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Fresh off his victory in Baker v Carr, Tommy Osborn was hired by Jimmy Hoffa to represent him in a petty criminal trial in Nashville, the fourth attempt by Bobby Kennedy to dethrone the Teamsters' president. With the help of some dirty tricks, Kennedy’s Get Hoffa squad would finally prove successful as Hoffa was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and Osborn’s life and freedom were taken away.
With the help of a counterintelligence agent, the squad started off by entrapping Osborn in a bogus jury tampering plot. With the help of perjured testimony and some real jury tampering of their own, they would then convict Hoffa. The consequences for both men were devastating. Hoffa would de facto fall from his reign as one of the most effective labor leaders in American history. Osborn would be imprisoned, disbarred, and on his release, commit suicide, cutting short a promising legal career.
William L. Tabac will visit the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Labor History Research Center to talk about these and other findings in his book The Rise & Fall of Nashville Lawyer Tommy Osborn: Kennedy Convictions. He first encountered the case when he served as a law clerk on the federal appeals court that reviewed the Jimmy Hoffa jury Tennessee tampering cases. A graduate of the George Washington University Law School and an emeritus professor of law at Cleveland State University, he has published on a wide variety of subjects in law journals and in the New York Times Magazine and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He was a producer and host of an award-winning legal affairs radio show and authored an award-winning book, The Insanity Defense and The Mad Murderess of Shaker Heights: Examining The Trial of Mariann Colby.
There will be a reception with light snacks beginning at 5:30pm. The talk will begin at 6pm with copies of the book on sale afterwards.
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