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By Martha Neil, American Bar Association

As a stunning federal corruption case was unveiled this week against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, many wondered why he is being represented by a well-regarded Chicago attorney rather than a nationally known big-name white-collar criminal defense lawyer such as, say, Winston & Strawn's Dan Webb.

The answer to that question may now be clear: According to the Wall Street Journal, Winston & Strawn stopped representing Blagojevich after he failed to pay some $500,000 in legal fees.

"Earlier this year, Mr. Blagojevich, strapped for cash and burdened by a years-long federal investigation into his administration, stopped paying a portion of the millions of dollars in legal fees owed to the law firm Winston & Strawn," the newspaper writes, citing as sources unnamed "people familiar with the matter."

Both the governor and his counsel declined to comment, the article states.

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