National Lawyers Guild Stands by Longtime Member Lynne Stewart as she Surrenders to Federal Custody

November 18, 2009
Paige Cram
Communications Coordinator
212-679-5100, ext. 15

The National Lawyers Guild issues its continued support of longtime member and former veteran civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart, who was ordered to report to by 5pm to 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit also ordered Judge John G. Koeltl to hold a hearing on December 2 on whether to increase the 28-month sentence he ordered in 2006.

Speaking about the prosecution of Ms. Stewart, National Lawyers Guild President David Gespass said, “We are proud that Lynne has been, is and continues to be a member of the National Lawyers Guild. Her long history of vigorous advocacy on behalf of the most unpopular of clients is an example to all of us and reflects a commitment to justice and due process that is too often only given lip service by the bar.”

Since Lynne Stewart's April 2002 indictment, the National Lawyers Guild has assisted her in launching a broad-based, national education campaign about the impact that her indictment would have on the Sixth Amendment right to an attorney.

NLG Executive Director Heidi Boghosian said, “With the upcoming trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others, we remain concerned that defense lawyers will shrink from the obligations of vigorous, effective representation. The rule of law requires that everyone, without exception, be provided effective counsel and insuring that will ultimately enhance our liberty and safety.”

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is headquartered in New York and has chapters in nearly every state. The Guild has a long history of representing individuals whom the government has deemed a threat to national security. The organization also helped expose illegal FBI and CIA surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics, leading to enactment of the Freedom of Information Act and other limitations on federal investigative power.