John Dean, white house counsel, 1970-1973
One of the best summer sequels isn’t in the movie theater. It’s a follow-up to the ACC-GNY Watergate I CLE last year that focused on the week following the Watergate break-ins during the Nixon presidency, and discussed White House counsel John Dean’s ethical duties of confidentiality and his response to the discovery of the crime.
This year’s program, Watergate II, looks at events following the start of the cover-up, leading to the unraveling of the conspiracy and John Dean’s famous warning to President Nixon that there was a “cancer growing on the presidency.” This program focuses on Mr. Dean’s role as in house counsel and his attempt to “report up” to the CEO about ongoing crime within the organization. The CLE explores the ethical obligations of a lawyer under the Model Rules, which sprang from Mr. Dean’s testimony 40 years ago this year. The program will explain, with video and White House audio tapes from the time, how the Nixon tapes were discovered, the fight for the tapes, and the so-called Saturday Night Massacre (the firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox), and its aftermath. It is a deep dive into Watergate and an opportunity to live history with one of the participants. The ethics lessons still resonate today.