There was a moment on an overcast day in June 1998 whenKathleen Fisher couldn’t be faulted for wondering what in the world she wasdoing on a small island deep in the Pacific, watching a paid scavenger digup the buried garbage of a dead eccentric. She was the first woman ever tohead the litigation department at Morrison & Foerster. And now she was thefirst partner in the firm’s illustrious 73-year history to stand in thebackyard of a fading mansion on Saipan, waiting to find a scrap of hair orflesh that could jeopardize an estate worth as much as $600 million.

On thisday, the garbage sifter found a great many things — old shoes, a toothbrush,and some clothes. In the end, the excavation proved to be a costly butpointless side trip, one of many bizarre twists and turns in a legal morassthat has threatened Fisher’s reputation and that of her firm. And allbecause, as she knows only too well, the dead man — Larry Hillblom, the ‘H’ inDHL Worldwide Express, Inc. — loved the young virgins he found in the bars ofSoutheast Asia.

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