HA exclusive: Pentagon memo ousting Fenstermaker from Gitmo defense counsel pool; Update: Fenstermaker responds

posted at 12:15 pm on November 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Scott Fenstermaker has already made himself into one of America’s Favorite Villains for representing one of the 9/11 plotters that will get a federal trial in New York City, at least among the conservative opponents to the trials.  Fenstermaker earned that by taking a public profile in the defense strategy already, apparently hoping to … well, I don’t know what Fenstermaker hopes to do by generating a lot of pre-trial publicity, none of which will help his clients in any way.  But Fenstermaker may have some explaining of his own to do.  According to an August 2008 memo provided exclusively to me by a source in the Department of Defense, Fenstermaker got booted from the military commissions civilian defense counsel pool in 2008 for “counterproductive” interactions with the staff, and not representing himself in a “forthright” manner to the chief defense counsel for the Gitmo detainees:

Mr. Scott Fenstermaker
500″ Fifth Avenue, 4oth Floor
New York. New York 101 10

Reference: Your suspension from the civilian counsel pool

Dear Mr. Fenstermaker,

After careful thought and consideration, and in accordance with the discretion granted me by the Regulation for Trial by Military Commissions, I have decided to indefinitely suspend your conditional qualification as a member of the civilian defense counsel pool. I note that you are not a fully qualified member of the counsel pool as your Single Scope Background Investigation is still pending. I also note that you do not have any cases currently pending before a Military Commission.

My decision to suspend your conditional qualification is based upon my professional judgment that your activities throughout the past year, as well as your interactions with certain of my uniformed defense counsel, have been counterproductive to the mission of my office. In addition, I have concluded that you have not been forthright with regard to your representational status of certain detainees, and your continued interference in these cases has made the job more difficult for assigned counsel.

I will periodically review your status and I will brief my successor as to the details of your suspension.

Steven David COl, USAR
Chief Defense Counsel

I have spent most of the morning attempting to get Fenstermaker and the DoD on the record about this memo, which is pictured here (click to enlarge):

The New York Times reported in June that Fenstermaker was not authorized by the DoD to act on behalf of Gitmo detainees, and alluded to the memo above:

That same month, Mr. Fenstermaker was suspended as a member of the pool of civilian lawyers who work with military lawyers in defending detainees at Guantánamo, court records show. The military office that represents detainees wrote that his dealings with some of its lawyers had “been counterproductive” and that he had “not been forthright” about his representation of certain detainees.

In March, his suspension was lifted — but only in Mr. Ghailani’s case.

Now that Fenstermaker is making himself more of the public face of the defense, perhaps we can find out what those “counterproductive” interactions involved. After all, the purpose of the defense counsel pool was to work together to represent the terrorists. In fact, it still is. And the allegation of a lack of forthright behavior strikes me as somewhat important when judging Fensterman’s representations of the case on national television

As I noted above, I have messages with the DoD and Fenstermaker asking for a response. When I receive the response, I will post it here — and with Fenstermaker, in its entirety, to the extent he wishes.

Addendum: Thanks to the boss for her help on this story.

Update: Lest one consider Col. David some sort of government shill, read his testimony from 2007 on the Boumediene decision.

Update II: Jennifer Rubin has more on Fenstermaker’s forthrightness:

A colleague provides a copy of this decision in which Fenstermaker litigated against a school district in Westchester County and sought documents from the school district in the applicable freedom of information law. But it seems he went overboard there, too. In seeking reams of documents, Fenstermaker accused the school district ”of having created a situation ‘rife with bribes and kickbacks;’ that he was certain that respondents had already altered or destroyed certain of the requested records; that counsel was operating under a conflict of interest in that he was responsible as counsel for respondents’ malfeasance; and that he was therefore demanding that the records be sent to a copy service designated by him.’” Much wrangling ensued, and the matter wound up in court.  There, the court held that each of the school district’s actions that Fenstermaker challenged were “supported by statute and administrative rulings” and that Fenstermaker ”cited no authority to the contrary.” It deemed the matter frivolous, and the court not only awarded statutory costs to the school district but also ordered Fenstermaker to pay costs “for the actual expenses reasonably incurred and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in defending this proceeding.”

