Bar News - February 23, 2007
ABA President Stands Up for Detainee Firms’ Pro Bono
The following is a statement by ABA President Karen Mathis made last month in response to remarks made during a recent talk show appearance by Assistant Secretary of Defense Cully Stimson. Stimson denigrated “large law firms” who defend the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on a pro bono basis.
“Lawyers represent people in criminal cases to fulfill a core American value: the treatment of all people equally before the law. To impugn those who are doing this critical work—and doing it on a volunteer basis—is deeply offensive to members of the legal profession, and we hope to all Americans. The American Bar Association supports lawyers who give of their time and expertise defending those involved in legal actions. In fact it is one of the basic tenets of the Association’s Second Season of Service, that lawyers should perform pro bono and volunteer work.”
Mathis’ response, made on Jan. 12, 2007, can also be found at www.abanet.org/abanet/media/statement/statement.cfm?releaseid=64.