Welcome to the first issue of ACCOLADES, the University of Baltimore School of Law’s e-newsletter. We aim to keep you informed about activities at the School of Law and about the successes of our faculty, centers and clinics, students, staff and alumni.
July 2012 Maryland Bar Results
The 252 UB grads who took the Maryland bar exam for the first time passed at a rate of 85 percent, while the pass rate for all 276 UB grads who took the exam was 82 percent. UB’s pass rates exceeded the rate for all law school graduates in the nation who took the Maryland exam for the first time (81 percent), as well as that for all Maryland bar takers (76 percent). Moreover, UB’s pass rate was third-best among the nine law schools in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia region, behind Georgetown and George Washington.
A Conversation with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
The School of Law was host to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Nov. 8, providing audience members the chance to listen to a conversation between Holder and Ronald Weich, dean of the School of Law. Click here to access the video.
UB Team Takes Second Place in Moot Court Competition
Professor Byron Warnken reports that the University of Baltimore took second place in the Region III Moot Court Competition, held in November at UB’s School of Law. The University of Pennsylvania School of Law took first place in the event, which drew teams from seven law schools: University of Baltimore, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Temple, Georgetown and Pennsylvania. The members of UB’s winning team are Ellery Johannessen, Vincent Jackson and Jeffrey Bernstein. Next up for the team: the “nationals,” to be held in New York in January.
CENTERS & CLINICS
Center for Families, Children and the Courts
UB’s Center for Families, Children and the Courts’ Truancy Court Program received a $300,000 contribution from AT&T’s Aspire program. The contribution will be used to help develop, implement and analyze the Truancy Court Program in four Baltimore City schools that serve eighth and/or ninth graders. … The Sept. 5 issue of the Urbanite included an article on truancy that featured the Truancy Court Program and Professor Barbara Babb, director of the center. … The program also was named a “Bright Idea” by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Bright Ideas initiative recognizes and shares innovative government programs and partnerships that aim to provide reliable solutions to widespread problems. A team of policy experts from academia and the public sector selected the Truancy Court Program, one of 111 programs highlighted nationwide. … The center also received a $60,000 grant for the Truancy Court Program from the Baltimore-based Charles Crane Family Foundation. The Crane Foundation—whose first grant, in 2004, allowed the center to launch the initiative—has funded the program every year since its inception.
Center for International and Comparative Law
UB’s Center for International and Comparative Law held its 2012 John Sumner Stead Lecture on Nov. 13 at the John and Frances Angelos Law Center. The lecture, “Drones, Kill Lists, and American Values,” was presented by Scott Shane, a national security reporter in the New York Times’ Washington bureau. Shane has written extensively about targeted killing under the Obama administration and about the debate over torture during the Bush administrations. For his 2007 articles on interrogation, written with several colleagues, Shane was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. More recently, he has written about CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and the prosecution of people alleged to have leaked classified information.
Innocence Project Clinic
The Innocence Project Clinic‘s application for funding under the FY 2012 Post Conviction DNA Testing Assistance Program was approved for award. The program is a collaborative effort among the Baltimore Police Department, the State’s Attorney’s Office and the University of Baltimore and will run from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2014. The project aims to ensure that individuals convicted of violent crimes in Maryland state courts who claim factual innocence that can be addressed through post-conviction DNA testing or the analysis of Combined DNA Index System data are identified and properly represented by counsel.
Immigrant Rights Clinic
Director Elizabeth Keyes reports that student-attorneys Ben Messer and Chris Simmons won asylum for a woman from Cameroon; Jacob Finkelstein, Yanna Panagopoulos, James Robinson and Farnoush Samadnejad filed applications for two people seeking asylum from Cameroon and Rwanda; Hayley Tamburello and Julia Fedorova worked in both family and immigration courts to launch the process for two immigrant teens from Central America to find permanent status in the United States; Sophie Le submitted a law-enforcement-endorsed petition for a domestic violence survivor from India; and Mark Desierto found potential relief for a Latino man who feared deportation, which would separate him from his U.S.-citizen children. The IRC student-attorneys also collaborated on developing a policy brief for the Public Justice Center examining the scope of wage theft in Maryland.
