The Lawyer: The Lawyer: The Accidental Advocate

May 15, 2002, was Donna Newman's day to serve as a public defender at the federal courthouse for the southern district of New York. For lawyers in private practice like Newman, 54, it's the legal equivalent of being an on-call trauma surgeon at the local ER: if somebody needs a lawyer, she is it. "All I knew was, I had this assignment," she says, "and I had to come in that day." As it turned out, on May 15 somebody needed a lawyer very badly indeed. That was the day that Jose Padilla--former Chicago gang member, alleged would-be dirty bomber for...

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