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Ginsburg Practices Self-Defense

Attorney William Ginsburg defended his former position as Monica Lewinsky's lawyer in a speech to journalists and lawyers Wednesday night.

"Don't stand on the sidelines criticizing as a cold, timid soul who has never understood the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat," Ginsburg said at Wednesday's dinner, sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

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Ginsburg criticized the media, saying "bah humbug" to "talking head" TV commentators, who he said did not know the facts surrounding his representation of Lewinsky.

Ginsburg, a California medical malpractice attorney, countered reports that Lewinsky herself had decided to dismiss him and hire Washington criminal defense lawyers Jacob A. Stein and Plato Cacheris.

"When I realized my strategy had hit a wall, I had to step aside and suggest to my client that she seek new and different counsel," Ginsburg said.

Lewinsky replaced Ginsburg - a family friend - on Monday. She issued a statement saying that they had parted "through mutual agreement." Ginsburg said that he discussed stepping down about 10 days ago.

Ginsburg also renewed his attack on independent counsel Kenneth Starr and his investigation into whether President Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky and then encouraged the former White House intern to lie about it.

"All lawyers are charged with doing what's in the best interest of their clients," he said in his speech titled, Government and the Media Out of Control: A Male Blood Sport. "The clients of the independent counsel are the people of the United States. They have spoken."

Both of Lewinsky's new attorneys are known in Washington for representing high-profile clients in previous scandals.

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