Before joining the Bush Adminstration, Libby did stints at Dickstein Shapiro, the now-defunct Mudge Rose and Dechert; dozens of lawyers from those firms wrote letters on his behalf. A composite sketch would read: “It is incomprehensible to me that Scooter has been convicted of these crimes. He is honest, forthright, hardworking, ethical and a dedicated public servant. Behavior of that kind is totally inconsistent with the character of the man I know and worked closely with for many years.” Here are some of the letters’ quirkier highlights:
Law School Sweethearts Pen Twin Letters: Indianapolis lawyers Catherine Bridge, a partner at Barnes & Thornburgh, and John Bridge, a partner at Plews Shadley, are married. They got hitched while at Columbia Law School, where they were classmates of Scooter. They submitted virtually identical 3-page letters to the court. So Catherine writes: “Scooter was one of the close group of friends whom John and I invited to our small wedding our third year of law school,” while John writes, “Scooter was one of the close group of friends whom Cathy and I invited to our small wedding our third year of law school.”
“A Man of Simple Tastes”: Interesting paragraph, from Emilio Cividanes, a partner at Venable: “Scooter is a man of simple tastes (he prefers jeans to suits, and contemplation to celebration) and basic values, focused on family, civic duty and fairness. He is one of those who believe that “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” This has led Scooter to serve in policy positions in successive Republican Administrations, even though he is not otherwise active in the Republican Party or partisan politics.”
He Turned Down Dinner with Victoria and Joe?: From high-profile defense attorney Joe DiGenova, who’s married to his high-profile law partner Victoria Toensing: “On a particularly rough trial day, Victoria approached Scooter during a break and invited him and Harriet to come over for dinner as a social break from the pressure. One could tell by looking at Scooter’s expression that he would have loved to do so. Yet, he immediately replied, ‘No Harriet and I need to be with the kids. It’s important we spend time with them now.’ We were so touched that in the midst of his ordeal, his priority was his family.”
Lawyers in Love: Libby and his wife, Harriet, met when they were lawyers at Dickstein Shapiro. “My impression is that Scooter plays by the rules,” wrote Kenneth Simon at Dickstein. “When he and Harriet became serious, she chose to leave the firm rather than maintain the awkward situation of an associate dating a partner.” D.D. Holcomb, the wife of Dickstein partner Bruce Holcomb, said that when they were together in a group, Scooter would look at Harriet and say “isn’t she beautiful.” “We would all want to throw up, but this devotion to his wife has been a constant,” she wrote.
Scooter Libby, Mentor: Numerous letters touch on Libby’s role as a mentor to young lawyers. Wrote Ralph Oman at Dechert, on Libby’s influence on young lawyers: “He is still their hero, and he changed their lives. He made them see the practice of law as ennobling, challenging, and fun. And I know that he continues to inspire them, and me, as a man of grace, courage, and great integrity in this vale of tears we call Washington.”
Two Lawyers Weigh in Against: As far as we could tell, only two lawyers sent letters asking the judge to throw the book at Libby. “I urge you to impose a sentence in this case appropriate to the crimes committed by this defendant, taking into consideration his . . . superior knowledge as a lawyer and former partner in a major law firm as to exactly what he was doing, and his continuing unrepentant conduct,” wrote a lawyer named John E. Rogers. “Whether he is kind to his dog, a nice guy, a good neighbor, or anything else is, of course, irrelevant to what he did and continues to do.”