Press Releases

Trial of Bank Robber John Dillinger’s Moll to Be Recreated July 14 as Continuing Legal Education Event Live From St. Paul

Date: June 18, 2009
Press Contact: Shawn Stavseth


The 1934 trial of bank robber John Dillinger’s girlfriend will be brought to life through a dramatic re-enactment, Dillinger’s Moll: The Trial of Evelyn ‘Billie’ Frechette, a continuing legal education (CLE) event presented by West LegalEdcenter on July 14.

The two-hour event, beginning at 7 p.m. Central, will take place in the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium inside Landmark Center in St. Paul, Minn., the actual location of Frechette’s trial when it was the Federal Courts Building.

The Dillinger’s Moll CLE event coincides with the Hollywood release of the new movie Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp as bank robber John Dillinger and Marion Cotillard as his girlfriend Evelyn Frechette, who was charged in St. Paul with unlawfully harboring and concealing Dillinger. Attorneys around the world will be able to access the event on West LegalEdcenter as a live webcast and then as an on-demand video.

The July 14 trial re-creation will be followed by a panel discussion that will compare the legal system from the 1930s Dillinger era with that of today; the scope of a judge’s role in instructing the jury and commenting upon the evidence against Frechette; the admissibility of confessions and instruction of right to counsel during interrogations; and the evolution of forensic evidence, including fingerprinting.

Participating CLE panelists will include Associate Justice Paul H. Anderson of the Minnesota Supreme Court; Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Jennifer J. Hasbargen; Richard Stebbins, criminal defense and family law attorney with Stebbins and Hegranes; and Frank T. Mabley, attorney with Greenstein, Mabley and Wall.

Directed by Steve Pearson, who helmed Landmark Center’s re-enactment of the trial of Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, Dillinger’s Moll is based on the actual court record as adapted by Charles N. Adams Jr. and edited by Steven Peterson and James Patrick Barone. Cast members for the July 14 CLE include professor Doug Heidenreich, the longest-serving member of the William Mitchell School of Law faculty, and Barone, assistant attorney general for Minnesota, who is also an actor with Lakeshore Players Theatre.

“With Johnny Depp’s new movie about Dillinger, Public Enemies, premiering in early July, we expect tremendous interest in the 1930s-era gangster trials that took place here in St. Paul,” said Lee Ann Enquist, vice president of West Professional Development. “This unique CLE event, performed in the building where legal history was made, will be of special interest for public defenders, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys and litigators, along with attorneys interested in developing their experience with trial skills, witness preparation and examination, and criminal law and procedure.”

The original trial of Evelyn Frechette took place on May 15, 1934, in courtroom 317 of the then Federal Courts Building. Judge Gunnar Nordbye presided, with Frechette defended by attorney Louis Piquett on the charge of having knowledge of a federal warrant for Dillinger and harboring the criminal. “Miss Frechette knew at all times the identity of John Dillinger,” said Judge Nordbye in his instructions to the jury, which ultimately found her guilty. “She was aware that he was an escaped convict!”

Registration Information: To enroll in either the live CLE event at Landmark Center or the live webcast on July 14 at 7 p.m. Central, attorneys can visit the registration page on West LegalEdcenter. The program also will be available on-demand, following the live event. The course, which costs $50, provides 2.0 credits toward the general CLE requirement. As an added benefit, attendees of the live event will receive a complimentary criminal law program from Quinlan Publishing.

Public Events Without CLE Credit: Members of the public wishing to enjoy the re-creation of Billie Frechette’s trial (without earning CLE credit) may attend either of two public performances in Landmark Center’s F. K. Weyerhauser Auditorium on July 15 and July 16 at 7 p.m. Central. Space is limited, so for those public performances, people should respond to Kate Thompson at 651-292-3063 or kthompson@landmarkcenter.org.

About Landmark Center
Landmark Center is owned and sponsored by Ramsey County and managed by Minnesota Landmarks as an arts and cultural center for the community. It is located in downtown St. Paul at 75 West 5th Street, facing Rice Park, next to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and the Saint Paul Hotel. Landmark Center is accessible to those with impaired mobility. Parking is available on street and in nearby Macy’s, Lawson, Science Museum and RiverCentre Ramps.

About West LegalEdcenter
The cost-effective source for online and in-person legal training and CLE, West LegalEdcenter keeps attorneys up-to-date on the law and compliant with state requirements. Find everything you need to manage continuing education and professional development in law firms and legal departments – live conferences and seminars around the nation, more than 7,000 online courses, compliance tracking, learning management, and full integration with in-house training. Taught by the most prestigious names in the legal field, West LegalEdcenter covers both the core substance of law as well as hot topics in every practice area. For more information, visit www.westlegaledcenter.com.

About West
Headquartered in Eagan, Minn., West is the foremost provider of integrated information solutions, software and services to the U.S. legal market. West is a business within Thomson Reuters. For more information, please visit the West Web site at www.west.thomson.com.

About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, scientific, healthcare and media markets, powered by the world’s most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minn., Thomson Reuters employs more than 50,000 people in 93 countries. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.



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