Update III: Scott Fenstermaker sent the following polite reply:

Ed,

The appropriate person to contact regarding my suspension is Colonel David. I wrote to an officer in the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel, of which Colonel David used to be in charge, seeking clarification of the issues you raise. They never responded.

Scott

That’s a fair point. As of the moment, I have not heard back from any DoD contacts.


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I wonder if he was a Lawyer working at that same firm Holder was. Make the story far more interesting.

Holger on November 24, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Weasels. That is what they are!. defending the terrorist is not a good life to lead.

hawkman on November 24, 2009 at 12:29 PM

What a great representative of the legal profession…

d1carter on November 24, 2009 at 12:31 PM

SNAP!

BobMbx on November 24, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Mmmm mmmm mmm
Scott Hussein Fenstermaker

LibTired on November 24, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Awww, there goes his book deal.

Christien on November 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Hmmmmmmm …

Money or ideology.

darwin on November 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Maybe Lynne Stewart is his stepmom.

faol on November 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Mr. Scott Fenstermaker
500″ Fifth Avenue, 4oth Floor
New York. New York 101 10

Reference: Your suspension from the civilian counsel pool

Dear Mr. Fenstermaker,

You’re fired.

Steven David COl, USAR
Chief Defense Counsel

Col. David needs to read up on the PaperWork Reduction Act.

BobMbx on November 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM

DUDGE has been copied on this big report.

jimmer on November 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM

As I noted above, I have messages with the DoD and Fenstermanker asking for a response. When I receive the response, I will post it here — and with Fenstermanker, in its entirety, to the extent he wishes.

Andy in Agoura Hills on November 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Don’t hold your breath on getting those responses Ed.

that your activities throughout the past year, as well as your interactions with certain of my uniformed defense counsel, have been counterproductive to the mission of my office

Chasing skirts around the office?

Knucklehead on November 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Nice Scoop Ed.

portlandon on November 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM

‘Mild Treason’

it’s the New Sensibility, a perfect fit for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid era

Janos Hunyadi on November 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Yep. If Scott was in the same law firm as Holder was that would be beautiful.

kingsjester on November 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM

He’s got sleaze written all over him. He fits right in with the Obama administration.

Daggett on November 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Awww, there goes his book deal.

Christien on November 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Exactly. This greasy ba$tard was looking to cash in and cash in right now.

BigWyo on November 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Colonel Steven David, United States Army Reserve? Here’s his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee from back in 2008.

amerpundit on November 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Col. David needs to read up on the PaperWork Reduction Act.

BobMbx on November 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM

LOL!

elduende on November 24, 2009 at 12:37 PM

The traditional standard for an officer of the court is not, “how much lying can I get away with.” Or at least it shouldn’t be.

RBMN on November 24, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Great job ED and MM!

Weight of Glory on November 24, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Excellent job, Ed. How about any links between this gentleman and AG Holder?

Cindy Munford on November 24, 2009 at 12:39 PM

That Scott is a bad Fenstermaker
    Shut yo’ mouth!
But I’m talkin’ about Scott!

The Monster on November 24, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Can the public counsel that gets assigned to these guys refuse to take the case? What happens if no one is willing to represent them?

Kelligan on November 24, 2009 at 12:41 PM

The derailing begins.

AnninCA on November 24, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Waitaminutewaitaminute–”new” media doesn’t get exclusives, Ed, so you have to stop it right now. This is a job for the NYT.

Oh, wait…

:)

Bob's Kid on November 24, 2009 at 12:44 PM

‘Mild Treason’

it’s the New Sensibility, a perfect fit for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid era

Janos Hunyadi on November 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM

I think you mean ‘Smart Treason’

johnsteele on November 24, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Looks like this guy has been a bit of a pain in the “Fenstermaker”.

Claypigeon on November 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM

This is not good PR for lawyers.

Eichendorff on November 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM

So, he’s been a weasel for a long time.

kingsjester on November 24, 2009 at 12:46 PM

I’m sorry, but since KSM and the other vermin have been granted by Obama/Holder a civilian criminal trial, they now have the right to counsel of their choice, including this jerk, Fenstermaker, and the DOD will have little if anything to say about it.

