Onassis Foundation (USA) presented
THE TRIAL OF SOCRATES
The Athenians convicted him. Is this the final verdict?
New York, May 12, 2011
Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse
Southern District of New York
Photo © Richard Termine.
Athens, 399 B.C.
Socrates went on trial before 500 citizens of Athens, charged with impiety, i.e. failing to respect the city’s gods and introducing new deities, and with corrupting the youth of Athens. Found guilty by a vote of 280 to 220, he was sentenced to death.
New York, A.D. 2011
Socrates’ case was tried again with eminent attorneys arguing for the defense and the prosecution before a panel of three Chief Judges at the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Federal Courthouse.
Informed by the historical record (Plato’s Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Phaedo; Xenophon’s Memorabilia; and Aristophanes’ Clouds and based on the Athenian Law) but conducted as a lively and wide-ranging debate, this event explored the broad social and political issues that underlie the charges against Socrates and reflected on a variety of contemporary issues.
The Honorable Dennis Jacobs, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, presiding
The Honorable Carol Bagley Amon, Chief Judge, Eastern District, New York
The Honorable Loretta A. Preska, Chief Judge, Southern District, New York
Counsel for the City of Athens
Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, Esq., New York Assistant District Attorney
Dr. Anthony Papadimitriou, Esq., President, Onassis Foundation
Counsel for Socrates
Benjamin Brafman, Esq.
Edward Walter Hayes, Esq.
Academic Advisor & Commentator
Dr. Alexander Nehamas, Carpenter Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature, Princeton University
Dennis Jacobs is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He became Chief Judge on October 1, 2006. At the time of his appointment in 1992, he was a partner in the New York law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett.
Judge Jacobs received his B.A. degree from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1964, his M.A. degree from New York University in 1965, and his J.D. degree from the New York University School of Law in 1973.
Judge Jacobs was a lecturer in the English Department of Queens College of the City University of New York from 1967 until 1969. In 1973 he went into private practice with the New York law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, and served as a partner there from 1980 until his judicial appointment.
From 1997 to 2004, Judge Jacobs was a member of the Committee on Judicial Resources of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and in 1999 he became Chair of that committee. Judge Jacobs is a native of New York City.
Carol Bagley Amon is the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She received a B.S.degree from the College of William and Mary in 1968 and a J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law in 1971. She was a staff attorney of the Communications Satellite Corporation in Washington, D.C., from 1971 to 1973 and served as a trial attorney of Narcotics Task Force of the U.S. Department of
Justice from 1973 to 1974.
As an Assistant United States Attorney of the Eastern District of New York from 1974 to 1986, she was chief of frauds from 1978 to 1980; chief of general crimes from 1981 to 1982; and senior litigation counsel from 1984 to 1986. She received the U.S. Department of Justice John Marshall Award in 1983. From 1986 until 1990, she was U.S. Magistrate Judge of the Eastern
District of New York. In 1990 she was nominated by President George H.W. Bush and commissioned as a United States District Judge for that district. She became Chief Judge in April 2011.
From 2003 to 2006 she served as an advisor to the ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate the Model Code of Judicial Conduct, and she served as Chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Codes of Conduct from 1998 to 2001. She was President of the Federal Bar Council Inn of Court in 2007–2008. She has taught at the Pepperdine School of Law and at the Brooklyn Law School.
Loretta A. Preska has been the Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York since 2009. She received a B.A. from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York, in 1970, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1973, and an L.L.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University Law School in 1978. After graduating from Fordham, Judge Preska was an associate first at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and then at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason, where she became a partner in 1983. She was inducted as a United States District Judge in September 1992 and was nominated to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in
The recipient of many awards, Judge Preska currently serves on the New York Federal-State Judicial Council and on the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center. From 2001 to 2009 she was on the New York Regional Panel for the Selection of White House Fellows. She is also a trustee of Fordham University.
Counsel for the City of Athens
Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, a native New Yorker, was raised waiting tables in his family’s Greek restaurant in Lower Manhattan. A former middleweight boxer, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 19. Leaving active duty in 1988, he joined the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where tabloids call him a “pit bull” for his relentless pursuit of criminals. During the 1990s, in the Marine
Corps Reserves, he led a counter-narcotics operation on the Mexican border and served in Desert Storm, South Korea, Lithuania, Guyana, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kosovo.
