In Scotland, students visit Parliament House, prison museum

Aberdeen photo 2017

UB and Maryland law students tour Parliament House in Edinburgh, Scotland.

University of Baltimore School of Law and University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law students taking part in the summer study-abroad program in comparative law at the University of Aberdeen recently visited Parliament House to learn about the Scottish justice system, according to an article on the Faculty of Advocates’ website.

Parliament House, in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, houses the Supreme Courts of Scotland.

Scottish lawyers, or advocates, belong to the Faculty of Advocates, which dates to the 16th century.

On Thursday (July 27), students visited the Peterhead Prison Museum after touring a new prison in Peterhead. (See photo below of students at the museum.)

The study-abroad program provides students with insight into the laws of another country, a new perspective on the American legal system and a look at the challenges of representing clients in a global economy. Courses are taught by UB and Maryland law faculty, as well as by professors from the University of Aberdeen.

Learn more about the Aberdeen study-abroad program.

Professor John Bessler is leading the UB contingent during this summer’s program, which runs from July 10 to Aug. 4.

Scotland prison

UB and Maryland law students visit the Peterhead Prison Museum in Scotland as part of the Aberdeen study-abroad program.

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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 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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