Mrs. Clinton’s legal work included unsavory criminal cases. When a 41-year-old factory worker was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, and requested a female lawyer, a Fayetteville judge appointed Mrs. Clinton, over her objections. The crime lab mistakenly discarded crucial evidence, and she reached a plea bargain, reducing the charge to unlawful fondling; her client served less than a year in jail.
The victim in that case, Kathy Shelton, who supports Donald J. Trump, has accused Mrs. Clinton of attacking her character and putting her through “something you would never put a 12-year-old through.”
.. Her clients were mainly businesses, including a canning company that was sued by a man who found the hind quarter of a rodent in his can of pork and beans.
The man complained of psychological and emotional harm, saying that he could not stop spitting, and that it was preventing him from kissing his girlfriend.
“He sat through the trial spitting into a handkerchief and looking miserable,” Mrs. Clinton wrote of the plaintiff in her 2003 memoir, “Living History.” Something had obviously gone wrong at the factory, she argued, but no harm had been done, since “rodent parts which had been sterilized might be considered edible in certain parts of the world.”
.. Her husband teased her for years about what he called her “rat’s ass” case.
.. She was one of only a handful of women litigating cases in the state, and carefully calibrated her appearance and approach, recalled Amy Stewart, another Rose lawyer. “One of the first things I learned from watching her, when she was with judges or in a deposition or in a courtroom — it was all about not drawing attention to yourself,” Ms. Stewart said. Rather, she added, “it was about drawing attention to the strength of the client’s case.”
.. The National Law Journal named Mrs. Clinton among the country’s most influential lawyers in 1988 and 1991
.. In 1977, she represented an Arkansas utility, First Electric Cooperative, in a case against Acorn, the low-income community organizing group. Acorn had pushed through a ballot initiative to reduce rates for residential customers, especially the poor, while raising rates for businesses. Mrs. Clinton wrote the winning brief over late-night pizza, arguing that the measure would drive businesses out of the state.