Hidden Legal Figures

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June 23, 2020  

Brothers-in-Law | Special Episode on Race and Justice

The deaths of unarmed black people have sparked nationwide demonstration and dialogue. Following in the tradition of the great civil rights lawyers like Thurgood Marshall, Constance Baker Motley, and countless others, there are legal warriors doing battle in courtrooms today and their voices are needed to truly understand where we go from here. Attorneys Mawuli M. Davis, Francys Johnson, and R. Gary Spencer take part in the first installment of our Brothers-in-Law special conversation on race and justice. 

Guest bios:

Mawuli M. Davis is a founding partner of the Davis Bozeman Law Firm where he leads the firm’s Civil Rights Division. He attended the United States Naval Academy, where he played varsity basketball and earned a degree in Political Science. He served in the United States Navy as an officer while earning a Masters in Public Administration from Bowie State University. Attorney Davis is a graduate of Georgia State University(GSU) College of Law and he is recognized as a Super Lawyer, a distinction given to less than 3% of the lawyers practicing in Georgia.  As an activist, Attorney Davis is a co-founder of Let Us Make Man. After the acquittal of George Zimmerman, he was one of the primary organizers for the ”Respect Black Life” march of over 5,000 protestors from the Atlanta University Center to CNN which was featured in Ebony magazine.

Francys Johnson is a practicing lawyer, public theologian, and educator. He practices criminal and civil law in the state and federal courts in Georgia from his office on Main Street in downtown Statesboro. A graduate of Georgia Southern University and The University of Georgia School of Law, Johnson previously served on the Political Science and Criminal Justice faculties at Georgia Southern University and Savannah State University teaching courses on Criminal Law; Constitutional Law; Race and the law; and the Civil Rights Movement. Today, he is a recognized thought-leader on voting rights having testified before Congress; lecturing across the country and writing on the other subjects including race, measuring equity, and understandings of power in public policy. Previously, Johnson was President of the Georgia NAACP, this state's oldest and largest civil rights organization, following more than two decades of service in a variety of capacities including Southeast Regional Director.

R. Gary Spencer has more than 25 years of experience in serving clients in criminal defense, personal injury, wills and probate, and attorney disciplinary actions. He is a member of the State Bars of Georgia, where serves as a member of the Board of Governors, and the State Bar of Florida. He is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a graduate of Howard University and the Howard University School of Law.

Support The Podcast:

If you enjoy Hidden Legal Figures The Podcast, you can support us by donating here and by leaving a review here.

To contact us or learn more about The Arc of Justice Institute, visit: https://onthearc.net/

Podcast Team:

Terrass “Razz” Misher, Producer, Podcast on the Go, LLC

Mia Mance, Social Media Communications, Mia Talks, LLC

Marvin Cummings, Special Voice Talent

Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D., Host

 

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Hidden Legal Figures is licensed for the exclusive use of The Arc of Justice Institute, Inc. The Arc of Justice Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public educational institution. Hidden Legal Figures: The Podcast copyright © 2019-2020 by Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D. All rights reserved.

June 16, 2020  

A Prayer for Relief | Special Episode

Description:

Special Commentary Episode regarding killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery

 

Support The Podcast:

If you enjoy Hidden Legal Figures The Podcast, you can support us by donating here and by leaving a review here.

To contact us or learn more about The Arc of Justice Institute, visit: https://onthearc.net/

 

Podcast Team:

Terrass “Razz” Misher, Producer, Podcast-on-the-Go, LLC

Mia Mance, Social Media Communications, Mia Talks, LLC

Marvin Cummings, Special Voice Talent

Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D., Host

 

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Hidden Legal Figures is licensed for the exclusive use of The Arc of Justice Institute, Inc. The Arc of Justice Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public educational institution. Hidden Legal Figures: The Podcast copyright © 20190-2020 by Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D. All rights reserved.

