Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oral Advocacy and the Teapot Dome Trials

The Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit and the Litigation Section of the District of Columbia Bar announce "Timeless Elements of a Great Closing Argument: Lessons from the Teapot Dome Trials." The announcement explains:
The District of Columbia courts tried criminal cases between 1926 and 1930 against President Harding's Secretary of the Interior and others arising from the "Teapot Dome" scandal. That affair included allegations of giving and receiving bribes for the leasing of U.S. oil reserves to private oil companies. Several of those trials pitted defense counsel Frank Hogan (founding partner of Hogan & Hartson, pictured in the lighter-colored overcoat with his client Edward Doheney at right) against Special Prosecutor (and future Supreme Court Justice) Owen Roberts. This program will feature mock closing arguments drawn directly from transcripts of Hogan's and Roberts's arguments in two of the D.C. trials, United States v. Albert Fall and United States v. Edward Doheny. A panel discussion on the essential elements of an effective closing argument will follow.
David C. Frederick will introduce the session and moderate. Mock closing arguments will be provided by two eminent Washington lawyers, Roger M. Adelman and William D. Nussbaum. The panel consists of two judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (the Hons. Ellen Segal Huvelle and Hon. Emmett G. Sullivan) and two lawyers (Timothy G. Lynch and Jacob A. Stein). Admission is free, although attendees are invited to contribute to or become dues-paying members of the Society. A reception will follow the program. No reservations are required. For additional information call 202-216-7346 or consult the website of the Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit.

Image Credits: Juggernaut; Doheney and Hogan, outside the federal courthouse

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