Just another consequence of this idiotic decision.

TXUS on November 24, 2009 at 12:46 PM

I think you mean ‘Smart Treason’

johnsteele on November 24, 2009 at 12:44 PM

yeah, six in one, half-dozen in the Other

maybe “Window-maker” can start bowing in public to KSM

( fenster is ‘window’ in German )

Janos Hunyadi on November 24, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Conservative blogs don’t generate news, though. Right? They just opine and don’t report.

Liberal blogs – once (we were told) at the cutting edge of the new media and political content – these days seem preoccupied with generating excuses and political spin for their failing political hacks they forced upon the nation.

Funny, that.

Good Lt on November 24, 2009 at 12:47 PM

The derailing begins.

Derailing of what?

Good Lt on November 24, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Ed: Fenstermaker still claims on his website that he’s, “a member of the pool of Qualified Civilian Defense Counsel, authorized to represent the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba before the Military Commissions being conducted at Guantanamo Bay.”

Can you get in trouble for claiming you’re certified by the government when you aren’t?

amerpundit on November 24, 2009 at 12:50 PM

the terrorist is not a good life to lead.

hawkman

He wears it as a badge of honor. I’m grateful to people who work in slaughterhouses so I can get my sirloin and I’m grateful that there are people who are willing to defend the scum of the earth. I’m just not going to have a drink with them. Hmmm, that’s a bit harsh, I’ll buy the slaughterhouse guys a beer any day.

E9RET on November 24, 2009 at 12:50 PM

I think they need a new vetting czar in Zero’s administration. This guy said last night the object for him and his team is to let these guys go free. I just don’t trust anyone when it comes to trying these terrorist. When is this idiot going to be throwen under the bus.

Good reporting Ed. I hope you can find more on this scumball.

Brat4life on November 24, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Here’s a little yiddish for you:

fintster: dark; sinister

makher: influential person

What a name he was given …

flameofjudah on November 24, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Weasels. That is what they are!. defending the terrorist is not a good life to lead.

hawkman on November 24, 2009 at 12:29 PM

I agree, but I often wonder. If they are this weasely, their motives for defending these murderers isn’t JUST about the rule of the law, and doing what’s right. This is about getting ones name in the history books, attention, fame, name recognition, and money! Bilk the government for millions, for your legal expertise. It’s a lot about ego, and very little on justice, as they espouse.

capejasmine on November 24, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Derailing of what?

Good Lt on November 24, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Shhh…Ann doesn’t realize she’s awake. Can you imagine her horror when she breaks out of her LSD trip, that it wasn’t an LSD trip at all?

Seriously, I still say AnninCA is an amalgam of a political science class, most likely in CA. Not Berkely, though. Her weather-vaning lately gives it away.

BobMbx on November 24, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Methinks Mr. Fenstermaker is using this case as an opportunity to advertise his $500.00 per hour services among the CAIR crowd.

tommyboy on November 24, 2009 at 12:54 PM

What a name he was given …

flameofjudah on November 24, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Perfect name for a traitor to his own country and religion.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Liberal blogs – once (we were told) at the cutting edge of the new media and political content – these days seem preoccupied with generating excuses and political spin for their failing political hacks they forced upon the nation.

Funny, that.

Good Lt on November 24, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Nuh uh…and you’re a racist. Did I tell you you’re a racist yet?

-Kos

BobMbx on November 24, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Ed — Thanks for your work. Real news. One of the reasons I come to Hot Air as my first news source every day.

publiuspen on November 24, 2009 at 12:56 PM

This guy said last night the object for him and his team is to let these guys go free.

Of course it is. That’s what the Obama Administration is paying them to do.

Now – how much do you want to bet that this creep gives the max allowed political donation to the Democrat party each cycle?

Who the hell do you think keeps scum like this employed?

Isn’t this just a FABULOUS IDEA Obama has foisted on everyone?

Military tribunals run by those savage killbots in the US Navy would never be good enough for these poor little terrorists who were just selling goat cheese when they were ambushed and whisked away by American soldiers high on Bush-era warmongering rhetoric.

