Watergate — Dean’s Break with the White House: The Ethics of a Lawyer Representing an Organization in Reporting Crime or Fraud That Is Continuing 2016 (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 3.0
Ethics Credits Included: 3.0

MCLE Credit: 3.0 (Ethics: 3.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Price: $180 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 5/31/2019


A pre-recorded streaming VIDEO replay of the May 2016 live seminar, Watergate — Dean’s Break with the White House.

Featuring Former Nixon White House Counsel John W. Dean

Watergate changed the world we live in, and in doing so it also changed the world of legal ethics. This new program begins after Dean’s March 21, 1973, warning to President Richard Nixon that a “cancer” was growing on his presidency, and discusses the dramatic twists and turns, as Dean hires a lawyer, meets with prosecutors and eventually Senate investigators, and ultimately breaks with the president. He then becomes the target of the administration and somehow navigates through treacherous waters to safe harbor, ending the cover-up.

John Dean and Jim Robenalt’s CLE programs have been hailed by attendees across the country as the best CLE in the nation. Dean’s role as White House counsel is used as a case study to explore the ethics of representing an organization and the “report up” and “report out” requirements of Model Rule 1.13. As a 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 continues? 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?





John W. Dean

Before becoming Counsel to the President of the United States in July 1970 at age thirty-one, John Dean was Chief Minority Counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, the Associate Director of a law reform commission, and Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States. He served as Richard Nixon’s White House lawyer for a thousand days.

Mr. 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 J.D. in 1965.

Mr. Dean initially recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate in two books, Blind Ambition (1976) and Lost Honor (1982). He recently published The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It (2014), his 12th book (10th since retiring), which returns to Watergate and is based on new material now available.  It was this material that prompted him and Mr. Robenalt to develop this CLE.  Mr. Dean lives in Beverly Hills, California, with his wife, Maureen, and now devotes full time to writing and lecturing, having retired from his career as a private investment banker. 

James David Robenalt

Jim Robenalt is a partner and former Chair of the Business Litigation group at Thompson Hine LLP’s Cleveland office.  Mr. Robenalt is also 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).  He is a recognized leader in judicial reform in Ohio.

Mr. Robenalt teaches and instructs on the legal ethics and the representation of an organization under new Model Rules 1.13 and 1.6. Using John Dean as fact witness and Watergate as a case study, he and Mr. Dean have developed an interactive, fast-paced program that explores the duties of an attorney representing an organization when wrongdoing is uncovered.  Rule 1.13 defines “organization” broadly, including corporations, partnerships, unions, governmental entities, and the like.

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