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Bob Woodward, high-profile panel to analyze Watergate at ABA Section of Litigation leadership event


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Bob Woodward, high-profile panel to analyze Watergate at ABA Section of Litigation leadership event

By John Glynn

CHICAGO, Sept. 17, 2013 — Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Bob Woodward will speak about the Watergate scandal at the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Fall Leadership Meeting on Sept. 28 at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago. Woodward will present “Lawyers, Judges and Watergate: A Journalist’s Perspective” as the keynote speaker at a session from 9 – 11:30 a.m. 

In addition, a high-profile panel will discuss “Lawyering Lessons from Watergate” from 9 – 11 a.m. Sept. 27. The panel will feature former Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus, former Nixon White House staffer Egil “Bud” Krogh and Richard J. Davis, previously of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. The panel will emphasize the ethical and practical lines between a lawyer’s duty to the client and a lawyer’s duty to the rule of law, as well as the ABA’s role in Watergate as it unfolded.  

“The panel is truly stellar — so is Woodward,” said Don Bivens, a partner at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix and chair of the ABA Section of Litigation.

About the speakers:

Bob Woodward grew up in Wheaton, Ill., the son of Alfred Enos Woodward II, chief judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court. After graduation from Yale University and five years in the U.S. Navy, Woodward joined The Washington Post. He teamed up with Carl Bernstein for much of the reporting on the Watergate scandal, which resulted in a 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. This spring Woodward will return to Yale to teach a journalism seminar.

In Woodward’s 2005 book, “The Secret Man,” he wrote: “I informed my father that law school was off and that I was taking a job, at about $115 a week, as a reporter at a weekly newspaper in Maryland. ‘You’re crazy,’ my father said in one of the rare judgmental statements he had ever made to me.”

William D. Ruckelshaus was born to a family with a long history of practicing law in Indianapolis and serving in Republican Party politics. President Richard Nixon appointed him assistant U.S. attorney general in charge of the Civil Division in 1969 and as the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

In 1973, Ruckelshaus was appointed acting director of the FBI and, later in the same year, deputy attorney general. In the event known as the “Saturday Night Massacre,” Ruckelshaus and Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigned their positions rather than obey an order from Nixon to fire the Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox. After leaving the Justice Department, Ruckelshaus returned to the private sector, eventually moving to Seattle to serve as senior vice president of legal affairs for the Weyerhaeuser Co.

Richard J. Davis was an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, serving as chief trial counsel in the trials of Dwight Chapin and Edward Reinecke and as chief of the political espionage and International Telephone and Telegraph task forces. Davis was also responsible for coordinating issues related to securing documentary evidence and testimony from Nixon. After Watergate, Davis served as an assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Carter administration and as a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Egil “Bud” Krogh graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 1968 and went to work for Hullin, Ehrlichman, Roberts and Hodge, the Seattle law firm of family friend John Ehrlichman. He soon after joined Ehrlichman in the counsel’s office of Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign. After Nixon’s election, Ehrlichman made Krogh head of the Special Investigation Unit in the White House, charged with investigating information given covertly to the press by administration staffers. Krogh and his associates were known as the “plumbers,” the secret team charged with plugging “leaks.”

On Nov. 30, 1973, Krogh pled guilty to federal charges related to the break-in at the office of Lewis Fielding (psychiatrist to Daniel Ellsberg), served four and a half months in prison and was disbarred by the Washington State Supreme Court. He was readmitted to the practice of law in 1980.

For media registration, please contact Al Leeds at or at 202-662-1037.

The Section of Litigation, the ABA’s largest practice specialty section with 59,000 members, is dedicated to helping litigators become more effective advocates for their clients.

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