MULS to Welcome Professor Linda Edwards in Fall 2014

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faculty_lindaedwards2014-04Marquette University Law School’s legal writing professors are pleased to announce that Professor Linda Edwards, E.L. Cord Foundation Professor of Law at University of Nevada Las Vegas, will be joining us as a Boden Visiting Professor for the fall semester of 2014.

Professor Edwards is a leading scholar and leader in the field of legal writing.  She has authored five texts, three of them focused on legal writing, and has written numerous scholarly articles on legal writing, rhetoric, and law. Her recent book, Readings in Persuasion: Briefs that Changed the World (Aspen Law & Bus. 2012) will serve as the basis for the advanced legal writing seminar she will be teaching at MULS next fall. The book discusses why some briefs are more compelling than others and covers briefs written in some of the law’s most foundational cases: Muller v. Oregon (the Brandeis Brief), Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Furman v. Georgia, Loving v. Virginia, and others. Professor Edwards says the course will build on what students learned in Legal Analysis, Writing & Research 2, but from a more advanced perspective.

Professor Edwards practiced law for 11 years before becoming the coordinator of NYU’s Lawyering Program. She then spent 19 years at Mercer University School of Law, where she was the director of legal writing and taught legal reasoning and advanced legal writing, as well as property, employment discrimination, and professional responsibility. In 2009, she joined the faculty at UNLV.  Also in 2009, Professor Edwards was awarded the Association of Legal Writing Directors and Legal Writing Institute’s Thomas Blackwell Award for her lifetime achievements and contributions to the legal writing field.

We are very excited to welcome Professor Edwards next fall.

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Congratulations to the 2014 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Winners

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, Jennifer McNamee and Elizabeth Oestreich. Congratulations also go to finalists Amy Heart and Frank Remington, as well as Brian Kane and Amanda Luedtke, who won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief.  Amy Heart won the Ramon A. Klitzke Prize for Best Oralist.

The competitors argued before a packed Appellate Courtroom. Presiding over the final round were Hon. Diurmuid O’Scannlain, Hon. Annette Ziegler, and Hon. Anne Burke.

Many thanks to the judges and competitors for their hard work, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship in all the rounds of competition, as well as to the moot court executive board and Law School administration and staff for their work in putting on the event. Special thanks to Dean Kearney for his support of the competition.

Students are selected to participate in the competition based on their success in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy class at the Law School.  Here is a link to the video of the competition.

 

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Congratulations to the 2014 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finalists

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Congratulations to this year’s Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition finalists: Amy Heart, Jennifer McNamee, Elizabeth Oestreich, and Frank Remington. All the competitors presented strong oral arguments tonight.

Thank you to the judges of the semifinal round: Hon. Michael Bohren, Hon. G. Michael Halfenger, Hon. Donald Hassin, Hon. Nancy Joseph, Hon. Joan Kessler, Hon. JoAnne Kloppenburg.

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:

Team 2, Jennifer McNamee and Elizabeth Oestreich v. Team 8, Amy Heart and Frank Remington.

Best of luck to the finalists.

 

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Majority Opinion on “Obamacare” Doesn’t Lie in Either Extreme

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As is so often the case, the focus in news reporting on the fresh results of the Marquette Law School Poll, released on Wednesday, was on the race for governor, with Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s lead over Democratic challenger Mary Burke holding steady from the prior round of polling in January. (Walker led 48 percent to 41 percent this time, compared to 47 percent to 41 percent then.)

But there is a lot more in each round of polling, both results that shed richer light on voters’ views related to candidates and voters’ views on issues. Distinguished Fellow Mike Gousha looks at some of the former in his posting on this blog, which can be found by clicking here. Permit me to look at one aspect of the latter, the results related to the new federal health law, often called Obamacare — results which don’t get much time in the spotlight.

