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The judge got it wrong Judge Jon O. Newman’s effort to have a bit of fun at my expense ["Voir Dire: No Secret Code," by Gail Diane Cox, NLJ, Sept. 22] has backfired. It turns out that he got his facts all wrong. His claim that the library of Harvard Law School has a copy of the item I referred to during my argument [in the Niels Lauersen case] is simply not true. I have a letter from the Harvard Librarian attesting to this. Moreover, the tape of the oral argument-easily available to Judge Newman-demonstrates that he totally mischaracterized the statement I made during oral argument. He claims that I “contended that the Guide to Codes of Conduct was confidential and unavailable to the public.” What I said was, “The text of the opinions are available only to judges and not to the general public.” The text of the opinions is, in fact, not, as Judge Newman erroneously says it is, available “in many libraries” or indeed in any library. I challenge Judge Newman to name a single library in which they are available to the public. We were told by the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ own library that the material is available only on the internal research facility and is not available to the public. If Judge Newman had checked with his own library, he would have learned that he was in error. The lesson is: Don’t believe what you read just because a judge wrote it, especially when he went outside the record to come up with a “gotcha” fact. I have written to the court providing documentary evidence of the erroneous nature of Judge Newman’s statement, and asked it to amend the opinion. I am still waiting for Judge Newman’s apology. Judicial immunity does not bestow upon a judge any privilege to distort the truth-to have a little fun at the expense of a lawyer. Alan Dershowitz Boston The danger in car windows I just read Leonard Post’s article ["Power windows: danger in the door," NLJ, Oct. 13]. I sued Chrysler on behalf of the parents of a 6-year-old girl who died in 1976 when the tailgate window of a circa-1971 Plymouth station wagon strangled her. It turned out that the keylock cylinder in the tailgate was out of Chrysler’s specifications and must have stuck on when the little girl turned the key from inside the back of the station wagon. I learned that the same thing had happened to a 5-year-old five years earlier, and Chrysler settled that case and sued the parts supplier for indemnity. Unfortunately, there was no recall or warning to unsuspecting parents. Chrysler settled our case shortly before our government bailed it out. John H. Piccin Ocala, Fla. The writer is a partner at Piccin & Glynn. That was an interesting article Leonard Post wrote in the Oct. 13 edition. I find it unfortunate that some courts ruled against the plaintiffs, by blaming the parents. At the least, the design flaw should share equally in the blame if not more. If the windows were designed to reverse when they hit an object, such injuries would not occur. Without the automatic-reverse feature, injuries can still occur in the presence of parents and can even happen to the parents. That is what happened to me in my BMW 740i. When I pressed the window to roll up, my hand was against the roof (inside) of the car as I was driving. I did not realize that my finger was hanging just a little bit out through the window. As the window rolled up, it literarily crushed my finger, with blood gushing out in the twinkle of an eye. I cannot describe the amount of the force that was pressing against my finger. If the glass had stopped as it came in contact with my finger (even if it did not reverse), I would not have been in so much pain. It just kept pressing on my finger. I almost had an accident as I had to take my other hand off the steering wheel to press the glass to roll down. The glass in my car is so heavy; I understand how such incidents could easily kill or seriously injure people. The option of automatic reverse should not be an “option.” It is a safety issue and something that could easily kill or seriously injure. It should not be the “standard” regular design. Ken Somoye Somerdale, N.J.

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