March 26, 2015

Congratulations to the 2015 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finalists

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Congratulations to this year’s Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition finalists: Larissa Dallman, Mary Ellis, Natalie Schiferl, and Nicole Ways. All the competitors presented strong oral arguments tonight.

Thank you to the judges of the semifinal round: Hon. William Callahan, Hon. Patricia Gorence, Hon. Nancy Joseph, Hon. Joan Kessler, Hon. JoAnne Kloppenburg, and Hon. Paul Reilly.

The final round will be held on Wednesday, April 2 at 6:00 p.m. in the Appellate Courtroom.  The teams will be matched as follows:

Mary Ellis and Natalie Schiferl v. Larissa Dallman and Nicole Ways.

Best of luck to the finalists.

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Israel Reflections 2015-Day Two: Church of the Holy Sepulchre

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church-300x200I am planning on interspersing blogs about our more academic visits with blogs about our wonderful sightseeing.  The student visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre turned out to be more amazing than expected, as our students were asked to participate in the mass!

Student Lauren Maddente shared her reflections here:

On the second morning of our venture to Israel, a group of students chose to attend mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. We started the morning with a stop for Turkish coffee and pieces of a giant sesame seed bagel. The weather was beautiful but it was the Church itself that truly amazed me. This Church is significant to Catholics because it is located where Catholics believe that Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead. The Church is large, stone, and composed of sections for different Catholic sectors (e.g., Eastern Orthodox, Roman). First, our guide took us to different features inside the church such as the stone that Catholics believe Jesus was laid on after he was crucified, and the rock that was rolled in front of the cave that his body was placed in. We entered the cave in small groups and some of us were chased out by a seemingly angry priest; apparently we overstayed our welcome in the cave. We then looked at the different sections at the church, decorated according to their given traditions. For example, while the Eastern Orthodox section had many hanging, glass lamps, the Roman section had beautiful, darker designs and mosaics composed of small pieces of glass. [You can see the ornate decorations in the photo above]

After observing different parts of the church, our guide took us to the section of the church where we would be attending mass. It was interesting to see such a large number of priests which seemed to outnumber the worshipers. The entire mass was sung and the readings were in Latin, Arabic, and English. Our very own Libby and Jennifer presented the English reading! Also, a group of us were fortunate enough to be asked to bring up the gifts. The priest who asked us to bring up the gifts did not speak a word of English, but his patience was apparent as he smiled the whole time while relying on hand gestures to direct us. I lucked out and was given a small, metal tray with two glass bottles—one with oil and one with water—and needless to say I death-gripped it the whole time. The mass was a beautiful experience. The architecture was stunning. The sight of so many worshipers was moving. The opportunity was one of a lifetime.

 

 

 

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March 24, 2015

Israel Reflections 2015: Masada & the Dead Sea

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For a little different start to our trip, I decided this year to fit in a visit to Masada and the Dead Sea.  This was both for getting over jet lag purposes and because the history and geology of both places are a great frame for the rest of the week.  From student Jillian Igl-Dickson, here is a description:

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“Upon arriving in Israel and getting a few hours of sleep we were off on our first adventure to go see and explore the Dead Sea and Masada. We left our hotel in Jerusalem late in the morning to head toward Masada where we spent the first half of our day. Thankfully, Professor Schneider took pity on our exhausted group and refrained from making us hike to the top of Masada via the Snake Trail (45 min-1 hour hike), but instead let us take the cable car to the top. Given that this was our first real experience in Israel, it was an amazing way to start off our trip. The views from the cable car of Masada and the surrounding landscape were absolutely breathtaking. We were fortunate enough to have lots of time to explore Masada and learn more about the history of the site [and the story of the Roman siege.]

Read more »

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Israel Reflections 2015: Vienna to Israel and the Lady in Gold

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adele-bloch-bauerWell, I had very high hopes for being able to blog while in Israel and those were quickly dashed between the total lack of sleep and need to reflect on what we were seeing!  So finally, now that we have been back for a week, I will start posting about the sights and visits that we had.  We stopped over on the way and spent about 8 hours running around Vienna.  This proved to be a terrific stop because we were able to link two different visits in Israel to what we saw in Vienna.  We started at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna where the famous Klimt painting, The Kiss, is shown.  Up until very recently, the Belvedere also housed a painting known as the Lady in Gold (seen above).  And you can still see t-shirts and mugs bearing the likeness of this painting through downtown Vienna.  But this painting is now longer there.

