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Rudolph W. Giuliani as a lawyer of the year? To some, he was an obvious choice. Others didn’t immediately remember that New York’s 57-year-old mayor was a lawyer, even though as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York he made his name prosecuting mob bosses and inside traders. Though he hasn’t functioned as a lawyer in the traditional sense in the months since the terrorist attacks, several lawyers suggested that, in a larger way, he has. If the job of a lawyer is to advise, assist and advocate on behalf of clients, then Mayor Giuliani is the Lawyer for New York. He was not the only attorney to win praise for his actions responding to the crisis. But in an extraordinary year, he stood out for his calm, good sense and physical courage, many agree. “In the broadest sense, an attorney acts as counselor,” says Robert Hirshon, president of the American Bar Association. “And everything that I have read about what the mayor has done says he has acted as a counselor in the truest, best and broadest manner.” Susan Waltman, general counsel for the Greater New York Hospital Association, says, “Lawyers are trained to solve problems, make decisions and give directions.” The trade association, which represents more than 200 public and not-for-profit hospitals in the region, helped coordinate the city’s medical response to the twin towers disaster and the anthrax emergency. As one who worked directly with the mayor’s emergency response team, Waltman says she was impressed by Giuliani’s ability to distill information, make decisions and disseminate these to the public. When hospitals wanted to emphasize that only people in certain locations should be tested for anthrax, Waltman found the best approach was arranging for the mayor to hammer it home. The formula worked well. In contrast to federal officials, who were criticized first for their silence and then for the imprecision of their messages, Giuliani was widely praised for the timeliness and clarity of his. “I think we’re all his clients,” Waltman says. Victor Schwartz, who has been a government, plaintiffs’ and defense lawyer, says that Giuliani has shown the kind of crisis-management skill that’s crucial for lawyers in high-stakes litigation. “You do not panic no matter how bad the situation is, and you calm your client down,” says Schwartz, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kansas City, Mo.’s Shook, Hardy & Bacon. “You then maintain a calmness no matter what happens around you. I saw that calmness in Giuliani.” The respect he earned derived partly from sheer physical courage. On the morning of Sept. 11, the mayor and members of his emergency response team were briefly trapped in a building, and later they literally ran for their lives when the second tower collapsed. In October, Giuliani returned a $10 million donation from a Saudi prince whose accompanying criticism of U.S. policy angered the mayor. The act drew mostly praise along with muted criticism from those who thought he should have consulted with potential beneficiaries. Giuliani received an honorary knighthood from the queen of England and a “Biography of the Year” designation by the A&E network. Even adversaries have been quick to praise him. “Rudy provided magnificent leadership for the people of New York City and for the country during the crisis resulting from the Sept. 11 attack,” says city Comptroller Alan Hevesi, a Democrat and a frequent target of the mayor’s criticism during an unsuccessful bid to be elected his successor. NOT ALONE The mayor had no monopoly on exemplary behavior in the legal profession. Glenn Winuk, a partner in the lower Manhattan office of Holland & Knight and a former fireman, died when he spontaneously joined the rescue effort. John Perry, a lawyer and a police officer who was filling out his retirement papers at 1 Police Plaza when the first plane hit, raced to the scene, where he died helping a woman out of the north tower. If Giuliani epitomized grace under pressure, here, too, he was not alone. Theodore Olson, the U.S. solicitor general, faced the ultimate test of composure after his wife died in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Barbara Olson, his wife of five years, was a lawyer, author and conservative analyst who appeared on political talk shows. After she died, her husband made public appearances to discuss his loss and to lobby for anti-terrorism legislation, while continuing to perform his duties as the government’s chief advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court. Leo Boyle, president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, reacted to the Sept. 11 attacks by calling for a moratorium on lawsuits. The organization had never before taken a stand like this, and it wasn’t popular with all members. In another unprecedented action, Boyle announced that ATLA would provide free lawyers to represent individuals who opt to file claims with the compensation fund Congress created in September. Though it was an open-ended commitment, it was greeted with an ovation by the New York trial lawyers who convened to work out the details. Attorneys in the city law department labored to issue a blizzard of emergency regulations, and the city, county and state bar associations worked with the courts, the health department and the medical examiner’s office to create an expedited procedure to issue death certificates to victims’ survivors. When lawyers were asked to volunteer their services to help survivors through the process, even on short notice 400 lawyers crowded into a meeting room while another 300 were turned away at the door. Behind the scenes, providing support that the public rarely glimpsed, was Giuliani’s secret weapon: the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management. Driven from the $13 million bunker that was destroyed when 7 World Trade Center collapsed, it was reassembled at Pier 92, where dozens of organizations staffed desks 24 hours a day. Organized into a dozen areas of responsibility, including law enforcement, human services and health, people like Susan Waltman of the hospital association answered questions and conferred with their counterparts to solve problems. TUMULT Mayor Giuliani’s tumultuous year preceding his triumph has been well documented: his bitter divorce-in-progress; his prostate cancer, the disease that killed his father and the diagnosis of which led him to withdraw from an anticipated Senate race against Hillary Clinton; the revelation that his father had ties to organized crime and was imprisoned for armed robbery. Nor have the months since the attack been without controversy. In October, Giuliani flirted with the idea of running for re-election, despite a term limit in state law that prohibited doing so. He then demanded that each candidate for his job pledge that, if elected, he would delay taking office for three months to allow the mayor to finish his work — a demand withdrawn after substantial criticism. Despite the missteps, and acknowledging the supporting players, one man lifted a city with his advocacy.

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