CLE Seminar To Feature Dr. Heather Thompson

The Robert H. Jackson Center will host Dr. Heather Ann Thompson as a keynote speaker at its fall Continuing Legal Education seminar on Thursday, Sept. 13.

The free event will be held at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.

Thompson is a historian, author, speaker and college professor at the University of Michigan. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and earned her PhD at Princeton University. Thompson was previously on the faculty of the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and Temple University in Philadelphia from 2009-2015. Thompson has written about the history and current crises of mass incarceration for numerous popular and scholarly publications, including The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Jacobin, NBC, Time Magazine, The Atlantic and Huffington Post.

In 2017, Thompson won the Pulitzer Prize in History for her work “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.” The book tells the gripping, apolitical and behind-the-scenes story of a pivotal moment in history and the lessons that were learned from that event. As part of the seminar, Thompson will discuss the historic uprising and the untold story of exactly what happened at Attica.

The seminar will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast in the Jackson Center banquet room. The program will begin in the Cappa Theatre at 8:30 a.m. with introductions, followed by “Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias,” presented by Amanda Lowe. At 9:45 a.m., “Blood in the Water” will be discussed during an interview of Dr. Thompson by Phillips Lytle partner Gregory L. Peterson, co-founder of The Robert H. Jackson Center.

At 11 a.m., Thompson will join a panel to discuss “Attica: Legal Perspectives and Legacy” with Lee Coppola, former dean of the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. In 1971, Coppola was at Attica prison as a reporter for The Buffalo Evening News on the date the prison was retaken. James P. Kennedy, United States Attorney for the Western District of New York will complete the panel moderated by Peterson.

A luncheon will follow at 12:45 p.m. in the Jackson Center banquet room. During lunch, Peterson will interview Don Luce, former professional Canadian ice hockey centre, executive and scout. Luce played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League for the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs from 1969 to 1982.

The entire event will end at 2 p.m.

Guests are required to register by Sept. 6, for the seminar online at, or by calling the Jackson Center at 483-6646.

Sponsors include Jackson Center annual fund donors and Phillips Lytle LLC; Northwest Bank; Allegheny College; Andreozzi Bluestein LLP; AXA Financial; Axiom; Chautauqua Region Community Foundation; Jamestown Bar Association; Greater Chautauqua Regional Estate Planning Council; Rodgers Land Surveying; Key Private Bank; and, the following fund held at Chautauqua Region Community Foundation: The Honorable Joseph Gerace/Robert H. Jackson Lectureship Fund and with in- kind Support from the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.

Phillips Lytle LLP has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an Accredited Provider of continuing legal education in New York. Approval by The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania CLE Board is pending.