LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - November 25, 2008) - Carlton A. Varner, an Antitrust partner who had been with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP since 1972, passed away November 21, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He was 61.

"Our firm is deeply saddened. Carlton was a distinguished antitrust lawyer with a keen intellect, and a person of enormous integrity. In recognition of his character, practicality and good judgment, Carlton was called upon by his partners to serve the firm in a number of managerial capacities. He showed his devotion to the firm by accepting, and excelling in, those assignments," said Guy Halgren, chairman of the firm. "Carlton was also a caring person, who took an authentic interest in the people around him. He was a steadfast husband and father. Carlton's passing leaves an enormous void for all of us at Sheppard Mullin."

Varner was Sheppard Mullin's chairman from 1991 to 1998 and a member of the firm's executive committee until 2006. He was also chair of the State Bar of California's Antitrust and Unfair Competition section and chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Antitrust section. Additionally, Varner was vice president of the Constitutional Rights Foundation.

Commented Gary Halling, the firm's Antitrust practice group leader, "Carlton was a strong litigator with an excellent knowledge of the courts and judges. As a practical and scholarly attorney, his clients came to depend on his antitrust expertise and greatly enjoyed working with him. Carlton will be tremendously missed."

Born in 1947, Varner received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1972 and a B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1969.

Varner specialized in antitrust counseling and litigation under both state and federal antitrust laws, and other types of complex business litigation. He represented clients in antitrust cases arising from the enforcement of intellectual property rights, as well as unfair competition, price fixing, monopolization, merger, joint venture and price discrimination matters in a wide range of industries including pharmaceuticals, health care, electricity, aerospace, and internet sales and distribution.

About Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more than 560 attorneys in 11 offices located throughout California and in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanghai. The firm's California offices are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, Century City, Orange County, Del Mar Heights and San Diego. Founded in 1927 on the principle that the firm would succeed only if its attorneys delivered prompt, high quality and cost-effective legal services, Sheppard Mullin provides legal counsel to U.S. and international clients. Companies turn to Sheppard Mullin to handle a full range of corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions. In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100 companies. For more information, please visit www.sheppardmullin.com.

Contact Information: Contact: Guy Halgren (619) 338-6605 Ralph Richardson (213) 617-5542