February 5, 2016

2016 Mardi Gras Sports Law Moot Court Team Success

Posted by:
Category: Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public, Sports & Law
Leave a Comment »

2016 Mardi GrasThe Marquette Sports Law Moot Court team advanced to the final eight of the 2016 Mardi Gras Sports Law Invitational Competition hosted by Tulane University Law School. Please congratulate team members Alexa Callahan, Darius Love, and Nicole Ways. Professors Matt Mitten and Paul Anderson coached the team.  This year the competition included more than 50 competitors and 26 teams.

Print Friendly



February 4, 2016

Waukesha and Racine Mayors Stake Out Opposing Positions on Water Diversion Application

Posted by:
Category: Environmental Law, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Water Law
2 Comments »

Does Waukesha’s application to divert water from Lake Michigan represent the only reasonable option to provide its residents with clean, safe, and sustainable drinking water, or will it cause adverse environmental impacts and set a negative precedent leading to dozens more “straws in the lake”?  That was the subject of conversation between Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly and Racine Mayor John Dickert during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program before a capacity crowd at Marquette Law School.

Waukesha diversionThe Great Lakes Compact, an agreement between Wisconsin and the other Great Lakes states, generally operates as a ban on new and increased diversions of Great Lakes water outside the Great Lakes basin, with certain limited exceptions.  One of those exceptions allows communities located outside the basin, but within counties that straddle the basin line, to apply for a diversion.  Waukesha is the first community to apply for a diversion under that exception.  Its application has drawn close attention locally and nationally.  The Compact sets out strict requirements for such applications.  To succeed, the City’s application must demonstrate that it has “no reasonable water supply alternative,” that its need cannot be reasonably avoided through the efficient use and conservation of existing water supplies, and that it will cause no significant adverse impacts to the quantity or quality of the water used, among other legal requirements.  Under the terms of the Compact, all eight Great Lakes governors (or their designees) have veto power over the application.

During the “On the Issues” program, the two mayors agreed on the importance of regional cooperation on water and other pressing issues (although both lamented the absence of that cooperation in this particular case), but not on much else.  In a respectful but pointed discussion, they staked out opposing positions on the pending application.

Read more »

Print Friendly



My Annual Super Bowl TV-Size Post

Posted by:
Category: Intellectual Property Law, Public, Sports & Law
Leave a Comment »

kitten bowlIt’s almost the time of year when people wonder what size television they can use to display the SuperBowl on. To answer that, I am resurrecting my post from two years ago. Average screen sizes have probably not increased enough to change my conclusion.

Print Friendly



February 3, 2016

Cuba – Do They Like Us?

Posted by:
Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Marquette Law School, Public
Leave a Comment »

(cross-posted from www.indisputably.org)

Since returning, I’ve received calls from those about to go and questions from others—what are the Cuban people like?  And what do they think of Americans?

The official Cuban policy, of course, is that the US policy has been shortsighted and narrow minded.  And the list of US policies that need to change was also outlined for us:

  • end the embargo
  • stop treating Cuban immigrants to the US differently from other immigrants (granting them refugee status when no other national group is and thereby encouraging them to leave)
  • leave Guantanamo Bay–what lease lasts over 100 years!?!
  • and stop broadcasting US propaganda from Radio Marti.

Museo_de_la_Revolucion-Rincon_de_los_cretinos_Batista_Reagan_G._Bush_W._BushAnd one can definitely see anti-American sentiment in the Museum of the Revolution in a very funny little exhibit called the Rincon de los Cretinos(the Corner of Idiots).

But those are the official sentiments, and not at all what one hears around and about.  According to the American journalist, Mark Frank, who spoke to us, there has not been any anti-US demonstrations in a decade.  And I did not see any billboards or posters that were anti-US (other than the historic exhibits in the Museum).  Most importantly, each student noted how individually friendly the Cubans were.

