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Santa Clara University Law School Celebrates Centennial with 9th Circuit

By Robyn Hagan Cain on September 06, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

First, it was the University of Montana School of Law; now it's Santa Clara University Law School's turn.

Santa Clara University Law School is turning 100 and celebrating in style with judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Unlike last week's Ninth Circuit hearings in Montana that featured retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sitting by designation, the Santa Clara Ninth Circuit connect will be a bit more theatrical.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Alex Kozinski and Stephen Trott, and Northern California District Judge Charles Breyer, will be participating in an historic trial re-enactment of People v. Clarence Darrow to celebrate the centennial of both the law school and the case. Clarence Darrow fans will recall that the legendary lawyer was tried twice, but never convicted, of attempting to bribe two Los Angeles jurors.

Chief Judge Kozinski will preside over the trial, Judge Trott will prosecute, and Judge Breyer, playing Darrow, will represent himself in one of the trials.

Also participating in the re-enactment as Darrow's defense counsel will be Michael Tigar, professor emeritus of the Duke University School of Law and the American University Washington College of Law. Dean Donald Polden and Professor Robert Peterson of the Santa Clara University Law School will portray, respectively, the investigator in the case and one of the jurors allegedly approached with bribe offers. Another SCU law professor, Gerald Uelmen, will act as bailiff, while 12 graduates of the law school's class of 2011 will decide the case.

Will history repeat itself, or will the participants follow Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's ABA conference lead and change the past? If you want to be the first to find out, the re-enactment will be staged on September 10, 2011, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Dance and Recital Hall on the university campus. Admission is free with advance registration.

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