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Oregon Lawyers in Guantanamo

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The April 2007 issue of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin story by Melody Finnemore, “Uncharted Waters,” here. Excerpt:

As a law student, Sam Kauffman never imagined he would see the U.S. government imprison human beings indefinitely while denying them access to a court of law to challenge their imprisonment.

Now, 14 years later, as one of several Portland attorneys representing detainees at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Kauffman knows firsthand what it’s like to try to provide legal representation for someone who has been stripped of that basic constitutional right.

We get used to our court system and take it for granted that there are rules we abide by,” says Kauffman, who is of counsel with Garvey Schubert Barer. “The federal judges who are handling these cases seem powerless to do anything, and that’s unusual. Usually they say, ‘This is what’s going to happen’ and it happens.”

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