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Even the most hardworking corporate counsel take time out for hot dogs, beer and fireworks on the Fourth of July. After all, it’s an American tradition. But this Independence Day is bound to be tinged with a note of sadness. Very few people have been unaffected by the tragic events of the past year. So this holiday the flag-waving may be a bit more heartfelt. “This country has awakened to … its feelings about freedom and patriotism,” says general counsel David Hutton of Cabela’s Inc. He predicts that people will celebrate this holiday “in a little bit more of a reverent way,” adding, “I know I will.” DAVID HUTTON General counsel, Cabela’s Inc. The Legal Department: Hutton is the only lawyer at the Sidney, Neb.-based Cabela’s. Through its catalogue and seven cavernous retail stores in the Midwest, the company sells hunting, fishing and camping gear. Independence Days Past and Present: The Hutton household usually sparkles on the Fourth of July. “Traditionally we [set off] bottle rockets, Roman candles, firecrackers and M-80s in the backyard,” says Hutton, 43. But this year Hutton is breaking from tradition. He’s taking the family, including his three children (ages 6 to 9), to a holiday in Cancun. “My wife and I are very, very avid scuba divers, and we plan to begin doing instruction on scuba diving with all of our children,” explains Hutton. But he admits it may be a little ambitious to push them right now: “It will be a while before we allow them to dive independently on their own.” How Is This Fourth of July Different? Hutton intends to reprise a theme that his family has discussed since Sept. 11: not taking freedom for granted. “Even in Mexico,” he says, the holiday will be an “occasion for thanksgiving.”

LISA KOHN Assistant general counsel-corporate, Unilever The Legal Department: London-based Unilever is one of the world’s top makers of packaged consumer goods, including deodorants, fragrances and frozen foods. In 2000 Unilever acquired South Burlington, Vt.-based ice cream producer Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. A member of Unilever’s 27-lawyer legal department in New York, Kohn advises Unilever brands on corporate matters. Independence Days Past and Present: For years Kohn, who turns 42 this month, has hosted Fourth of July barbecues for friends and neighbors. Her 2002 party will feature a summertime dessert theme inspired by her in-house client: “Make your own sundae,” with such Ben & Jerry’s flavors as Phish Food and One Sweet Whirled. But the Kohn clan is getting a head start. They’re making a pilgrimage to Vermont for the Ben & Jerry’s One World One Heart Festival in late June. Kohn says that last year her daughter, now 4, “was the first one to have ice cream at the festival because we got there before it opened.” How Is This Fourth of July Different? “Fourth of July maybe will be bigger this year. People will want to be with friends and family — which they always have done, but I think it will be more important this year.”

MARSCHALL SMITH General counsel, vice president, and secretary, Brunswick Corp. The Legal Department: The Lake Forest, Ill.-based Brunswick is a market leader in leisure products, including boats, outboard motors, exercise machines, and bowling and billiards supplies. The company’s 20,700 employees include about a dozen attorneys. Independence Days Past and Present: “Next Fourth of July [2003], I plan to be on my Brunswick boat,” says Smith, adding that he’s planning to buy a Sea Ray boat. Next year, he’ll take boating lessons in the Mediterranean at a company-sponsored school. But this year he’s staying ashore to do some home improvement. A year ago, he bought a Victorian house built in 1893. A local landmark in the Chicago suburb of Woodstock, the house was featured as the bed and breakfast where actor Bill Murray’s character lodged in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day.” Smith plans to restore the house’s Corinthian columns to their original “multicolored Victorian splendor.” He also intends to paint gold the carved-wood eagle atop the antique-style flagpole on the porch. “We’ve had an American flag up since Sept. 11,” he says. How Is This Fourth of July Different? “You certainly focus a whole lot more on what it means.”

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