In new book, Easton focuses on free-speech lawyer Gilbert Roe

Eric Easton

Professor Emeritus Eric Easton

Professor Emeritus Eric Easton’s new book, Defending the Masses: A Progressive Lawyer’s Battles for Free Speech, was published this month by the University of Wisconsin Press.

See the book’s Amazon page here.

Easton, the editor of UB’s Journal of Media Law and Ethics, writes about Gilbert Roe, the principal free-speech lawyer of the early 20th century whose cases involved activists including Emma Goldman, Lincoln Steffens, Margaret Sanger, Max Eastman, Upton Sinclair, John Reed and Eugene Debs, as well as the socialist magazine The Masses and the New York City Teachers Union.

Roe was a friend of Wisconsin Sen. Robert La Follette’s since the two were law partners as young men and defended “Fighting Bob” when the Senate tried to expel La Follette for opposing America’s entry into World War I.

A promotion from the University of Wisconsin Press reads: “In articulating Americans’ fundamental right to free expression against charges of obscenity, libel, espionage, sedition or conspiracy during turbulent times, Roe was rarely successful in the courts. But his battles illuminate the evolution of free speech doctrine and practice in an era when it was under heavy assault. His greatest victory, the 1917 decision by Judge Learned Hand in The Masses Publishing Co. v. Patten, is still influential today.”

Easton, also the author of Mobilizing the Press: Defending the First Amendment in the Supreme Court, retired as a full-time professor of law at UB in 2017. Learn more about him here.

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Tiefer on missile alert: U.S. must communicate with N. Korea

FullSizeRenderImmediately after yesterday’s incoming-missile warning to Hawaii turned out to be a false alarm, Professor Charles Tiefer contributed a column to Forbes about the potential, horrifying consequences of such a mistake in the current charged political climate.

Wrote Tiefer: “[F]or those of us who were familiar with Cold War scenarios … the incident sheds light on the perils of President Trump’s current bellicose exchanges with North Korea.”

Read “The Hawaii Missile Alert Should Make Us Reflect About Trump’s Bellicose Stance Against N. Korea” (Forbes, Jan. 13, 2018).

First, Tiefer said, the incident should make us think about the possibility that the U.S. military may have to make quick decisions based on very little information when confronted by a suspected North Korean action.

Moreover, U.S. analysts must also consider the reaction of North Korea to such a report – even if it is a false alarm.

Tiefer noted that, during the Cold War, strategic analysts focused not just on the American response to a threat but also on the reaction of our opponents: “Particularly, they analyzed what the Soviets would do, once they saw that Americans believed a war had been launched.”

Now, Tiefer wrote, “think about Kim Jong Un’s regime’s reaction” to the news that the U.S. believes a North Korean missile is heading toward American soil.

Said Tiefer: “They might do nothing – or they might not.”

He continued: “Surely at least some North Korean military leaders would argue that ballistic missiles – and conceivably nuclear weapons – should get used before they were destroyed by an American strike.”

Or the North Koreans might bombard South Korea – a way of “laying down a marker to warn of what happens if the U.S. military attacks the North Korean regime.”

Concluded Tiefer:

“What does this tell us of the implications of President Trump’s aggressive and provocative war of words with Kim Jong Un? In a word, it is alarming, with the potential to cause havoc. We are creating a situation where an American miscalculation is both possible and disastrous. And, we are creating a situation where a North Korean reaction to an American miscalculation is also both possible and even more ruinous. There needs to be some channel of communications between the American and North Korean military to avert, not just something as pedestrian as the usual antagonism and militarism, but catastrophe.

“The Hawaii alert is a wake-up call.”

Learn more about Professor Tiefer.

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Join BLSA for day of service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK quote and photoThe law school’s chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) invites you to join its members and its friends from Civic Works, BLSA’s community partner, on Monday, Jan. 15 for a day of service to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Brandon Cahee, UB BLSA’s president, says volunteers will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Food Hub lot (1801 E. Oliver St., Baltimore 21213) and then proceed to various nearby sites in East Baltimore. Volunteers will work on community lots from Oliver to Biddle streets, cleaning up debris and preparing garden beds, among other projects.

The day of service is open to all. Please encourage friends and family to pitch in!

Register today and help BLSA spread the word by sharing news of the service event on social media. Here’s the event’s Facebook page.

Volunteers, be sure to wear warm clothes. A limited number of indoor opportunities are available for families and senior citizens.