May 12, 2020  

W. J. Michael “Mike” Cody | A View from the Mountaintop

Description:

On April 4, 1968, six lawyers came to the aid of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a Federal District Court in Memphis, Tennessee. We visited W. J. Michael “Mike” Cody - one of the lawyers - in October 2019 at his law office in Memphis and he shared his remembrances of the untold legal efforts that were a big part of that fateful day.

For additional reference read, W. J. Michael Cody, King at the Mountaintop: The Representation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memphis, April 3-4 1968, 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 699 (2011). For the transcript of the hearing, visit https://www.tnwd.uscourts.gov/pdf/content/CityOfMemphisVKingTranscript.pdf.

To hear the University of Memphis Law School program mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.tnwd.uscourts.gov/MLK50.php

 

Guest Bio:

Mike Cody’s practice is presently focused on the mediation and arbitration of complex commercial disputes, as well as commercial litigation, internal investigations, and regulatory matters.

Mr. Cody began his practice at the firm in 1961 and, except for his years in public service, has been with Burch, Porter & Johnson since that time. He served as the Attorney General of Tennessee from 1984 to 1988, was the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee from 1977 to 1981, and served on the Memphis City Council from 1975 to 1977.

He has represented major corporations across the United States in a wide variety of litigation and in matters before state attorneys general and regulatory agencies. In 2005, he was appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the Tennessee Commission on Ethics, charged by the Governor of Tennessee with revising state ethics laws. In 2010, Mr. Cody was elected co-chair of the Society of Attorneys General Emeritus or SAGE. One of the founding members of the group, he is only the second co-chair in SAGE's history.

Read Full Bio

 

Support The Podcast:

If you enjoy Hidden Legal Figures The Podcast, you can support us by donating here and by leaving a review here.

To contact us or learn more about The Arc of Justice Institute, visit: https://onthearc.net/

 

Podcast Team:

Terrass “Razz” Misher, Producer, Podcast on the Go, LLC

Mia Mance, Social Media Communications, Mia Talks, LLC

Marvin Cummings, Special Voice Talent

Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D., Host

 

Find Us On Social:

Facebook_icon.pngFacebook   Twitter_Icon.pngTwitter    Instagram_icon.jpegInstagram  

Hidden Legal Figures is licensed for the exclusive use of The Arc of Justice Institute, Inc. The Arc of Justice Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public educational institution. Hidden Legal Figures: The Podcast copyright © 2019-2020 by Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D. All rights reserved.

May 6, 2020  

James Weldon Johnson | A Legal Renaissance

Description:

This week, we shine the spotlight on James Weldon Johnson. Many know him as the author of Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, but Johnson was also a lawyer and Executive Secretary of the NAACP. In September 1925, a black physician purchased a home in an all-white neighborhood in Detroit. On his second night in the home, a mob gathered outside. After the shooting death of one of the members of the mob, Dr. Ossian Sweet and ten members of his family, including his wife, were arrested and charged with murder. In this episode, we take a look at how Johnson used the case to lay the foundation for what would become the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Host Derrick Alexander Pope portrays Johnson and Clarence Darrow.

For additional reference read, James Weldon Johnson, Along this Way: The Autobiography of James Weldon Johnson (Penguin Books 1933); Kevin Boyle, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age (Henry Holt 2004)

Excerpts from Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing performed by the Morris Brown College Concert Choir, Glynn E. Halsey, Director, Barbara McNeely-Bouie, Accompanist. Arranged by Roland Harper. (Copyright  © 1983).

Legal Figure Bio:

James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) was an American writer and civil rights activist. He was married to civil rights activist Grace Nail Johnson. Johnson was a leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917. In 1920, he was the first African American to be chosen as executive secretary of the organization, effectively the operating officer. He served in that position from 1920 to 1930. Johnson established his reputation as a writer and was known during the Harlem Renaissance for his poems, novels, and anthologies collecting both poems and spirituals of black culture.

