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Name And Title: Tom Wetterer, general counsel Age: 48 Citizen Activism: Greenpeace USA is a nonprofit environmental organization known for such high-profile tactics as boarding ships at sea to get its point across. While incorporated separately from the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Greenpeace International, the U.S. organization is licensed to use the Greenpeace name and represent its values. Headquartered in Washington, where 79 employees report to work daily, Greenpeace USA maintains offices in San Francisco as well as Anchorage and Sitka, Alaska. Greenpeace was conceived in 1971, when a small band of protesters attempted to block a nuclear test in the north Pacific by sailing their vessel into the middle of the testing area. More recently, Greenpeace has worked for curbs on timber harvesting, commercial fisheries and global warming. Legal Team: Wetterer and staff attorney Deepa Isac make up the entire legal department at Greenpeace. “Since I started in 1998, we’ve doubled,” he joked. “There are two of us now.” They stay busy. Between drawing up contracts and reports, Wetterer and Isac file lawsuits against companies that they believe violate environmental standards. In April, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Greenpeace that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was not meeting its obligation to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act. “We can have weeks that are just one crazed day after another,” Wetterer said. In September 2005, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited the organization’s tax records. “My days were spent focusing on that,” Wetterer said. “We did get the stamp of approval from the IRS, so that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.” When protests are planned, Wetterer and Isac handle legal support for front-line activists from start to finish. “We go out to where they are arrested and get them out of jail. This can take waiting around for hours,” he said. “From there, it goes through the whole phase of getting a defense team together and managing that process. I’ve found myself in cities across the [United States] in the early-morning hours waiting for activists to be released.” Still, “the opportunity to actually get out there and be with the people who are most important to this organization � the activists � is very fulfilling,” he said. “Those people are willing to get arrested for a very good cause. It’s a privilege to go out and support them.” ‘Sailor-Mongering’: There’s a certain amount of esoterica to the job. Take the time in April 2002, when Greenpeace activists off the Florida coast boarded the “APL Jade,” a vessel carrying a load of mahogany logged in the Brazilian rain forest to port in Miami. Once aboard, they hoisted a banner that read, “President Bush, Stop Illegal Logging.” The U.S. Coast Guard arrested 13 people on misdemeanor charges, most of which were later dropped. However, 15 months later, the U.S. Justice Department filed an indictment in Miami against Greenpeace, citing an obscure 1872 law that was drafted to protect ships against “sailor-mongering.” The government was comparing the activists to prostitutes who clambered aboard vessels years ago to ply sailors with grog. The judge threw out the case three days after the trial began. “When you hear you’re being prosecuted by the federal government, you think, ‘How you gonna get through this one?’ And you do,” Wetterer said. “No matter how hard the process is, it pays off. You get through it.” Outside Counsel: In the course of his defense of that case, as with other Greenpeace litigation, Wetterer brought in outside counsel to help with preparation and research. “It works better that way, to have the internal and external perspective,” he said. Greenpeace uses the Washington law firms Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg and Caplin & Drysdale to handle work related to its tax-exempt status. Kile Goekjian Reen & McManus, also in Washington, handles intellectual property work. Elsewhere, Greenpeace calls upon Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, New York-based Proskauer Rose and Seattle’s Ryan Swanson & Cleveland to help with employment matters. Wetterer hires Washington solo immigration specialist Frank Bellance to handle visa work when hiring foreign nationals. He frequently calls upon local counsel to defend activists in the many places where they clash with authorities. “We go through a lot of different jurisdictions,” he said. “If we don’t have an established relationship, we try to go through referrals.” Route To Present Position: Following a six-year stint in the U.S. Air Force, Wetterer earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Maryland in 1987 and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1990. He spent the next eight years working in small law shops in Maryland, then joined Greenpeace. “I started to get disillusioned with private practice,” he said. “I wanted to use my legal experience in a bigger sense. I like that I’m able to do that with Greenpeace. I wanted to do what I could to advance the public interest. I feel that using my skills for Greenpeace gives me greater satisfaction.” Wetterer was not particularly involved with environmental affairs before he became a lawyer. “It was a different time when I was growing up. Even in the suburbs, there were more trees; we had woods. But now they’ve all been destroyed. I saw those things I used to enjoy just disappearing. I became more concerned with issues of global warming. The world really has changed.” He believes he’s making a difference in the world. “In private practice, you argue a case, and you never really get farther than that case and the one that came before it.” At Greenpeace, “if you can stop logging practices and clear-cutting in an area with just one case, then it has a wide range of positive effects beyond that one case. It’s part of the bigger picture.” Personal: Wetterer enjoys spectator sports and supports the Washington Redskins and Nationals. He plays on the Greenpeace softball team, enjoys golf and skiing and has taken up heat yoga. “It does make me feel a lot better � when I’m finished.” He added: “I’m close with my dog,” Stealth, a German shepherd-black Labrador mix. “She’s 12 1/2 years old. She takes a lot of my time.” Last Book And Movie: Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie, and Volver.

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