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Intersection of Law and Journalism Examined at Lecture

The crossroads of law and journalism will be explored at Law, Journalism and Justice, a lecture sponsored by the Duquesne University School of Law Criminal Justice program and the Department of Journalism and Multimedia Arts on Monday, March 24, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 204 of the law school.

The lecture will feature legal reporter Mark Curriden, who will discuss how journalistic, investigative and storytelling skills can be used by lawyers to improve advocacy and why journalists play an important role in illuminating the law.

"There's a natural overlap between the skills needed to be a good journalist and the skills required to be a good lawyer," said Associate Law Professor Wes Oliver, who coordinated the lecture. "Journalists can often profit from the legal background that informs their stories and lawyers can benefit from the skills of fact-finding and storytelling that is the work of journalists. Amazingly, the one factor leading courts to find that lawyers are ineffective is failure to investigate that most law schools do not teach fact investigation."

Utilizing his best-selling book, Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching that Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism, Curriden will illustrate the value of that overlap between the two professions and fields of study. The book recalls how, in 1906, two African-American lawyers successfully appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution for a Tennessee man who had been wrongfully accused of rape, tried and sentenced to death.

"Mark is both a journalist and a lawyer, and his book is a call-to-arms to anyone entering either profession," said Oliver. "He draws upon his training in law and in journalism to revive a forgotten tale that demands that those in these professions who are uniquely responsible for preventing societal abuses ensure that history, in no measure, repeats itself."

Free and open to the public, Law, Journalism and Justice will be followed by a reception in the lower student lounge in the law school. To register online, visit http://www.duq.edu/law/lawjournalismjustice.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.