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-------- Original Message --------
Subject:  Check the facts behind your Moral Puzzle editorial.
Date:  Sun, 27 Apr 2003 11:34:19 -0700
From:  Doug Schafer <schafer@pobox.com>
To:  letters@wvgazette.com [Editors of West Virginia's Charleston Gazette]
CC:  "Liptak, Adam" <liptaka@nytimes.com>,"Watson, Solomon (NYT-GC)" <watsons@nytimes.com>,"Olian, Judy (Dean, PennStSmealCollBus)" <jolian@psu.edu>,"Koniak, Prof. Susan P. (Boston U. Law)" <spkoniak@bu.edu>,"Elkins, Prof. James (W. VA Law S)" <jelkins@labyrinth.net>

Re:   http://wvgazette.com/section/Editorials/200304254  [copied below]

Editors of WV Charleston Gazette:

I am the subject of your April 26, 2003, editorial titled, "Moral Puzzle."  The misleading source of your information supporting my detractors' asserted vile motive is either the NY Times' story by lawyer Adam Liptak printed April 20, 2003, or else the Scripps Howard News Service story by Penn. State business school dean Julie Olian that was based solely upon Liptak's story.

I urge you to read my website, http://www.dougschafer.com , for the facts, and to see why the NY Times's legal department had a vile motive to falsify the facts so as to paint me as "immoral."  That paper's General Counsel, Solomon Watson IV, is a director of the American Corporate Counsel Association, actively fighting the SEC's proposed lawyer whistleblowing rule, which I have been actively supporting and recruiting national public interest groups to support.  See http://www.EvergreenEthics.com/SEC/ .

It's nearly impossible for a maligned individual to take on the NY Times Legal Department. It has not responded to me or, to my knowledge, corrected its falsehoods in the week since I challenged it on them.

Thanks for any journalistic professionalism that you may demonstrate, in contrast the the NY Times.

Doug Schafer, idealistic (now suspended) lawyer in Tacoma, Washington.
Cell phone (24/7): 253-376-4124

April 26, 2003

Moral puzzle
Never-ending dilemma

Right and wrong can be maddeningly difficult to decide. Consider this current case in the state of Washington:

Several years ago, a client told lawyer Douglas Schafer about a crooked deal involving a different lawyer, Grant Anderson, who was handling a large estate. In the crooked deal, the client gave Anderson a Cadillac, and Anderson allowed him to buy a bowling alley at a sweetheart price.

Soon afterward, Anderson became a superior court judge in Tacoma. But lawyer Schafer exposed his dishonesty, and the judge was removed and disbarred.

Now the Washington Supreme Court, in a 6-to-3 ruling, has suspended Schafer’s law license for six months for betraying the confidence of his former client. The case is stirring stormy debate.

A dissenting judge wrote that the suspension sends the wrong message “in the post-Enron era,” because it could force corporate attorneys to conceal knowledge of boardroom fraud.

New York University law professor Stephen Gillers said the ruling might prevent a lawyer from revealing client information that would “save an innocent person on death row.”

On the other hand, Gillers noted that lawyer Schafer didn’t report Anderson’s misconduct when he first heard about it — but did so three years later, to retaliate because the judge had punished him for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

As we said, moral dilemmas are thorny. We wonder how the ethics committee of the West Virginia State Bar, and the overseeing state Supreme Court, would decide right and wrong in such a difficult case.

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