Professor Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll, pointed to one of the most interesting results related to health care in his discussion of the results with Gousha on Wednesday. Put simply: There isn’t much political mileage to be gained from being either strongly in favor or strongly opposed to the federal law. What the majority of those who were polled said they want is to keep the new law but improve it. Specifically, only 8 percent want to keep the law the way it is, only 18 percent want to see it repealed and not replaced. But 52 percent want it improved, while another 18 percent said they want it repealed but replaced with an alternative. That’s 70 percent who want a better plan than Obamacare, but still want a federal health care law (presumably in addition to or expanding on Medicare and Medicaid). Read more »

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Poll Results Show Strengths and Weaknesses for Walker and Burke

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A couple of quick observations about the newest Marquette Law School Poll, released Wednesday. It contains good news for Republican Governor Scott Walker, who leads his likely Democratic challenger Mary Burke 48 to 41 percent among those surveyed. Walker should also be heartened by the results of the familiar and important “right direction/wrong track” question. Fifty-four  percent of respondents say Wisconsin is headed in the right direction. Only 42 per cent say we’re on the wrong track. There is also majority support for his recently signed $541 million property and income tax cut.

But the poll reveals several areas of concern for the governor. He remains below 50 percent in job approval and in a head-to-head matchup with Burke. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed say a failure to keep his 250,000 new jobs promise would be “very important” or “somewhat important” in deciding how they would vote. The governor’s opposition to a minimum wage hike and repealing the state’s same sex marriage ban puts him at odds with public sentiment in the poll, and the recently released John Doe documents aren’t helpful. But perhaps the most worrisome result for the Walker campaign is found in question number 32. When asked if Walker “cares about people like me,” 51 percent say he doesn’t. Forty-three percent say he does. Mary Burke fares better on the question. Thirty-six percent say Burke “cares about people like me.” Twenty-nine percent say she doesn’t. But 34 percent say they don’t know, demonstrating that many people still haven’t formed an opinion of Burke. It’s early, but the “empathy” or “compassion” question will be one to watch as the campaign moves into high gear.

 

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations to the 2014 Marquette AAJ National Trial Competition Team

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

The AAJ National Trial Competition is one of the premier national trial competitions in the country. Well over 200 teams from law schools around the country compete. The Chicago regional is generally one of the toughest regions, and many teams that advance from the Chicago regional to the national competition have ultimately won at nationals.

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

The team members are Katie Halopka, Hans Lodge, Emil Ovbiagele and Matt Tobin. Professor Dan Blinka is the team’s advisor, and attorneys Jason Luczak and Nate Blair coached the team.

 

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Congratulations to the 2014 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Semifinalists

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Congratulations to this year’s Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition semifinalists: Tyler Coppage, Amy Heart, Brian Kane, Amanda Luedtke, Jennifer McNamee, Elizabeth Oestreich, Frank Remington, and Derek Waterstreet. Teams are advancing after four rounds of preliminary competition.

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 27 at 6:00 p.m. The teams will be matched as follows:

Tyler Coppage and Derek Waterstreet v. Jennifer McNamee and Elizabeth Oestreich will argue in the Appellate Courtroom.

Brian Kane and Amanda Luedtke v. Amy Heart and Frank Remington will argue in the Trial Courtroom.

The teams will argue before a panel of judges, including Hon. Michael Bohren; Hon. G. Michael Halfenger; Hon. Donald Hassin; Hon. Nancy Joseph; Hon. Joan Kessler; and Hon. JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Good luck to the semifinalists.

 

 

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2014 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Preliminary Rounds

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Let the March Madness begin!

This weekend, the nine Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition teams will compete in four preliminary rounds at Eckstein Hall. The rounds will be held on March 22nd at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and on March 23rd at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Law students are invited to attend any of the rounds and should plan to arrive to the round at least five minutes before the round begins.  Attending a round of competition is a great way for students to learn more about moot court and study oral advocacy techniques.  Students–come and cheer on your friends and classmates.