Civil Advocacy Clinic
The Civil Advocacy Clinic–taught by Professors Michele Gilman, Daniel Hatcher and Kathryn Loncarich–continues to expose students to a wide array of substantive practice areas and to build their lawyering and critical thinking skills. Jami Lookabill successfully convinced a family court master to reduce an onerous child support order entered against a low-income father who is raising his children; Adam Sindler successfully defended a tenant from a $12,000 lawsuit brought against her by a former landlord seeking to pin repair costs on her; Heather Messick helped a client get her security deposit returned from her landlord; Katie Kerner argued before the Board of Appeals that her client did not commit gross misconduct to disqualify her from unemployment insurance; Ryan Stoker drafted a brief for an unemployment insurance appeal before the Court of Special Appeals; Drew Goodwin settled a case with GEICO relieving his client from all liability related to a car accident; Caitlin Evans obtained special education services on behalf of a high school student with special needs; Lauren Bell drafted a complex set of pleadings in opposition to a motion to compel arbitration by a for-profit school that the clinic’s client is suing.
Professor John Bessler spoke Dec. 8 at the 2nd Oslo International Symposium on Capital Punishment. He discussed his book Cruel and Unusual: The American Death Penalty and the Founders’ Eighth Amendment (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2012). The book, which was awarded a silver designation in the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the category of U.S. history, will be released in paperback in 2013.
Professor Gilda Daniels served as a featured guest speaker at the discussion group A.C.T.O.R. (A Continuing Talk on Race) on Nov. 4 and discussed voter suppression and the 2012 election.
Professor Eric Easton has a new book, Mobilizing the Press: Defending the First Amendment in the Supreme Court (Vandeplas Publishing).
Professor Garrett Epps’ essay “U.S. Supreme Court—Law Prof Sees Emergence of ‘Post-Scalia Era’ and Impatience with Originalism” was featured in ABA Journal Law News Now on Sept. 13. Epps appeared on WYPR’s Midday with Dan Rodricks on Sept. 24 to discuss his new book, Wrong and Dangerous: Ten Right-Wing Myths About Our Constitution. Also on Sept. 24, the Baltimore Sun published “Rodricks: Conservatives create constitutional myths. Legal scholar says interpretations of the law are ‘wrong and dangerous.’”
Professor Wendy Gerzog’s article “Another Turn with Turner” appeared in 136 Tax Notes 1613 (Sept. 24, 2012). Her article “Not All Defined Value Clauses Are Equal” was accepted for publication in 10 Pitt. Tax Rev. (2012). Another article, “Valuation Discounting and the Lottery Cases,” was published in 137 Tax Notes 917 (Nov. 19, 2012). Also, in November Gerzog was listed in the SSRN’s Top 25 U.S. Tax Professors in two categories: all-time downloads and recent downloads.
Professor Leigh Goodmark’s “Transgender People, Intimate Partner Abuse, and the Legal System,” published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Review, was the focus of the Harvard journal’s annual Fall Colloquium, held Nov. 5. The colloquium, supported by the Harvard Law School Milbank Tweed Student Conference Fund, invited, along with Goodmark, various leaders in the field to discuss in a plenary session the significance and potential impact of her work. Goodmark also was a keynote speaker in October at the University of Buffalo School of Law’s Conference on Intimate Partner Violence. Goodmark is a nationally recognized scholar and practitioner in the areas of domestic violence, marriage, and families and children, as well as an analyst of issues raised by gender. She is currently the president of the Clinical Legal Education Association as well as the co-founder and co-director of the Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore School of Law.
President Obama’s nomination of federal magistrate Paul Grimm to a seat on the U.S. District Court in Maryland was confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 3. Judge Grimm is a long-serving member of the UB adjunct faculty.
Professor Nienke Grossman’s work in progress, “A New Approach to the Normative Legitimacy of International Courts,” was selected for presentation at the American Society of International Law’s Annual Research Forum at the University of Georgia in mid-October. The same work was selected for presentation at a joint workshop of the American Society of International Law and the European Society of International Law’s International Legal Theory interest groups at Cambridge University’s Lauterpacht Centre in September.
