CLE by the Sea 2016 web banner

First of all, before anyone complains that I’m being braggy about a great trip I’m taking: I have never attended the State Bar’s CLE By the Sea; nor is it in my likely future.

So why am I touting the July 10-13 event today? One reason: boffo marketing

Never having been, I cannot vouch for the event’s content—though the roster of topics and speakers looks great. But what specifically got my attention was a video from the Business Law Track (which I’m told was created by Janet Nearhood of Off Melrose). You can watch it here:

And here is the background on the Business Law Track.

No fear, other presenters! You can see the detail about all the tracks here. And click here to view a printable brochure.

Other videos available cover the Probate Law Track:

… and the Family Law Track:

You’ll spy some different approaches to videos there, but I come not to praise one over another. I merely suggest that most all programs (and content generally) could benefit from a 1-minute video to draw folks in. It gives you a quick insight into what’s on offer and why you should head over to the program.

Do you agree?

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, site of the State Bar of Arizona CLE By the Sea.

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, site of the State Bar of Arizona CLE By the Sea.

John Dean was Time Magazine's cover subject more than once. (And the answer: No, Nixon could not survive Dean's testimony.)

John Dean was Time Magazine’s cover subject more than once. (And the answer: No, Nixon could not survive Dean’s testimony.)

Just like politically motivated burglars in 1972, a sad American anniversary furtively passed me by yesterday—for it was on June 17 in that year that “five men, one of whom says he used to work for the CIA, are arrested at 2:30 a.m. trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex.” (A full timeline of related events and stories, via the Washington Post, is here.)

The break-in at the Watergate and the subsequent executive branch cover-up caused turmoil from coast to coast and eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. (But also a pardon by President Gerald Ford for his secretive predecessor, an event that entirely ruined my 12-year-old birthday on September 8, 1974. I related my own experience of that pardon here.)

If you’d like to hear from someone who was intimately involved with that remarkable moment in American history, head over to San Diego in July, where the State Bar’s CLE By the Sea will feature speaker John Dean, who served as White House Counsel for President Richard Nixon for a thousand days from 1970 until 1973. (He has had other life achievements, but this is the resume line we regularly recall.)

I have never been to CLE By the Sea (I’m as surprised as you are), but this is a speaker who makes me want to break my perfect streak.

You can read more about Dean and his program here.

The pen Gerald Ford used to sign his pardon of Richard Nixon, Sept. 8, 1962. (Wikimedia Commons)

The pen Gerald Ford used to sign his pardon of Richard Nixon, Sept. 8, 1974. (Wikimedia Commons)

When many Americans, including me, think back on the infamy that emerged from the Oval Office, we also recall a few people who stepped up and spoke truth or otherwise acquitted themselves well.

Many people distinguished themselves by doing their jobs well or even going above and beyond the call of duty. Among them were Judge John Sirica, Sen. Sam Ervin, special prosecutor Archibald Cox, Attorney General Elliot Richardson, and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus. (And let’s not forget the Washington Post’s own publisher Katharine Graham and reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.)

Political memories linger, and a campaign button in 1976 reminded voters of Ford's first big presidential decision.

Political memories linger, and a campaign button in 1976 reminded voters of Ford’s first big presidential decision.

Other people initially found themselves in a place that appeared ethically challenged or perhaps even illegal. And within that tawdry chapter of U.S. history, a subset of those decided to speak up and try to make things right.

John Dean was one of those people. As I’ve related before, my household and tens of thousands of others were riveted to Senate hearings at which John Dean played a historic role. We gazed in wonder at the laundry list of allegations emanating from the highest reaches of our government. It was hard not to marvel at the resolve Dean exhibited as he offered the Senate an accounting of the administration’s excesses. Others testified, but none riveted the attention as did John Dean.

John Dean when he was a young government lawyer.

John Dean when he was a young government lawyer.

In San Diego in July, Dean and his co-presenter James David Robenalt will offer insights for attorneys who may confront trouble in their own entities. As a description opens:

“As lawyer for the organization, what are the duties and obligations if a report up to the highest authority within an organization has failed and crime or fraud continue? Rule 1.13 of the Code of Professional Conduct (the ‘Model Rules’) provides that the lawyer may ‘report out’ what the lawyer knows, regardless of the duty of confidentiality imposed by Rule 1.6. And the lawyer’s duties become even more complicated if the lawyer has participated, knowingly or not, in the wrongdoing that gives rise to the reporting obligation. How then does the lawyer extricate himself or herself? When is resignation enough? When does a lawyer need to engage in a ‘noisy’ withdrawal?”

Here’s hoping you get the chance to gain some ethics education just steps from the beaches of Coronado. The complete program and a link to register are here.

AJEI logo Appellate Judges Education Institute

When it comes to terrific legal events (here and here), why should we confine ourselves to Arizona—especially when the pleasures of San Diego are so close?

That’s my thinking as I pass on news of an appellate law event that really deserves your attention. What? You don’t have an appellate practice? That little fact should not dissuade you from considering attending quite an impressive learning opportunity.

The 10th annual Appellate Judges Education Institute will be held at the Marriott Harbor and Marina Hotel in San Diego on November 14-17 (next month). Organizers of the AJEI Summit say that they’ve designed the programming to appeal to appellate judges, appellate lawyers, and appellate staff attorneys—legal editors are likely to be wowed, as well.

The conference website is here. As the materials indicate, the summit will include a reception at the U.S.S. Midway on Thursday, November 14. The conference is sponsored by the Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI), the Appellate Judges Conference of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division (AJC) and by the SMU Dedman School of Law.

The complete agenda is here.

I have been told that the summit is typically attended by more than 200 state and federal appellate judges, lawyers and staff attorneys. And although the program focuses on appellate law, many of the sessions will be of general interest to lawyers.

I’d have to agree with that last point. The speakers will include Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.), U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., more than a dozen appellate judges, including Chief Justice Rebecca Berch, and many nationally recognized appellate advocates and legal scholars.

The event also will include a Supreme Court civil case round-up by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Irvine School of Law (whom I interviewed when he visited Arizona; excerpts from our conversation are here).

Presenters include even more Arizona notables:

  • Hon. Scott Bales, Vice Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court
  • Hon. Ruth V. McGregor, Supreme Court of Arizona (Ret.)
  • Professor Jane Bambauer, University of Arizona Rogers College of Law

(Our own Justice Bales serves as the summit’s Program Chair. Just yesterday, we received the Supreme Court Order noting that Chief Justice Berch’s five-year term as Chief will end in June 2014, and Hon. Scott Bales has been elected by his peers to serve as Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court for a five-year term, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Congratulations!)

Appealing as the summit is, I will be unable to attend. So if there is a lawyer or judge planning on attending who would like to author a blog post (or perhaps a magazine article) on the event, write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. I’m not seeking an overview of the whole multi-day event so much as some cutting-edge appellate topics or takeaways that would be of help to the appellate practitioner—or lawyers generally.