Earlier this month, New York Law Journal ran a series of articles on “9/11 and the Law,” and its testimonials include several Super Lawyers listees.
Kenneth Feinberg, the subject of our 2008 article, “What Is a Life Worth?,” writes about the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, of which he was Special Master; Sullivan & Cromwell’s Samuel W. Seymour recounts how the legal community responded to the tragedy; Joshua Dratel, the first non-military lawyer to visit a client at Guantanamo, writes about the erosion of previously held fundamental principles; and there are further testimonials from Stewart D. Aaron, Warren A. Estis, Michael A. Cordozo, and Michael D. Patrick.
Finally, criminal defense attorney Gerald L. Shargel, who is featured in our upcoming issue of New York Metro Super Lawyers & Rising Stars, out later this month, writes movingly about the temporary disruption of a case, United States v. Black, which had been scheduled for Sept. 17, 2001 in the old Manhattan federal courthouse:
I continue to marvel at the resilience of our court system. On Nov. 5, 2001, eight weeks after that darkest of American days, the parties were assembled in Room 318 of the old courthouse conducting jury selection in United States v. Black.
While the stench of that immeasurable destruction still wafted into Foley Square, the Black case was tried to conclusion in the same calm deliberative manner as any trial that came before it. My client, William Stephens, and two other defendants were acquitted of all charges. The theme of my defense was that the government had unfairly entrapped my client, a San Francisco-based investment advisor.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Americans were palpably patriotic and largely supportive of American policy. Yet, in the midst of that patriotic period, an American jury, sitting only a few blocks from Ground Zero, rejected the government’s conduct in the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Stephens. The justice system was back at work.