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The adversary system continues to bless the Republic. Joseph Langston, a Booneville, Miss., criminal defense and class action lawyer, donated $5,000 the other week to the local sheriff’s department for bulletproof vests, despite his suing them on a regular basis. Last year, he gave $5,200 to the northeast Mississippi town’s police department, another courtroom opponent. Langston concedes that it might appear as though he’s looking to influence something but says that police officers are often his clients — he’s represented whistleblower highway agents, local badges charged with interfering with the feds and cops with problems at home. Besides, it’s not as though the country barrister, who is carrying a load of fen-phen and health care class actions, can’t afford to give a little back. He beat the Booneville police in court a few years ago and walked away with a 50 percent contingency fee from a $1.7 million verdict. “We’re going to be looking at other law enforcement agencies in northeast Mississippi,” says Langston. In need of donations, that is.

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