Juvenile Justice Project student testifies about parole reform

JJP student Karilynn Lee, 2-15-18

2L Karilyn Lee testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 15, 2018.

Juvenile Justice Project student-attorney Karilyn Lee testified yesterday before Maryland’s House Judiciary Committee in support of legislation to reform the parole process.

House Bill 846 would remove the governor from the parole process for individuals serving life terms.

While the U.S. Supreme Court, in Montgomery v. Louisiana, held in 2016 that people who committed crimes as juveniles are entitled to a “meaningful opportunity for release,” the situation in Maryland is complicated by the fact that the governor must approve parole for anyone serving a life sentence, including those who committed crimes as children. According to Laurence M. Katz Professor of Law Jane Murphy, director of UB’s Juvenile Justice Project, only two prisoners serving life with parole sentences in Maryland prisons actually have been paroled since 1995.

Maryland is one of three states, with California and Oklahoma, that require the governor’s signature to grant parole.

Learn more about the Juvenile Justice Project and Professor Murphy.

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UB Public Interest online auction is live — start bidding!

1Today marks the official start of the online portion of the 24th Annual UB Public Interest Gala & Auction.

Beginning at 12 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 16, you can visit biddingforgood.com/ubspi and bid on the items listed online. The online portion of the auction will close on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 11 p.m. EST.

You can also preview items that will be offered in the silent and live auctions at the annual event, set for Friday, Feb. 23 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the John and Frances Angelos Law Center (1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201).

The annual auction by the University of Baltimore Students for Public Interest (UBSPI) raises money for stipends to help UB law students working for public-interest organizations over the summer.

Every donation to UBSPI supports not just our students but also the important work they do to advance social justice in the Baltimore region.

Please join the University of Baltimore community in supporting this worthy endeavor by making a cash donation, by participating in the online auction or by attending the silent and live auction on Friday, Feb. 23.

In the days leading up to the 24th Annual UB Public Interest Gala & Auction, we will share testimonials from students who have benefited from the generosity of previous UBSPI donors. Last summer, 2L Sarah Simmons worked for HopeWorks of Howard County:

During my internship with the legal department of HopeWorks of Howard County, a nonprofit that offers comprehensive services to survivors of domestic violence, I was exposed to a variety of issues and fields related to domestic violence, including protection order litigation, family law, criminal law and housing. The supervising attorneys at HopeWorks helped me feel a sense of ownership of the cases I worked on. My responsibilities included handling client intake, attending court hearings, doing outreach at court, writing motions and memos, providing referrals and performing legal research, discovery, trial preparation, witness interviews and victim-safety planning.

The annual UBSPI event — which will feature a live auction, a silent auction and a raffle — will also include food and drink. Attire is cocktail-formal.

Student tickets are $20. General admission tickets are $40. Tickets will not be available at the door. 

Order tickets here or click on the image.

Contact Michelle Junot (mjunot@ubalt.edu) for more information.

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Attention UB: The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress*

Skelter image… so don’t delay, submit your work today!

The 2018 editorial staff of Skelter is seeking submissions for the spring 2018 issue of the University of Baltimore’s literary journal, which is written exclusively by members of the UB community.

You must be a UB student, professor, staff member or alumna/us to submit. Submissions will be accepted through March 1.

To read the submission guidelines and to submit your original fiction, nonfiction or poetry, click on the image or visit https://skelter.submittable.com/submit. You may also write skelterjournal@gmail.com if you have questions about the process.

(*Quote attributed to Philip Roth)

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Student, a former NFL player, backs tackle football ban for kids

UB School of Law student Madieu Williams, a former University of Maryland and NFL player, is supporting a bill that would prohibit children in Maryland public schools from playing tackle football until they are in high school, The Baltimore Sun and Inside MD Sports reported.

Williams, a 2L whose NFL career ended in 2012, works as an intern for state Sen. William C. Smith Jr., a Montgomery County Democrat who filed a bill in the Maryland Senate that aims to prevent children from incurring traumatic head injuries.

The father of a 4-year-old boy, Williams says he sees the issue now as a parent, not only as a former football player.

