The Alaska Bar evades the controversial choice of Dershowitz’s keynote

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A few days after the announcement that the famous trial attorney Alan Dershowitz would be the keynote speaker, controversy arose among its members, the Alaska Bar Association has canceled this year’s annual conference.

The board of directors cited several concerns about the annulment, especially the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Alaska.

The cancellation also ended the controversy over the selection of Dershowitz, made exclusively by Robert Stone, an Anchorage lawyer, as part of his job as chairman of the board to organize the annual conference. The council will meet this week to see if the invitation will remain after complaints have been made.

“Once the convention was canceled, all the other issues became questionable, so to speak, because the convention ended, without speakers, without events,” he said.

The dismay at Dershowitz, a retired Harvard University law professor, stemmed in part from some of the people he represented over the years, from Jeffrey Epstein to OJ Simpson to Mike Tyson. It also helped defend President Donald Trump in the impeachment process.

In addition, Virginia Roberts Giuffre says that after meeting Epstein as a teenager in Florida in 2000, he took her around the world and forced her to have sex with numerous older men, including Dershowitz, who denies it.

On Tuesday, Dershowitz told the Associated Press that the allegations are “demonstrably false” and that “he has done nothing wrong with my representation of anyone.”

But for critics like Anchorage lawyer Scott Kendall, a former chief of staff from the former government. Bill Walker, Dershowitz seems like a complicated selection for the keynote in Alaska, where the rates of violence against women are among the highest in the nation.

Kendall said Dershowitz made the decision to represent certain people.

“Those represented opportunities for him. I’m sure hundreds of thousands of dollars have been paid to represent Jeffrey Epstein, “Kendall said.” It’s his right as a lawyer. If the downside is that he doesn’t get a free trip to Alaska and he gets paid $ 15,000 to hold. a speech, so cry me a river. I have no sympathy for that. “

Stone said the board of directors’ board will meet in September to discuss the selection process for keynote speakers.

Dershowitz said that he would like to come to Alaska and keep the keynote in 2021. He also said that he would discuss publicly about Kendall.

“According to the criteria suggested by Mr. Kendall, they would have divested John Adams and Abraham Lincoln,” said Dershowitz. “And so I hope whatever criteria they choose is consistent with the values ​​of our American legal system.”

Kendall replied that “he wouldn’t really have the hostility to confront a founding father and, you know, probably the greatest president in the country’s history.”

“It is our right as lawyers here that we swear in the Alaskan Bar to object if we think that a keynote as a place of honor does not reflect our values,” said Kendall. “And I think that’s what happened, and I think the trial worked in this case.”

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