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LEGAL TIMES GOES TABLOID ROUTE To the editor: Two recent articles — one concerning Arnold & Porter and Covington & Burling (“ Are They Destined for a Slow Fade?” Sept. 10, Page 1) and one concerning the divorce of a partner at Beveridge & Diamond (“ Beveridge Gets Stirred Up,” Oct. 15, Page 1) — show a disturbing trend at Legal Times toward sensationalist journalism. The story on the two law firms by no means supported the provocative headline. Indeed, the story explained how both firms still are venerated Washington leaders simply experiencing some challenges. It was absurd for the headline even to suggest those firms are destined to decline. As for the divorce story, it is shocking that your paper would allow itself to be used by a litigant, the soon-to-be ex-spouse of the Beveridge partner, to ventilate unproven allegations of fraud and what appears to be a discovery fishing expedition against a partner known for his integrity and a firm known for its professionalism. Christopher Wolf Proskauer Rose Washington, D.C.
COCOA FARMS GROW BETTER To the editor: Jeff Horwitz’s article “ Key Report, Deadline Near for Cocoa Industry” (Oct. 15, Page 20), looks at how the issue of responsible labor practices on cocoa farms is playing out here in Washington. Yet the good news is happening in West Africa, where much of the world’s cocoa is grown. Independent surveys of thousands of West African cocoa farms show that most farmers grow cocoa responsibly. Although there are challenges — too many children handling unsafe farming tasks, injuries on the farm, and inadequate access to education — we are seeing real signs of progress. Industry-supported programs are raising farm family incomes, improving education, reducing child involvement in unsafe labor practices, and helping at-risk children. A partnership with the governments of Ghana and the Ivory Coast is making certification of sound labor practices for cocoa farming a reality. Both countries are on track to have certification cover 50 percent of their cocoa farming regions by July 2008. Independent verification will ensure transparency and credibility. This is unprecedented: No other industry has ever attempted to address labor issues for a crop grown on several million farms. We’re hopeful that the report being prepared by Tulane University will add to the momentum under way in communities throughout West Africa. Susan Snyder Smith Senior Vice President of Public Affairs National Confectioners Association Vienna, Va.

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