Congratulations to the Jessup Moot Court Team

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A group of Marquette students just finished an extremely successful weekend at the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, which took place in Chicago and featured schools from across the midwest. The team of Matt Ackmann, Joel Chappelle, Solomon Gatton, and Colin Stephenson finished preliminary rounds ranked third out of twenty teams, advanced to quarterfinals, and received a trophy for writing the fourth-best briefs. In addition, out of eighty individual competitors, Colin and Joel received awards for being the fifth- and seventh-best speakers, respectively. Having watched a couple of their rounds, I can attest that they did a fantastic job.

Thanks to the efforts of these students, Megan O’Brien, and various alumni, Marquette has now placed teams in regional quarterfinals two years in a row. We look forward to extending this record of success in the coming years.

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2016 Mardi Gras Sports Law Moot Court Team Success

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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.

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Cuba – Do They Like Us?

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(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 »

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Cuba — Economic Challenges

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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 »

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

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(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 »

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Professor Ghiardi

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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.

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Professor Ghiardi—Some Recollections

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James Ghiardi stands at a podium, circa 1985Jim Ghiardi was larger than life. As Jim’s student, research assistant, colleague, and occasional golf partner, here are some recollections:

He was intimidating, commanding, and inspiring in the first-year torts course, where he could make 160 first-year students squirm in unison. He could also inspire truly extraordinary levels of class preparation (i.e., serious study of the law). Nearly a dozen of us would hang out with him after most classes in a semicircle around the podium, asking this or that, seeking a bit more from him, trying to impress him.

In his advanced torts and casualty insurance seminars, he was respectful, demanding, and encouraging. Many of us felt like associates in Jim’s law firm, with Jim acting as a mentor. He turned the class over to us, with carefully crafted assignments we were required to address orally and in writing. And pretty much everyone rose to the challenge and performed like a lawyer. Read more »

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Remembering James Ghiardi

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Head and shoulders portrait of Law School professor James Ghiardi.

I joined the Marquette University Law School faculty in 1992. Back then, it was traditional to start off the school year with a marathon faculty meeting the weekend prior to the start of classes. I dutifully showed up (I forget if it was a Saturday or a Sunday) and sat through the longest and most boring meeting of my life up to that point. Since joining academia, I am sad to say, I have subsequently attended longer and more boring meetings. Still, that particular meeting was a slog.

In any event, I sat quietly all day long and didn’t say a word. At the end of the meeting, Jim Ghiardi observed, in a loud voice for the benefit of the entire room, “I am so glad to see that our newest faculty member has the good sense to keep his mouth shut and listen for a while before sharing his opinions.” Wow. If that was how Professor Ghiardi treated junior faculty, I thought, I could only imagine how he terrorized his students.

After that meeting, I quickly determined that it would be a good idea to invite Jim to lunch. We met at the Alumni Memorial Union, where I asked Jim’s advice on how to be a successful law school teacher. I continued to keep my mouth shut and listen. We got along fabulously. Read more »

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Remembering Professor James Ghiardi

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Law professor James Ghiardi stands at a podium and lectures to a class, circa 1985.

Law professor James Ghiardi stands at a podium and lectures to a class, circa 1985.

James D. Ghiardi, professor emeritus, passed away yesterday, at the age of 97. Jim was a Marquette lawyer, from our Class of 1942, and after service in World War II served as a member of our faculty, active or retired, for almost 70 years. From his first-year Torts course to his (somewhat) gentler approach with upper-level students, as I understand it, Professor Ghiardi was the legendary member of the Marquette Law School faculty for more than a generation. Professor Ghiardi enjoyed immense respect and esteem from Marquette lawyers—his former students.

Jim had retired by the time I arrived in 1997, but he remained a presence at the Law School until as recently as a few months ago. He was unfailingly gracious and supportive to me even before I became dean—indeed, from my earliest days on the faculty. I have been fortunate to count him among my colleagues and friends. At the same time, it seems appropriate to let speak here one of my predecessors as dean—indeed, one of Professor Ghiardi’s former students. Robert F. Boden wrote the following of Professor Ghiardi in 1971:

I first knew him when I was one of 160 terrified freshmen students entering Law School in the fall of 1949. As a student I came to respect him as a fine teacher. As a fellow member of the bar, a fellow Marquette alumnus, faculty colleague, and finally as his Dean, I have come to respect him as a gentleman and a scholar. Few are more zealous in their loyalty to the University and to the profession. Few also have the industry and capacity for work that manifests itself every day in Professor Ghiardi’s vigorous and devoted attention to the responsibilities which he has assumed in the Law School and in the many other related activities which he has undertaken.

