About Timothy Harper

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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

A Boardroom Lawyer

How Martin Lipton changed corporate law

For a man known for precision when it comes to plotting corporate legal strategies, Martin Lipton can be vague talking about himself. “One thing led to another,” he says. “Things just went well,” he says. About the only way to get Lipton, 82, to make a definitive statement about himself is to ask if he’s thinking about retirement. “People always ask, do you have a plan, do you have a strategy?” he says. “Actually, yes, I do have a plan. I plan on doing what I am doing until I …

Torch, Passed

Susan Brune represents a new generation of trial lawyers

On a business trip to London last year, Susan Brune decided to see what trial law was like in the birthplace of common law. She wandered into the courts, found a trial in progress, took a seat. In Britain, many cases, both civil and criminal, are prepared by solicitors, lawyers who represent clients directly but do not handle trials. For trials, the solicitor engages a barrister who goes to court with little direct client contact. In the trial she watched, it was obvious to Brune that the …

The Internet Frontier

NBCUniversal’s Rick Cotton works to combat Internet piracy and protect content

For much of his long and varied career in law, business and government, Rick Cotton has been behind the scenes. He’s typically not the general leading the troops. Instead, he’s the top aide who quietly makes sure the general knows when, where and how to lead the troops. But now Cotton, executive vice president and general counsel at NBCUniversal Inc., has stepped to the forefront of one of the most important legal battles of the 21st century—the battle over ownership of Internet content. …

Blue-Collar Ethics

Hard work—and a knack for presentation—make Raymond Gill Jr. a courtroom powerhouse

Raymond Gill Jr. occasionally stands at the window of his spacious corner office, contemplating the view from the Woodbridge office building that bears his name. It reminds him of his blue-collar upbringing, and the work ethic that has made him one of New Jersey’s top lawyers. The view is of a sprawling cemetery. Gill’s grandfather, an immigrant from Italy, made many of the thousands of tombstones and monuments in that cemetery and others in the area. From the time he was big enough to …

Stein’s Way

Joshua Stein, one of the first lawyers with a laptop, hangs a shingle midcareer

Joshua Stein keeps surprising people. He surprises them by not being an aggressive, hard-bargaining, big-city attorney. “Are you sure you’re from New York?” lawyers and clients from other parts of the country often ask. Back in the 1980s, he surprised them by walking into meetings, pulling out one of those new-fangled laptop computers, and tapping away. In complicated deals, he is known for simple yet creative solutions, and among the bar for his prolific writing, and last year, at the …

Big Deal

Julie Jacobs navigates the new media frontier at AOL

There were a lot of standing ovations at the Super Bowl in Dallas last February, but Julie Jacobs was probably the only lawyer who received one. And she wasn’t even at the game. Jacobs, general counsel for AOL, was 1,500 miles away that Sunday night, in her New York office where she had been working all weekend hammering out the final details of a big deal: the $315 million purchase of The Huffington Post, which required negotiating with the other side’s lawyers, nailing down the terms, and …

Keeping Divorce Civil

Lynn Fontaine Newsome makes partings more peaceful

Lynn Fontaine Newsome put herself through college and law school working at a hospital, gathering information from people in pain: both those being admitted and their worried loved ones. “I really saw many people in distress, which has always stayed with me,” Newsome says. “It was very moving at times.” She learned how reassuring a calm, competent manner could be to someone hurt or frightened. Those lessons have served her well throughout her career as a lawyer, including the last 12 …

Making Deals Happen

In junior high, Brian Weinhart sold hair dryers to secretaries; now he makes multimillion-dollar deals

It was 1997. Brian Weinhart and some buddies were flying home to Los Angeles from a ski weekend in Utah when he began feeling mild chest discomfort. He was in his mid-30s, healthy, and had never had any heart problems. His friends told him he’d probably pulled a muscle. But when they landed, just to be safe, Weinhart had them drive him straight from the airport to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was rushed through the emergency room and diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart …

The Ultimate Lawyer-Statesman

How Gary Naftalis beat Perry Mason, defended Michael Eisner, and sank a shot at Madison Square Garden

The receptionists were polite and apologetic, but unfortunately, they said, Gary Naftalis would be tied up longer than expected. When Naftalis finally appeared, he, too, was apologetic. He explained that he had been delayed by an emergency phone call. He also suggested, with a wry smile, that getting into his office right away was not necessarily a good thing. “If you were in big enough trouble, you would have gotten in right away,” he said. For people in big trouble, Naftalis is worth …

Mark H. Jackson’s Second Client Is the First Amendment

His first is Dow Jones

In his senior year of high school, when Mark H. Jackson was editor of the Cougar Crier, the student newspaper at John F. Kennedy High School in Long Island, his staff reported a story that the school administration didn’t like. Jackson can’t remember what the story was about, but he does remember being called to the principal’s office. He was told that the story had to be killed. “I’m sorry, Mr. Tanenbaum,” he told the principal. The newspaper was already circulating throughout the …

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