As part of their active commitment to legal scholarship and continuing legal education, Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith lecture yearly at Oxford University in England, where they are Visiting Fellows of Lady Margaret Hall. In some years, they have lectured at Cambridge University as well. Lecture topics cover issues that are particularly relevant at the time, and which encourage discussion and debate.
Past lecture topics have included:
The Life and Death of Doris Duke
Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith lectured on their experience handling what Hollywood called "the greatest will contest of all times." When the tobacco heiress Doris Duke, "the richest little girl in the world," died, her will left her $1.5 billion estate in the control of her butler. Mr. Howarth and Ms. Smith were hired to challenge the will and their representation resulted in the removal of the opposing trustees, the preliminary executor, and a major banking institution. Their work ultimately resulted in the appointment of the firm's client as a trustee of the Duke Estate.
The Use and Misuse of Public Polling in Law and Politics
Don Howarth, Suzelle M. Smith, and invited guest speaker, Sir Robert Worcester, Senior Advisor to Ipsos MORI, lectured on the use and misuse of public polling in American and British law and politics. During his portion of the lecture, Mr. Howarth compared and differentiated survey evidence with traditional evidence. Ms. Smith detailed how survey evidence is used in the courts of the United States and Great Britain, and Sir Robert Worcester focused on the use of polling in politics and in American and British law.
Magna Carta Lecture
Don Howarth, Suzelle M. Smith, and Professor A.E. Dick Howard delivered a lecture at the University of Oxford on the development of the law of Substantive Due Process from the Magna Carta forward, in recognition of the 800-year anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
Law and Hollywood
Don Howarth, Suzelle M. Smith, and Professor Tom Stipanowich of Pepperdine University Law School delivered a lecture at the University of Oxford on the significance of the Olivia de Havilland case to free agency of Hollywood actors and agents.
The Lawyer on the Hotseat: "Current Issues in Legal Malpractice"
At this lecture presented at the University of Oxford, Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith spoke on current developments in legal malpractice law in the United States and Great Britain.
Corporation as Defendants: Current Developments in Criminal and Constitutional Law
At the University of Oxford, Don Howarth, Suzelle M. Smith, and guest speaker Jacqueline Perry QC lectured on exposure of corporations under criminal law for acts of negligence where the state attempts to use the doctrine of "collective knowledge" to prove mens rea.
Legality of Guantanamo Bay Detentions
Don Howarth, Suzelle M. Smith, and guest speaker Mr. Dicky Grigg, former President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, lectured on the legality of the Guantanamo Bay detentions and military tribunals. The lectures examined the arguments on behalf of the United States government for the legitimacy of the detentions and military tribunals under international and United States law, and the arguments on behalf of the detainees for violations of these laws. Mr. Grigg personally has represented Guantanamo detainees and visited the detention camp.
As counsel for the families of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Suzelle M. Smith discussed the legal and political aspects of federal litigation filed in the United States against the sponsors of international terrorism, including the goals of such litigation and the unique challenges it presents.
Class Actions and Mass Disasters
At the invitation of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Sir Richard Southwood, Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith gave a series of eight lectures during Trinity Term on litigation involving multiple parties and complex litigation management and techniques, comparing procedures in Great Britain and the United States for handling mass disasters and complex matters.
The Significance of Judges and Juries to Democracy in the United States and Great Britain
In conjunction with the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith conducted a series of lectures and seminars alongside their invited guest speaker, the Honorable Shirley Hufstedler, former Secretary of Education, and former Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Cameras in the Courtroom
In the wake of several high profile trials, such as the O.J. Simpson trial and the Rodney King police officer trial, Don Howarth, Suzelle M. Smith, and their invited guest speaker, Mr. Simon Jenkins, former Editor of The Times of London, considered the effect of media coverage on high profile trials and the interplay between the courts and the media. Comparing the history and role of media coverage of legal proceedings in the United States and Great Britain, the speakers considered both the shortcomings and importance of media in the courtroom.
Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith, with their invited guest speakers, Sir Richard Doll of the university of Oxford, Dr. Ruth Deech of the University of Oxford, and Professor A.E. Dick Howard of the University of Virginia Law School, considered the legal and ethical issues raised by rapid developments in science and technology, focusing on the approach of the American and British courts to the issue of the right to die and the right to life.
Law and the Media
Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith were joined by their invited guest speakers, Mr. William Vaughn of the law firm O’Melveny & Myers and Lord Williams of Mostyn, former Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Home Office and later Leader of the House of Lords, to consider the interplay between the law and the media, with particular emphasis on First Amendment issues and comparative British practices.
The International Financial Crisis
In a world where economic communities have been drawn together through the internet, worldwide markets, and satellite media broadcasting, economic isolation has been assigned to history. However, these closer economic ties mean that markets and finances can no longer be matters of purely local concern. Against this background, Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith, along with their invited guest speaker, the Honorable Amy Bondurant, then U.S. Ambassador to the OECD, addressed the legal and economic aspects of the international financial situation and world market at the close of the century.
Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith expect to continue their tradition of lecturing at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in order to encourage further understanding and cooperation between the legal systems of the United States and Great Britain.
The contact person at Howarth & Smith for matters relating to lectures is Stacy Kern.