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Client choices and the role of Arent Fox The commentary ” When to fault client choices ” by Joel Cohen and Bennett L. Gershman [NLJ, Oct. 8] contains a number of significant factual inaccuracies regarding Arent Fox’s role in the prosecution and trial of two Libyan intelligence officials accused of the terrorist bombing on Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. These inaccuracies undermine the conclusions that the authors reached. Arent Fox was retained by the Libyan Bar Association in February 1992 to provide legal counsel regarding U.S. criminal and international law in order to resolve the novel procedural and jurisdictional issues that arose from efforts by the international community to bring the terrorists to justice. Our attorneys made constructive proposals for a trial forum and procedures to end a three-year impasse during which the Libyan government refused to turn over the suspects for trial. Pursuant to an agreement, a trial was held in the Netherlands under Scottish law. Arent Fox contributed significantly to the process that led to the conviction of an accused terrorist, as well as the awarding of financial compensation for the families of the victims of the Pan Am 103 atrocity. Moreover, we obtained the requisite license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury to engage in this representation, and complied fully with the terms and conditions of the license. Arent Fox did not represent the individuals who were charged with the crime. Our role was to help move the case from stalemate to resolution, and we are pleased to have done so. Marc L. Fleischaker, Washington The writer is chairman of Arent Fox. The authors respond We never suggested that the Arent Fox law firm behaved unprofessionally in undertaking the representation. We have no quarrel with lawyers using their own moral compasses in deciding which clients to represent. Rather, we addressed whether voters evaluating a candidate for public office may properly consider those clients he has chosen to represent when practicing law. Mr. Fleischaker argues that Arent Fox “did not represent the individuals who were charged with the [terrorist] crime.” Instead he claims that the firm was retained by the Libyan Bar Association. But this claim is contrary to press accounts. For example, a Sept. 9, 2007, New York Timesarticle states that the client was “Ibrahim Legwell, the Libyan lawyer appointed by the Libyan Bar Association to represent the two intelligence officials charged with the Flight 103 bombing.” The article also states: “[Fred Thompson's] colleague, John Culver, a partner at the Washington firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn began advising the two suspects’ Libyan lawyer in February 1992.” And it goes on to state, “Arent Fox’s chairman, Marc L. Fleischaker, confirmed that Mr. Thompson, who is now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, briefly provided Mr. Culver with advice about the suspects’ case, billing the firm for 3.3 hours of his time.” Of course, the issue is not who technically retained Arent Fox, but who was the known beneficiary of the firm’s and Thompson’s legal advice. We are surprised at Mr. Fleischaker’s proud assertion that his firm “contributed significantly to the process that led to the conviction of an accused terrorist,” when in fact the firm was retained to assist � directly or indirectly � the defense. Joel Cohen, New York Bennett L. Gershman, White Plains, N.Y. New law school at Irvine Re ” Why Another Law School? ” by Stephanie Dowds [NLJ, Nov. 5]: Competition is a good thing. Why fear it? Adding another American Bar Association-approved law school will give more students the opportunity to become attorneys at a lower cost. The new University of California, Irvine law school will mean the addition of another publiclaw school to California, making it more affordable for law students to earn a J.D. than do private institutions. Susan Chin, San Francisco

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