In Whitman's Hand

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About this Item

Title: Amos T. Akerman to B. J. Waters, 14 February 1871

Date: February 14, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.01734

Source: National Archives and Records Administration. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Joshua Ware, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar

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Feb. 14, 1871.

Hon. B. J. Waters,

Associate Justice Sup. Court, New Mexico,

Santa Fé, N. M.


I have received yours of the 28th ultimo.

No special counsel is yet employed in the case to which you refer. Should it be necessary to employ such, your recommendation of Mr. Scoville will be remembered. But upon general principles I am very reluctant to employ special counsel. The regular counsel for the Government ought to be sufficient for all ordinary occasions, and, although sometimes it might be advantageous to have additional counsel, looking to the particular case alone, yet in general I think it is better to forbear to employ such counsel, and thereby demonstrate to Congress the necessity of fixing the compensation so high that the services of the ablest counsel can be permanently secured.

It is possible that I misled you last November when I spoke to the suggestion of the War Department in this case. I am not certain that the suggestion to which I referred was in this case—and I may have possibly confounded it with another.

Very respectfully,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

case of special counsel in New Mexico


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