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State Bar Dismisses BASF’s Request for Disciplinary Action Against Charles Stimson


June 18, 2007 – San Francisco -- In a letter to BASF, the California State Bar dismissed BASF’s request for investigation into comments made by Charles Stimson. The following is an excerpt from the letter:

“After careful review and after taking into consideration all relevant factors, the State Bar has concluded that the matter does not warrant action.”

BASF’s Board authorized the request for investigation with the State Bar of California of Mr. Charles D. Stimson, who, at the time, was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs (he has since resigned) for possible violations of the rules of ethics governing California attorneys.

The request for an investigation stemmed from comments made by Stimson, a member of the State Bar of California, during a radio interview on January 11, 2007, in which he said it was “shocking” that major law firms represent detainees and suggested that the firms would have to “choose between representing terrorists” and their mainstream clients.

This interview was widely understood by attorneys, law faculty, members of the press and the public to be an attempt to intimidate, or threaten with economic reprisals, the lawyers currently involved in the representation of Guantanamo Bay detainees and to deter others from taking on similar representations in the future.

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8104