From Nixon’s Watergate to Trump’s White House: Lessons Learned


Former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean to Headline OSBA CLE Program​​

 CONTACT: Maggie Ostrowski
(614) 487-4425, or cell phone: (614) 306-3839

(August 2, 2017) – On Aug. 16, 17, and 18, the Ohio State Bar Association will welcome former Nixon White House Counsel John W. Dean and Cleveland attorney James D. Robenalt, a presidential historian, author, and partner at Thompson Hine LLP, for a special legal ethics program providing a unique look at executive power, and offering lessons learned from Watergate.


The three-hour seminar, for which attorneys can earn continuing legal education credit (including one hour of professional conduct credit), uses historic footage and revealing White House tapes, to take the audience inside the Oval Office to experience firsthand how John Dean, as a young lawyer, dealt with the Watergate crisis, both his participation in the wrongdoing and his extrication with the help of an experienced criminal lawyer.


There are many parallels between Watergate and the Russian investigation, as there are many dissimilarities. The seminar explains the Watergate precedent and how it may or may not apply to the unfolding drama in Washington involving President Trump, James Comey, Congress and the Special Counsel Robert Mueller. As a regular CNN contributor, John Dean continues to be an important voice on legal issues involving presidential scandals, like the meaning of the federal obstruction of justice statutes and the use or abuse of presidential powers.


The benefit for civil and government lawyers is that it causes practitioners to think about ethical obligations to clients, and even more expansively, about the role of lawyers as public citizens. The seminar uses John Dean's experience as White House Counsel to illuminate similar issues faced by all in-house lawyers dealing with difficult management or CEOs. It also shines a bright light on the lawyer's ethical obligations when representing an organization caught in crime or fraud that is ongoing. Sometimes a lawyer representing an organization must protect it from the very people running it.


Dates and Locations:

All of the following sessions run from 8:30 a.m. – noon:


August 16 - Cleveland

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

One Cleveland Center, 1375 East 9th Street,

Cleveland, Ohio 44114


August 17 - Columbus*

Ohio State Bar Association

1700 Lake Shore Drive

Columbus, Ohio 43204

*This program will also be simulcast in Akron (John S. Knight Center, 77 E. Mill Street), and Perrysburg (Hilton Garden Inn, 6165 Levis Commons Blvd).


August 18 - Fairfield

Receptions Conference Center North

5975 Boymel Dr.

Fairfield, Ohio 45014


For more information about the program and on how to register, go to the registration brochure. Also, find biographies for Dean and Robenalt here:




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