August 30- Free film series celebrates Stetson Law Golden Anniversary in Gulfport

Contact Frank Klim
Executive Director of Communications
(727) 562-7381

Gulfport, Fla. – To help celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Stetson University College of Law’s move to Gulfport, a series of films associated with the College will be shown this fall.

A total of four films will be shown through September and October. Each will play on a Wednesday evening beginning at 7 p.m. in the College’s Great Hall. The public is welcome to join members of the Stetson community for this free event. Light refreshments will be provided.

The film series is one of a variety of events scheduled to celebrate the golden anniversary of Florida’s first law school’s move to Tampa Bay. Other events include the unveiling of a historic marker from the Florida Division of Historical Resources recognizing the Gulfport campus as a heritage landmark, tours of campus, a history lecture series, alumni reunions and an antique car exhibit. Also, a book chronicling the school’s 104-year history is being written.

The first classes at the Gulfport campus took place on Sept. 20, 1954.

The following films will be presented:
Gideon’s Trumpet Sept. 8
The Strange One Sept. 22 (Filmed on Stetson’s Campus)
Judgment at Nuremberg Oct. 13
A Deadly Business Oct. 27

A description of each movie and its Stetson Law connection:
Gideon’s Trumpet, starring Henry Fonda, is the story of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision that required appointment of counsel for indigents in criminal cases. Stetson Law dean emeritus and professor Bruce Jacob was the attorney for the state of Florida. Jacob will be present to answer questions after the film.
The Strange One, staring George Peppard and Ben Gazzara, is a story of students at a boy’s military school. It was filmed on the grounds of the Gulfport campus in 1957. Prior to the College of Law’s move, the Gulfport property housed the Florida Military Academy from 1932 until 1951. Famous academy attendees include baseball great Al Rosen and the sons of Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, who wrote the opinion in Gideon v. Wainwright.

Judgment at Nuremberg stars Burt Lancaster and Spencer Tracy. It is based on the 1948 War Crime Tribunals against the Nazis. Two of Stetson Law’s greatest teachers were Dean Tom Sebring, former justice of the Florida Supreme Court, and James Tenney Brand, former chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Sebring and Brand met while serving as judges at the Nuremberg Tribunals, and when Sebring later became dean at the College of Law he invited Brand to teach. In Nuremberg, Sebring was part of a three-judge panel in what is known as the “Medical Trial,” in which doctors and Nazi concentration camp officials were tried for killing and maiming many inmates through medical experiments. Brand was the chief judge of a three-judge panel for the “Judicial Panel or Tribunal,” which tried the Nazi equivalent of the national attorney general and judges of the Nazi regime who sent Jews and others to concentration camps. The movie focuses on the trial over which Brand presided, and Tracy plays the judge. A presentation on Stetson’s Nuremburg archives and connection with this moment in history will precede the screening.

A Deadly Business stars Alan Arkin as Harold Kaufman, a federal inmate who is released from prison and then infiltrates the New Jersey Mafia for the FBI. Kaufman’s work was responsible for sending a large number of criminals to prison. Leading to Kaufman’s release, Stetson Law dean emeritus and professor Bruce Jacob prepared a petition for certiorari that was granted by the Supreme Court. Jacob was then appointed by the court as Kaufman’s lawyer to write the brief and make the oral argument before the court in Kaufman’s behalf. Kaufman won his case and as a result, by his own estimate, his time in federal prison was shortened by 11 years and he then became an FBI informant. He is now in the Federal Witness Protection program and Jacob has been in contact with him as recently as a year and a half ago.