1930s Enterprise case topic of book, talk

Published 3:07 am Saturday, October 8, 2016

On Fri., Oct. 21, at noon, author Joseph M. Beck will present My Father and Atticus Finch: A Lawyer’s Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama, at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery.

1008-atticus-finchAs a child, Joe Beck heard about his father’s legacy. Foster Beck was a respected trial lawyer who defied the unspoken code of 1930s Alabama by defending a black man charged with raping a white woman. Now a lawyer himself, Joe Beck became intrigued by the similarities between his father’s story and the one at the heart of Harper Lee’s iconic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. In his new memoir, My Father and Atticus Finch, Beck uses his father’s handwritten family history, as well as conversations with his parents, newspaper articles detailing the sensational trial, the trial transcript, and the Alabama Supreme Court decision, to vividly reconstruct his father’s role in the 1938 trial-much publicized when Harper Lee was just twelve years old. On Oct. 21 at the Archives, Beck will discuss his memoir and the saga of a trial that captivated the community of Enterprise, Ala.

Beck is a Harvard Law graduate who has served as lead counsel in some of the most important copyright cases in the United States. He was named Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year by Intellectual Property Magazine and a “Power Mediator” by the Hollywood Reporter. Prior to moving to Atlanta, he represented indigents in Washington, D.C., produced a television program on the law, developed a mathematical model of the criminal justice system for the Urban Institute and served in the U.S. Army, receiving the meritorious services medal.

Admission to this book talk is free. The public is invited to bring a brown bag lunch. Complimentary beverages will be provided. Copies of Beck’s memoir will be available for purchase.