He was appointed under President Theodore Roosevelt as US consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua for most of the period from 1906 to 1913. In 1934 he was the first African-American professor to be hired at New York University. Later in life, he was a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University, a historically black university.

 

Support The Podcast:

If you enjoy Hidden Legal Figures The Podcast, you can support us by donating here and by leaving a review here.

To contact us or learn more about The Arc of Justice Institute, visit: https://onthearc.net/

 

Podcast Team:

Terrass “Razz” Misher, Producer, Podcast-on-the-Go, LLC

Mia Mance, Social Media Communications, Mia Talks, LLC

Marvin Cummings, Special Voice Talent

Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D., Host

 

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Hidden Legal Figures is licensed for the exclusive use of The Arc of Justice Institute, Inc. The Arc of Justice Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public educational institution. Hidden Legal Figures: The Podcast copyright © 2019-2020 by Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D. All rights reserved.

April 28, 2020  

Noah Parden | The Majesty of the Law | Part 4

Description:

This week, Mark Curriden completes his discussion of the 1906 saga of Ed Johnson and the lawyer Noah Parden.

Guest Bio:

Mark Curriden Mark Curriden is a lawyer/journalist and founder of The Texas Lawbook. In addition, he is a contributing legal correspondent for The Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Business Journal.

Mark is the author of the best selling book Contempt of Court: A Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism. The book received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award and numerous other honors. He also is a frequent lecturer at bar associations, law firm retreats, judicial conferences, and other events. His CLE presentations have been approved for ethics credit in nearly every state.

For the past 25 years, Mark has been a senior contributing writer for the ABA Journal, which is the nation’s largest legal publication. His articles have been on the cover of the magazine more than a dozen times. He has received scores of honors for his legal writing, including the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, the American Judicature Society’s Toni House Award, the American Trial Lawyer’s Amicus Award, and the Chicago Press Club’s Headliner

Mark’s book, Contempt of Court, tells the story of Ed Johnson, a young black man from Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1906. Johnson was falsely accused of rape, railroaded through the criminal justice system, found guilty and sentenced to death – all in three weeks. Two African-American lawyers stepped forward to represent Johnson on appeal. In doing so, they filed one of the first federal habeas petitions ever attempted in a state criminal case. The lawyers convinced the Supreme Court of the United States to stay Johnson’s execution. But before they could have him released, a lynch mob, aided by the sheriff and his deputies, lynched Johnson. Angered, the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the sheriff and leaders of the mob, charging them with contempt of the Supreme Court. It is the only time in U.S. history that the Supreme Court conducted a criminal trial.

Noah Walter Parden (c. 1868 – February 23, 1944) was an American attorney and politician who was active in Chattanooga, Tennessee, East St. Louis, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri between 1891 and 1940. In 1906 he became one of the first African-American attorneys to serve as lead counsel in a case before the United States Supreme Court, and he was among the first to make an oral argument before the Court. In 1935 he became the first African American to be appointed to the position of Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, a public office, in St. Louis.

For additional reference read, Mark Curriden and Leroy Phillips, Jr., Contempt of Court: The Turn of the Century Lynching that Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism (Anchor Books 1999).

Support The Podcast:

If you enjoy Hidden Legal Figures The Podcast, you can support us by donating here and by leaving a review here.

To contact us or learn more about The Arc of Justice Institute, visit: https://onthearc.net/

 

Podcast Team:

Terrass “Razz” Misher, Producer, Podcast-on-the-Go, LLC

Mia Mance, Social Media Communications, Mia Talks, LLC

Marvin Cummings, Special Voice Talent

Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D., Host

 

Find Us On Social:

Facebook_icon.pngFacebook   Twitter_Icon.pngTwitter    Instagram_icon.jpegInstagram  

Hidden Legal Figures is licensed for the exclusive use of The Arc of Justice Institute, Inc. The Arc of Justice Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public educational institution. Hidden Legal Figures: The Podcast copyright © 2019-2020 by Derrick Alexander Pope, J.D. All rights reserved.

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