Good Lt on November 24, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Apparently there is some sort of discrepancy because his website says different.

http://www.fenstermakerlaw.com/bio.shtml

A criminal defense attorney and tax litigator in Manhattan, Mr. Fenstermaker has a diverse practice. He handles matters running the gamut from murder, robbery, theft, fraud, sexual misconduct, and federal and state tax-related crimes, among others. Mr. Fenstermaker is a member of the pool of Qualified Civilian Defense Counsel, authorized to represent the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba before the Military Commissions being conducted at Guantanamo Bay. He has a secret security clearance and is available to represent clients involved in national security-related issues. Mr. Fenstermaker has experience litigating pursuant to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and is prepared to assist service members confronted with issues within the military criminal justice system.

NeoKong on November 24, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Great work Ed.

WisCon on November 24, 2009 at 12:57 PM

..waddya expect? He’s a goddam ring-banger from the USAFA. They are all arrogant pricks.

..hated them then; hate them now.

VoyskaPVO on November 24, 2009 at 12:58 PM

What is a fenster, and why is he making them?

KeepOhioRed on November 24, 2009 at 12:59 PM

If I Did It: How I Would’ve Defended the Show Trial of the 21st Century

By Scot Fenstermaker

Christien on November 24, 2009 at 1:02 PM

I wonder if he was a Lawyer working at that same firm Holder was. Make the story far more interesting.
Holger on November 24, 2009 at 12:28 PM

He isn’t associated with any law firm. Here’s his website. He sounds like a low rent ambulance chaser to moi.

Buy Danish on November 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Sounds like he just might be qualified for the DOJ!!

That would be on a “recess appointment”, of course!

GoldenEagle4444 on November 24, 2009 at 1:06 PM

This story is a bit too into the details for me, but I do think it tells the real story.

It’s not the actual terrorists who will grab the headlines.

It’s the defense attorneys.

And they will be talking until a gag order ensues.

AnninCA on November 24, 2009 at 1:07 PM

I’m Dickens, He’s Fenstermaker

ndulik on November 24, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Why in the world is he being interviewed on fox etc? He is the lamest excuse for a man let alone an attorney.
As I said on another post, looks like he fits right in with this administration.
What is the geneology of his name, anyone? Is it a Jewish name – or German? Just wondering.

Bambi on November 24, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Lest one consider Col. David some sort of government shill, read his testimony from 2007 on the Boumediene decision.

You don’t get to the position of Chief Defense Counsel as a government shill.

Fenstermaker was only conditionally vetted to the civilian defense counsel pool and had not had a final security clearance by the time he was suspended. More importantly he didn’t have any clients (which the second paragraph hints he was lying about).

I suspect that this guy was hanging out around the edges just waiting to jump on a detainee case, the term “terrorist ambulance chasing” is apt. The only question is what his motivation is. He could really have an issue with the policy but it could just as easily be the desire for Johnny Cochran fame and book deals.

highhopes on November 24, 2009 at 1:12 PM

After careful thought and consideration, and in accordance with the discretion granted me by the Regulation for Trial by Military Commissions,

But these are no longer going to be Trials by Military Commissions so would that make this letter void?

Did Holder reinstate him?

journeyintothewhirlwind on November 24, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Ed, you magnificent…

SouthernGent on November 24, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Why in the world is he being interviewed on fox etc? He is the lamest excuse for a man let alone an attorney.

Bambi on November 24, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I disagree. The scumbag representing Hasan in the Ft. Hood shootings is much more pathetic.

highhopes on November 24, 2009 at 1:19 PM

He isn’t associated with any law firm. Here’s his website. He sounds like a low rent ambulance chaser to moi.

Buy Danish on November 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Fenstermaker has not been directly employed by Covington & Burning but he served as co-counsel defending Ahmed Al-Ghailani, one of the accused in the 1998 Tanzanian Embassy bombing, along with David Remes of Covington.

Fenstermaker teams up with Covington partner to defend Al-Ghailani

rockmom on November 24, 2009 at 1:19 PM

So are you saying he did this all for publicity?

bloggless on November 24, 2009 at 1:20 PM

If he is jewish, how in the world does a jew represent muslim terrorists? Also, How in the world do muslim terrorists let themselves be represented by a jew?

