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Lawyers in the Justice Dept. Are Dedicated, Make Big Sacrifices

August 02, 1987

I read with interest the July 19 story, "Two Strong-Willed Adversaries Square Off Over the MX." I was particularly intrigued by the portrayal of attorney Herbert Hafif. Apparently a successful trial lawyer, Hafif is now pressing cases against defense contractors. However, in touting his own skills, Hafif takes time to demean the intelligence, skill and dedication of lawyers in the Justice Department.

As a trial lawyer, Hafif should first get his facts straight. The Justice Department's arm in the Los Angeles area is the Office of the U.S. Attorney. The lawyers in this office not only come from the top ranks of the best law schools in the country, many have taken substantial pay cuts to assume positions requiring long hours and very difficult investigative and trial work. Several of our lawyers have given up a partner's salary at major law firms. The common thread for these lawyers is a desire to serve the public. Contrary to Hafif's suggestion, a number of our lawyers have spent many years in public service, often at a tremendous financial sacrifice.

Finally, about one-fourth of all senior trial lawyers in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles are involved in the investigation and prosecution of defense contractor cases. In the last three years, we have successfully prosecuted over 50 defendants in about 25 criminal cases.

ROBERT C. BONNER,

U.S. Attorney

WILLIAM F. FAHEY,

Assistant U.S. Attorney

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