TODAY! Symposium to focus on judicial elections in Maryland



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Weich on Congress-White House tug-of-war on information

Dean Ronald Weich

Dean Ronald Weich

Dean Ronald Weich will take part in a panel discussion next week titled “A Right to ‘Know’ or a Right to ‘No’? Examining the Congressional-Executive Branch Struggle Over Access to Information.”

The Oct. 25 event will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at The Pew Charitable Trusts (901 E St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004). The event is free to the public, but space is limited. Click here to register. A light continental breakfast will be served beginning at 8:15 a.m.

Weich will speak on the first panel, which will examine the current state of the rules and processes that govern congressional/executive branch disputes over access to information.

The event is cosponsored by The Constitution Project and the Levin Center at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.

Learn more about Dean Weich.

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Oct. 20: Lyle Denniston on ‘When the Politicians Pick the Voters’


Longtime Supreme Court correspondent Lyle Denniston will give the second of three fall lectures at 5 p.m. today (Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016) in the Moot Courtroom of UB’s John and Frances Angelos Law Center (1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21201). This evening’s lecture, part of a series on the Supreme Court and American politics, is titled “When the Politicians Pick the Voters.” The event is free and open to the public.

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New Bessler book is hailed in LA Review of Books essay

Against the Death Penalty, a new book edited by Professor John Bessler, was reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books (Oct. 15, 2016).

The book contains U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer‘s impassioned dissent in Glossip v. Gross, a 2015 case in which a group of Oklahoma death-row inmates failed to prove the likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that a sedative used in a three-drug lethal cocktail violates the Eighth Amendment because it does not prevent pain from the other two drugs, which cause paralysis and cardiac arrest.

Against the Death Penalty, in the hands of an astute Supreme Court justice and an accomplished capital punishment scholar, provides an excellent opportunity for lawyer and layman alike to examine one of today’s most pressing questions of criminal justice,” reviewer Stephen Rohde wrote.

The review, “The Machinery of Death,” also covers a new volume, Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, by Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker.

Learn more about Professor Bessler.

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Moore serves as international law counsel in Guantanamo case

Catherine Moore met recently with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which is making its first official visit to the United States from Oct. 11-24 to discuss the ongoing detention of prisoners at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Military Commissions set up to try detainees there.

Moore represents Nashwan al-Tamir, a Guantanamo detainee who is being tried by the Military Commissions as Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi. As international law counsel on the hybrid military and pro-bono civilian attorney team, Moore advises on issues including the law of armed conflict, jus ad bellum (the law surrounding the use of force) and international human rights law.

The Working Group is an extension of the UN Human Rights Council and has a mandate to investigate cases of deprivation of liberty imposed arbitrarily or otherwise inconsistently with the relevant international standards set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or in the relevant international legal instruments accepted by the states concerned in the investigation. The Working Group is to submit its final report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017.

Representing a Guantanamo detainee, especially one with an active Military Commissions case, is challenging, Moore said; complex international and domestic legal issues are at stake and, moreover, the legal team operates at a distance from its client.

“The right to a fair trial, as guaranteed by not only our Constitution, but by international human rights law and the law of armed conflict, includes the right to counsel. While there are many flaws with the current Military Commissions system, my role ensures that Mr. al-Tamir has a competent legal team representing him. International law plays a key part of the case against him,” Moore said.

Learn more about the Working Group’s visit.

Learn more about Catherine Moore, UB’s coordinator for international law programs.

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Murphy: Brangelina breakup likely to employ ‘private justice’

Jane C. Murphy

Laurence M. Katz Professor of Law Jane Murphy

To research the case of Jolie v. Pitt for a Baltimore Sun op-ed on “private justice,” Laurence M. Katz Professor of Law Jane Murphy didn’t head for the law library. Instead, she picked up copies of People and Us Weekly for a deep dive into the breakup of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

The actors have six children ranging in age from 8 to 15.

“Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt may have had the ultimate Hollywood romance from the outside, but behind closed doors, their marriage was slowly coming apart,” People reported on Sept. 21.

Murphy says gossip fans who expect a grisly courtroom showdown will be disappointed.

“[T]he chances that any mudslinging will take place in a public court battle are extremely low,” Murphy wrote in her Sept. 30 op-ed, “Why the Jolie-Pitt divorce won’t be like Kramer vs. Kramer.”

“Given their wealth, their desire for privacy and, one assumes, their concern for their children, Brad and Angelina are unlikely to resolve this family conflict in court. Families with money can now choose when and how much the state will be involved in their breakup and reorganization.”

Murphy writes that the options for private justice have expanded since 2005, particularly in cases involving children: “Relying on traditional court processes at best fails to mitigate parental conflict and at worst exacerbates and prolongs discord. When a custody case does go to trial, the evidence and counter-evidence of bad behavior and deficient parenting typically introduced fuels hostility and engenders long-term mutual distrust.”

For families of means, the focus is now on agreements negotiated by third parties outside the court system.

“Although traditional lawyer-directed negotiation still accounts for many settlement agreements in family law, mediation is increasingly the preferred option to resolve divorce-related parenting disputes,” Murphy wrote.

Murphy is the co-author of Divorced From Reality: Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution (NYU Press, 2015).

Learn more about Professor Murphy.

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Oct. 17 Law Review event: Can Law Save the Chesapeake Bay?


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Celebrate Prof. Dan Hatcher’s much-hailed ‘Poverty Industry’


Join UB School of Law Professor Daniel Hatcher and University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Professor Michael Pinard for a discussion of Hatcher’s new book, The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens (NYU Press, 2016).

The book has received glowing reviews. Said The New Yorker: “Hatcher exposes an urgent paradox at the heart of American governance: why, and how, are states and localities teaming up with corporations to squeeze profits from society’s poorest?”

The book-release event will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. on the 12th floor of the University of Baltimore’s John and Frances Angelos Law Center (1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21201). A reception will follow the discussion.

Click here or on the image above to RSVP for the event.

Learn more about Professor Hatcher.

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