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Trial lawyers of all types I am always annoyed at the mainstream media’s constantly using the term “trial lawyer” to describe plaintiffs’ lawyers. I am appalled when a trade paper such as yours does the same thing. I have been a trial lawyer for more than 40 years. I have mixed emotions about tort reform, but I don’t love John Edwards as you assert trial lawyers do. In my view, the most prestigious association of trial lawyers is the American College of Trial Lawyers, which contains both plaintiff and defense lawyers, as it should do. (Incidentally, there is no listing in their 2002 roster for a John D. Edwards). I hope you will take note for the future. John W. Adler Chicago The writer is a partner at Adler Murphy & McQuillen. Women at work Good article. Carla T. Main’s perceptions ["Walk like a man . . . ," NLJ, 10-27-03] are accurate for today. The paragraphs [about differences among men and women] hit it right on the head. I’ve always found that the best work environments are ones containing both men and women. Men and women come from different mindsets, and when each is appreciated, with the inherent differences they bring to the table, the best is achieved. Jane Hasenberg Wausau, Wis. “Walk like a man” reported on a lecture given at a local law firm in which a corporate culture expert advised women to act more like men if they want to succeed in the workplace. While I agree with Main’s general sentiment that women should not have to act more like men in order to succeed, I was distressed by her reaction to the lecture. Main reported that the corporate culture expert told the story of an engineer who, upon returning from maternity leave, was no longer given plum assignments that involved travel. When she approached her supervisor, the engineer was told that it was assumed that she would no longer want to travel because she had a baby at home. The engineer explained to her supervisor that having a baby hadn’t changed anything and she was given the plum assignments again. Main describes this as “a grotesque result” and claims that the supervisor had “rather progressive instincts.” I could not disagree more. The supervisor in that anecdote was sexist, having made assumptions about the engineer based on her gender. A man returning to work after the birth of a child would not be assumed to have different career goals, so neither should a woman. Women should not be forced to have a set of stereotypical career goals simply because they are women or mothers. And, just as importantly, men should be given the same opportunity to succeed while caring for their children. Ideally, when anyone becomes a parent, his or her supervisor should talk to the new parent to find out if his or her needs have changed and changes should be made according to their new needs. Main suggests that “nothing will improve if we keep pretending that women are simply men wearing skirts but sharing identical career needs and desires.” That is true, but only in part. Nothing will improve until we realize that every person is different and has different career needs and desires. We should no longer expect women to be the primary caregivers and to limit their working hours accordingly. We should expect both parents to contribute to caring for their children in the way that best suits them. Jahna M. Hartwig Washington Guilty as charged Dr. Howard Dean’s foot-in-mouth disease is reaching the critical stage as he unilaterally grants Osama bin Laden the benefit of the doubt as to guilt for terrorist activity! How pseudo-compassionate! What eloquent legal jabberwocky he doth proclaim from his pedestal of profound insight! What a complete idiot. I pity his patients. Someone should tell Dr. Dean that, notwithstanding the Constitution, a terrorist who brags about his crimes on camera, with numerous eyewitnesses ready to testify against him, is not presumed innocent except in the narrowest legal sense of the word. Michael J. Gorman Whitestone, N.Y. The writer is a retired police lieutenant.

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