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This article explores the complex and often strained relationship between Tom Mooney, the famous labor radical who was framed for a bombing murder, and his lawyers over the course of the 23-year long battle to gain his freedom. The author uses the lawyers’ archives to explore the intense difficulties that arise between a client who believes the legal system is hopelessly corrupt and his lawyers who hope to free their client and redeem the justice system at the same time. While sympathetic to Tom Mooney and the lawyers, Roiphe concludes that an independent legal profession struggling to negotiate its obligation to the client and the system is a fundamental aspect of the American democratic system.