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Profiles in power First, I wish to object to the title your paper gave to this section: “Profiles in power: The 100 most influential lawyers in America” [ NLJ, June 19]. To term or associate the fine attorneys in the article as being power brokers or influence peddlers by implication is just not warranted nor something the public or profession needs to have put in their faces regarding attorneys. This is not the image we want to convey to the public. Second, it seems that every time any articles are written about members of the practice, it is the same old story. Unless you are working for a large firm with substantial clients or are involved in some way with a public interest issue, and maybe have a celebrity criminal case, you are never going to be recognized for the work you do in the profession. The National Law Journal is missing the boat in my opinion. There are so many fine attorneys working on matters of great importance in their communities or that will have substantial impact on life in general for decades to come that go unsung. Why is it that your paper is always interested for the most part in those attorneys that are not dealing with the everyday business of citizens? I can assure you that there are plenty of men and women working as attorneys that have cases of far more interest than the attorneys you have claimed to be the 100 most powerful. Is power the arbiter of quality or competence in the practice? I think not and certainly hope this never comes to pass in the field. It is time for the NLJ to recognize the people that really mean something to the practice. All the attorneys in the trenches deserve recognition before the few privileged, and not necessarily the most competent or intelligent. Norman P. Wexler Chicago I appreciate the awesome task of choosing 100 influential lawyers and dealing with the piles of nominations and frequent lobbying for particular candidates. But how strange that there is no one on your list from Philadelphia. Have you heard of Bart Winokur, who has built the Dechert firm into a national and international powerhouse? Or Dick Sprague, a brilliant trial lawyer eagerly sought by the powerful when they are in trouble? And there are other Philadelphians clearly more influential than several on your list. And what about Michael Greco, [immediate past] president of the American Bar Association, who is regularly consulted by senators and congressmen, and who directs the ABA initiatives for the rule of law? Or Karen Mathis, the [new] president of the ABA, who has done more to advance women’s rights than anyone I know? Or Steve Zack, chairman of the ABA House of Delegates and a leading figure in Gore v. Bush? Or Bill Sessions, former FBI director, who leads many of the bar’s initiatives for the independence of judges? Or Anne-Marie Slaughter, erstwhile president of the American Society of International Law and head of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School? Or Jose Alvarez, the current president of the American Society of International Law? Or Dennis Archer, the first African-American to head the ABA, and perhaps the bar’s leading advocate of diversity? I could go on and on. Your Harvard Law School choices are fine, but how does one omit Dean Elena Kagan or professors Charles Ogletree and Alan Dershowitz? You list one in-house counsel and one former one. What about Jeff Kindler, the [former] general counsel [and now chief executive officer] of Pfizer Inc. or Lou Briskman, the general counsel of CBS Corp., well up in any current array of influential lawyers? I gather you conducted interviews for suggestions. I was on your list since 1990 and am a former president of the ABA and a former president of the National Bar Foundation. Had I been interviewed, I might have made some useful suggestions. I suggest that your next poll would be sound if you listened less to lobbying and focused more on the merits. Jerome Shestack Philadelphia Organ donation In “New organ removal rules raise concerns” [ NLJ, July 10], Tresa Baldas raises the point that new organ rules could undermine donor authority and lead to litigation because of the proposed rule to expand the pool of persons granted authority to donate. To be clear, it is not the expanded list that is problematic. An expanded list is a benefit of the proposed regulation-thereby responding to relationships and classes of persons previously not granted authority in medical situations, such as gay companions. The problem is with a proposal that would allow those at the bottom of the donor approval list to trump the authority of those in higher standing or priority on the list if that relative is unavailable. The unavailable part is problematic, because it could mean that a wife is temporarily unavailable because she is at a meeting or unavailable because she’s dead or out of the country. In this way, a donation may also be voided by someone lower on the list who simply disagrees with organ donation if she is the only person available at the moment. These type of conflicts could arise even without an expanded list if donor priority is devaluated. Michele Goodwin Chicago The writer is director of the Health Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law.

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