Letters to the Editor

Kudos for 7 over 70—and Other Considerations

Mesmerizing—that is the first word that came to mind after reading “Lions of the Trial Bar: 7 Over 70,” in the March edition of the ABA Journal. The layout of each individual attorney’s story made it so effortless to read that I enjoyed the entire piece in one sitting. The lessons were unforgettable and the photos were etched onto my mind’s mainframe (for example, James Brosnahan with his front-pocket U.S. Constitution).

My favorite aspect of the piece is that Mark Curriden let the story come to him. The quotes flowed with ease throughout the story, dem­on­strating his adroit touch with the quill.

I could say more, but what I want to say most is that you need more articles—covers if possible—by Curriden.

Thanks for a great read!

Frederick J. Barrow

What a treat. Mark Curriden’s feature was the most entertaining piece I have ever read in the ABA Journal. Great idea, great interviews, great writing. Curriden really knows how to get the most out of his subject. Thank you!

Linda Klein

I really liked the “7 over 70” article in the March issue. This is the kind of thing I need to read every now and then to get inspired again about practicing law. These guys are fascinating, and Mark Curriden did a great job.

Margaret T. Boren

I have always found the chief benefit of membership in the ABA to be the well-written ABA Journal; both its form and content have always been excellent, even though rather reduced in quantity of late.

However, I must object to the printing of the explicit, crude profanity in the article written by Mark Curriden. In my opinion, printing the full profanities (rather than using hyphens or asterisks) completely erases the journalistic standard and detracts from the “class” for which this professional publication has always been known.

Such use reduces the Journal to a level to which I am not accustomed and which I do not wish to receive. Newsmagazines don’t even utilize this form of print, even in this permissive age.

Dianne S. Riley
Greenville, S.C.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the “7 Over 70” profiles. I was debating whether to read the issue and decided to flip through one of the stories—that of Joe Jamail. Jamail is now one of my personal heroes—work hard, en­joy life, keep it simple (and keep it real).

That was a great article, and the ABA Journal should be commended for keeping the editorial pen in check. If anyone whines about Jamail’s language or gives the Journal staff grief for printing every damn word Jamail had to say, well, I say [expletive deleted] ’em.

The other stories were memorable and inspiring as well, but Jamail’s stands apart.

Paul Haffner

I saw your recent article on senior trial lawyers and was disappointed by your failure to acknowledge any of the great African-American civil rights, criminal defense and civil litigators. For example, James Montgomery and Leo Holt in Chicago, James Ferguson in North Carolina and Fred Gray in Alabama immediately come to mind—and there are many others who would qualify.

Moreover, legendary trial lawyer R. Eugene Pincham died last year, and it would have been a nice touch to include a sidebar on his fabulous trial and appellate career. I’m sure many of the lions you profiled had some contact with Pincham. Per­haps follow-up pieces on trial lawyers of color and female trial lawyers should be considered to correct the message of your article.

Randolph N. Stone

I write to express my disappointment in your cover article in the March issue. While the seven featured attorneys have no doubt made incredible contributions to the law as well as to the profession—and you are right to recognize these contributions—I look forward to the day when both female attorneys and attorneys of color are recognized by the editors of the ABA Journal as “Lions of the Trial Bar.”

Laura F. McDonald

I very much enjoyed the bios in the “7 Over 70” feature. However, I was struck by one glaring omission: Gerry Spence. A piece about seven legal lions over 70 without Spence is like writing about the greatest basketball players of all time without including Michael Jordan.

James K. Fett
Pinckney, Mich.


My grandfather, C. Berkley Lilly, a former circuit judge, passed away in January of this year. Since his passing I learned I was accepted to attend law school at West Virginia University. I am very excited to begin my legal education this coming fall, which I know would have made my grandfather extremely proud.

I have begun reading his copies of the ABA Journal, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy reading them cover to cover. I found the article in the February issue titled “Caperton’s Coal” especially interesting. I am also enjoying reading the “Lions of the Trial Bar” feature in the March issue.

My grandfather was a kind and generous man who believed in the law and enjoyed his many years in a legal setting, whether it be serving as judge or prosecuting attorney. Although I will miss him greatly, I have learned many important life lessons from him.

I know that people are quick to complain and criticize, and rarely compliment and praise others, so I thought I would send a short note expressing how much I have enjoyed reading the ABA Journal. I look forward to many more issues.

Marjorie Anne Mullins
Beckley, W.Va.


Regarding “Precedents,” March: It is ironic that Gideon v. Wainwright could no longer rise to the U.S. Supreme Court as a result of the impact of the ill-named Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Habeas corpus has been devastated by that misguided legislation.

By the way, the oral argument by the court-appointed lawyer for Clarence Earl Gideon, future Su­preme Court Justice Abe Fortas, brilliantly compared Gideon’s demand for a lawyer to the actions of Clarence Darrow, who, when prosecuted for jury tampering in Cali­for­nia, sought out a lawyer to defend him—this, of course, from one of the pre-eminent trial lawyers of his era!

Allen Shoenberger


Law Firm Websites That Work,” April, should have identified Neil J. Squillante as publisher of TechnoLawyer. TechnoLawyer Blog is only one of TechnoLawyer’s 10 publications.

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