Buried amid the news breaking this afternoon that Quintin Cross has surrendered to authorities—six weeks to the day since his disappearance—is an interesting tidbit: Cross is being represented by New York City defense attorney Susan Tipograph.
Tipograph’s legal resumé includes clients deemed by some to be political prisoners, for example a member of the Weather Underground. Operating in some of the same territory as the celebrated William Kunstler, her causes are more likely to be covered by publications such as The Village Voice and The Nation than in the pages of The Register-Star.
Tipograph was also the law partner and former officemate of the radical attorney Lynne Stewart, who was disbarred and sentenced to over two years in prison for her controversial representation of Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. Stewart’s initial prison term for conspiracy and assisting terrorists was extended to 10 years in 2005, after it was further alleged that she had perjured herself at trial. (Stewarts’ supporters believe that she was a victim of post-9/11 hysteria, while others agree with the courts that she stepped over a bright line between merely representing an unpopular client and actual collaboration in crimes.)
So how would Cross wind up represented by Tipograph, who isn’t exactly known for handling small-time burglary cases?* In the middle of the last decade, Tipograph was a presence locally at Time and Space Ltd. on Columbia Street, in connection with various panels and documentary films. I recall meeting her there several times, and this blogger writes that she learned about TSL from Tipograph:
I’d heard tell, via the fabulous lefty lawyer Susan Tipograph, of an interesting performance/film/art/activist center in Hudson, NY...
This leads to the conjecture that Cross conceivably may have connected with Tipograph through someone involved with TSL. Among other connections there, Cross was photographed blowing kazoos on the steps of City Hall with TSL directors Linda Mussmann and Claudia Bruce less than two weeks before it was burglarized. Was Cross in touch with TSL or its directors during the six weeks he was missing? Or, as his recent Facebook postings** about social justice might suggest, did he just happen to find Tipograph on his own?
* ... Though she did recently represent a woman charged with scamming an elderly man with dementia out of his money.
** Cross’s Facebook page has been very active again since last Friday, including posts about “snitches and bitches” and what appears to have been a preview of his surrender: “touch down monday what u want swine lol,” along with other slang references to law enforcement such as “ham and bacon.”