Recent Issues

August 2004 Issue


Cover Story

Case Closed. Now What?

When Henry W. Asbill said he would represent one of 26 defendants in an organized crime RICO case, he expected it to be an interesting, complex criminal defense with a trial lasting about three months.

He was right about the interesting and complex parts. But he soon realized he had seriously underestimated just how long the trial would last.

What he thought would take up only a part of 1986 stretched on into 1988. At 22 months, Asbill says the trial actually set the record as the longest criminal trial in federal court history.

Fortune was with him in a number of ways—he got along well with the client, his client could afford to pay him, and he eventually won the case, Asbill recounts. In fact, all of the defendants were acquitted on all charges on the first day of deliberation.

Nonetheless, he recalls the Newark, N.J., trial as the most challenging period of his career. Long before the days of cell phones, laptop computers and PDAs, the location was sev­eral hours away from his small firm’s Wash­ington, D.C., law office, his wife and his 2-year-old son.

Feature Section

    M.D. With a Mission

    Dr. A. Bernard Ackerman saw his professional world turned upside down the first time he tes­tified as a medical expert witness.

ABA Connection

The Outside Looking In

When a corporation’s general counsel hired an outside law firm in days gone by, the exercise was akin to ordering a la carte in an upscale restaurant—on the boss’s tab.

From cocktails to dessert, nothing came cheap. Nor did paying an outside lawyer by the hour. In those days, law firms rarely offered their corporate clients prix fixe.

Corner Office

Bringing in a Ringer

Associates in the Trenches

In Praise of Print

Ideas from the Front

Home Bound

History Lesson

Life Audit

Entertaining Style

President's Message

Blazing a Path

Report from Governmental Affairs

Help Where It’s Needed

Keeva on Life and Practice

Law and Sympathy

Letters to the Editor

Scalia’s Dissent Disappointing