Vince Foster Holds His Peace

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WASHINGTON: Well, it's official: Dead men tell no tales, not even to Ken Starr. The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that notes of a conversation Vince Foster had with his lawyer nine days before his suicide will remain sealed under attorney-client privilege. Although the decision leaves Starr without some potentially juicy evidence, lawyers everywhere were deeply relieved.

"Starr's request just violated too many notions of what the legal profession is," says TIME deputy Washington bureau chief Jef McAllister. "So many people, before they die, go to a lawyer to settle their affairs and tell their secrets. The Justices weren't willing to let that relationship be ruptured."

As for Starr, don't shed a tear; TIME Washington correspondent Viveca Novak says that the dogged prosecutor was just being thorough: "The part of Starr's case that Foster was involved in is essentially closed already. This was just one last road he needed to travel down." One might imagine that Starr, as a lawyer, might be a little relieved himself -- just as long as Bruce Lindsey keeps breathing.