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No. 3 April 2010

Chief Judge Sentelle Message from the Chief Judge Sentelle

The Historical Society has been preserving the history of the courts of the D.C. Circuit and educating lawyers and the public about it for twenty years. The programs the Society presents have been both entertaining and educational; the oral histories it has taken of judges and attorneys who are active in the courts are edifying; and the moot court programs the Society sponsors annually for area high school youth engage the minds of the students, helping them understand what makes a good argument in court as they interact with federal judges. We are all grateful for the Society’s contribution to our judiciary. The members of the Society Board deserve our thanks for their dedication and hard work.
Judge Sirica Who Solved Watergate?

For the first time, the Society will present a program as part of the Circuit’s Judicial Conference. “Who Solved Watergate?” is the title and focus of a panel comprised of participants in the investigation of Watergate and ensuing trials. Participants in the June 2010 program include Richard A. Azzaro, Law Clerk to Judge John Sirica; Richard Ben-Veniste, a Lead Prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force; John W. Dean III, Counsel to the President and Lead Government Witness; Rufus Edmisten, Deputy Counsel to the Ervin Committee; Earl J. Silbert, U.S. Attorney; and Barry Sussman, City Editor and Special Watergate Editor, The Washington Post.
FOIA Videotaped Historical Society Programs

Many previous Historical Society programs were videotaped in their entirety. Watch and listen to the following discussions on the Society’s website:
  • Timeless Elements of a Great Closing Argument: Lessons from the Teapot Dome Trials
  • Technology in the Courtroom: Could it Change the Course of History?
  • FCC Indecency Cases in the D.C. Circuit: An Historical Perspective
  • FOIA, National Security and the D.C. Circuit: A Safeguard or a Sham?
  • The Steel Seizure Case in Historical Perspective
  • The Pentagon Papers: Did the Courts Get it Right?
  • Reflections on Watergate
Judge Buckley From the oral history of Judge James L. Buckley:

“I graduated from the school (midshipman school) in April (1944) as a freshly minted ensign; I was then assigned to an LST, the acronym for Landing Ship Tank, which was the largest of the amphibian vessels. You’ve seen them in movies about D-Day, the very large ships that came up onto the beach and lowered a ramp to discharge vehicles. I was assigned to the U.S.S. LST 1013, which was in the final stages of construction in Quincy, Massachusetts. I reported on board just before it was commissioned. I remained on board for the next two years, one month and 13 days. . . .”
Agency Rules A retrospective on the role of the D.C. Circuit in the review of agency rules held the attention of over 100 judges, lawyers, and other Courthouse visitors on March 31.  A panel composed of D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Paul Verkuil, Chair, U.S. Administrative Conference, Michael Fitzpatrick, OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and Howard Fox of EarthJustice discussed the scope of the arbitrary-and-capricious test to be applied by the Court in reviewing agency rules.  The panel was moderated by Jeffrey Lubbers of American University's Washington College of Law.