Lawyers: Paying for Influence

Snarled by Washington's red tape, many a big-time businessman seeks a big-time lawyer with political connections. Some of the country's most successful lawyers routinely charge high fees for making use of know-who as well as know-how. But can the courts enforce the bargain?

On three occasions in 1963, Atlanta Lawyer Robert B. Troutman Jr. spoke to his friend, President John F. Kennedy, about a matter of interest to the Southern Railway Co. As a result, Kennedy asked his staff to discuss the case with the Justice Department, which decided to support the company in a suit against the Interstate Commerce...

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