Mercer Law Hosts 21st Annual Georgia Symposium on Professionalism and Ethics


Mercer University School of Law will host the 2020 Mercer Law Review Symposium and 21st Annual Georgia Symposium on Professionalism and Ethics, titled “Ethics, Professionalism, and the Role of the Attorney General of the United States: Lessons from History,” on Friday, Oct. 16. The symposium is free and open to the public as a webinar and will take place from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Registration is required.

The event is approved for five continuing legal education (CLE) hours by the State Bar of Georgia, including one ethics hour and one professionalism hour. Attendees seeking CLE credit can register online and will be responsible for paying the Georgia State Bar directly for CLE credit.

“There is no more pressing issue for the legal profession than to ensure that the rule of law survives the political tumult of the age we live in,” says Patrick E. Longan, W.A. Bootle Chair in Ethics and Professionalism and faculty liaison for the event. “The attorney general has a crucial role to play in this endeavor, and our hope is to bring to light some lessons from history that will help future attorneys general protect the norms and traditions of the Department of Justice, for the benefit of all of us, regardless of political preferences.”

The symposium will open with introductions and a program overview by Mercer Law Dean Cathy CoxLaw Review editors and Longan.

The first session, from 9:10-10:30 a.m., features Dr. Nancy V. Baker on “Historical Context and the Conflicting Loyalties of the Attorney General.” Baker is professor emeritus of political science at New Mexico State University.

The second presentation, from 10:40 a.m.-noon, will be made by William R. Casto titled, “Serving a Lawless President.” Casto is the Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor, 1983, at Texas Tech University School of Law.

The third session, from 1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m., features Lonnie T. Brown, Jr. who will present, “The Attorney General and Civil Unrest: A Comparison of Ramsey Clark and William Barr.” Brown is the A. Gus Cleveland Distinguished Chair of Legal Ethics and Professionalism and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The fourth and final presentation, from 3 p.m.-4:15 p.m., is “Restoring the Credibility of the Department of Justice: Lessons from the Service of Edward H. Levi and Griffin B. Bell,” presented by Patrick E. Longan and James P. Fleissner. Longan is the W.A. Bootle Chair in Ethics and Professionalism at Mercer University School of Law and Fleissner is a professor of law at Mercer University School of Law.

This year’s distinguished guests and commentators will include Richard A. (Doc) Schneider, partner, King & Spalding, Rod J. Rosenstein, partner, King & Spalding, and former deputy attorney general of the United States, and The Honorable William S. Duffey, Jr., United States District Judge (retired) for the Northern District of Georgia.

Full Symposium Schedule

Register Online