It turns out the Lady in Gold is actually The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, a well-known society woman in Vienna who commissioned the portrait at the turn of the century.  Unfortunately for her and her heirs, Adele was Jewish.  The painting was looted during the Holocaust, the name changed to hide its original identity, and it took a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2004 (Republic of Austria v. Altmann)  to get this painting back to the family — a niece by the name of Maria Altmann. Read more »

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Congratulations to Marquette’s 2015 AAJ National Trial Team

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Congratulations to Marquette’s AAJ National Trial Competition Team for its third place finish in the Omaha regional.

This year’s team was comprised of Alexander Foundos and Christopher Kradle for the Plaintiff and Jennifer McNamee and Cameron Weitzner for the Defense.  The coaches for the team were Attys. Nate Blair and Jason Luczak, who spent countless hours working with the team as part of the Trial Skills Competition class at the Law School.

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) National Student Trial Advocacy Competition is one of the premier national trial competitions in the country. Well over 200 teams from law schools around the country compete.

The Omaha regional hosted 16 teams. After the three preliminary rounds, Marquette was undefeated and advanced to the semifinal round. While the Marquette team ultimately lost a well-fought trial in the semifinals, the team ended up placing third overall—an excellent showing.

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March 23, 2015

Congratulations to the 2015 Marquette Wagner Moot Court Competition Team

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2015WagnerCongratulations to 3Ls Angela Harden, Amanda Luedtke, and Samuel Weinberg for reaching the quarterfinals of the 39th Annual Robert F. Wagner National Labor & Employment Law Moot Court Competition in New York this past weekend.  The team also took second place for its Respondent’s brief.  This year’s competition was comprised of 41 teams.

Professor Paul Secunda served as the team’s faculty advisor, and Attys. and Marquette Law alumni Jesse Dill and Tony Flint coached the team.  This year’s Wagner problem involved application of the WARN Act to a plant closing of an oil company (Fazal Oil) after a coup de etat occurred in the country where the oil company was located (San Marcos). Specifically, the problem asked whether the Liquidating Fiduciary, Unforeseeable Business Circumstance and Faltering Company exceptions were able to be claimed by Fazal Oil after they closed the San Marcos oil plant without giving the employees the 60 day notice of closing required under the WARN Act.  Congratulations, again, to our Marquette Law School team for their tremendous effort in tackling these complex employment issues.

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Congratulations to the 2015 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Semifinalists

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Congratulations to all who competed in the 2015 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition and special congratulations to this year’s semifinalists:  Larissa Dallman, Mary Ellis, Olivia Fitzgerald, Nolan Jensen, Jeremy Klang, Christopher Little, Natalie Schiferl, and Nicole Ways. Teams are advancing after four rounds of preliminary competition this past weekend.

Thank you to the numerous judges who graded briefs and heard oral arguments, as well as to all the competitors, who prepared hard for the competition and fought good battles this weekend.

The semifinal round will be held on Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 p.m. The teams will be matched as follows:

Team 11 v. Team 6 will argue in the Appellate Courtroom.

Team 10 v. Team 7 will argue in the Trial Courtroom.

The teams will argue before a panel of judges, including Hon. William Callahan; Hon. Patricia Gorence; Hon. Nancy Joseph; Hon. Joan Kessler; Hon. JoAnne Kloppenburg; and Hon. Paul Reilly.

Good luck to the semifinalists.

 

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March 22, 2015

Conferences Focuses on Fighting Human Trafficking and Repairing the Harm to Victims

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“I want to believe that this can end,” Sharmere McKenzie said. “Let’s do this together. Let’s do this together. Are you with me?”

Yes, a capacity audience in the Appellate Courtroom of Eckstein Hall was with her. That was because of far more than the riveting personal stories told by McKenzie and several others at a day-long conference, “Restorative Justice and Human Trafficking – from Wisconsin to the World.”

The people at the conference were with McKenzie because of their commitment to dealing with the entirety of the issue of human trafficking, starting with understanding the realities of it and expanding to include prevention, prosecution, and repair of the lives of those who are victimized by it.

