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I represent W. Lance Russum, an attorney in Alameda and one of the subjects of your front-page article “Will Power”by Jahna Berry on Thursday, April 10, 2003. The story contained a number of inaccuracies. I have read your “Corrections Policy” and trust that you will correct the most egregious of the inaccuracies. On page 6, the first paragraph reads: “On top of that, Russum admitted on the stand that he and his employees routinely inherited from clients until a 1994 law made it more difficult.” The actual testimony showed that there were three times (two in 1986 and one in 1992) that Mr. Russum inherited from former clients and that each of those inheritances was approved by court order when the estates were settled. There were two other matters in which an employee obtained a bequest from someone each was personally close to. Both of those bequests were also approved by court order. In 1996, a former employee was named as a contingent beneficiary by a client of Mr. Russum’s in a trust. That employee had a long-term relationship with the settlor. Mr. Russum testified that he has prepared an average of 100 wills a year for the period 1980-2000 and a smaller number of trusts. Five wills and one trust out of some 2,000 over a 20-year period could hardly be called routine. Your reporter’s use of the word “routine” and attributed to Mr. Russum’s testimony is unfortunate and appears to be defamatory. If you review the trial transcript you will not find any admission from Mr. Russum that he and his employees “routinely inherited from clients.” H. Wayne Goodroe Alameda

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