Publications & News

WilmerHale Lawyers Receive BBA President’s Award for Their Work in Guantanamo

May 30, 2007

WilmerHale lawyers Stephen Oleskey, Rob Kirsch, Mark Fleming, Lynne Soutter, Jeff Gleason, Pratik Shah, Lauren Brunswick, Joe Mueller, Jenna Goldenberg, Dan Esrick, Miranda Hooker and Chris Morgan were honored for their representation of men imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay at the Boston Bar Association Law Day Dinner held on May 3. The WilmerHale team represents six men who were seized in Bosnia in January, 2002—these pro bono clients were among the first to arrive Guantanamo Bay and have been imprisoned there without criminal charges for over five years.

WilmerHale’s Lynne Soutter made remarks on behalf of the 40+ lawyers honored by Bar President Jack Cinquegrana, to the 1700 people assembled for the BBA's Law Day Dinner earlier this month. In her remarks, she recalled an early visit with client, Mustapha Ait Idir, in Guantanamo:

“. . . Mustapha went over to a corner of his cell and picked up his blanket—a blanket is a privilege in Guantanamo, one which can be taken away. He told us that when a man imprisoned in a nearby cell was cold, at times, the men have managed to pass blankets through these wire walls. He showed us how they would feed the fabric through the small openings, little by little to their neighbors.

Like our clients, by necessity, the hundreds of habeas lawyers have been creative and cooperative in this litigation. And that has been one of the best parts of working on these cases. As a young lawyer, it has broadened my exposure to the law and given me a chance to get to know practitioners in many areas. . . I take comfort in knowing that there are many, many thoughtful and committed Americans, Bostonians, and lawyers working hard to combat these injustices. ”