Corporate Lawyers Represent Companies, Not Executives

I read with great interest and appreciation the opinion-page article ``The Moral Lawyer,'' Feb. 21. I agree with the author on the need for revisal of the ethics for lawyers. The lawyers representing corporations, including Lincoln Savings and Loan, have a ``duty to zealously advocate the client's cause'' and to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In the case of Lincoln, the lawyers had a duty to advocate for and protect their client - Lincoln Savings and Loan. Apparently they acted instead as though Charles Keating was their client, and aided him in looting their actual client. I'm surprised no one has seen the problem in this light. The lawyers of corporations who act contrary to the corporation's interest in helping the officers and directors are violating a trust owed to the stockholders.

If we look closely, we will find that the lawyers and accountants were as responsible as the officers and directors in the S&L mess. The lawyers and accountants created a conflict of interest for themselves by representing the wrong parties.

James W. Respess Frederick, Md.

President Bush's statement that he won't give a dime to rebuild Iraq seems to contradict his assertion that his enemy was the leadership of that country, not its people. It also forgets lessons from history. At the end of World War I the victors imposed a harsh settlement on Germany, including demands for reparations. The resulting legacy of bitterness provided a climate whereby Adolf Hitler rose to power. The Allies learned from the earlier mistake and chose to rebuild a devastated Germany at the end of World War II. This they did in spite of the Holocaust and other horrors inflicted by Germany. The result of this far-sighted policy is the remarkable stability and prosperity of Germany today. Should we wis h anything less for Iraq?

Bruce Stores Seattle

For once I agree with President Bush, who has vowed to use not a single dime to rebuild Iraq. Since we bombed only military targets (with astounding precision), what is there to rebuild? Samuel Starr Montpelier, Vt.

There has been a lot of talk recently about a ``war tax'' to pay for the Persian Gulf conflict. Since the main reason we are in the Gulf is our need for oil, we should assess a sizable tax on gasoline. Given the amount of driving the American people do every day, the war should be paid off in no time. After the war is paid off, the extra gasoline tax can help subsidize public transportation or air quality improvement projects. Janet Winter Oakland, Calif.

We should impose an immediate 10 percent surtax on all imports from all developed countries until the complete cost of the Gulf war has been recovered. No loopholes or evasions. It is their war, more than ours. It must at least be their money that pays the bill. Jimmie R. Osburn Savannah, Tenn.

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