Charles “Cully” Stimson

charles stimson charles d stimson.jpgWe were wrong in speculating that the parties had decided to use Friday afternoon to quietly settle Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. As it turns out, S&C has actually opened up a new front in that war. How exciting!
But we were absolutely right in observing that “[w]hen a disgraced Washington political figure wants to resign, they wait until Friday after 3 PM.” Look at what the cat dragged in, at 4:05 PM: Charles “Cully” Stimson, the Pentagon official who made controversial remarks about lawyers who represent terrorism suspects.
Stimson didn’t last very long as deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs. But at least his tenure was longer than that of Jack Scheich as president of LeGal.
Defense Official Resigns Over Remarks [Associated Press via How Appealing]
Cully Stimson Resigns [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: For Breakfast at Cully Stimson’s House: Pop Tarts Filled With Crow
Make the Gitmo Detainees Pay for Their Own Damn Photocopies

Aaron Charney headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL.JPG* Last Tuesday, a civil action captioned Aaron Brett Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP was filed in New York Supreme Court — and the world of Biglaw has never been the same ever since. Click here to access the complete archives of our Aaron Charney coverage.
* Of course, Sullivan & Cromwell partners aren’t the only bosses who are jerks challenging (allegedly).
* Don’t forget the Divine Miss C, Shanetta Cutlar, whose delicious reign continues over at the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section.
Compared to Aaron Charney and Shanetta Cutlar, other topics pale by comparison. But here are other highlights from the past week in legal news:
* Charles “Cully” Stimson apologizes for ranking on Gitmo lawyers.
* In New Orleans, trials get rescheduled for football.
* Barry Ostrager of Simpson Thacher, the renowned business litigator, has poor bathroom manners (or aim).
* The justices of the Michigan Supreme Court just can’t stop squabbling.
* Now we know the real reason — or rather, the 25 million reasons — that the Dewey Ballantine / Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe merger was scuttled.
* Third Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell, who also serves as the First Lady of Pennsylvania, sings a duet with Jon Bon Jovi. We don’t know whether to be delighted or frightened.

charles stimson charles d stimson.jpgSometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a government official unwisely shooting his mouth off is just a government official unwisely shooting his mouth off.
When Charles D. Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, criticized lawyers at top law firms for representing Guantánamo Bay detainees, we speculated that perhaps his statements were part of a Bush Administration effort to discourage such representation. It appears that we were wrong.
Today’s Washington Post contains a letter of apology from Stimson. In the letter, he states that he “believe[s] firmly that a foundational principle of our legal system is that the system works best when both sides are represented by competent legal counsel.”
After making his controversial remarks, Charles Stimson was roundly criticized by numerous law school deans. His abrupt about-face raises an amusing possibility: Could an open letter from law school deans — typically as worthless and irrelevant a piece of paper as a parking ticket on a diplomat’s windshield — have had an actual impact in the real world?
The full text of Cully Stimson’s apologetic letter, plus related links, after the jump.

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charles stimson charles d stimson.jpgOne of you thinks that this news warrants a Saturday post. And we see your point.*
The article in question is running on the front page of the New York Times, above the fold. So, from the NYT:

The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.

The comments by Charles D. Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, produced an instant torrent of anger from lawyers, legal ethics specialists and bar association officials, who said Friday that his comments were repellent and displayed an ignorance of the duties of lawyers to represent people in legal trouble….

When asked in the radio interview who was paying for the legal representation, Mr. Stimson replied: “It’s not clear, is it? Some will maintain that they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart, that they’re doing it pro bono, and I suspect they are; others are receiving moneys from who knows where, and I’d be curious to have them explain that.”

Props to this Charles Stimson fellow. Even if his views may be completely misguided, we like anyone who stirs up a s**tstorm.
Discussion continues after the jump.

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