"Rules for Terror Tribunals May Deter Some Defense Lawyers"

United States officials say that when they begin military tribunals for prisoners charged with terrorism, they greatly want the trials to be seen as fair, both in the nation and throughout the world.

But as the Pentagon prepares for the first such proceedings in more than 50 years, it is encountering a potent criticism: many lawyers and bar groups say the conditions for civilian defense lawyers are so restrictive that they might not agree to participate in the process and thereby lend it legitimacy.

The issue of whether lawyers should agree to defend prisoners in proceedings at the naval base at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, has been raised most forcefully so far by Lawrence S. Goldman, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which has 11,000 members � including most of the nation's prominent defense lawyers.

The New York Times reports the story here.