The Bothwell Letter

News from the Law Offices of Anthony P. X. Bothwell
350 Bay Street, Suite 100 PMB314, San Francisco, CA 94133-1966 Tel. (415) 370-9571
October 7, 2003 Vol. V / No. 3

Attorney Anthony P. X. (Tony) Bothwell departs Washington, D.C. today bound for the International Court of Justice at The Hague, seeking answers for Native American Indian nations whose treaties have long been broken by an indifferent U.S. government. The San Francisco-based lawyer said he will press questions on behalf of indigenous peoples during American Bar Association meetings in the Netherlands home of the United Nations world court. The author of a widely-quoted study of American Indians’ rights under international law, Bothwell said the time has come for “new thinking” about ways of seeking remedies for long-standing treaty violations. Acting as chairperson of the National Lawyers Guild committee on Native American affairs, he outlined new legal arguments in favor of Indian tribes that were established as nations according to international law before the United States was founded.

William Howard Taft IV, the legal advisor to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, was unable to defend the Bush Administration’s threat to transfer a civilian criminal defendant to a military tribunal, when asked about it during the International Bar Association’s 2003 meeting in San Francisco. The law of war and military jurisdiction arguably apply to Zacharias Mousaoui if the 9/11 terror was an act of war, but civilian law governs if the attacks were a monstrous crime in peacetime. Tony Bothwell, who recently taught courses on the law of war and terrorism at John F. Kennedy School of Law, interviewed Taft on Sept. 18 regarding the “anomaly” where the government arbitrarily switches an accused person between civilian and military venues. Taft said he had not thought about the constitutional and international law problems that would arise if Mousaoui is moved from U.S. District Court to a military commission. “Foreign leaders who thought America was founded on the rule of law might ask,” Bothwell said.

“What difference does it make if a few political extremists are denied their rights?” That’s the question a conscience-stricken ex-judge, played by Burt Lancaster in the fact-based film Judgment at Nuremberg, said Germans asked early in the Third Reich. It made a difference to a veteran Spanish dissident who befriended Tony Bothwell at the gate of Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria last May. The Spaniard was a survivor of the camp where tens of thousands of political prisoners were murdered during the reign of Hitler. Walking through the camp on a sunny day, Bothwell began to notice the smell of soot, then looked up and saw that he was approaching the chamber of horrors where countless innocents died. “You must believe I never knew it would come to that,” the judge played by Lancaster pleaded. An American jurist played by Spencer Tracy replied, “It came to that the first time you made a ruling you knew to be unjust.”

After a series of well-publicized scandals, University of California officials know they are in danger of losing the contract to manage Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a money tree for UC’s pension fund. The nuclear weapons lab has a long history of stonewalling plaintiffs in retaliation and discrimination cases. Jahna Berry, in a column in the The Recorder, a San Fransisco legal newspaper, suggested that Attorney Tony Bothwell is uniquely qualified to do battle against the the UC facility as a “vocal critic” who was once the lab’s director of public affairs and later represented various lab whistleblowers. Berry noted that he took on “an informal advising role” in the case of Michelle Doggett, a lab whistleblower (who went on to win a $990,000 settlement announced Sept. 12.) Doggett, a lab resource manager, lost her job after she complained about misuse of federal funds. Berry’s Feb. 11 column quoted Attorney Jan Nielsen as saying, “Bothwell's lab experience is valuable. Bureaucratic agencies have a mentality that he is familiar with.”

State Bar rules require all attorneys to attend mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) training sessions to hone their skills by learning from the experience of leaders in the profession. Attorney Tony Bothwell regularly earns far more MCLE credits than required by the rules. This year he attended training sessions for credit in the annual meetings of the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association and the London-based International Bar Association. These educational seminars covered subjects ranging from airline labor law to the effective use of neurological and psychiatric expert testimony.

Anthony P. X. (Tony) Bothwell, Esquire
Member: The State Bar of California, Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Bar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; National Lawyers Guild, American Bar Assn., International Bar Assn.; U.S. Holocaust Museum, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Southern Poverty Law Center. Georgetown Univ. School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S.; Boston Univ. School of Public Communication, M.S.; John F. Kennedy Univ. School of Law, J.D.; Golden Gate Univ. School of Law, LL.M. summa cum laude. Professor of Law, John F. Kennedy Univ. School of Law. Current listings include: Who’s Who in the Law, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World. Descendant of John P. Dreibelbis, Captain, Continental Army, commanded by Gen. George Washington



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