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In any battle to preserve that most fundamental constitutional guarantee — the privilege of the great writ of habeas corpus — there may be no better standard-bearer than Seth P. Waxman.

A former solicitor general of the United States and now partner in and head of the appellate practice in the Washington office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Waxman has navigated the labyrinth of habeas corpus rules as a pro bono attorney in death penalty cases. He has testified in Congress and advised lawmakers in both parties when they sought changes in the federal habeas statute. Whether in the courtroom or the bill-drafting room, Waxman, according to colleagues and others, has always worked to ensure that the guarantee does not become an empty shell.

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