Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lawyers Making a Difference: Jon Eisenberg

Here is an awesome interview (Super Lawyers, August 2009) with attorney Jon Eisenberg, who has litigated several fascinating cases against the government:

During the Al-Haramain case you wrote a response to a government brief that you were not allowed to see. How does one go about doing that?

It was quite a challenge. It wasn't just that we had to speculate as to what might be in the secret DOJ brief; the conditions under which we wrote our secret response were onerous, approaching the bizarre: We were required to write the brief under guard in the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco; we were forbidden from preparing any notes for the brief-writing session; the DOJ retained sole possession of the brief we produced; and the DOJ has refused to allow us to review the brief since we wrote it. Litigation doesn't get any weirder than that.

Unbelievable stuff. Sounds like something out of a Soviet novel, doesn't it?

Mr. Eisenberg mentions one of his favorite authors, Jerzy Kosinski. Mr. Kosinksi's book, Being There, was adapted into a very good film by the same name. I had seen the film but was unaware of Mr. Kosinski's connection to it. If you haven't seen the film Being There, I highly recommend it. Peter Sellers plays the main character in the film.

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