"37 Conversations: Richard Nixon and John Dean"

Special Bonus: Analysis of the Mueller Report, Part II, Obstruction of Justice and Watergate Parallels

On Deck:

Ohio State Bar Association

August 13, 2019, 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM (3-Hour CLE)

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

One Cleveland Center, 1375 East 9th Street, 44114


August 14, 2019, 8:15 AM to 11:45 PM

Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State Bar Association

1700 Lake Shore Drive, 43204


Hilton Garden Inn

6165 Levis Commons Blvd, 43551

(via video)

Akron, Ohio

(via video from Columbus)

John S. Knight Center

77 E. Mill Street, Akron, Ohio, 44308


August 15, 2019, 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Fairfield, Ohio

Receptions Conference Center North, 5975 Boymel Drive, 45014



How do you understand the unraveling of a criminal conspiracy? How is it possible that the people with all the power in the world cannot think their way out of the conspiracy? How is it that a 34-year-old lawyer is the one who finally figures it out?

There is only one way out of a criminal conspiracy. It is to tell the truth. It is to renounce the conspiracy and to withdraw from it.

John Dean’s story is the quintessential story for lawyers. Model Rule 1.2(d) tells us that a lawyer “shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent.”

Comment 10 provides further explication. “The lawyer is required to avoid assisting the client, for example, by drafting or delivering documents that the lawyer knows are fraudulent or by suggesting how the wrongdoing might be concealed. A lawyer may not continue assisting a client in conduct that the lawyer originally supposed was legally proper but then discovers is criminal or fraudulent. The lawyer must, therefore, withdraw from the representation of the client in the matter. See Rule 1.16(a). In some cases, withdrawal alone might be insufficient. It may be necessary for the lawyer to give notice of the fact of withdrawal and to disaffirm any opinion, document, affirmation or the like. See Rule 4.1.”

So how did the White House Counsel find himself ensnared in a conspiracy to obstruct justice? The answer can be found in Comment 10. Dean did not see his conduct after the break-in on June 17, 1972, as illegal. Yes, funds were raised to pay for the defense of the burglars, and, yes, money was raised for living expenses for the families. But open defense funds were and are commonplace and legal. The obstruction happened when the payments were made in secret with an improper motive: to keep the defendants from cooperating with prosecutors or from testifying about the Watergate crime.

So how did John Dean find his way out of the conspiracy? This seminar will answer that question. Through the exploration of Dean’s 37 conversations with Richard Nixon, mostly one-on-one, you will see how he moved from insider to the person who blew it up.

Along the journey, we will point out critical contingency moments. Small things and great things that pushed the narrative and turned on all the lights that led John Dean to one inescapable conclusion: the only logical answer was that it had to stop.

37 Conversations

  1. September 15, 1972 (50 mins)
  2. February 27, 1973 (25 mins)
  3. February 28, 1973 (71 mins)
  4. March 1, 1973  (28 mins)
  5. March 1, 1973  (8 mins)
  6. March 1, 1973  (8 mins)
  7. March 6, 1973 (11 mins)
  8. March 7, 1973 (23 mins)
  9. March 8, 1973 (3 mins)
  10. March 10, 1973  (24 mins)
  11. March 13, 1973 (78 mins)
  12. March 14, 1973 (4 mins)
  13. March 14, 1973 (67 mins)
  14. March 14, 1973 )(1 min)
  15. March 14, 1973  (43 mins)
  16. March 14, 1973 
  17. March 14, 1973 (2 min)
  18. March 15, 1973 (48 mins))
  19. March 16, 1973 (32 mins)
  20. March 16, 1973 (9 mins)
  21. March 17, 1973 (45 mins)
  22. March 19, 1973 (38 mins)
  23. March 20, 1973 (1 min)
  24. March 20, 1973 (1 min)
  25. March 20, 1973 (49 mins)
  26. March 20, 1973 (14 mins)
  27. March 21, 1973 (103 mins)
  28. March 21, 1973 (41 mins)
  29. March 22, 1973 (106 mins)
  30. March 23, 1973 (18 mins)
  31. March 23, 1973 (16 mins)
  32. April 15, 1973 (55 mins)
  33. April 16, 1973 (40 mins)
  34. April 16, 1973 (1 min)
  35. April 16, 1973 (28 mins)
  36. April 17, 1973 (6 mins)
  37. April 22, 1973 (15 mins)


About The Watergate CLE

"John Dean and Jim Robenalt’s CLE programs have been hailed by attendees across the country as the best CLE in the nation."

Click HERE for the Seminar History July 2017 Graphics

Nixon victory

(click here for a Quick Look Back at the Senate Hearings)

 Featuring Former Nixon White House Counsel John W. Dean


Co-Presented with Lawyer/Presidential Historian Jim Robenalt


 Recent Books

Nixon Defense Cover

John Dean's latest book, The Nixon Defense, What Did He Know and When Did He Know It


Jim Robenalt's latest book, January 1973

Jim Robenalt's latest book, January 1973, Watergate, Roe v Wade, Vietnam, and the Month That Changed America Forever

How did John Dean's Senate testimony in 1973 start a revolution in legal ethics?


These original series of courses (Watergate I, II and III) explore a lawyer's ethical obligations when confronted with organizational crime or fraud.

With a generous use of historic video and White House Tapes, we use John Dean's experience as the ultimate in-house counsel to the most powerful CEO in the world as our case study

Nixon's Supreme Court: An Inside Look at the Vetting of Supreme Court Candidates (or How the Burger and Rehnquist Courts Shaped the Nation).

From the Nixon White House to Trump Tower, uses materials from The Nixon Court and adds a section on Executive Power under Article II. 

For a description of the seminars, click here.

Featured in Watergate III: Jonathan Karl, ABC News White House Correspondent, with Bob Woodward and John Dean on Watergate's "Lost Weekend"


For schedule and listing of past presentations, CLICK HERE