Aren’t there at least a couple of muslim attorneys that would be at the head of the line?

America1st on November 24, 2009 at 1:21 PM

What is the geneology of his name, anyone? Is it a Jewish name – or German? Just wondering.

Bambi on November 24, 2009 at 1:09 PM

German. I have a good friend with that name – no relation – who is not Jewish.

rockmom on November 24, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Buy Danish on November 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM
Are you sure that is him? I thought he said he went to the Air Force Academy.

bloggless on November 24, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Fenstermaker. Doesn’t it mean “window maker”?

bloggless on November 24, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Captain Ed,

Direct the signalman to hoist BRAVO ZULU on the outboard halyard!

Khun Joe on November 24, 2009 at 1:26 PM

For what it’s worth, 500 Fifth Ave. is an aging office building on the NW corner of 42nd St. and Fifth, across from the N.Y. Public Library and Bryant Park. Not an awful address, but definitely not ‘toney’ legal digs, despite the Fifth Avenue in the name. So Fentermaker might qualify as the terror suspect version of an ambulance chaser, but he is getting income from somewhere to support his office location.

(As for his right to represent the terrorists, I suppose that would depend on whether or not Fentermaker can get a federal judge to name him as an official court-appointed attorney. While I’m sure there are plenty of terrorist sympathizers out there willing to foot his bill, I doubt they want to be seen actually passing money to any of the five to pay for their own legal representation. And if the suspects can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them, but at the same time that doesn’t mean they’re allowed to pick the lawyer who’ll be paid by the government to handle the case. If the actual court-appointed rep then wants to bring Fentermaker on as co-counsel while taking a hit on his own compensation, that might be another story.)

jon1979 on November 24, 2009 at 1:27 PM

I just can’t believe this piece of slime graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy. I knew it had been going downhill for a long time; I just didn’t realize it had hit rock bottom.

rmgraha on November 24, 2009 at 1:28 PM

So, he’s been a weasel for a long time.

kingsjester on November 24, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Weasels everywhere are falling over themselves in their rush to deny any kinship with this slug

ya2daup on November 24, 2009 at 1:28 PM

I wonder if he and Lynn Stewart (terrorist lawyer, sympathizer, and abettor) were going above and beyond the call of duty in representing their clients (IYKWIMAITYD).

Did he toe the line, but back off prior to crossing? I seriously doubt that his “counterproductive” activities were chasing skirts.

Probably a traitor. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, …

lionheart on November 24, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Could it be the legal branch of acorn?

bloggless on November 24, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Cat Stevens was a jew. He became a jewish muslim.

bloggless on November 24, 2009 at 1:33 PM

This is not a joke at all, but when you read polls that a big percentage of the “Arab Street” believes that the US knew about 9/11 and allowed it to happen as a pretext for attacking Moslems – the Scott Fensterwanker’s of this country are the exact reason why.

Its absolutely incomprehensible to most citizens of Arab countries that a US citizen could act against the interests of America so brazenly, especially when you live in a country where a blog post can result in you and your family going to jail. The easiest thing for them to believe is that Fenstermaker is acting on behalf of the US Government in some bigger plot because they can’t believe this would actually happen.

Kaisersoze on November 24, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Did Holder reinstate him?

journeyintothewhirlwind on November 24, 2009 at 1:13 PM

No, the DOD Chief Defense Counsel did – the same dept that suspended him.

He was suspended in August 2008.
The suspension was lifted in March 2009.

However, I believe the suspension was lifted because he got a court order from a federal judge who he convinced, erroneously, that he was representing this guy.

There is a lot of funny business with this guy and these guys down in gitmo. He claims he is representing them pro bono but has no to limited contact with them. They are already being represented by other court appointed attys. He has filed writs at the same time their real attys filed writs. This creates all sorts of legal problems. And when he finally gets appointed on one of them, he has to recuse himself because he is not a member of the court, which is a NYC court!

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:34 PM

According to fec.gov’s disclosure, a Scott Fenstermaker (of Scarsdale) who is a self-employed lawyer gave $100 to BO’s campaign in October 2008.