RSVP here. 

To register, use UB BLSA as the group name. You can let BLSA know your plans on the event page. For questions, contact Dytonia Reed at

Learn about BLSA and other law school student groups.

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Grossman: Change is not good or bad. Judge it by the results.

In an op-ed for The Baltimore Sun, Dean Julius Isaacson Professor of Law Steven Grossman writes about the nature of change and the increasing clout of populist movements in the U.S. and around the world.

Read “Trump: change for change’s sake” (Jan. 3, 2018).

Grossman first tackles two popular, and conflicting, notions about change: 1) Now and then it’s good to shake things up just for the sake of change, and 2) If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Neither approach makes sense, Grossman writes:

“Change is merely a process that in itself is neither good nor bad. More precisely, it can be either good or bad depending upon whether the change causes things to become better or worse than they were before. In considering events in our daily lives or the nature of government policy, the focus should always be on the anticipated effects of the change and not on the concept of change itself.”

In discussing changes made by the Trump administration, Grossman urges us not to embrace or reject them simply because they’re a departure from the past — but for the results that the changes bring or are expected to bring:

“Now some of you undoubtedly like the changes Mr. Trump has instituted. Many of us have never liked them. Still, according to polls, many more wanted change but now reject the result of the ones that Mr. Trump has brought. It is upon these results and the anticipation of other results the political and ideological battle should be fought, not on whether change is a good or bad thing in and of itself.”

Learn more about Professor Grossman.

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13 alums at Whiteford Taylor Preston named ‘Super Lawyers’

Whiteford Taylor Preston announced that 41 of its attorneys have been named “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” in Maryland and Kentucky for 2018.

Of that number, 13 are University of Baltimore School of Law graduates.

The firm has more than 160 attorneys at its offices in Delaware, Washington, D.C., Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Here are the 13 UB School of Law alumni:

Adam D. Baker, J.D. ’05
Todd M. Brooks, J.D. ’06
Mary Claire Chesshire, J.D. ‘93
Howard R. Feldman, J.D. ‘88
Kevin G. Hroblak, J.D. ‘98
Jennifer Ryan Lazenby, J.D. ‘98
Alan C. Lazerow, J.D. ‘10
Albert J. Mezzanotte Jr., J.D. ‘81
Joseph J. Mezzanotte, J.D. ‘89
William F. Ryan Jr., J.D. ‘79
Peter W. Sheehan Jr., J.D. ‘07
Gregory M. Stone, J.D. ‘96
Jennifer S. Jackman, J.D. ‘98

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26 students spend the winter break studying law in Curaçao

Curacao 12-2017

UB law students at the University of Curaçao during this winter’s study-abroad program. Lisa Sparks, the UB School of Law’s practitioner in residence, is at right.

Professor and Practitioner in Residence Lisa Sparks reports that 26 law students are taking part in this winter’s study-abroad program in Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island located about 40 miles north of the coast of Venezuela.

The 16th annual program in comparative and international law, which is approved by the American Bar Association, began on Dec. 16, 2017, and will wrap up on Jan. 6, 2018.

Most of the students are from the University of Baltimore School of Law and Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law, according to Sparks, who is directing this year’s program.

Learn more about the Curaçao study-abroad program.

Learn more about Professor Sparks.

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LL.M. LOTUS program: A fantastic choice for foreign students

Angelos Law Center -- photo by April Thiess

John and Frances Angelos Law Center

An article about the University of Baltimore School of Law’s LL.M. LOTUS (Law of the United States) program is featured on the website of Study International.

Read “Study law at the University of Baltimore: A fantastic choice for foreign students.”

Some highlights of the program:

  • Tuition is a highly competitive $22K, which is half the price of LL.M. programs in Washington, D.C. (NOTE: $22,000 is for full-time students; part-time students will be charged by the credit hour.)
  • Graduates are eligible to sit for several bar exams, including those given in Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C., California and Tennessee.
  • Students receive a top-notch education in our new, world-class building, the John and Frances Angelos Law Center, certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Our proximity to Washington, D.C., is ideal — we are only a short and inexpensive ($8/one way) train ride away!
  • Credits can transfer into the J.D. program — complete the J.D. in just two years after finishing your LL.M.! (Automatic admission to the J.D. program is available with a 3.0 GPA in the LL.M. LOTUS program.)

For more information, contact UB’s Office of Law Admissions at or 410-837-4459 or visit

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