The Champion

January-February 2013 , Page 05 

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From the President: The Tireless Fight

By Steven D. Benjamin

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A federal court judge wrote recently to express his considerable concern that in a column1 in The Champion, Bonnie Hoffman described defense lawyers as being engaged in a tireless fight against the courts. He wrote: “I find it quite distressing that any lawyer would think that he or she is engaged in a fight against a court, particularly the federal courts which, of course, provided the substantive decision in the very case, Gideon v. Wainwright, that is the subject of [the] article.” The judge felt that characterizing the bench/bar relationship as adversarial was inaccurate, and had no place in serious legal writing.

This objection came from a judge who personifies the highest standards of judicial integrity, fairness, and civility; a judge who understands and enforces Brady; a judge who is neither a former prosecutor nor without considerable former experience as a trial lawyer.

So how could he be so wrong?

Here is what Bonnie wrote: “Fighting tirelessly against the governmen

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