Last Tuesday, the 10th, I participated in a CLE program that was the exception to the rule that "war stories" are not good CLE. "War stories" are anecdotes about a trial or other experience in representing a client. Often, these stories, while entertaining, primarily serve to make the storyteller look good. They lack educational value.
This program, "To Do Justice", was different. It was put together by Douglas Bates, III, a Centerville, TN, lawyer whose father, Douglas Bates, II, was defense counsel for the 40 defendants in the first American war crimes trial of Nazis after World War II. Joshua Greene, author of the book shown at the right, and producer of the acclaimed "Voices from the Holocaust" documentary, contacted Doug Bates on 9/11/2001 to ask him about his dad. Professor Greene had just finished reading the transcript of the first Dachau trial at the invitation of the widow of the prosecuting attorney, Bill Denson, and wanted to know what Doug knew of his father's role in that trial. Greene and Bates became friends, and Doug Bates conceived the idea of bringing Joshua Greene to Nashville for a CLE program built around the Dachau trial. Monday evening (the 9th) and Tuesday saw the fruition of that dream.