Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2005-02-18

Writer and attorney Mark Curriden will address students at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law Thursday (FEB. 24) at 11 a.m. in the moot courtroom of Robinson law building. The lecture, sponsored by Cumberland's Cordell Hull Speakers Series, is open to the public free of charge.

Curriden will discuss his book, Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched 100 Years of Federalism. The national bestseller chronicles the true story of Ed Johnson, who in 1906 was arrested, put on trial, convicted, sentenced to die and lynched--all within 60 days. The situation deals with race relations, protection of the innocent, the threat of mob rule and the potential influence of politics on jurisprudence.

Some legal scholars contend that the Chattanooga, Tenn., case, which was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, signaled a change in the nation's entire criminal justice system. The book is being made into a movie.
Curriden was educated as a lawyer but worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before becoming legal affairs writer at The Dallas Morning News. In 2002, he joined Vinson & Elkins law firm in Dallas, where he is a lawyer and senior communications counsel. He is also working on his next book.

The program is approved for one hour of continuing legal education (CLE) ethics credit. Lawyers must register with the Cumberland CLE office in advance of the program. For CLE information, call 726-2391.

Holly Bennett, a third-year law student from Russellville, Ark., is chair of the Cordell Hull Speakers Series.