UB brawn: 80 law students take part in UVA softball invitational

UB softball team 4-2017

Professor Donald Stone (in red shorts) and UB law students at the UVA softball tournament.

This past weekend, 80 UB School of Law students and law Professor Donald Stone participated in the 34th Annual UVA Law Softball Tournament in Charlottesville, Va. Eighty-four law school teams participated.

UB fielded three teams: blue, green and gray.

Check out the profiles of all the teams taking part in the invitational.

Be sure to read UB’s three team profiles. A certain theme emerges. (Hint: It’s good to guzzle on a hot day.)

UB’s top team went 3-0 on Saturday, beating Penn (43-0) and Fordham (32-3) and gaining a forfeit win from Northwestern.

On Sunday, in the single elimination phase, UB beat Duke (16-7) and Cumberland (16-15, with the help of a grand slam in UB’s last at bat) before facing Florida Coastal in the final four game.

Of that matchup, Stone said, “We ran out of steam.”

He said that Florida Coastal fielded a squad “more like a Major League Baseball team” than a bunch of law students — but that a great time was had by all.

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7 CICL student fellows spend break helping refugees in Greece

crop -- CICL fellows in Greece II

Student fellows from UB’s Center for International and Comparative Law on the island of Chios, Greece.

Seven student fellows from UB’s Center for International and Comparative Law (CICL) traveled to Greece over spring break to work with Advocates Abroad, a nonprofit organization that provides free legal advice to refugees and asylum seekers.

A presentation about the fellows’ field mission will be held Monday evening:

April 10, 2017
5-6:30 p.m.
Room 403
John and Frances Angelos Law Center
1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21201

The UB group was led by Catherine Moore, coordinator for international law programs. Moore was awarded a $10,000 Fund for Excellence grant by the UB Foundation to make the trip possible.

The CICL fellows were Christian Kim, Carolyn Mills, Valerie Ochoa, Jasmine Pope, John Rizos, Kia Roberts-Warren and Robert Steininger. Kim and Pope were each awarded a $2,000 travel and research award by the University of Baltimore.

More than 60,000 refugees and migrants fleeing violence in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are stranded in mainland Greece and in the Greek islands, according to news reports.

Under an agreement struck last year between the European Union and Turkey, refugees arriving in Greece are now held in centers or camps on five islands, including Lesvos and Chios. (See photo below.) If their asylum applications are rejected, the refugees are deported to Turkey. The process has moved slowly, not least because refugees must navigate a complicated legal asylum process in languages foreign to them.

Living conditions in the centers are difficult and many refugees’ physical and mental health has deteriorated after months in the island camps.

The CICL fellows worked with Advocates Abroad in Athens and on the islands of Chios and Lesvos, conducting field research on the right of refugees and asylum seekers to adequate medical care and legal aid.

For more information, contact Catherine Moore at cmoore@ubalt.edu or 410-837-6784.


The Souda refugee camp on the Greek island of Chios. Refugees live in tents on the beach.

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Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera to be commencement speaker

Barbera III

The Hon. Mary Ellen Barbera, chief judge, Maryland Court of Appeals

Mary Ellen Barbera, chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, will be the commencement speaker for the University of Baltimore School of Law’s 90th commencement ceremony on Monday, May 15, 2017.

The ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. at the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric (140 W. Mt. Royal Ave., Baltimore 21201).

Approximately 220 law students will receive degrees.

After majoring in early childhood education at what was then Towson State College, Barbera taught in Baltimore City public schools for nine years. She went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Maryland law school, graduating in 1984. She was admitted to the Maryland bar the same year.

Barbera has served as chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals since July 8, 2013. She is the first female chief judge of the court, the state’s highest.

Thomas Slater will offer greetings from the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

The class valedictorian, Aiste Palskyte, will offer remarks to fellow class members.

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Thursday: Ninth Urban Child Symposium to focus on addiction

U Child 2017Don’t miss the Ninth Annual Urban Child Symposium, “Addiction and the Urban Child.”

Thursday, April 6, 2017
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Moot Courtroom (0 level)
John and Frances Angelos Law Center
1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21201

The symposium, presented by UB’s Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC), will bring together experts on the front lines of this critical national issue to examine the science of addiction, as well as the connections between substance-use disorders and the legal, social and economic problems faced by many urban families. The symposium will also explore ways in which communities can help address the problems encountered by families and children whose lives are affected by substance-use disorders and dependence.

Bridget Brennan, special narcotics prosecutor for the City of New York, will deliver the morning keynote address, which will be followed by an interdisciplinary panel that will discuss the science of addiction.

