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Annual Ethics Talk: The L’Aquila Trial

The L’Aquila Trial: What are my options if my client or employer publicly misrepresents my views.

Martin Boozer, Attorney, and John Berry


Six leading Italian earth scientists and a civil servant were tried and convicted of manslaughter as a consequence of the supposedly falsely reassuring advice they gave just prior to the April 6th, 2009, L’Aquila earthquake, which killed 309 people.  We use this trial as a starting point for a discussion of the options open to you if your organization misrepresents your professional evaluation of the risk posed to the public by a geological event.  As part of this we will discuss the Texas whistleblower statute.