Tiefer testifies again on parallel inquiries into Russian hacking

Professor Charles Tiefer testified July 11 before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee about how the panel could coordinate its inquiries into Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign with the simultaneous investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

It was the third time this summer that Tiefer testified on Capitol Hill about the importance of congressional investigations and the history of simultaneous inquiries by Congress and independent prosecutors.

Tiefer served as special deputy chief counsel of the House Iran-Contra committee in the 1980s.

Read Tiefer’s Forbes article about the hearing, “The Senate Judiciary Committee Plans How to Coordinate Investigations with Mueller” (July 12, 2017).

Tiefer, a regular contributor to Forbes, published another article a few days later, upon the announcement that Ty Cobb had been hired as a special counsel to direct the Trump administration’s response to the Russia investigations.

Read “Ten Worrying Questions About Trump’s New Special Counsel, Ty Cobb” (July 15, 2017).

Tiefer’s first question: Who’s paying Cobb’s legal fees?

In the event that Trump pays them, Tiefer had another question: “[I]f [Cobb] is Trump’s private lawyer, then why will he have the access and authority of a public, official, executive actor?”

Asked Tiefer: “Is Cobb now the official guardian of the all-important executive privilege and able to use it manipulatively to delay and obstruct the Russia investigations?

“Is he allowed to play offense as well as defense? For example, if he wants a document, can he call up House Intelligence Chair [Devin] Nunes and have it subpoenaed?”

On another topic: Last week Tiefer was quoted in a Washington Post story detailing accusations by a watchdog group that Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt had misused federal funds to lobby against the Paris climate agreement. Federal employees are prohibited from lobbying members of the public to support or oppose legislation before Congress.

“Tiefer said Pruitt, as EPA administrator, is continuing to act like a national campaigner against Obama-era regulations,” much as Pruitt did as Oklahoma attorney general, despite the constraints placed on him now as a federal employee, the Post reported.

Saying he’d seen news reports of Pruitt railing against the Paris climate accord, Tiefer said: “I wasn’t sure if he was speaking for himself or the EPA. I was baffled and I’m a law professor.”

Read The Washington Post story.

Learn more about Professor Tiefer.

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Sloan chosen to revise ‘Plain English for Lawyers,’ a classic text

Amy Sloan

Professor Amy Sloan

Carolina Academic Press has announced that Professor Amy Sloan will revise Richard C. Wydick’s Plain English for Lawyers.

The classic work, now in its fifth edition, has sold more than a million copies and has been described by The New York Times as “the most popular legal text today,” said associate publisher Scott Sipe in a news release from Carolina Academic Press.

The sixth edition is to be published in 2018, he said.

“Sometimes compared with Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, Plain English for Lawyers has been beloved by generations of law students, professors, and practitioners for its pithy and penetrating advice for the legal writer,” the release said.

Plain English began in 1978 as an article in the California Law Review, Sipe said, adding that Carolina Academic Press published the first edition of the 90-page book the following year and sold more than 300,000 copies within just a few years — a “blockbuster hit” for any legal text.

Sloan will work with Wydick’s estate as well as with Carolina Academic Press, Sipe said.

“Finding the right author — a person experienced enough and confident enough to become the steward of this legendary work — was critically important to us,” said Keith Sipe, Carolina Academic Press publisher. “Amy Sloan is that person.”

Said Sloan: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work on Plain English for Lawyers. It’s a tremendous honor to contribute to this legendary book.”

Learn more about Professor Sloan, who this summer stepped down as associate dean for academic affairs.

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Tiefer testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee

Professor Charles Tiefer is scheduled to testify today (July 11) at 2:30 p.m. before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing, “Concurrent Congressional and Criminal Investigations: Lessons from History,” will be held in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

You can access the live stream of the hearing here.

Professor Tiefer’s written statement is available to read here.

In the 1980s, Tiefer served as special deputy chief counsel to the House Iran-Contra committee, which looked into obstruction by top national security officials in the White House.

Learn more about Professor Tiefer.

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Sun article highlights work of the Human Trafficking clinic

A July 8 article in The Baltimore Sun details the work of students and lawyers in the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Human Trafficking Prevention Project.

“Hoping to help survivors of trafficking, student lawyers at the University of Baltimore School of Law are working with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service to expunge or vacate” convictions for offenses related to trafficking, such as prostitution, the article said. Criminal records can make it difficult for a survivor to start a new life, obtain employment or even rent an apartment.

Jessica Emerson, director of the Human Trafficking Prevention Project, said that as a result, human-trafficking survivors with criminal records are more likely to be re-exploited.

Read the article in The Baltimore Sun.

Learn more about the Human Trafficking Prevention Project.

