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Lawyers seem to have played a relatively minor part in the theater of deception and self-dealing that has led to the collapse of Enron Corp. ("Enron") and other corporate titans of the 1990s. The spotlight has been on the grasping managers at the heart of the drama, debased accounting standards and practices, corrupt politicians pressing to abolish or weaken regulations and cripple enforcement, opportunistic investment bankers, conflicted stock analysts, and a credulous business press. But lawyers-both inhouse lawyers and outside law fIrms-were participants in many of the central transactions that ultimately brought about the companies' ruin.

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