ConservativeMom on November 24, 2009 at 1:34 PM

And as I have suggested about a million times already, someone should look at the gitmo detainees he has claimed to represent and determine if he has a conflict of interest. This would be a perfect job for Allahpundit.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:36 PM

According to fec.gov’s disclosure, a Scott Fenstermaker (of Scarsdale) who is a self-employed lawyer gave $100 to BO’s campaign in October 2008.

So the creep who wants to set the 9-11 mastermind free was an Obama supporter in the Great Hustle Campaign of 2008?

Is anyone surprised by this?

Good Lt on November 24, 2009 at 1:38 PM

He isn’t associated with any law firm. Here’s his website. He sounds like a low rent ambulance chaser to moi.

Buy Danish on November 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Are you sure that is him? I thought he said he went to the Air Force Academy.

bloggless on November 24, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Yes, it’s him. And no, he is not a low rent ambulance chaser. Don’t underestimate this guy – he’s no dummy. Then again intelligence and an Ivy League degree does not equal common sense.

And those of you who think the only good attys are those who work in large firms in gazillion dollar offices that over charge people are full of it.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

A $100 bucks is chump change. It is what you give to get people off your back.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:43 PM

I see Olbermann’s Worst Person of the World award for Ed again.

Will be interesting to see what law firm this sheister works for.

yoda on November 24, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Great scoop Ed.

Too bad you aren’t a trained “journalist”. If you were, we would have the explanation for why this isn’t a problem in any way.

notagool on November 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Good job, Ed, Boss.

davidk on November 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM

At least, it looks like this weasel is incompetent.

alliebobbitt on November 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Thank you, Col. David, for having the guts to fire a bad guy. All the people who promoted Nidal Hasan ought to take note of what a real man does for his country.

PattyJ on November 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Will be interesting to see what law firm this sheister works for.

yoda on November 24, 2009 at 1:43 PM

He and his wife are in private practice together. They work for themselves.

Great scoop Ed.

Too bad you aren’t a trained “journalist”. If you were, we would have the explanation for why this isn’t a problem in any way.

notagool on November 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but all this information was in the NYT article from June 2009. Publishing a copy of the letter is new, but it’s contents has been known for a while.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Thank you, Col. David, for having the guts to fire a bad guy. All the people who promoted Nidal Hasan ought to take note of what a real man does for his country.

PattyJ on November 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM

He didn’t fire him. He was suspended for about 6 months. Frankly, he should have never been allowed access at all because one, his security check was not completed, two his services were not needed, and three, he had not been appointed on any of the cases.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

And those of you who think the only good attys are those who work in large firms in gazillion dollar offices that over charge people are full of it.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

I would suggest it depends on the type of law involved. You aren’t going to hire a lawyer working out of his dining room to represent you against Bernie Madoff or Enron. Conversely, you don’t need a fancy law firm to handle your divorce or will (unless you are Donald Trump).

That being said, ambulance chasing is a state of mind. There are many many high rent ambulance chasers out there and this guy is one of them. I’m just curious who is paying his bills or if he is doing it on spec with the hopes of landing a book deal or getting to be the next Jacoby & Meyers or Johnny Cochran law firm.

highhopes on November 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Fenstermaker accused the school district ”of having created a situation ‘rife with bribes and kickbacks;’ that he was certain that respondents had already altered or destroyed certain of the requested records… It deemed the matter frivolous, and the court not only awarded statutory costs to the school district but also ordered Fenstermaker to pay costs “for the actual expenses reasonably incurred and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in defending this proceeding.”

When you sue somebody for pain and suffering because he didn’t water his ferns often enough, that is frivolous.

But when you make insane allegations like this with no offer of proof, that is scurrilous.

Sounds like this guy’s been barely holding onto his license. I guess the Jihaddists are scraping the bottom of the barrel in defense attorneys. And that is saying an awful lot.

logis on November 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Update: Lest one consider Col. David some sort of government shill, read his testimony from 2007 on the Boumediene decision.

Not to be picky Ed, but his testimony was in 2008. Just an FYI.

Erich66 on November 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM

And no, he is not a low rent ambulance chaser.
Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

I guess we have different ideas of what an ambulance chaser is.

