A Jan. 30 news story quotes Mary Crawford, press secretary for the Republican National Committee, as saying that the suit by my client, Robert Shireman, against the RNC over its "Million Dollar Medicare Challenge" is "frivolous" and a "publicity stunt." These baseless allegations require a response.

If Mr. Shireman's suit is frivolous, then the presiding D.C. Superior Court judge would have dismissed it last fall, when the RNC and Haley Barbour demanded dismissal. He didn't. Mr. Shireman's suit is in the tradition of cases, consistently upheld by the courts, in which contest promoters are required to keep their promises to the public.

The RNC's contest featured not only a promise, but also a blow-up of a million-dollar cashier's check, drawn on a real bank and signed by a bank executive. The contest had rules, a deadline and an entry form.

If Mr. Shireman's suit were a "publicity stunt," we would have contacted the media when we filed the case last July, or as it proceeded. We didn't. The only stunt involved here -- and the only source of the current publicity -- is the RNC's effort to derail Mr. Shireman's suit by suing him, along with 75 innocent bystanders, in Mississippi, 1,000 miles from where the dispute arose.

DAVID HALPERIN

Washington

The writer is the attorney for Robert Shireman.