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Faculty News

for September, 2009

Professors Cook and Meili to Present at Midwest Clinical Conference

September 30, 2009

Professors Nancy Cook and Steve Meili will serve as panelists at the Midwest Clinical Conference in Detroit on October 9-11.

The conference is centered around Ohio State University History Professor Kevin Boyle's award-winning book, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age (2004), which recounts the tale of Ossian Sweet, an African American doctor who was prosecuted for murder—and whose defense team included Clarence Darrow—after defending his home against a mob determined to drive him from an all-white, working-class neighborhood on Detroit's east side. Arc of Justice is rich with material for discussion of a variety of compelling issues, including the history of residential segregation in the Midwest, trial testimony of dubious veracity, critical strategic decisions made without client consultation, and the creation of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Professor Meili, who has written extensively on cause lawyering, will discuss how Arc of Justice illustrates the conflict between lawyering for a cause and representing an individual client. Professor Cook's presentation will focus on issues of cultural competence in the development of courtroom strategies and on how such competencies can be taught.

Conference information and registration material is available at http://law.wayne.edu/pdf/onebookonecommunity.pdf

Read Nancy Cook's Faculty Profile
Read Stephen Meili's Faculty Profile

Prof. Stras's Article Discussed in Detail in the NYT

September 28, 2009

Professor David Stras's academic work on the declining plenary docket of the Supreme Court of the United States was discussed extensively in a New York Times article authored by Adam Liptak. Mr. Liptak, the Times' Supreme Court reporter, called Professor Stras's explanation for the declining plenary docket the "most striking" from a recent conference at the National Press Club involving prominent academics and attorneys. Professor Stras discusses the trend in his work-in-progress, "Opening the Doors of the Supreme Court: A Solution to the Declining Plenary Docket."

Prof. Stras Elected to Membership in the American Law Institute

September 28, 2009

Professor David Stras was elected to become a member of the American Law Institute. The Institute, which has authored many prominent Restatements of the Law and other model legal codes, is limited to a membership of 3,000 judges, lawyers, and academics. Several other members of the faculty are also members of the American Law Institute.

Prof. Stras Quoted in ABA Journal on Supreme Court Clerkships

September 28, 2009

In the October 2009 issue of the ABA Journal, Professor Stras discussed Supreme Court clerkships. He talked about clerking for Justice Thomas despite attending a law school that does not normally produce Supreme Court clerks.

Prof. Stras Quoted in ABA Journal on Judicial Appointments

September 28, 2009

Professor Stras was quoted extensively in an article in the October 2009 issue of the ABA Journal on judicial confirmations. He talked about the history of the judicial appointments process as well as possible proposals for reform.

Prof. Monahan to Address Health Care Reform at ABA Tax Section Meeting

September 25, 2009

Professor Monahan will address how tax changes included in proposed health reform legislation can be expected to affect private health insurance at the ABA Tax Section's Fall Meeting.

Read Amy B. Monahan's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Praises Federal Judge's Policy on Sealing Court Records

September 24, 2009

Professor Jane Kirtley was quoted in a story in the Daily Report concerning Federal District Judge J. Owen Forrester's new case management policy forbidding lawyers in civil cases to file any sealed documents, even if the parties have agreed to confidentiality. Requests to seal must be filed directly with the judge, and only a "very good cause" will justify secrecy. Professor Kirtley observed, "If parties decide they are going to settle their dispute in a federal court of law, one of the obligations is that they have to proceed in public."

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Monahan to Deliver Distinguished Employee Benefits Lecture at John Marshall

September 24, 2009

Professor Monahan will be presenting "Efficient Regulation of Health Insurance" as part of John Marshall Law School's Distinguished Lecture Series in Employee Benefits Law on Thursday, September 25th. Her lecture will focus on substantive health care regulation in the context of current health reform efforts.

Read Amy B. Monahan's Faculty Profile

Prof. Goodwin Comments on Clear Channel Radio About President Jimmy Carter's Remarks

September 20, 2009

Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin was a featured participant in a panel discussion on race and the United States presidency aired on Clear Channel radio stations throughout the country. She was joined by political commentator and Huffington Post contributor Max Wolff, former presidential candidate Reverend Jesse Jackson, and frequent Fox News guest Lamont Hill, a Columbia University professor.

