Vindicating the Rule of Law: from Ruby Ridge to Guantanamo Bay – Bellwood Memorial Lecture – Boise

Event Details


The University of Idaho College of Law, Idaho Supreme Court and the Idaho State Bar

are proud to announce the

2021 Bellwood Memorial Lecture featuring David Nevin

Vindicating the Rule of Law: from Ruby Ridge to Guantanamo Bay


October 27, 2021
5:00 p.m. – JUMP, Pioneer Room

0.5 CLE credits (pending)

Walk-In Attendance – No Registration Required.

October 28, 2021
3:30 p.m. – Pitman Center, International Ballroom

Moscow’s event will be streamed live at

1.0 CLE credits (pending)

Walk-In Attendance – No Registration Required.

Bellwood Lecture: Related Events
“Reflections on Guantánamo”

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 PT/1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. MT
Location: Idaho Law Learning and Justice Center, Room 325 (live)
Menard Law Building, Room 104, Moscow (connecting)

Since 2008, Mr. Nevin has served as defense counsel for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is being capitally prosecuted at Guantánamo Bay in connection with the attacks of September 11, 2001. Through a conversation with Professor Aliza Cover, Mr. Nevin will share some of his experiences with the military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay and reflect on the legal and ethical issues these tribunals have raised. Audience questions will be accepted after the initial discussion.

“Humanizing Defendants in Serious Cases.”
Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PT/11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. MT
Location: Menard Law Building, Room 104 (live)
Idaho Law Learning and Justice Center, Room 313 (connecting)

Mr. Nevin will be joined on a panel by Denny LeBoeuf, a capital litigator and Director of the ACLU’s John Adams Project, and LaVarr McBride, a professor of criminal justice at Penn State University and a practitioner of defense-initiated victim outreach. Collectively, the panelists have represented numerous defendants accused of serious crimes, including terrorism and capital murder. The panelists will discuss the unique challenges of representing defendants in high-profile cases and the efforts they make to humanize their clients. Audience questions will be accepted after the initial discussion.

About David Nevin

Mr. Nevin is a partner in his firm Nevin, Benjamin and McKay, LLP. His practice focuses primarily on the representation of criminal defendants and other cases implicating issues of civil rights and government overreaching.

Mr. Nevin’s cases include the 1993 Ruby Ridge case, the 2004 terrorism prosecution of a Saudi Arabian graduate student, Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, and the 2008 successful defense of Geoffrey Fieger, in which he joined with legendary trial lawyer Gerry Spence to defend against vindictive political prosecution. Mr. Nevin has represented Khalid Shaikh Mohammad in his capital prosecution arising from the attacks of September 11, 2001, in the Military Commission at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Nevin is a founder and past president of the Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is the namesake of its Nevin Professionalism Award, presented annually to a criminal defense lawyer who advances the ideals of the profession. Mr. Nevin serves as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Practice at the College of Law, founding board member of the Idaho Innocence Project and Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is a Fellow and former Idaho State chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has served on the Board of Advocates for the West, a nonprofit conservation law firm, and serves on the National Security Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Mr. Nevin’s work has been discussed in the following publications:

  • Police State: How America’s Cops Get Away with Murder, Gerry Spence (St. Martin’s Press, 2015)
  • Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy, Susan N. Herman (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion, Paul M. Barrett (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2006)
  • The Devil’s Advocates, H. Mitchell Caldwell (Scribner/Lisa Drew Books, 2006)
  • Cyanide Canary, Hildorfer and Dugoni (Free Press, 2004)
  • Every Knee Shall Bow, Jess Walter (Regan Books/Harper Collins, 1995)
  • Ambush at Ruby Ridge, Alan W. Bock (Dickens Press, 1995)

About the Sherman J. Bellwood Lectures

The Sherman J. Bellwood Lectures bring prominent and highly regarded local, regional and national leaders to the state of Idaho and the University of Idaho campus. Students have the opportunity to discuss, examine and debate a wide-range of subjects related to the justice system.

Throughout his distinguished career, Judge Sherman J. Bellwood was committed to the legal profession and to legal education. In one of his last and most generous contributions to legal education, Judge Bellwood endowed the Sherman J. Bellwood Lectures at the College of Law. According to the terms of his will, Judge Bellwood’s purpose in establishing this endowment was “to enable the College of Law to invite and present persons learned in the law to lecture on legal subjects from time to time.” This endowment is the largest endowed lectureship at the University of Idaho.

Learn more about Sherman J. Bellwood