Watergate II | Professional Education Group

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Watergate II
The “Cancer on the Presidency”

Reporting Up Under Model Rule 1.13

John Dean & James Robenalt

As a follow-up to the first seminar, Watergate II takes participants from the slide into conspiracy and obstruction of justice to the moment of realization by Dean that he and others had crossed the line of legality and that he needed to warn the President of the pending disaster that to come if the conspiracy was not ended.

Richard Nixon won a landslide victory in November, 1972.

But the triumph left Hunt and his incarcerated conspirators anxious lest they be forgotten as their cases raced towards trial in January 1973.

A recorded conversation between Hunt and Colson in late November—which Colson passed on to Dean—was the turning point for Dean in his recognition that he and others had become deeply ensnared in the ongoing obstruction of justice.

When his wife was killed in a plane accident in December 1972, Watergate mastermind Howard Hunt increased his demands for money and issued a request for a promise of presidential clemency if he and others pled guilty in the break-in trial.

By March, with sentencing for the Watergate defendants looming, and with Hunt sending more ominous and threatening messages to the White House, Dean decides it is time to “lay it all out” for the president in his now famous “cancer on the presidency” talk with Nixon, which was recorded in the Oval Office on March 21, 1973. The tape (listen here: starts 5 minutes in) takes center stage in the seminar. March 21,1973 – Cancer on the Presidency Transcript.

Watergate II focuses further on the ethics of representation of an organization and the “report up” and “report out” requirements of Model Rule 1.13. The seminar also explores the ethical duties of an attorney who becomes entangled in client wrongdoing, whether deliberately or unwittingly.

 

3 Hours

 

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