HARRISBURG (March 17, 2008) - Col. Morris D. Davis, former chief prosecutor for the Department of Defense's Office of Military Commissions who resigned his position over the controversial practice of using water boarding to obtain evidence, will be the luncheon speaker April 3, 2008, during the Pennsylvania Bar Association's inaugural Law Policy Forum in Philadelphia.
Davis, currently the director of the U.S. Air Force Judiciary, was responsible for directing the overall prosecution efforts of the United States in the Guantanamo military commissions. In a recent New York Times he wrote: "My policy as the chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantánamo was that evidence derived through water boarding was off limits. That should still be our policy. To do otherwise is not only an affront to American justice, it will potentially put prosecutors at risk for using illegally obtained evidence … Unfortunately, I was overruled on the question, and I resigned my position to call attention to the issue."
The presidential candidates also have been invited to address the forum, which will be held at the CLE Conference Center in the John Wanamaker Building. Philadelphia CBS 3's Eyewitness News anchor Larry Mendte will be the moderator for a special afternoon town hall meeting, which will be open to the public, during which experts from Pennsylvania area law schools and other community leaders will be asked to apply the law to the various positions on the war on terror and immigration of the presidential candidates.
"Since this event will take place just two weeks before the Pennsylvania presidential primary, it will offer a perfect opportunity to learn about the law and how it affects the policy positions of our nation's future president," said PBA President Andrew F. Susko of Philadelphia.
Held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and Pennsylvania area law schools, the forum will feature CLE courses on how the Rule of Law can be applied to the topics of the war on terror and immigration reform.
The first morning CLE session will offer a panel discussion of the "War on Terror: The Role of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches," moderated by John Burkoff of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Panelists will include Dean Donald J. Guter, Duquesne University School of Law and former Judge Advocate General of the United States Navy; Duncan Hollis, professor, Temple University, Beasley School of Law; Brian Foley, visiting associate professor, Drexel University School of Law; Stephen Henderson, associate professor of law, Widener University School of Law, Delaware campus; Penny Pether, Villanova University School of Law; and Dr. Jeffrey D. McCausland, visiting professor of international law and diplomacy, Penn State Dickinson School of Law.
The second morning CLE session will cover the topic of "Immigration Policy: The Role of National, State and Local Government," moderated by Min Suh of the Philadelphia law firm of Fox Rothschild. Panelists will be Nathaniel Nichols, associate professor of law and director of clinical programs, Widener University School of Law, Delaware campus; Jill E. Family, associate director, Law and Government Institute and associate professor, Widener University School of Law, Harrisburg campus; Won Kidane, visiting assistant professor of law, Penn State Dickinson School of Law; David Harris, professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law; and Linda Bosniak, professor, Rutgers University School of Law - Camden.
Participants can earn six substantive CLE credits for the program, which will run from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the CLE Conference Center located in the John Wanamaker Building. Members of the public who are non-attorneys may attend the luncheon at noon and the afternoon portion of the program, which runs from 2:30 p.m. - 4: 30 p.m., for a registration fee of $30.
Tuition, including the course book, is $169 for members of PBA or any county bar association who register more than two days prior to the event. The luncheon featuring Col. Davis and a reception following the program are included in the registration cost. To register, call the Pennsylvania Bar Institute at 1-800-932-4637 or visit the PBI Web site at www.pbi.org.
Members of the PBA Law Policy Forum Steering Committee include Andrew F. Susko, president, PBA; Charles Eppolito III, secretary, PBA; Stephanie F. Latimore, immediate past president, PBI; Joanne S. Epps, Temple University, Beasley School of Law; Daniel Filler, Drexel University School of Law; Erin Daly, Widener University School of Law, Delaware campus; Susan Raeker-Jordan, Widener University School of Law, Harrisburg campus; Doris Del Tosto Brogan, Villanova University School of Law; Carla D. Pratt, Penn State University Dickinson School of Law; Lu-in Wang, University of Pittsburgh School of Law; and Rayman L. Solomon, Rutgers University School of Law.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.