In Lawyer Showdown, Sticking Up for Spencer 

In response to John Boatwright's letter ("Tony Spencer Is No David Baugh," Feb. 21), allow me to say that I have known Tony Spencer for over 30 years, and he is a person of the highest integrity and honor. I also know how hard he works for his clients, and I find it difficult to believe that any lawyer works harder on behalf of his clients than Tony Spencer.

With his zeal, expertise and intellect, Mr. Spencer has obtained outstanding results for his clients. After serving as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Tax Review at the University of Virginia's law school, he moved in 1983 to New York City, where he achieved success for his clients in tax and corporate litigation and in defending against a claim by Oppenheimer & Co. before the NYSE Arbitration Panel arising out of a margin call on Black Monday.

Since moving to Richmond in 1990, Tony Spencer has won over 80 percent of his jury trials, including three serious violent felony trials in New York City in 2000 in which his clients were acquitted of all charges. As an attorney with Morchower, Luxton & Whaley, he averaged two successful criminal appeals a year for 10 years, and samples of his work were used to teach appellate writing to students at University of Richmond's law school.

In 2002, Mr. Spencer left private practice to serve as deputy commonwealth's attorney for Richmond, where he was responsible for overseeing the investigation and prosecution of economic crime, government corruption and Project Exile cases. During his tenure in the office, he also tried numerous individuals charged with serious violent crimes and obtained 10 murder convictions in the 10 murder cases he handled. He wrote that office's first handbook and pioneered the use by Richmond prosecutors of criminal information and regular grand jury subpoenas duces tecum.

With police, he participated in formulating and carrying out Operation Crackdown in Richmond's Carver neighborhood, which resulted in clearing a seven-year-old murder and imprisoning 21 crack cocaine dealers.

Spencer returned to private practice in 2006, and he continues to excel at the highest level of his profession. I do not know David Baugh or John Boatwright, but I do know Tony Spencer, and there is no one else I would choose to handle a legal problem for me or anyone dear to me.

James V. Duty

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