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UB links with Study International to attract foreign law students

Classroom -- A Dillard horizontal

Professor Amy Dillard at work in the classroom.

The University of Baltimore School of Law has partnered with Study International, a London-based organization that provides information about schools around the world to potential students.

Click here to see Study International’s first story about UB’s J.D. and LL.M. in the Law of the United States (LOTUS) programs. (UB is among five law schools featured in the article.)

Click here to learn more about UB’s J.D. and LL.M. LOTUS programs.

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Tiefer, Dean, Kendall discuss obstruction at House hearing

Professor Charles Tiefer testified yesterday (June 29) at a House hearing on the importance of congressional investigation into potential collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump and his associates, despite the investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Also testifying were John Dean, White House counsel during Watergate, and David Kendall, counsel to President Bill Clinton during his 1998 impeachment by the House of Representatives over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

In the 1980s, Tiefer served as special deputy chief counsel to the House Iran-Contra committee, which looked into obstruction by top national security officials in the White House.

Watch a recording of the June 29 House hearing.

Read Professor Tiefer’s written statement, in which he argues that the House Judiciary Committee has an important role in investigating the Russia matter and that its brief differs markedly from the special counsel’s.

The hearing, “How to Define Obstruction of Justice in the Constitutional and Criminal Justice Context,” was organized by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), among other congressional Democrats, and by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In a June 30 Forbes.com column, “House Democratic Hearing Explores Whether Obstruction Case Could Be Made Against Trump,” Tiefer described Kendall and Dean’s thinking about obstruction and detailed a “lively debate” over whether the president could be indicted while still in office or whether he was subject only to impeachment: “Kendall argued the Framers’ original intent was against indicting the President; Dean responded with some eminent legal authorities suggesting the matter is far from closed.”

Tiefer added that he had an interesting exchange with Rep. Raskin about whether collusion with Russia by Trump’s campaign, if proven, would be criminal.

“[B]uilding on an Ellen Weintraub analysis, I said the Russian support for the Trump campaign might fall afoul of the statutory prohibition on foreign contributions,” Tiefer wrote, referring to FEC Commissioner Weintraub. “Rep. Raskin did me one better, asking whether the Russian support, again afoul of the foreign help ban, might constitute, in the context of collusion, an illegally ‘coordinated expenditure.’ I predict this issue will become prominent.”

Learn more about Professor Tiefer.

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In letter, Green says she’ll miss UB, her ‘home away from home’

Assistant Dean for Law Development Jill Green, J.D. ’94, sent a letter to law school faculty and staff after Dean Ronald Weich announced her departure for a new position at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School (see earlier blog post). Here’s the letter from Green, who will begin her new job this summer (names were bold-faced by the blog editor):

Dear UB Community,

Next month I will begin a new chapter in my life as I leave my position at UB Law for an exciting opportunity with the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. I am eager to take on this new challenge but so sad to leave UB, my home away from home. UB — where I started law school, represented my first client, and realized that I had the skills and knowledge to actually make a difference. UB — where professors like Jane Murphy, Barbara Babb, Byron Warnken, Jose Anderson, and Steve Grossman taught me that being a lawyer was not just about representing clients, but that it included community work and being an active member of a profession. They taught me the importance of excellent work and quality relationships. Lessons I carried with me into my practice, my life, and eventually back to UB.

Looking back on my time at UB, I am gratified by what we accomplished together — a robust externship program, terrific employment rates despite difficult market trends, Alternative Spring Break, the Pro Bono Connection, LEAP, Pro Bono Challenge, Women Lawyers As Leaders, Solo Circle, Young Lawyers Alumni Counsel, the Professional Development Institute, Practice Interview Evening, MSBA Annual Meetings, UB Running Club, and more. It is a team effort, and what a team we have here at UB — especially in the LCDO! Thank you to Alyson, Emily, Jernee, Millicent, and Shirley for your work on behalf of our students and for making our office shine!

At UB, I have the good fortune to work with smart, creative, and dedicated colleagues. It has been a true privilege to work with so many talented educators, administrators, judges, and lawyers, and to help UB continue delivering on its mission to our students and our community. Thank you Ron and Vicki for your leadership and guidance. Thank you to the fabulous faculty Career Services Committee, old and new!! And special thanks to Jane for her unending support and for encouraging me to teach at UB — would not have been here without her!!

Thinking about the many thank-yous, my gratitude for our students is the most profound. I have spent the last 10 years excited to come to work every day to help our students—to encourage and support them as they pursue their dreams. Students who have inspired, energized, and motivated me to do my best on their behalf. Thank you.

UB is a part of me and as a loyal alum, I will remain a part of UB. I look forward to seeing you all at the Alumni Awards Banquet on Nov. 2 — for tickets email mjunot@ubalt.edu.

Warm regards,

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