Read more »

Print Friendly



January 29, 2016

Cuba — Economic Challenges

Posted by:
Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Marquette Law School, Public
Leave a Comment »

For the blog today, I thought I would incorporate some of the student reflections about one of our first speakers.  We had a terrific briefing on the economy from Guilio Ricci, an economics professor at the University of Havana.

From Max Rabkin:

Spending a week in Havana was an eye-opening experience for many reasons. I expected good food, friendly people and time-capsule-like architecture, and was not disappointed with any of those. However, I was most intrigued with how the country and the Castro government was handling the introduction of market reforms and resuming diplomatic relations with the United States.

Most fascinating was the talk with the economist from the University of Havana. I went into the trip expecting a heavy dose of Marxist-Leninist thought to permeate every discussion the group had, and although this was generally true, the economic lecture ended up being one of the fairest and provided the most realistic outlook for the Cuban economy and future enterprise prospects for the public.  Read more »

Print Friendly



January 28, 2016

New Law School Poll Results: What Does the Present Say About the Future?

Posted by:
Category: Marquette Law School Poll, Public
Leave a Comment »

It was baseball great (and quotation legend) Yogi Berra who said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

And as Professor Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll, says, a poll is only a snapshot of public opinion at the time the questions were asked.

So let;s not get carried away with assuming what lies ahead, based on the results of the Marquette Law School Poll that was released on Thursday.

But the fresh round of poll results offers some windows for looking toward what is going to happen in Wisconsin politics, not only in 2016 but in following years. Read more »

Print Friendly



Doing away with deference?

Posted by:
Category: Environmental Law, Public, Water Law, Wisconsin Law & Legal System
1 Comment »

Legislative bodies often delegate significant authority to administrative agencies.  In the course of its work, an agency must reach legal conclusions about how to interpret and apply a statute it administers.  Most agencies employ attorneys for just that purpose.  When an agency’s legal interpretation is challenged, federal and state courts commonly defer to the agency in recognition to the agency’s subject-matter expertise and experience.  gavelFederal courts use the well-known Chevron[1]standard, analyzing first whether Congress has “directly spoken to the precise question at issue”; if it has, the court must give effect to that Congressional intent.  But if the statute is silent or ambiguous, the court defers to the agency interpretation if it is “based on a permissible construction of the statute,” even if the court would have reached a different outcome.  Wisconsin courts take a similarly deferential approach to reviewing agency legal interpretations.

Without the benefit of reliance on an agency’s interpretation of such specialized questions, courts would have to overcome “lack of training and expertise, lack of time, [and] lack of staff assistance. . . .”[2]  In the environmental context, federal courts have therefore resisted calls to inject themselves into the day to day management of natural resources, and have avoided becoming “forestmasters,” “roadmasters,” “fishmasters,” “watermasters,” and “rangemasters;” instead, they have deferred to the agencies created for those purposes.[3]

Over the years, however, some jurists have questioned whether this deferential approach straitjackets reviewing courts, sapping their power in favor of unelected administrative agency representatives.  Inspired by those concerns, a bill currently pending in the Wisconsin Legislature, A.B. 582, would eliminate judicial deference to agency legal interpretations in particular contexts.  To put it mildly, this would be a major development in Wisconsin administrative law and would deeply change the relationship and relative balance of power between agencies and reviewing courts in the state.

Read more »

Print Friendly



January 27, 2016

Common Ground: Seeking Wins for People at the Grassroots

Posted by:
Category: Milwaukee, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at Marquette
Leave a Comment »

Suddenly, Keisha Krumm, a strong, smart, confident community organizer with a record of impact, hit a point where emotion welled up.

Speaking at an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Eckstein Hall on Wednesday, Krumm was answering a question about what motivated her to become the lead organizer for Common Ground in Milwaukee.

She said she grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and she was caption of the girls’ basketball team at her high school. They lost every game. She didn’t like it and it still galls her. But there was a bigger context in the circumstances of her life.

“In my neighborhood, we lost,” Krumm said. “When it came to opportunity for our men, we lost. We lost a lot in life.” She paused, looked down at her hands, and continued in a thicker voice.

