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TERROR TRIAL NEAR END FOR ATTORNEY STEWART NEW YORK — Telling jurors that they could disagree with Lynne Stewart’s politics or even think she acted wrongly, attorney Michael Tigar counseled them Monday they still must acquit her of providing material support to terrorists if they believed she acted in good faith. Stewart was fulfilling her ethical obligations to her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, Tigar said, when she issued a press release concerning the outlaw Egyptian opposition Islamic Group in 2000. “There are so many roads to not guilty,” Tigar said. Completing his summation in the seven-month trial, Tigar said Stewart was exercising her “independent professional judgment” as an attorney when she outraged prosecutors by passing messages to and from the sheik and read a press release to a reporter that allegedly called for the resumption of terror attacks against the Egyptian government. The need for independent judgment, Tigar said, was at the heart of the case against Stewart, who claimed from the witness stand that restrictions on the sheik’s prison communications still left a “bubble” that allowed her to operate freely in consulting with him. The prosecution argues Stewart used her position as an attorney to help the sheik pursue a violent political agenda — and that she had no intention of keeping her promises to obey restrictions that were designed to muzzle the sheik and keep him sealed off from his followers in Islamic Group. Tigar has argued from the beginning that the restrictions were subject to both a variety of interpretations and, ultimately, were negotiable, because Stewart was able to negotiate her way back into the prison in 2001 — one year after the press release incident led a federal prosecutor to terminate her access to her client. — New York Law Journal HOWREY SIMON PICKS UP HOUSTON LAWYERS DALLAS — Houston litigation firm Clements, O’Neill, Pierce, Wilson & Fulkerson has merged with national firm Howrey Simon Arnold & White and 22 of Clements, O’Neill’s lawyers joined Howrey’s Houston office, effective Jan. 1. Clements, O’Neill partner John O’Neill was the point man for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of veterans intent on discrediting U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s record during the recent presidential election. The merger gives the Clements, O’Neill lawyers the support of a larger firm and gives the Howrey office in Houston, which primarily does intellectual property work, the cross-selling advantages of a large group of commercial litigators. With the 22 new lawyers, Washington, D.C.-based Howrey has about 100 lawyers in Houston and 570 firmwide. All of the Clements, O’Neill lawyers had the opportunity to join Howrey, but several decided to go to smaller firms. Howrey and Clements, O’Neill have been in merger negotiations for more than a year. — Texas Lawyer

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