17th Annual Frank Coffin M. Lecture on Law and Public Service listen to lecture

This year’s distinguished lecturer is KURT L. SCHMOKE, Dean of Howard University School of Law and former Mayor of Baltimore City, Maryland. This lecture series honors Judge Frank Coffin, longtime federal judge on the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and former member of Congress.

Kurt Schmoke’s lecture, entitled “Encountering Executive Justice: The President’s Power to Pardon,” draws lessons from his wide-ranging experience as an advocate, a policy maker, and a political leader. Illustrating a range of opportunities for lawyers to make a difference, he discusses his experience in three cases representing clients seeking presidential pardons from two different Presidents. These cases implicate issues of executive authority, espionage, constitutional protections, and the lawyer’s role.

Dean Kurt Schmoke’s public sector service has included his appointment by President Carter in 1977 as Assistant Director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff and election in 1982 as State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, representing the State of Maryland in criminal prosecutions and supervising Grand Jury proceedings. After serving three terms as Baltimore mayor (1987-1999), Kurt Schmoke joined the international law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering where he assisted large organizations in resolving state and local government relations problems. He was appointed Dean at Howard in 2003. Dean Schmoke is a graduate of Yale University, Harvard Law School and Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

The Coffin Lecture was held on Thursday, October 29, 2009, 7:00 p.m., at the Abromson Community Education Center, 88 Bedford Street, Portland.

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