On May 5, 2011, "The Response" was screened across the state of Nevada, in conjunction with National Law Day, sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA). The theme of Law Day 2011 was "The Legacy of John Adams: From Boston to Guantanamo."
Prior to becoming a leader of the Continental Congress, the first Vice-President of the United States and our second President, John Adams was a highly respected attorney. One of his most searing, pivotal, and character-defining moments occurred in 1770 when he represented the British officer and soldiers charged with firing into a crowd of protesters and killing five civilians in the "Boston Massacre." Adams was initially attacked for taking on the case, but he believed fervently in the rule of law. "The law... will not bend to the uncertain wishes, imaginations and wanton tempers of men... On the one hand it is inexorable to the cries and lamentations of the prisoners; on the other it is deaf, deaf as an adder, to the clamors of the populace." (John Adams in Defense of the British Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials, December 4, 1770.)
Adams' defense of due process and a transparent system of justice was and remains a pillar of our system. The treatment of the accused detainees on Guantanamo (and elsewhere) stands in sharp contrast to the beliefs and actions of our founding father.
In preparation for Law Day 2011, the Nevada Bar contacted Sig Libowitz - writer / producer / cast member of "The Response" - and asked if they could structure Law Day around the film, with screenings for students, practitioners and members of the Nevada Supreme Court. "Of course, I immediately said yes," Libowitz said. "We've been honored by the ABA in being selected as their Silver Gavel winner for best in Drama & Literature and are thrilled to be working with the Nevada state chapter. Following a streamed screening of the film, there was a panel discussion and Q & A with locations in Las Vegas, Carson City and other locations." Libowitz led the panel discussion following the screening.
"Thanks as always to the film's Executive Producers, the University of Maryland School of Law and Venable LLP, for their support of our efforts and their commitment to the rule of law as the cornerstone of our democracy. The film is dedicated to the men and women of the JAG Corps and the work they do in defending the Constitution and bringing to light the legal and moral quandary we face as a nation."
Screening of "The Response" began at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time on May 5 via an embedded link at the Nevada Law Day website.
KNPR, the Nevada Public Radio station in Las Vegas, provided coverage of Law Day Live during their "State of Nevada" show on Wednesday, May 4.
Read columnist Steve Sebelius' article about Nevada's Law Day 2011 screening of "The Response."