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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, October 6, 2017

Watergate figure Dean set for Bar seminar




Unchecked presidential powers are plastered on the walls of American history.

Prior to Watergate, there was FDR’s Sumner Welles situation, Truman’s steel seizure, Eisenhower’s U-2 incident, JFK’s lady friends and LBJ’s Bobby Baker investigation.

Even with its lessons, Watergate did not stem the tide, for in its wake followed Goldwater vs. Carter, Reagan’s Iran-Contra deal, Clinton’s impeachment, Bush and Cheney’s Iraq and Obama’s “imperial presidency.”

Rest assured the constitutional restrictions on the office will be tested again. To offer thoughtful and practical insight into what’s taking place in the halls of power, what might lie ahead and how the practicing Bar can respond, John Dean and James Robenalt will present a seminar entitled “From the Nixon White House to Trump Tower: A unique look at executive power, judicial appointments and the back-story of Roe vs. Wade” Thursday, Nov. 2 at Miller & Martin.

The event will begin with registration at 8 a.m.; the seminar will begin at 8:30. The cost for members of the Chattanooga Bar Association is $200; non-members can attend for $250. Attendees will earn three dual CLE credits.

A Q&A will end the seminar; a book signing will follow it.

“The future might be uncertain, but your enjoyment of this fascinating discussion is guaranteed to stimulate your civic consciousness and invigorate your passion as a champion of the rule of law,” Dean says.

Dean’s direct knowledge of the application (and misapplication) of presidential powers and Robenalt’s encyclopedic knowledge of the presidency and the courts will combine to offer insight into the following topics:

Background and executive powers:

-- Who’s the client for White House counsel under Model Rule 1.13?

-- Reporting Up: a lawyer’s obligation when an organization is involved in crime or fraud

-- Reporting Out: when crime or fraud can’t be stopped

-- Understanding the Prospect Theory

Trump’s executive power:

-- Was Nixon correct when he sad, “When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.”

-- Why former Justice David Souter says understanding these issues are important for attorneys as guardians of the Constitution

-- Pre-Watergate unchecked presidential powers

-- Post-Watergate unchecked presidential powers

-- Checking President Trump’s powers in general and his influence on the Supreme Court specifically

Selecting and vetting Supreme Court candidates:

-- Will President Trump employ Nixonian hardball tactics to shape the U.S. Supreme Court?

-- How presidents select and vet potential justices

-- The Harry Blackmun appointment

-- The unexpected consequences of Blackmun’s selection

The implication for Trump of Nixon’s appointments of Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist:

-- What Trump can learn from Nixon’s appointment of Justices Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist

-- Analysis of political aspects of Supreme Court nominations

Before becoming counsel to the president of the United States in 1970 at age 31, Dean was chief minority counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, associate director of a law reform commission and associate deputy attorney general of the U.S. He served as Richard Nixon’s White House lawyer for 1,000 days.

Dean did his undergraduate studies at Colgate University and the College of Wooster, with majors in English literature and political science. He received a graduate fellowship from American University to study government and the presidency before entering Georgetown University Law Center, where he received his JD in 1965.

Dean recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate in two books: “Blind Ambition” (1976) and “Lost Honor” (1982).

He lives in Beverly Hills, California, with his wife, Maureen, and now devotes his time to writing and lecturing, having retired from his career as a private investment banker. He’s working on his 12th book, which returns to Watergate and is based on material only recently made available.

Robenalt is a partner and former chair of the business litigation group at Thompson Hine’s Cleveland, Ohio office. He has won big verdicts for clients, including Avery Dennison ($81 million jury verdict on international espionage case) and Solvay Pharmaceuticals ($68 million arbitration award on drug co-promotion agreement).

Robenalt is the author of two non-fiction books dealing with the American presidency: “Linking Rings: William W. Durbin and the Magic and Mystery of America” (Kent State University Press, 2004) and “The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War” (Palgrave, 2009).

Robenalt teaches and instructs on the legal ethics and the representation of an organization under Model Rules 1.13 and 1.6. He also is a recognized leader in judicial reform in Ohio.

Using Dean as fact witness and Watergate as a case study, Dean and Robenalt have developed fast-paced interactive programs that explore the duties of an attorney representing an organization when wrongdoing is uncovered.

Source: CBA