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Does David Boies cackle? By signing on with the Democrats in the campaign that won’t end, the attorney has scored the juicy opportunity to vanquish Microsoft for a second time — by helping the Dems keep Redmond-friendly Republicans out of the White House. Media outlets couldn’t stop themselves from reporting on Boies’ rumpled suits, but they were less certain of the difference he could make in this legal fight. Boies was called in to distill what the New York Daily News called Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis’ “bizarre split decision” in the Florida ballot derby. Lewis’ nine-page opinion told Florida that yes, it could reject revised counts that came in after 5 p.m. Tuesday — as long as it had good reason. What might that reason be? Lewis didn’t say. Enter Boies, whom the Gore campaign brought in to bolster “a legal team that already seemed to include half of Harvard’s law faculty,” as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wagged. Is Boies qualified for this political hurly-burly? Like the Democrats, the New York Times pegged Boies as the right man to think through the Lewis conundrum. It was Boies, the Times reminded, who poked holes in a 1998 federal appeals court decision that many experts had dismissed as an across-the-board win for Microsoft. But the Wall Street Journal focused on the symbolic value Boies brings to Goreville. The Journal called him “an odd choice” for the Gore camp, given his specialty in antitrust law and thorny commercial litigation. Clients in high-profile cases, the paper wrote, turn to Boies “as much to signal a declaration of war as anything else.” The Washington Post’s James Grimaldi, who covered the Microsoft trial for the Post and before that for the Seattle Times, penned a rosy profile of Boies, describing him as familiar with election laws as a result of his “pro bono ballot-access work for the Democratic National Committee in Mississippi.” Guess that makes him as knowledgeable as anyone. The Associated Press was blunter: “Like many professional litigators, Boies is a hired gun who does not specialize in a particular area of law.” Besides, the wire service pointed out, Boies knew little about computer technology before taking the Microsoft case. For their part, GOP types preferred another legal analogy. “This is the O.J. trial of politics,” the Boston Globe quoted Tom Rath, a lawyer and GOP adviser, as saying. And for everyone who can’t remember which county is Volusia and which is Broward, Rath scored a point with this comment: “The game is being played out for the press and, at the moment, to wear down the American people.” If only Microsoft had thought of that. Copyright � 2000 The Industry Standard

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