Professor Dan Hatcher appeared in a Sept. 11 Daily Record article, “State can keep foster child’s survivor benefits, CSA holds.” Hatcher filed the petition for certiorari to the Court of Appeals on Oct. 12 and is awaiting a decision on whether the Court of Appeals will hear the case. Hatcher also was quoted extensively in an Oct. 23 New York Times article, “Cuomo’s Medicaid Changes Are at Washington’s Mercy.”
Professor David Jaros’ forthcoming Columbia Law Review article, “Perfecting Criminal Markets,” was described as “very interesting” and “recommended” in Georgetown Law Professor Larry Solum’s Legal Theory Blog.
Professor Robert Lande addressed the American Antitrust Institute on Dec. 3. His talk, “Cartels as Rational Business Strategy: Crime Pays,” was based on an article that is scheduled for publication in the Cardozo Law Review.
Professor Michael Meyerson discussed his new book, Endowed by Our Creator: The Birth of Religious Freedom in America (Yale University Press, 2012), on Nov. 7 at the Enoch Pratt Library Central Branch. In the book, Meyerson demonstrates that the framers of the Constitution understood that the government should not acknowledge religion in a way that favors a particular creed or denomination. Nevertheless, the framers believed religion could instill virtue and help to unify a diverse nation. Through their writings and decisions, the framers affirmed that respect for religious differences is a fundamental American value. Now, Meyerson concludes, it is for us to determine whether religion is used to inspire and unify our religiously diverse nation—or to alienate and divide.
Clinical Fellow Lydia Nussbaum’s article “ADR’s Place in Foreclosure: Remedying the Flaws of a Securitized Housing Market” was accepted for publication in the Cardozo Law Review and will be published in 2013.
On Nov. 26, the School of Law hosted a lecture, book signing and celebration in honor of Professor Mortimer Sellers’ newest book, Parochialism, Cosmopolitanism, and the Foundations of International Law (Cambridge University Press). Sellers is the University System of Maryland Regents Professor of Law and director of the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center for International and Comparative Law. Sellers also delivered the opening address of the Society of the Cincinnati American Revolution Institute’s Symposium, “The European Enlightenment, France and the Formation of the United States Constitution,” on Oct. 19. He was recently elected a member of the Association Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel (International Association of Constitutional Law).
Vicki Schultz joined the law school in November as the associate dean for administration after serving as deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. A UB Law alumna, Schultz previously served
as senior advisor at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and has worked in Maryland in the community development and legal services field during her legal career.
Hope Keller joined the law school in November as the director of communications after leaving The Baltimore Sun, where as industry editor she oversaw the business news staff and daily report. She has worked as a reporter and editor at several other newspapers, including The Daily Record, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the International Herald Tribune.
In December, Heather Cobbett joined the law school as the assistant director of external relations and communications. Cobbett has a master’s degree in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a bachelor’s in communication studies from Canisius College. Most recently, she served as the community services assistant for Finger Lakes Health in Geneva, N.Y.
Emily Rogers has joined the law school as the assistant director of the Law Career Development Center, where she helps manage the externship programs and coordinates public-interest programming and events. Rogers, who received her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2012, is experienced in immigration law and public policy.
Katie Rolfes, administrative assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs in the School of Law, received a 2012 UB Staff Recognition Award. UB President Robert L. Bogomolny recognized Rolfes and other award winners at the university’s Sept. 13 convocation.
Caroline Mapp, 2L, earned the position of senior editor on the Southern Region Black Law Students Association Law Journal, based on her participation in the publication’s summer “write on” competition. UB joins more than 45 law schools represented on the journal’s staff.
Amanda Webster, 3L, took third place in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Law Student Writing Competition for 2011-12. A panel of labor and employment law attorneys in the United States and Canada judged the submissions. Webster was honored for her scholarly paper “The Collective Bargaining Chips Are Down: How Wisconsin’s Collective Bargaining Restrictions Place the U.S. in Violation of International Labor Laws,” which also will be recognized in a future issue of the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.
Tawny Holmes, 3L, has been named to the board of directors of the National Association of the Deaf for the 2012-14 term. Holmes has been appointed to serve as an advisor on education and early-intervention issues. She is focusing on education law at UB.
Jessica Emerson, 3L, was awarded the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association’s Carole Bailey Scholarship. The $5,000 award is given to law students with a demonstrated commitment to public service. Emerson is co-president of UB Students for Public Interest.
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