Two Honourable Lawyers

We sometimes forget the impetuses that sparked our interest in the justice system. Two recent new items from the current debates about the limits of presidential power remind us of the importance of the lawyer’s independent judgment.

Remember Alberto Mora and John Dean.

A fine piece in the New Yorker about Alberto J. Mora, the current International Counsel for WalmartAlso see the New York Times and the Washington Post..

Mr Mora was General Counsel to the US Navy who raised concerns about the legality of the treatment of captives in a comprehensive memorandum laying out chapter and verse of wrongdoing – the most effective defence of the Geneva Conventions and a searing rebuttal for the gloves are off, by any means necessary Jay Bybee memorandum to Alberto Gonzales.

Mr. Mora’s story is a moving one for any lawyer. He has just won the JFK Profile in Courage Award and is being talked about as a candidate for General Counsel of the YearTo follow the Mora story the Daily Kos has a feed. .

John Dean – yes, that John DeanThough see Dean’s own piece Doing Legal, Political, and Historical Research on the Internet: Using Blog Forums, Open Source Dictionaries, and More for notes on how accurate the Wikipedia entry on himself is – was asked to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday about the programme of wiretapping outside the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and illegal searches outside the Fourth Amendment.

His testimony was controversialSee the Times comments and the Post’s., but I thought he made a persuasive argument that the disregard of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was worse than WatergateWhich is also the title of his 2003 book, an extract from which now makes interesting reading.

Given the ironies of history, the position he advanced is fascinating for any lawyer to read.
John Dean's book

Comments are closed.