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Ginsburg, Lewinsky's lawyer, dies at 70

April 3, 2013 at 2:51 PM   |   Comments

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SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., April 3 (UPI) -- William H. Ginsburg, who came to national prominence as Monica Lewinsky's lawyer, died of cancer in his California home at the age of 70, family members said.

Ginsburg, of Sherman Oaks, had a long career as a medical malpractice attorney before he took on the sex-scandal case, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Ginsburg, who died Monday, successfully defended many unpopular clients, including the doctor charged with covering up the cause of Liberace's 1987 death from AIDS, the Times reported.

He took Lewinsky on as his client because of his friendship with her physician father. Lewinsky is the former White House intern who allegedly perjured herself about having sex with President Bill Clinton.

Ginsburg met with criticism for amateurish handling of the case, including that he didn't early on obtain immunity for Lewinsky, the Times reported. He left the case and the Washington spotlight after six months, handing the case over to a new defense team.

On leaving Washington in June 1998, he said, "If you submitted the entire Bible to the press and one page had the word 'sex' printed on it, the press would focus on that word, rather than the other wonderful truths we find in that book."

Ginsburg later wrote an open letter in California Lawyer magazine to Kenneth Starr, the independent prosecutor in the Lewinsky case: "Congratulations, Mr. Starr! As a result of your callous disregard for cherished constitutional rights, you may have succeeded in unmasking a sexual relationship between two consenting adults."

In the mid-1980s, Ginsburg won a case that set a precedent in right-to-die cases. He defended Glendale Adventist Medical Center in a $10-million lawsuit brought by a patient who wished to be disconnected from life-support machines, the newspaper said.

Although the patient died before the case could be heard, Ginsburg did not ask for the case to be dismissed, but rather moved forward and won the ruling that his deceased client had had a constitutional right to refuse treatment.

Ginsburg, who retired a few years ago, is survived by his wife, Laura; children David, Maxwell and Sasha; his mother, Sylvia; a brother, Kenneth; and two grandchildren, the Times reported.

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