The lawyers who represent poor people in D.C. Superior Court voted yesterday to end a strike that began two weeks ago when the attorneys learned that judges had circulated a list of lawyers who were judged to be incompetent.
After a vigorous debate, with many attorneys arguing that the strike should continue, a group of the lawyers voted 63 to 13 to end the strike, during which the lawyers had refused to take new cases.
At the suggestion of Chief Judge H. Carl Moultrie I, the attorneys selected three lawyers who will serve with three judges on a negotiating committee, that will act as a liaison between the lawyers and the court.
Attorney Gene Shipp, a member of the new committee, said the group will first try to get more pay for the attorneys and get the court's library reopened for their use. Shipp said the committee will also explore the possibility of stripping judges of their authority to appoint attorneys to cases and to cut pay vouchers.
Gerald M. Kane, one of the first lawyers to call for the strike two weeks ago, argued yesterday that the strike had "served its purpose" and should end. "If negotiations don't work, we can always take another vote to strike," Kane told fellow lawyers.