“Knowing the research coming out on traumatic brain injuries forced me to look at it from a different perspective,” Williams said.

Autopsies of former professional football players have revealed a high incidence of degenerative brain disease brought on by repeated blows to the head. Research also shows that even repetitive “sub-concussions” can cause brain damage over time.

Williams, then with the Minnesota Vikings, was named the 2010 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, an award that recognizes a player’s community service as well as excellence on the field.

In 2009, Williams donated $2 million to create The Madieu Williams Center for Global Health Initiatives at the University of Maryland. (Read Washington Post story here.) The center focuses on public health issues in Maryland’s Prince George’s County as well as in Sierra Leone, Williams’s native country.

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March 5: Court of Special Appeals of Md. to sit at law center


You are invited to attend the sitting of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland at the University of Baltimore School of Law on Monday, March 5, 2018.

The court will be in session from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Moot Courtroom of the John and Frances Angelos Law Center (1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201).

This is a live session of the Court of Special Appeals. Members of the audience should note that appropriate attire is required and that no audio or video recording is permitted. Likewise, cell phones or similar devices should be powered off during the court session.

Audience members are asked to refrain from speaking while the court is in session; even whispered conversation can distract the court and counsel for the parties.

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BLSA teams take 2nd place at regionals, move up to nationals

BLSA Feb 2018

Front row from left: Jarred Nicholson, Adanna Smith, Sameerah Mickey and Bryana Spann. Behind them, from left, are Jasmine England, Professor Odeana Neal and Tashani Dickson.

The University of Baltimore Black Law Students Association’s Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial team and Frederick Douglass Moot Court team both garnered second-place awards this past weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association Convention, held in Portsmouth, Va.

Both UB School of Law teams now move up to the national competition, to be held March 13-18 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The top three teams from the National Black Law Student Association’s six regions will compete in the 50th annual NBLSA National Convention.

Said Brandon Cahee, 2017-18 president of UB’s BLSA chapter: “We are proud of the accomplishments of the members of the teams and of their coaches, who trained them to be victorious.”

The Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial team was made up of 3L Tashani Dickson, 3LE Jasmine England, 3LE Sameerah Mickey and 3LE Jarred Nicholson. (“LE” indicates an evening student.)

The Frederick Douglass team was made up of 2L Adanna Smith and 3L Bryana Spann.

Jermaine Haughton, J.D. ’15, coached the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial team, while Jennifer Burroughs, J.D. ’14, coached the Frederick Douglass Moot Court team.

Professor Odeana Neal, the teams’ faculty adviser, also congratulated the “tenacious students and their demanding coaches” for a job well done.

Congratulations to all!

Learn about UB’s Moot Court and Trial Team programs.

Learn about BLSA and other law school student groups.

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Can he plead the Fifth? Wehle says that’s no option for Trump

Professor Kimberly Brown

Professor Kimberly Wehle

Professor Kimberly Wehle has been in demand as an expert commentator as investigations into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election home in on several people close to the Trump campaign and administration, including President Donald Trump himself.

Wehle, a former associate independent counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, took part in a Feb. 8 discussion on CNN Tonight With Don Lemon about the refusal of Steve Bannon and Corey Lewandowski to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, which is looking into the Russia matter. Bannon was Trump’s chief strategist and Lewandowski was a Trump campaign manager.

Asked if the House committee could compel Bannon and Lewandowski to testify, Wehle said, “I think this comes down to the schoolyard question of ‘Can you make me?’”

She then posed a question: “At what point is Congress going to pull some levers of power to get some of these witnesses to actually testify?”

Wehle also appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews in a Feb. 6 segment about reports that President Trump’s lawyers are advising him to refuse an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Matthews’s questions focused on the possibility that Trump could be issued a grand jury subpoena if he refused an interview with Mueller — and on what would happen if Trump ignored the subpoena.

Said Wehle: “There’s not an option, if there is a grand jury subpoena, for the president to simply sit back and say, ‘I plead the Fifth, I’m not doing anything.’ That’s not an option on the table for him.”

Learn more about Professor Wehle.

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