Boston Bar Association President Condemns Attacks on Law Firms Representing Detainees

Thursday, January 18, 2007

BOSTON, January 16, 2007 –  Boston Bar Association President Jack Cinquegrana today issued a statement denouncing Cully Stimson’s call for corporate America to boycott law firms providing pro bono representation to Guantanamo Bay detainees:

"Cully Stimson's remarks reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the essential role of pro bono counsel in protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans.  They are particularly troubling when uttered by such a high government official.  Those who vigorously defend the rights of Guantanamo detainees - rights recognized explicitly by the Supreme Court - follow the example of John Adams, a founder of the first Boston bar association, who defended British soldiers charged with the murder of patriots at the Boston Massacre.  In that tradition we applaud them for this service to the profession, most recently by recognizing WilmerHale for its work in this area.  I commend Attorney General Gonzales for recognizing that the service of these lawyers ‘is the best way to ensure that justice is done in these cases'.

Rather than attacking the law firms who do this type of pro bono work, the Pentagon should be applauding them for helping to uphold the fairness, credibility, and impartiality of the American justice system."