Academic Programs From
Case Western Reserve University

Bringing a diverse range of academic perspectives on local, national, and global issues to audiences around the world.

Case Western Reserve University

Subscribe to Our Programs
Enter your email address:

frame image
frame image
Friday February 11th, 2011

Divided Loyalties: Professional Standards and Military Duty – Panel Four


Michael Benza, Visiting Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University
School of Law


John T. Forristal, Law Office of John T. Forristal

Cynthia A. Brown, JD, PhD; College of Health and Public Affairs, University of
Central Florida

Friday February 11, 2011, 8:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Sponsored by An Interdisciplinary Symposium funded in part by the Arthur W. Fiske Memorial Lectureship Fund at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Panel four examines the ethical, legal, and professional obligations of police/correction officers serving in the military.

There has always been some tension between the ethical, legal, and professional obligations of professionals and the requirements of military service. This tension has been increased by the War on Terror. Physicians, mental health professionals, lawyers, and law enforcement/corrections officers serving in the military have been placed in situations in which their professional ethics, obligations, and legal duties may contradict military necessity or directives, or even place the role of professional in direct conflict with the role of military personnel.

As the management of armed conflict, the law of war, and the professionalization of the military has increased, this tension has similarly increased. Military professionals have been asked to bring their expertise, skills, and professional talents to the prosecution of military action not just as military personnel but as doctors, mental health professionals, lawyers, and law enforcement/corrections officers. Doctors and mental health professionals are charged with supervising and controlling interrogations, lawyers are asked to provide legal opinions and advise on the treatment of prisoners, and law enforcement and corrections officers must guard and control prisoners. While performing these duties military necessity can impose conflicting duties and concerns. The need for information, validation, or security may require different loyalties and focus than the professional duty. The need for information about an upcoming attack that could save the lives of comrades may directly contradict the need for care or treatment of a prisoner.

This symposium brings together professionals, ethicists, theorists and practitioners from medicine, mental health care, the law, law enforcement, and the military to explore these complicated and timely issues in an open and frank discussion.

Additional Information About Our Guest…

Michael Benza is a Visiting Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He received his Bachelor of Arts (1986) and law degrees (1992) from Case Western Reserve University. He also received a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology (1988) from Pepperdine University. He was the 1992 Biskind Fellow from Case School of Law and spent a year working for the Legal Resources Centre, a civil and human rights law firm in South Africa. Upon returning to the States, he spent four years in the Capital Defense Unit at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender. He was assistant counsel at the Cleveland Bar Association working with the Certified Grievance Committee as well as other committees. Professor Benza teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure I, Death Penalty Issues, and the Death Penalty Lab, and coached the Mock Trial team. The Student Bar Association selected Professor Benza as the Professor of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In 2009 Professor Benza was elected as an alumni member to the Society of Benchers. Professor Benza continues to represent death row inmates in state courts and federal habeas proceedings. He has litigated capital cases in state trial courts, state appellate and post-conviction courts, and federal courts including arguing Smith v. Spisak before the Supreme Court of the United States.

John Forristal is an attorney and a veteran. John graduated with a BA in Economics from Fordham University in New York City and he earned a law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Forristal has a solo practice and he advocates for veterans before the Veterans Administration and for criminal defendants throughout Northeast Ohio.

Mr. Forristal was a non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Army and led a Military Intelligence team during Operation Enduring Freedom. He and his team were responsible for obtaining actionable intelligence from High Value Detainee that led to the capture and disruption of terrorist cells throughout the world.

Cynthia A. Brown is an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies in the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Southern Mississippi and her law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable David Bramlette, District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Dr. Brown also holds a Master of Science degree in Economic Development and a Doctorate of Philosophy in the Administration of Justice, both earned from the University of Southern Mississippi. She practiced law with offices in Mississippi and Florida before leaving practice to join the Academy in 2006. Dr. Brown teaches Contracts, Courts, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Employment Discrimination Law, Law and the Legal Environment, and Law and Society. She has received national and regional awards for both her teaching and her research.

Since 2001, Dr. Brown has served on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Ethics, where she also contributes as an instructor and trainer. She frequently works with local, state and federal agencies in the areas of ethics, leadership and diversity. Dr. Brown is regarded as an expert in police ethics and has traveled extensively working with both state and federal law enforcement agencies across the United States.
John T.