Thank you to Brittany Kachingwe, Associate Justice of Intramural Competitions, and the Moot Court Board for their work in organizing the competition.  Best of luck to this year’s competitors!

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Law Day Gives High Schoolers Glimpses of Lawyers in the Movies — and In Real Life

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If you are a typical high school student, where do you get your ideas on what attorneys do? Television and movies – that’s a pretty likely answer. So let’s role the tape and look at the reality of being a lawyer versus what the movies show.

For example, consider a clip from the 1998 movie, “A Civil Action.” After viewing it, Milwaukee Circuit Judge Carl Ashley’s reaction was, “It’s pretty sensationalized, but partly true.” Court rooms and law firms may not have movie-like drama often, but lawyers in real life do help people and can “make something right,” Ashley said.

In the movie, the lawyer played by John Travolta called some lawyers “bottom feeders.” But Marquette Law School Professor Rebecca Blemberg, a former prosecutor, said lawyers she has worked with almost all have been people who really want to help others, and a lot of people genuinely benefit from lawyers.

Milwaukee County Judge Joseph Donald said he wished some aspects of the movie were matched in real life. “I’d love to have theme music playing every time I’m in court,” he said.

And Marquette Law Professor David Papke said the real case that was the basis of “A Civil Action” didn’t turn out so well for the attorney for the plaintiffs – he tried to do the right thing and ended up filing for personal bankruptcy.

Joining the four in watching that movie clip (and several others) were 180 students from eight public and private schools that took part in Youth Law Day at Marquette Law School’s Eckstein Hall on March 12. The event was sponsored by the Law School, the Saint Thomas More Lawyers Society, and the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office. Even during their spring break week, about 20 Marquette Law students assisted during the mock trial and shared their educational experiences with the high school students. Law student Lindsey Anderson took a leading role in organizing the event.  Read more »

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Congratulations to the Marquette National Moot Court Team

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photo (2)Please congratulate third-year law students Hans Lodge, Brendon Reyes, and Robert Steele for their recent participation in the final rounds of the National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) in New York. The team was coached by Attorneys Emily Lonergan and Jason Luczak. The NMCC is hosted by the New York City Bar Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

I am grateful to the team for their tremendous hard work in all stages of preparation including brief writing and oral argument practice. I could not be more proud of them. Their coaches also put in countless hours of practice time with the team. This team is special for many reasons, but among them are that Brendon Reyes is our current Moot Court Association Chief Justice, and Emily Lonergan was our Chief Justice in the 2010-11 year. What a talented and dedicated group of students and young lawyers I am privileged to work with.

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NAAC Team Advances to Octofinals

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IMG956734After three rounds of oral argument at the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) regional in Brooklyn, New York, this weekend, Marquette University Law School students Michael Crane (3L), and Samantha Evei (3L) were 2-1 and seeded thirteenth out of 33 teams.  Crane and Evei advanced to the octofinals, but unfortunately lost a very close match to another team. Sam Berg (3L) was also a member of the team and wrote the team’s brief. Attorneys (and former NAAC competitors) Alyssa Dowse and Lindsey Greenawald coached the team.

Michael Beckman (3L) and Zachary Wittchow (3L) also competed in the Brooklyn regional, facing tough competition.  Their team was coached by attorneys Jesse Blocher and Michael Cerjak. Professor Lisa Mazzie is the faculty advisor for both teams.

The NAAC is sponsored by the American Bar Association Law Student Division.

 

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Client Skills Board Competitions Update

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The Client Skills Board would like to congratulate the MULS teams and their coaches for a fine showing at a number of different competitions over the past three weeks.

Elizabeth Larson and Melissa Fischer won the ABA Representation in Mediation Regional Competition at the John Marshall Law School on February 16th. Yay, team! They will advance to the ABA Representation in Mediation National Competition in Miami in April so please wish them luck.

At the same competition, Emil Ovbiagele and Kavin Tedamrongwanish finished 9th overall. Carin Steber traveled with the teams and provided important on-site coaching assistance.

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