After losing his apartment near the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, he joined a counter-terrorism task force in Afghanistan, where he received a Bronze Star for actions against al-Qaeda. He then served in the Horn of Africa and on three tours in Iraq—where he led the investigation into the looting of Iraq’s National Museum—before being deployed again to Afghanistan in 2009. He exposed the link between antiquities trafficking and terrorist financing, and presented those findings to the United Nations, Interpol, British Parliament, and the Peace Palace in The Hague. He received a National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush for his work recovering more than 6,000 of Iraq’s treasures in eight countries.
Colonel Bogdanos holds a classics degree from Bucknell University, a law degree and an M.A. in classics from Columbia University; and an M.A. in strategic studies from the Army War College. He is the recipient of dozens of awards and the author of a book, Thieves of Baghdad, all royalties of which he donates to the Iraq Museum. Returning to the District Attorney’s Office in October 2010, he still boxes and continues the hunt for stolen antiquities.
Anthony Papadimitriou is a prominent lawyer and economist.
He graduated from the Athens University Law School in 1977 and holds a postgraduate degree in law from the University Aix–en–Provence (France). He obtained his PhD from the
Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He holds a B. Sc (Economics) Degree from the London School of Economics. He is a practicing lawyer and since 1992 he became the managing partner of the legal firm of S. & A. Papadimitriou and Partners. In 1989 he was appointed a lawyer to the Supreme Court of Athens.
Since 1986 he has served as legal advisor to the Onassis Group shipping company, Olympic Shipping and Management S.A. In 1988 he was elected member of the Board of Directors of the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, on the recommendation of the then president Christina Onassis. Since 1995 he has been the coordinator of the Executive Committee of the Onassis Group commercial activities, which are under the control of the Onassis Foundation. He is also responsible for the financial sector and the big projects. In 2005 he was unanimously elected President and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Foundation.
In 2008 he was accepted as Honorary Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple. In 2010 he was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
Counsel for Socrates
Benjamin Brafman is the principal of the six-lawyer firm Brafman
& Associates, P.C., located in Manhattan. Mr. Brafman’s firm specializes in criminal law with an emphasis on White Collar criminal defense.
Mr. Brafman, a former Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, has been in private practice since 1980. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and in 1997 was selected by New York Magazine as the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in New York. He was also the recipient of the Outstanding Private Criminal Defense Practitioner Award for 2005 from the New York State Bar Association. In March 2006, Mr. Brafman received the Norman Ostrow Award for outstanding achievement in the field of White Collar Criminal Defense by the New York Council of Defense Lawyers. In January 2007, Mr. Brafman was presented with the “first” ever Clarence Darrow Award for Distinguished Practitioner by the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Mr. Brafman has represented a wide range of high-profile celebrities, business leaders, lawyers, and other professionals in significant criminal cases throughout the country.
Eddie Hayes, born in Queens, New York, began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx in the mid-1970s, prosecuting homicide cases, before starting his own practice as a criminal defense attorney. During that period, he served as a guide to the criminal court system for author Tom Wolfe, eventually becoming Wolfe’s friend, the dedicatee of the novel The Bonfire of the Vanities and the model for the character of Tommy Killian. In 1987, the year when The Bonfire of the Vanities was published, Mr. Hayes was retained to be the attorney for the estate of Andy Warhol, an assignment that led in the early 1990s to a highly publicized court battle over the appraised value of the estate. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Columbia Law School, Mr. Hayes has handled high-profile cases including the 2005 homicide trial of New York City police detectives Louie Eppolito and Steve Caracappa (on which he was co-counsel with Bruce Cutler). He is the author with Susan Lehman of the memoir Mouthpiece: A Life in—and Sometimes Just Outside—the Law (2006).
Alexander Nehamas graduated from Swarthmore College in 1967 and received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1971. He taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of
Pennsylvania before joining the Princeton faculty in 1990. He is now Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities and also Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature. His interests include Greek philosophy, philosophy of art, European philosophy, and literary theory. He was Founding Director of the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts from 1999 to 2002, Chair of the Council of the Humanities from 1994 to 2002, and the Director of the Program in Hellenic Studies from 1994 to 2002. Professor Nehamas has received numerous honors and awards, including the Mellon Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award, 2001; the Academy of Athens Award for Distinguished Achievement in Hellenic Studies, 2000; and the Howard T. Behman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities, Princeton University, 1999. He has written many books, articles, and reviews including Nietzsche: Life as Literature (1985), The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault (1998), and Virtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and Socrates (1999). He has become well known for his view that philosophy should provide a form of life, as well as for his endorsement of the artistic value of television. In 2008, he delivered the Gifford lectures at the University of Edinburgh, and in 2011 he received Honorary Degrees from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Institute of Fine Arts of the National Technical University of Athens.
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