The emphasis at the conference was particularly on the “restorative justice” aspects of responding to trafficking. Janine Geske, a retired professor at Marquette Law School, continues to be a central figure in restorative justice work at the Law School and far beyond. She led the conference and set the tone of focusing on what harm is done by human trafficking and what can be done to repair the harm. Read more »

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Unpredictable March Madness and the Law

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This past weekend sixty-four teams played a total of fifty-two basketball games. Games are broadcast over four different television networks, and tens of millions of eyes remain glued to T.V. sets across the country — soaking up each buzzer-beating shot and Cinderella story. Just as unpredictable as the outcome of each tournament game is the result of a case pending against the NCAA, the entity that profits enormously from the nation’s fixation with March Madness.

O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), an antitrust class-action lawsuit, seeks to require the NCAA, and other enterprises who benefit from college-athletes’ images and popularity, to pay the players. This potential change in rules could shift these basketball and football stars from amateur to professional athletes. This change would significantly alter the landscape of collegiate sports.

Ed O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball star, along with other former college athletes, filed suit in July 2009. The original defendants included the NCAA, the Collegiate Licensing Company, and Electronic Arts (best known for EA Sports). The latter two settled for $40 million. Last August, federal judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of the players, holding that not paying athletes for the commercial use of their likeness and image was a violation of antitrust laws. The NCAA’s appeal is being heard this month by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

This is a divisive issue that has passionate proponents on both sides. There are people in favor of paying college athletes and many that are opposed. In either case, one thing is certain: this March, there is much more than tournament brackets on the line.

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March 19, 2015

The Notorious R.B.G.

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Category: Feminism, Judges & Judicial Process, Public, U.S. Supreme Court
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20150103_135911-1Those of us who teach in gender and feminist studies have long been familiar with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; we regularly deal with her work as both a lawyer and as jurist. This past January, I had the honor of hearing her speak at a conference in Washington, D.C., and was awed by her. So over spring break, I decided to start reading a new book, The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, edited by Scott Dodson. I’m not that far into the book yet, but what I’ve read has only made me admire her more.

I’m far from being Justice Ginsburg’s only admirer. She has quite the following, including this woman, who had a portrait of Justice Ginsburg tattooed on her arm. One man put her 35-page dissent in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby to music. Another admirer dubbed her “The Notorious R.B.G.,” a take-off on rapper The Notorious B.I.G, and there’s a whole blog devoted to all things R.B.G. Google “Notorious R.B.G.” to find t-shirts and other merchandise. It’s a title the Justice herself seems to enjoy. (Listen to the video clip here.)

Ironically, while I was starting my book over spring break, Justice Ginsburg celebrated her 82nd birthday. She seems in no way ready to step down from the court. After all, she reminds us, Justice John Paul Stevens served until he was 90. In honor of her birthday, one site gathered some of her best quotes. My favorite: “People ask me sometimes . . . When will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is: When there are nine.”

Wouldn’t have expected anything less from her.

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Congratulations to the 2015 Marquette Evans Competition Teams

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Congratulations to 3Ls Melissa Fischer, Nicole Ostrowski, and Julia Westley for reaching the quarterfinals of the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition this past weekend.  Professor Blemberg advised the team.  3Ls Brendan Leib and Peter Smiley also competed and were advised by Professor Scott Idleman and Professor Jake Carpenter.  The teams were coached by Attorneys Elizabeth Bronson, Paul Jonas, Matthew Martz, Martin St. Aubin, and Drew Walgreen.  All of the coaches are Marquette alumni who competed in moot court.

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March 17, 2015

Decline in Wisconsin Prison Population Results From Fewer Drug Offenders Behind Bars

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As I discussed in this post, Wisconsin has achieved one of the nation’s higher rates of reduction in imprisonment over the past decade. To be sure, New York, California, and a few other states have far outpaced Wisconsin in this regard, and Wisconsin’s prison population remains nearly ten times larger than it was in the early 1970s. Still, we may appreciate some overall net progress in the Badger State’s numbers since the mid-2000s. As indicated in the chart after the jump, reduced imprisonment of drug offenders has played a central role in driving this trend.   Read more »

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