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Referee Lawyer Doesn’t Judge

Posted Aug 24, 2007 10:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Taking unpopular positions doesn’t bother John Lauro, the lawyer who is representing the former referee who pleaded guilty to gambling-related felonies last week. In fact, Lauro relishes the idea.

“When somebody takes a position that is unpopular, to me, there is nothing more thrilling than doing that,” Lauro told the New York Times (reg. req.). “Sometimes the more unpopular the better, because that really goes to the core of who you are as a lawyer.”

Lauro is a former prosecutor who is now a white-collar criminal defense lawyer, the newspaper reports in a profile. His referee client, Tim Donaghy, admitted he provided betting recommendations but did not say he placed bets himself, Sports Illustrated reports. Another high-profile client was an accused money launderer who pleaded guilty in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International banking scandal.

The newspaper reports in its profile of Lauro that he was inspired to become a lawyer in seventh grade by the story of the Scopes monkey trial, fictionalized in Inherit the Wind. It “just captured what a lawyer was supposed to do,” Lauro said.

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