Peter Bruun, founder of the Baltimore-based New Day Campaign, will give the afternoon keynote speech. Afterwards, an interdisciplinary panel will focus on community responses to addiction.

Professor Barbara Babb, director of the CFCC, will give opening remarks, as will UB School of Law Dean Ronald Weich.

Click here or on the image above to see the conference program.

The conference is free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP here.

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Tiefer in Forbes: Follow Flynn’s trail to find the real story

Writing in Forbes.com, Professor Charles Tiefer says that to understand the significance of former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s offer to speak with House and Senate investigators in exchange for immunity from prosecution, “one must follow Flynn’s suspicious, if not downright criminal, trail.”

“It then becomes apparent why Flynn may well offer to tell ‘what President Trump knew and when he knew it’ about allegations of Russian coordination with the Trump campaign,” Tiefer wrote in “Flynn’s Pursuit of Immunity Means He May be Willing to Tell All About Trump and Russia” (March 30).

Flynn’s offer was rebuffed late last month by congressional investigators looking into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. The investigators were unwilling to strike a deal with Flynn until they were farther along in their work and better understood what information Flynn might provide, according to news reports.

Flynn resigned the top national security post in February after it was revealed that he had misled officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. It later emerged that Flynn had served as an unregistered agent for the government of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan while working as a campaign adviser to Donald Trump.

Tiefer, who served as general counsel (acting) for the U.S. House of Representatives and for its Senate counterpart for 15 years, discusses reports that Flynn brought former CIA Director James Woolsey to a meeting with representatives of Turkey’s government to discuss “hypothetical plans” to abduct Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen from his home in Pennsylvania. Erdogan has been unsuccessful in his attempts to extradiate Gulen legally from the U.S.

“With this background, what might the immunity request mean?” Tiefer asked. “It is entirely possible for a witness to seek immunity when faced with Crime #1 but to dangle before the committees [the possibility] that he will tell all about Matter #2.”

Crime #1 is likely to be Flynn’s paid work for Erdogan, Tiefer said, adding, “[Flynn] needs immunity to muddy up any effort to get him for his work as an unregistered Turkish agent.”

But, Tiefer continued, that is not really what Flynn is offering the intelligence committees, which are not particularly interested in a plot against a Turkish dissident.

Rather, Tiefer said, Flynn would offer the committees information about whether the Trump campaign worked with Russian officials in their efforts to damage the candidacy of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

As for Trump, Tiefer said, Flynn might answer the famous Watergate question about President Richard Nixon: “What did he know and when did he know it?”

Learn more about Professor Tiefer.

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Certificate in Family Law program highlighted in Daily Record

The University of Baltimore’s new Certificate in Family Law program was the focus of two recent Daily Record articles, “UB Law to offer first family law certificate program in the nation” (March 29) and “UB Law program helps you learn the ins and outs of family law” (April 3).

The program is the first of its kind in the nation. (Three other law schools have LL.M. programs in family law: Hofstra University, Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law and Loyola University Chicago.)

The new, 16-credit program addresses a growing demand for a family law curriculum that offers a holistic blend of theory and practice. In 2015, nearly half of Maryland’s trial court filings — 43 percent — consisted of family law cases. The post-J.D. program is designed for new attorneys beginning to practice family law and for attorneys seeking to add family law expertise to their practice.

Applications are being accepted now for the program, which begins this fall. Participants can complete the certificate in a year or can take classes at their own pace. Classes will be offered on weekends and in the evenings.

Learn more about the Certificate in Family Law program.

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Sen. Pat Leahy quotes Epps in rejection of Gorsuch nomination

Professor Garrett Epps

Professor Garrett Epps

In explaining why he decided to vote against the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Sen. Patrick Leahy on Monday quoted Professor Garrett Epps:

“Gorsuch was by turns condescending, evasive, and even dishonest. In fact, it’s not too much to say that he, in his aw-shucks gentlemanly way, gaslighted the committee in a genteel but nonetheless Trumpian style.”

Epps’s words appeared in his March 29 Atlantic column, “The Fundamental Dishonesty of the Gorsuch Hearings.” Epps is the Supreme Court correspondent for the magazine.

Leahy, of Vermont, was among four Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to announce Monday that they would vote against Gorsuch, giving the Democrats the necessary 41 votes to filibuster the nomination.

In his column, Epps said Gorsuch effectively repeated, over and over, that there was no elephant in the room.

Horsefeathers, Epps said (effectively).

“That elephant, of course, is lawless politics of the rawest kind,” Epps wrote. “It’s fair to say that no Supreme Court seat since Franklin Roosevelt’s nomination of Hugo Black has arrived smelling so strongly of party politics as has Gorsuch’s.”

Learn more about Professor Epps and access the archives of his Atlantic columns.

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