal representation with shaking down an American company on behalf of a foreign government,” he said.

In addition to bringing back jobs from China, Messner’s USA, or “Unleashing the Strength of America,” plan also calls for legislation to ensure that government pension funds divest from companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

In May, the Federal Retirement

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Messner’s Law Firm Represented State-Run Chinese Insurer | New Hampshire News

By HOLLY RAMER, Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Republican Senate candidate Corky Messner takes a hard line against China in his campaign, but his law firm once represented an insurance company run by the Chinese government that sued a U.S. manufacturer.

Messner, who hopes to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen next month, is a founding partner of Messner Reeves, a Denver-based law firm with offices in five states. On the campaign trail, he is a frequent critic of China, blaming it for the coronavirus pandemic and calling it a rogue country that has damaged U.S. manufacturing.

“We need to bring back the economy so our families can preserve the American dream,” he says in a recent ad touting his economic plan. “In my USA Plan, we can provide incentives to American business to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States from China – and create manufacturing jobs here in New Hampshire.”

In 2016, Messner Reeves attorneys represented China Export and Credit Insurance Corp. when it sued The Carlstar Group, a Tennessee-based maker of specialty tires, and several of its partner companies.

China Export and Credit was seeking $1 million it claimed was owed to a Chinese exporter, while The Carlstar Group said its payments were diverted after hackers breached the exporter’s data network. The suit was dismissed in 2017 after the two sides reached a settlement.

Asked about the lawsuit, Messner’s senior campaign adviser, Mike Biundo, said Monday it is impossible for Messner to know the inner workings of each case, given that he built a national law firm with thousands of clients.

“Further, it would not be appropriate for his business to make political decisions about what clients the firm engages with. Our republic is built on the premise that everyone is entitled to lawyer,” he said in an email.

Biundo also took a swipe at Shaheen, via her husband, attorney Billy Shaheen, whose law firm has represented clients accused of sexual assault, stalking and other crimes.

“If the Shaheen campaign would like to discuss the questionable clients Shaheen & Gordon has served, we’d welcome that discussion,” Biundo said.

Josh Marcus-Blank, spokesperson for Shaheen’s campaign, said the senator is not involved in her husband’s law firm. And he sought to contrast Shaheen’s record of standing up for New Hampshire small businesses with what he called “Messner’s willingness to cash in with the communist Chinese government against an American business.”

“Messner is conflating an American’s right to legal representation with shaking down an American company on behalf of a foreign government,” he said.

In addition to bringing back jobs from China, Messner’s USA, or “Unleashing the Strength of America,” plan also calls for legislation to ensure that government pension funds divest from companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

In May, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board said it would halt its decision to invest billions from the retirement assets of federal government employees in what Shaheen and others called “opaque Chinese firms engaged in human rights

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Steve Barnes, founder of the well-known law firm Cellino & Barnes, dies in plane crash

Attorney Steve Barnes, who founded the nationally-known Cellino & Barnes personal injury law firm, died in a small plane crash along with his niece, Elizabeth Barnes.



a group of clouds in the sky over a green field: Helicopter hovers over the scene of a deadly small plane crash near Pembroke, New York.


© Spectrum News Buffalo
Helicopter hovers over the scene of a deadly small plane crash near Pembroke, New York.

Police responded to a 911 call about a possible crash at 11:46 a.m. Friday near Pembroke, east of Buffalo, New York, according to the Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

“Neighbors described seeing and hearing a plane heading from east to west,” Sheron said.

“It sounded like a loud winding noise as the plane was then observed going over a wooded area, [and] dropped from the sky. There was a loud crash and a fireball.”

“All of a sudden, we just heard this big boom, felt it,” Olivia Metz, who lives nearby, told CNN affiliate News Spectrum.

“Then my mom yelled and I ran down the stairs and we looked out our window and there was this big plume of smoke and we didn’t see the plane go down, but we just felt it and saw the smoke.”

Law firm was known for its jingle

Cellino & Barnes was identified with its commercials and phone number jingles.

They were known across much of New York for their catchy “Don’t wait, call 8” tagline, which even inspired a Saturday Night Live sketch.

In 2018, #cellinoandbarneschallenge went viral on Instagram.

But the Cellino & Barnes law firm broke up earlier this year and Barnes started his own firm.

The Barnes Firm issued this statement: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we acknowledge the loss of Steve Barnes and his niece Elizabeth Barnes following a tragic accident earlier today. Steve was a friend, colleague, partner, and mentor to so many people across our firm, in New York, California, and beyond. He was a legal industry giant, proud Marine, and loving father. Steve and Elizabeth will be sorely missed by many.”



a sign on the side of the street: An advertisement for the Cellino & Barnes law firm at the the Prospect Avenue subway station in New York on April 4, 2017.


© Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit
An advertisement for the Cellino & Barnes law firm at the the Prospect Avenue subway station in New York on April 4, 2017.

Barnes’ former law partner, Ross Cellino, issued this statement:

“Steve and I worked together for many years at our firm. He was always a fearless advocate for his clients. His passing is a significant loss for the legal community. Steve’s greatest accomplishment was his three children Josiah, Rachel, and Julia. Steve is survived by his longtime partner, Ellen Sturm, also an attorney at our firm.

“Equally heartbreaking is the passing of Elizabeth Barnes, sister of Brian Barnes and daughter of Rich Barnes, Steve’s brother and an attorney at our firm. All of us at Cellino and Barnes are deeply saddened. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Barnes family during this difficult time,” Cellino said.



a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Steve Barnes


© The Barnes Firm
Steve Barnes

NTSB will not travel to the scene

The crash left a large crater in a heavily wooded area in the village

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