In a quarter century of teaching of tort and insurance law, Professor Ghiardi has come to be recognized nationally as one of the academic leaders in this area of the law. Since 1962 he has served as Research Director of the Defense Research Institute, the national research and educational arm of the defense bar. He is often called upon to address legal organizations throughout the country in the field of his expertise, and his long record of publication in the leading bar journals of the country is a further manifestation of his accomplishments in legal scholarship.

Dean Boden made these remarks in the context of dedicating, on behalf of the student editors, a volume of the Marquette Law Review to Professor Ghiardi. The dedication, which also notes Professor Ghiardi’s unusual service as the president of the Wisconsin bar, may be read here.

It concludes by expressing “certain[ty] in the fact that [Professor Ghiardi] will continue for many more years to reflect the highest ideals of his University and his profession.” Dean Boden was right to be so certain in his remarks nearly forty-five years ago. The loss of Jim Ghiardi now diminishes us, but his work and life magnified us—and as a legacy will continue to do so. Requiescat in pace.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 24th at Feerick Funeral Home, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. A visitation will also be held starting at 9:30 AM on Monday, January 25th, followed by the celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial at the Church of the Gesu, 1145 W. Wisconsin Ave. at 10:30 AM. Committal Services and Military Honors will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7301 W. Nash, after the Mass. A lunch will follow at 1:30 PM at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago Ave.

 Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to the Marquette University Law School, (James D. Ghiardi and Phyllis A. Ghiardi Scholarship Fund), or to the Milwaukee Catholic Home (Employee Fund).

 

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Cuba – Yes The Cars Are Amazing

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(Cross-posted from www.indisputably.org)

cuba-seminary-front-green-car-e1453233240472So we all returned safely home this weekend and I look forward to blogging soon.  Truly an amazing trip of contradictions–gorgeous old cars and baroque buildings mixed with decrepit infrastructure.  Total candor on economic and planning needs and nothing on any political change…ever.  Just fascinating.  Much more to come but, given the first day of classes today, here’s a start of the pictures of the beautiful cars.  (Ed. note: click “Read More” for additional photos). Read more »

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Don’t Fear Numbers

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RIskOver the last several years in Law School, I’ve learned that many of my peers are averse to math. In Prof. Anzivino’s Business Bankruptcy class I distinctly remember painful groans as he explained the time value of money and had the class look at a simple amortization table. In Prof Grossman’s Business Strategy course, I had a friend lean over to me and ask, “What the hell is a balance sheet?” Basic accounting and finance concepts seem to be like nails on chalk board for many law school students. Don’t fear numbers; basic accounting and finance skills can help distinguish your resume from other law school graduates and build better relationships with future clients.

Lawyers should have a basic understanding of a balance sheet, income and cash flow statements.

A balance sheet identifies the assets of an organization and how those assets were financed, either through debt [using someone else’s money] or through equity [using the owner’s money]. For those who are interested in doing M&A, a thorough understanding of a balance sheet is critical. For example, the ability to identify and discuss financial reserves [such as, those related to environmental remediation] can help you to identify, understand, and highlight risk for your client. An entity’s balance sheet also provides an understanding of an operation’s well-being: trends in cash, inventory, revenue producing equipment, receivables, payables, debt equity ratio and retained earnings [to name a few]. It’s also important to understand the relationship between these elements; it’s called a balance sheet for a reason. Read more »

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Congratulations to the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competitors

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The Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition is the appellate moot court competition for Marquette law students and is the capstone event of the intramural moot court program.  Students are invited to participate based on their top performance in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy course at the Law School. 

Congratulations to the participants in the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Barry Braatz
David Conley
Robert Copley
Samuel Draver
Isabelle Faust
Alexis Guraz
Christopher Hayden
Ashley Heard
Amber Horak
Megan Kaldunski
Alexandra Klimko
Alicia Kort
Jessica Lothman
Alan Mazzulla
Kayla McCann
Sara McNamara
Andrew Mong
Brittany Running
Rexford Shield
Amardeep Singh
Emily Tercilla
Natalie Wisco
Samuel Woo
Kiel Zillmer

 

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