Watergate: The cancer on the presidency

This event last occurred Feb. 25, 2016


The Watergate II CLE (Continuing Legal Education) is about John Dean’s legendary “cancer on the presidency” conversation with Richard Nixon in the spring of 1973. It is about a young lawyer confronting his boss, delivering very bad news with hard facts, only to be disappointed when his boss will not end ongoing criminal activity, but instead will seek to become more deeply enmeshed in the continuing cover-up. Nixon’s refusal to take hold of the matter will cause Dean to seek the advice of an experienced criminal lawyer, who will skillfully guide the youthful attorney-turned-client to the prosecutors and eventually the Senate Committee investigating Watergate, known as the Ervin Committee.

Dean’s ethical duties of confidentiality and his response to the discovery of crime in the highest echelons of his client, the Office of the Presidency, were analyzed and dissected. Watergate II will explore Dean’s break with his superiors eight months later, examining the risks and legal challenges he faced in reporting on the criminal activities of the people working for his client. Watergate II explores the ethics of “reporting out” and the constraints and limits of the attorney-client privilege, along with attending complications, such as national security restrictions and executive privilege in this instance.

Dean’s “cancer on the presidency” conversation was secretly recorded by Nixon, and this CLE (this seminar includes three hours of ethics credit) will use that recording as the foundation for the topics covered, since the conversation raises timeless issues. Dean will add his firsthand memories surrounding this event, one of the more significant discussions ever held in the Oval Office. This was an event that shaped the presidency and country and started a reform movement in the legal profession that has had an ongoing impact to this day. This material is highly relevant to all lawyers whether new or seasoned and remember well this chapter in American history, because it provokes a continuing dialogue on an attorney’s ethical and legal duties when representing clients.

Watergate with John Dean

Great Hall, Armstrong Hall

For more information contact:

Sandra Macdonald
Continuing Legal Education
480-965-8454 http://cle.asucollegeoflaw.com/seminars/watergate-cle-template-2/