Steven Lubet’s characterization of Lynne Stewart’s “crimes” as being “dreadful” and his own sanctimonious incredulity that her conviction will have a chilling effect on other criminal defense lawyers who might otherwise represent unpopular clients involved in unpopular causes shows a naivete, reserved perhaps for those holed up too long in an Ivory Tower ["Shed No Tears," Jan. 5].

Ms. Stewart’s indictment was based on secret surveillance tapes of conversations between her and her client dating back 2 1/2 years earlier. It was in the wake of 9/11 and the passage of the highly repressive Patriot Act that the government indicted Stewart.

The arrest itself was cause for much fanfare, complete with news images of agents leaving Ms. Stewart’s office, hauling boxes of her legal documents. Not to mention the unusual guest appearance of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft on the David Letterman show to announce the indictment.

There can be no mistake that Lynne Stewart’s indictment and prosecution were politically motivated. The U.S. Justice Department clearly meant to make an example out of an attorney with a long history of progressive politics as well as vigorous advocacy on behalf of her not-always-popular clients.

No one is asking Lubet to feel sorry for Lynne Stewart, least of all Stewart herself. Instead, we should all feel sorry for the loss of integrity in the criminal justice system and the whittling away of our constitutional rights.

Bobbie Stein
San Francisco


In Justin Scheck`s article about Wendy Howell (“Apple canned lawyer in charge of options doc”) in The Recorder on Jan. 8, mention was made of the fact that Ms. Howell “graduated from John F. Kennedy University School of Law in Walnut Creek, a school unaccredited with the American Bar Association, and passed the bar in 1996.”

While that is technically correct, I wish to indicate that the law school is accredited with the California State Bar and has a number of distinguished graduates.

I am sure the writer of the article meant no negative reference toward the law school, but some might take it that way.

Jeff F. Brown
Pleasant Hill

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