Panelists debated whether former President Jimmy Carter was on the mark when he proclaimed earlier in the week that a fringe element of those opposed to health care reform were motivated by racial animus. Goodwin remarked that the president's advisors were likely unprepared for the deeply contentious pack of protesters and their public response to Obama's health care agenda, most specifically those who urge the president to return to Africa, carry witch doctor placards, and bring guns to town hall meetings. That element, Goodwin suggested, is not the mainstream. Goodwin noted that despite their ramped up media presence, the most violent and race-baiting of the anti-Obama protesters really are a fringe. Those groups must be considered apart from those with genuine concerns about health care reform, particularly as health care reform is an agenda urged by republicans as well as democrats. Ultimately, she noted health care is personal and the administration would have benefited the public by unpacking what the reform agendas and plans would mean to Americans in very practical terms. Americans want to know what will be covered in a national system, and equally what might be lost. Goodwin concluded by noting that the nation experienced a growth spurt with the election of Barack Obama and as such is now addressing the awkwardness that attends unanticipated growth. The 2-hour morning broadcast took calls from throughout the nation.

Prof. Painter Quoted in Time Magazine on Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Bonuses

September 18, 2009

Professor Richard W. Painter is quoted in a Time Magazine article on Bank of America's alleged lies to its own shareholders about bonuses paid out to executives at Merrill Lynch.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Shaffer Presents New Book, Sept 15 at Humphrey Institute

September 15, 2009

Professor Gregory Shaffer will present his new book "When Cooperation Fails: The International Law and Politics of Genetically Modified Foods" (Oxford University Press, 2009) at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, Sept 15. The talk will take place from 12:45-2:00 p.m. in Room 170 at the Humphrey Institute. It is sponsored by the Freeman Center for International Economic Policy.

The book addresses the dynamic interactions of domestic law and politics, transnational networks, international regimes, and global markets, through an analysis of the governance of genetically modified foods and crops. It assesses the impacts, and the limits, of international pressures on domestic U.S. and European law, politics, and business practice, which have remained strikingly resistant to change.

Prof. Michele Goodwin is Elected Co-Chair of the University of Minnesota Women's Faculty Cabinet.

September 14, 2009

Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin was elected Co-Chair of the Women's Faculty Cabinet at their September 9, 2009 meeting. Goodwin was appointed to the Cabinet by Provost Tom Sullivan. Goodwin brings law school and medical school representation to the Cabinet. The Women's Faculty Cabinet provides leadership to improve and enrich the academic and professional environments for women faculty at the University of Minnesota and to ensure that the University continues and strengthens its commitment to the success of its women faculty members. The Cabinet's responsibilities include recommending and responding to University policies affecting women faculty and their teaching, learning, and work environments; promoting and assessing the University's efforts in recruiting, mentoring, and retaining women faculty in every academic unit, and consulting with women faculty across the University regarding their vision for women faculty at the University.

Prof. Kirtley Applauds Advisory Opinion on Minnesota Open Meeting Law

September 10, 2009

Prof. Jane Kirtley was quoted in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a story reporting an advisory opinion holding that the Metro Gang Strike Force violated the state's Open Meeting Law by conducting official business via e-mail. "Most state laws don't even contemplate e-mail exchanges, so courts are having to extrapolate from the language of the statute" to discern legislative intent, she said. "Was this exchange about a matter of business that, if it were conducted in a face-to-face meeting, would be subject to the Open Meeting Law? If the answer is yes, you don't want the officials to do an end-run around the law."

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Discusses GQ Self-Censorship in Interviews on NPR and Radio Free Europe

September 4, 2009

Prof. Jane Kirtley was interviewed by NPR reporter David Folkenflik about publisher Conde Nast's decision to delete an article about Vladimir Putin from the Russian edition of GQ magazine.

She was also interviewed by Radio Free Europe on the same topic. Although acknowledging that Conde Nast might face legal ramifications in Russia, Prof. Kirtley argued that Western news organizations have an obligation to speak for those who cannot speak. "Let the censor close you down. Don't censor yourself in anticipation," she said.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. John Borrows on CBC.CA About Proposed Banishment By-law

September 2, 2009

Professor John Borrows was interviewed on "The Current," program broadcast by CBC.CA about Chief Marcel Balfour of the Norway House Cree Nation and his proposed banishment of members involved in serious drug and gang activity. Borrows explained how it would fit into both aboriginal and Canadian legal traditions.