Newsletter #38 - January 2019

Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit - www.dcchs.org

Happy New Year One and All

JUST AHEAD: D.C. HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ DEBUT AS ADVOCATES

Planning for the Society’s 14th Annual Mock Court Program is underway. On March 1, 2019, we expect about 160 high school students to present five-minute oral arguments to D.C. Circuit Courts’ judges on either a First Amendment or a Fourth Amendment case.

We seek additional volunteer lawyers to mentor students in preparing their arguments – a truly rewarding experience for all concerned.   To offer to spend a few hours in late January and February helping students become advocates, please contact Society Vice President Jim Rocap at jrocap@steptoe.com. Then join us in the Courthouse on March 1 at 10 a.m. to watch the students debut as advocates and share with them and participating judges a pizza lunch in the Courthouse Annex.  

(Pictured above -  a scene from the 2018 Mock Court Program)

JUST RELEASED - BENJAMIN CIVILETTI’S ORAL HISTORY

Benjamin Civiletti (pictured right), who served as chief of the Criminal Division, then Deputy AG, and then Attorney General during the Carter Administration, played an outsized role in a host of now-famous matters, including ABSCAM, the Mariel boat lift from Cuba, the Billy Carter and Bert Lance investigations, the Patty Hearst case, and the seizure of American hostages in Iran. His action-packed DOJ years – as well as his experiences over several decades as a leading member of the criminal defense bar – are recounted in his recently released oral history. Civiletti’s oral history was taken and summarized by Patricia Shakow, a Washington attorney and former aide to Senator Jacob Javits and editorial board member of The Washington Post.

ORAL HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS

The Society’s website currently contains the oral histories of more than 90 judges, lawyers, and others who have played a prominent role in the history of the courts of the District of Columbia Circuit. We are now posting short articles that summarize each of these histories -- highlighting interviewees' significant achievements and the fascinating tales they tell. Interviewers who volunteered their time to take the oral histories are now preparing these highlights. Check out these summaries of the oral histories of Judges David Sentelle and Oliver Gasch and Washington superlawyers Benjamin Civiletti, Jack Miller and Billy Martin. Don’t be surprised if you end up reading more of their histories.  

CELEBRATING THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURTS’ CURRENT AND FORMER LAW CLERKS

For the fifth time in as many years, the Society saluted the Courts’ law clerks at a reception in the Courthouse Atrium. The highlight of the event, held on October 25, 2018, was a discussion among three District Court judges, two of whom (Judge Hogan and Judge Friedrich) previously served as law clerks for judges of the court on which they now sit, and Judge Bates who previously clerked on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Responding to insightful questions of moderator, Judge Boasberg, the judges discussed changes they have witnessed in chambers and in the courtroom over the years, including changes occasioned by increases in the number of comprehensive written opinions and the additional number of law clerks working in chambers.

The over 150 clerks attended, listened closely as the judges reminisced about their lives as clerks, and enjoyed the camaraderie the event fostered.

THE UNVEILING OF JUDGE THOMAS F. HOGAN’S PORTRAIT

At a ceremony before Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell and the judges of the U.S. District Court, Judge Hogan presented his portrait (pictured left) to the Court on November 9, 2018. If you are reading this newsletter on line, you can view the portrait, as you read about Judge Hogan and Robert E. Egeli, the artist who painted the portrait.

A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES

Robin Biggins (pictured right) has been Steve Pollak’s assistant for over 40 years and, thus, an assistant to the Society since 1993 when Steve joined the Historical Society Board. Her many talents come to the fore as she assists with fundraising and membership communications, the production of color brochures and membership materials, financial and tax matters, and oral histories, among other things.

Robin and husband Mark have three children, Michael, Christopher, and Patrick -- all in their 20s -- two dogs, one “granddog” and one “grandcat.” Renowned for her dog training skills, Robin has two mottos: “Two dogs are better than one – two dogs play with each other; one dog eats the house” and “Cats Rule!” Robin and Mark have a pact with their children, who reside in Maryland, Utah and Oregon, to ski together at least once a year.

Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit

E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 4714
Washington, DC 20001-2866

202-216-7346

www.dcchs.org

Facebook Twitter
MailerLite