About Timothy Harper

Timothy Harper
Timothy Harper Articles written 44

Timothy Harper is an award-winning journalist, author and lawyer. He has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Atlantic Monthly, among others. He’s also a collaborator, ghostwriter, and book doctor with a dozen books of his own, including License to Steal: The Secret World of Wall Street and the Systematic Plundering of the American Investor; and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the U.S. Constitution. He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin and has taught in the journalism graduate schools at CUNY, Columbia and NYU.

Articles written by Timothy Harper

Alan Zegas Plays the Bridge

His greatest hits have one thing in common: a Chris Christie chorus

The new client brought in documents related to his case, including printouts of old emails. The lawyer spread everything out on his conference table. The client pointed out one email in particular. Dated August 13, 2013, it read:  “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” The lawyer was Alan Zegas. The client was David Wildstein. And the email was the smoking gun in Bridgegate.  “That was the bombshell,” Zegas says. The email led to high-level firings, legislative hearings, …

‘A Real Inspiration’

Getting the deal done and keeping quiet about it, with Marcia L. Goldstein

During a safari trip to Africa in 2006, Marcia L. Goldstein, prominent corporate bankruptcy lawyer, and her friend/client Becky Roof, prominent corporate restructuring adviser, watched from a safe vantage point as a pride of lionesses stalked a wildebeest. One particular lioness was clearly in charge. She guided the others as they crept through the brown grass that matched their tawny fur. When they had surrounded their prey, the lead lioness led a series of snarling feints, staying clear of …

Split Screen

Remi Spencer doesn’t just play a lawyer on TV

It’s a typical weekend for Remi Spencer. She works late Friday on several criminal cases at the new digs she designed herself in West Orange. At home on Saturday, she plays with her dogs, hits the gym, dresses up, and then a limo from a television network whisks her into its Manhattan studios. Stylists primp her hair and makeup, and she appears on a talk show that covers the presidential campaign. “Remi Spencer is the Heidi Klum of the courtroom,” someone tweets during her appearance. On …

Practicality Over Profundity

Land use lawyer Diane Whitney is all about common-sense solutions

Diane Whitney’s name gets things done. Lee Hoffman, a member at the Hartford office of Pullman & Comley, tells of failing to persuade an uncooperative court clerk to provide a document. “I then uttered the magic phrase, ‘It’s for Diane Whitney,’ and instantly the woman’s face was transformed,” Hoffman remembers. The clerk not only gave him the document, she spent the next 45 minutes recounting tales of Whitney’s knowledge, tact and kindness. As a partner at Pullman & …

The Dean of the Employment Bar

Betsy Plevan’s career has been based on finding the right fit: for her, for her clients and for a generation of female lawyers

It was 1974 and Bettina Plevan, all of 27 and a young mother not long out of law school, had landed an interview at Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn. Since 1875, the firm had been known for its high-quality work, but it wasn’t a “white shoe firm” dependent on Wall Street and banks; it was known, she says, as a “Jewish firm” because of the diversity of its lawyers, clients and practice. It was so progressive it already had several women associates and even a woman partner. During …

Promise Keeper

Kevin H. Marino, involved in the Bridgegate and Flash Boys trials, doesn’t believe juries believe ‘innocent until proven guilty’

Federal prosecutors had spent four days presenting their case last autumn against James Quinn, a British pharmacist, in U.S. District Court in Virginia. Quinn, 73, was accused of exporting non-FDA-approved drugs to the United States, and faced years in prison. Quinn’s attorney, Kevin H. Marino, fought the prosecution’s case over those four days, cross-examining government witnesses to show that Quinn was innocent and had been tricked by an unlicensed American importer. Now it was his turn …

Diversity, not Divinity

Rotating careers and keeping true to self launched Don H. Liu

Sitting at a conference table at Xerox headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut, Don H. Liu grabs a pen and pad and draws a box with a large block “W” in the middle. The general counsel, executive vice president and secretary of Xerox Corporation has a lesson to impart. The box is a room full of executives, he explains. The “W” is a problem they are working on. If the room is full of white males, all with similar backgrounds and viewpoints, one of them says, “That’s a ‘W.’” The …

Appealing Appellate

How Kathleen M. Sullivan went from academia to the only female name partner among the 100 largest firms in the country

When Kathleen M. Sullivan makes an argument before the U.S. Supreme Court—and she’s argued before it nine times—this is her routine. A few days in advance, she and several colleagues from her firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, take the Acela or a shuttle flight from New York to D.C. They check in at the Hotel Sofitel, near the White House, which she calls “our lucky charm.” Then they spend nearly every waking moment talking about the case. They eat together, anticipating …

Warrior Ethos

When representing disabled soldiers, Michael Pasquale never accepts defeat

They walk slowly into his office, uncertain and fearful. Some limp. Some are disfigured. Some have lost limbs. Others have cognitive and other serious problems due to traumatic brain injuries or struggle with emotional issues due to post-traumatic stress disorder. Many suffer from a combination of disabilities of mind, body and spirit. All are looking for help.  They are U.S. military service members injured in Afghanistan or Iraq. They come to Michael Pasquale for help to understand—and …

The First Filter

That’s what Charles Schwab calls his general counsel Carrie Dwyer

During her last year of college at Santa Clara University, Carrie Dwyer was home for the weekend, preparing dinner with her mother, when the conversation turned to a familiar topic: What exactly was Carrie going to do? It was 1973. Her parents had long suggested she would be a good administrative assistant—a secretary. (Dwyer hated clerical work.) Her folks said she could be a teacher. (Dwyer couldn’t see herself working with young children.) For every suggestion, Dwyer had an ironclad …

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