Fenstermaker teams up with Covington partner to defend Al-Ghailani
rockmom on November 24, 2009 at 1:19 PM

There were a lot of questions as to how he got hired by Ghalani. A HuffPo story that just hit the blogosphere advances my characterization of him as an ambulance chaser (or “publicity hound”, if you prefer):

The New York City defense lawyer has long been a particularly zealous critic of the Bush administration — and now Obama White House’s — policies on suspected terrorist detention and trial. His protests have usually been in the form of legal activism. In 2005, Fenstermaker filed lawsuit in the Southern District of New York challenging the legality of the use of military commissions to try detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. It was ultimately dismissed. But “through this lawsuit,” he said, “detainees found out about me and were appreciative.”

But for all the vigor he brought to the cause, Fenstermaker faced practical limitations. In 2007, a federal judge in Manhattan dismissed a petition he filed on behalf of a group of detainees on grounds that he had not spoken with the suspects and wasn’t “truly dedicated” to their interests. Fenstermaker appealed the ruling.

It then goes into the details Ed focused on, and then gives more info about his relationship with the detainees (or lack thereof).

Buy Danish on November 24, 2009 at 2:06 PM

The weasels’ are filing a lawsuit…defamation of character.

right2bright on November 24, 2009 at 2:08 PM

I would suggest it depends on the type of law involved. You aren’t going to hire a lawyer working out of his dining room to represent you against Bernie Madoff or Enron. Conversely, you don’t need a fancy law firm to handle your divorce or will (unless you are Donald Trump).

I suspect that most of his clients are either in jail or prison. He goes to them – they don’t come to him.

That being said, ambulance chasing is a state of mind. There are many many high rent ambulance chasers out there and this guy is one of them. I’m just curious who is paying his bills or if he is doing it on spec with the hopes of landing a book deal or getting to be the next Jacoby & Meyers or Johnny Cochran law firm.

highhopes on November 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

He is an ambulance chaser in that he has gone after these detainees – he’s not an ambulance chaser in that he is an hack. He certainly has the academic credentials.

He was pro bono. I assume now the court will appoint him and he will get paid. But his access to gitmo was limited and I’m not sure he has ever traveled down there. His work was in filing a couple of briefs.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 2:30 PM

And no, he is not a low rent ambulance chaser.
Blake on November 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

I guess we have different ideas of what an ambulance chaser is.

Buy Danish on November 24, 2009 at 2:06 PM

But, you’re wrong and I’m right. He is not low rent and he is a well qualified attorney. Yesterday, I referred to him as a terrorist ambulance chaser in that he has insinuated himself into the defense of these detainees and was not appointed by the court. He’s certainly not doing it for the money and I wouldn’t call him a publicity hound.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Remember Jose Ferrer playing the defense attorney representing the Exec Officer in The Caine Mutiny? The revulsion he felt for winning the case?

Fenstermaker isn’t that guy.

DrW on November 24, 2009 at 2:51 PM

THIS scumbag has put a HUGE target on himself…you just HAVE to laugh at that!
If a 911 victim’s loved one offed this piece of garbage and I was on the jury, I would vote NOT GUILTY for reason that this traitor DESERVES it.

nelsonknows on November 24, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Fenstermaker isn’t that guy.

DrW on November 24, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Not even close. He’s clearly one of those liberals who think America is a bigger problem than the terrorists out to kill us. That or he has aspirations of becoming a media whore.

highhopes on November 24, 2009 at 3:11 PM

But, you’re wrong and I’m right. He is not low rent and he is a well qualified attorney. Yesterday, I referred to him as a terrorist ambulance chaser in that he has insinuated himself into the defense of these detainees and was not appointed by the court. He’s certainly not doing it for the money and I wouldn’t call him a publicity hound.

Blake on November 24, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Which is basically what I said. So we’re reduced to arguing about the phrase “low rent”? He has a Harvard degree, but then again so does B.H.O., so call me unimpressed with his qualifications. His specialty is tax litigation. And since you object to “publicity hound”, would you prefer “self-promoting shyster”? I feel confident that I can use the word “shyster” since Geraldo Rivera used it the other day to say, “Guantanamo Bay was a shyster’s trick to evade the United States”. Tit for tat and all that.

Buy Danish on November 24, 2009 at 3:57 PM

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