“I’m sick of losing. And Common Ground teaches people how to win in life where it matters, to get the things done in their neighborhood that if they had a billion dollars, they would never have to worry about. So I’m committed to teaching people how to win in life.” Read more »

Print Friendly



Cuba- The Spanish-Cuban-American War – Who Knew?

Posted by:
Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Marquette Law School, Public
Leave a Comment »

(cross-posted from www.indisputably.org)

On our very first night in Cuba, we went to dinner at the famous Hotel Nacional.  The Hotel is gorgeous on a bluff overlooking the water, old, majestic, and impressive.  Here is a picture of all of us in the ballroom.  Everyone famous who has visited Cuba, comes to the Hotel and there are even pictures all around of the famous visitors (including a larger than life portrait of Hugo Chavez, not something that we are going to see here in the U.S.)  But the thing that really struck me was in the garden next to several old cannons.
(And here is a picture from the garden.)Cuba-hotel nacional

In commemoration of a battle, the plaque referred to the Spanish-Cuban-American War.  I knew of no such thing. Read more »

Print Friendly



January 26, 2016

After a Six-Year “Break,” Feingold Makes His Case for Returning to the Senate

Posted by:
Category: Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at Marquette
Leave a Comment »

“The people of this state told me to take a break.”

But Russ Feingold wants the break to end, and he used an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School on Tuesday to convey his enthusiasm for winning a race for a United States Senate seat that is shaping up as one of the most significant in the country this year.

Feingold served as a Democrat in the Senate for 18 years before being defeated in 2010 by a Republican candidate who was then a newcomer to politics, Ron Johnson. This year’s race is slated to be a re-match between the two. The two differ sharply on a wide range of issues and the outcome could be a key to which party holds a majority in the Senate, come 2017.

Feingold conveyed to a capacity audience in the Appellate Courtroom of Eckstein Hall not only his enthusiasm for returning to office, but the consistency of his positions over the years, with a few adjustments and tweaks as he positions himself for the campaign. Read more »

Print Friendly



January 25, 2016

Professor Ghiardi

Posted by:
Category: Marquette Law School, Public
Leave a Comment »

Head and shoulders portrait of Law School professor James Ghiardi.I remember Professor Jim Ghiardi with great fondness and respect. Jim was very welcoming to me when I joined the Marquette law faculty as the director of the National Sports Law Institute in 1999, and he made significant contributions to the development of the NSLI (and our Sports Law program) as a longtime member of its Board of Advisors and one of its strongest supporters. I always appreciated his periodic visits to my office to offer advice and suggestions about building their quality and reputations, which he conveyed with a big smile and a twinkle in his eye. He’s one of the pillars that established a solid foundation for the NSLI and our Sports Law program as well as Marquette Law School. May he rest in peace while his memory continues to inspire us.

Print Friendly



Metcalfe Fellow Calls for Renewed Pursuit of Martin Luther King’s Goals

Posted by:
Category: Civil Rights, Poverty & Law, Public, Speakers at Marquette
1 Comment »

A grim assessment of current realities in central cities and some optimism about how things can and ultimately will get better.

That is what Sheryll Cashin, a professor of law at Georgetown University and Marquette University’s 2016 Ralph Metcalfe Fellow, offered in a talk last Thursday in the Appellate Courtroom of Eckstein Hall. The session was part of Marquette’s observance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.

“The thing I liked about Dr. King is that he always appealed to our betters angels. I believe there are a lot of better angels out there,” Cashin said in response to a pessimistic question from an audience member.

“Change is inevitable,” she said. “Nothing is permanent.”  She urged people not to limit their imagination of a better future for the nation and for those whose lives now are shaped by “a nasty othering” at the hands of those with power and wealth.

Cashin, a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, focused on a set of lectures that Dr. King delivered in 1967 on Canadian public radio. She compared what King said then to circumstances now, saying little has improved in central cities, and some things have gotten worse. Read more »

Print Friendly