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Trial lawyers should be recognized for pro bono We join you in celebrating the “pro bono mini-boom” of 2003 and shining a much-deserved spotlight on the wide range of cases and worthy causes to which thousands of lawyers devoted their energy and resources last year [NLJ, 1-5-04]. However, we are puzzled why there was no mention of the largest, most successful pro bono legal services project ever undertaken-Trial Lawyers Care, under whose auspices more than 1,000 lawyers helped more than 1,500 injured parties and surviving victim families file their claims with the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, start to finish, all for free. Trial Lawyers Care was established by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and its affiliated state associations as our contribution to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, and their families. The lawyers hail from every state in the union. They spend 100 hours or more per case. They record multiple trips to confer with their clients, who live in 35 states and 15 countries. Their work will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in extra benefits to those families who have suffered so much from one of the most horrible events in American history. We speak for every one of our volunteer colleagues at Trial Lawyers Care when we say that we would not trade the experience of helping a victim family without charge for any we’ve ever had as lawyers. It has been a profoundly humbling and gratifying experience, deepening our devotion to the mission of helping others that inspired us to choose our profession in the first place, and helping our nation, in the best way we know how, to heal its wounds. David S. Casey Jr. San Diego, Calif. Richard Bieder Bridgeport, Conn. The writers are presidents of, respectively, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and Trial Lawyers Care. An illustration created unfair impression I would like to comment on the NLJ’s lack of editorial oversight regarding the jaundiced opinion piece that appeared in the NLJ on Oct. 27, 2003 ["Eco-Terror: Beyond simple protest," by Marc Levin]. Not only was the article an undeserving criticism of Greenpeace, an international organization devoted to sound environmental protection (and I challenge you to prove otherwise) but your editorial deficiency allowed for a depiction unsupported by any statement or implication in the accompanying article. Specifically, you allowed for a caricature of a Molotov cocktail being held by a hand to dominate the article. There is not a scintilla of support from any reading, implication or exaggeration of the content of this article for such a mischaracterization of Greenpeace or its worldwide humanitarian and environmental efforts. I have long appreciated the efforts of the NLJ to keep lawyers abreast of developments in the law, but your willingness to allow for the smearing of an environmentally progressive organization can only be an indication of editorial prerogatives. You should examine the professional editorial ethics of allowing this undeserved characterization and determine whether or not an apology to Greenpeace and all who are committed to Greenpeace’s positive environmental principles is not in order in light of your grievous shortsightedness. I wonder how the inclusion of this blunder may have been justified. Any response would be most welcome. With hopes for better editorial decisions in the future, Bill Salmon Gainesville, Fla. The writer is an attorney practicing in Gainesville.

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