The 18th Annual Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service will be on Tuesday, October 26, 2010, at 7:30 pm at the Portland Museum of Art.
This lecture series honors the late Judge Frank M. Coffin, longtime federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, former member of Congress, and renowned leader and mentor in public service.
Stephen H. Oleskey is a Boston-based partner in the international law firm WilmerHale and a widely respected leader in public service. In addition to his private practice in complex civil litigation, he has served as Greater Boston Legal Services president, Massachusetts Deputy Attorney General and Public Protection Bureau Chief, and chairman of the Boston Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Massachusetts Equal Justice Commission, and presently of Pact, a Washington DC based global sustainable development non-profit with programs in fifty five countries. He has received numerous awards for his commitment to pro bono legal work over the past four decades.
Since 2004, Oleskey has been co-lead counsel in WilmerHale's successful habeas corpus challenge on behalf of six Bosnian detainees held indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Boumediene v. Bush. That representation led to the Supreme Court's precedent setting 2008 decision in Boumediene, holding that persons imprisoned at Guantanamo were constitutionally entitled to invoke the protection of the Great Writ of habeas corpus. Oleskey’s lecture will discuss how he has blended a career in private practice with robust public service, culminating in the Boumediene representation with its implications for the continuing development of US law involving national security issues.