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“What Would Lincoln Think of Your Courtroom and Today’s Lawyers?”

Thursday, June 4, 2020 | 3:00pm - 4:00pm UTC

Online Program

As judges, our professional lives would be considerably eased by understanding Abraham Lincoln’s view of the American legal profession. Lincoln’s career as a lawyer strongly influenced his Presidency and legacy.

For example, did you know that:

  • Lincoln served as a judge in Illinois?
  • Lincoln had a minimalist approach to a trial, excising arguments on what was extraneous to the central issue in the case, and focusing – and fiercely advocating – on that critical issue?
  • Lincoln shared advice with his fellow lawyers on professionalism and integrity?
  • Lincoln had a deep and abiding commitment to settlement, when possible?

Indeed, Lincoln had a practice of not charging a fee to his client when he was able to settle that case on the courthouse steps.

Lincoln practiced law five times longer than he served as President. It was as a lawyer that he honed his skills at compromise and later developed a keen ability as President to forge alliances among individuals and factions of competing egos, interests, and agendas. Those qualities that Lincoln brought to the darkest hours of our nation’s history are more relevant and important to our courtrooms and legal profession today than ever before.

So, what would Lincoln think of your courtroom and today’s lawyers? I sat down with Mr. Lincoln recently. Let’s ask and hear – in his own words – Lincoln’s perspective on five paramount issues that continue to challenge us as judges and lawyers:

1. Avoiding Needless Litigation.
2. Civility.
3. Professionalism.
4. Legal Tactics.
5. Preference for Settlement.

Registration is required for this event. Prior to the program, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


About the Presenter:

Hon. Dennis J. Curran served as an Associate Justice to the District Court; then in the newly-constructed Boston Municipal Court in 2003; and in 2006, was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court where he served for over a decade.

Justice Curran has been honored by the Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award, (from the Massachusetts Bar Association), the William Whiting Judicial Courage Award (by the American Board of Trial Advocates – Massachusetts Chapter), the President’s Award for Judicial Excellence (by the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys), and the Annual Judiciary Award (by the Order of the Sons of Italy – Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.)

He is a member of the National Board of Advisors of The Lincoln Forum. Other Board members include scholar and noted author Doris Kearns Goodwin, filmmaker Ken Burns and Presidential historian Michael R. Beschloss. Justice Curran has also been elected a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society; he is a member and lecturer of The Lincoln Group of Boston.



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File Size: 8.5 MB





Thursday, June 4, 2020
3:00pm - 4:00pm UTC
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