Our December Bloggers Are Here

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Please join me in welcoming our two guest bloggers for the month of December.

Our Alumni Blogger for December is Christopher “Chal” Little.  After graduating cum laude from Marquette University Law School, Chal joined Meissner Tierney Fischer & Nichols as an Associate this year.  At Marquette he served as an Academic Success Program Leader, participated in the American Association for Justice 2016 Student Trial Advocacy Competition, was a member of the Moot Court Executive Board, the Business Law Association, and was the Marquette University Law School Student Liaison to the Wisconsin Bar Association Appellate Practice Section.  While in law school, Chal also served as a Summer Honors Intern at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C..

Our Student Blogger for the month of December is Anjali Sharma.  Anjali is currently 2L who is interested in Patent Law as well as Transactional Law. She is on the board of the Intellectual Property Society, and serves as a member of the Intellectual Property Law Review. She graduated from the University of North Dakota prior to coming to Marquette Law School.

We look forward to your posts!

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Marquette Teams Win Best Petitioner Brief and Best Respondent Brief at NMCC Regionals

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I had the privilege of working with two outstanding National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) teams again this year. The Region VIII round of the NMCC was hosted by Marquette November 19-20, 2016.

Please congratulate team members Kayla McCann, Emily Tercilla, and Samuel (Micah) Woo, who received the highest brief score in the competition and award for best Petitioner’s brief. Attorneys Jason Luczak and Max Stephenson coached the team.

Please also congratulate team members David Conley, Andrew Mong, and Kiel Killmer for their performance at the competition. The team had the top placing Respondent’s brief and advanced to the quarterfinals (top eight teams). Attorneys Jeremy Klang, Jesse Blocher, and Michael Cerjak coached the team.

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Study Abroad in Germany This Summer

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public
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overview_2016-participantsThe campus of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany will be the location of the Ninth Annual Summer Session in International and Comparative Law offered jointly by Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin, and the Justus Liebig University- Giessen.  This program brings together up to sixty students from law schools all over the world to take classes in comparative and international law over a four week session lasting from July 15 through August 12. In addition to students from the United States and Germany, over the years the program has attracted students from Russia, India, Columbia, Brazil, South Africa, Ethiopia, Spain, Vietnam, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, Korea, Australia, Indonesia and Kazakhstan, among other countries.  Class instruction is in English, and the international student body provides for a unique learning experience.

Faculty will be drawn from the U.S. and Europe.  Each student will select two courses (each course worth 2.0 law school credit hours) out of a total of four courses in the curriculum.  In addition to coursework, the curriculum includes two overnight field trips to Berlin and Hamburg to visit courts, other governmental institutions, and historical sites.  In addition, the program includes speakers on a variety of topics including a panel discussion on differences and similarities in legal education and practice around the world and a discussion of opportunities for further legal study and internships in Europe.

Classes will be held Monday through Thursday, during the day, over the four weeks of the program.  This schedule leaves students with time to explore the cities, villages and countryside around Giessen and nearby Frankfurt, and the opportunity to travel throughout Europe.  Paris to the west and Berlin to the east are a mere 300 miles from Giessen.

Past participants in the program have given high marks to both the substantive learning experience and the opportunity to form international friendships.  Enrollment is open to students who have completed one year of instruction in any U.S. law school.  Students enrolled in law schools outside of the United States should apply through the Justus Liebig University.

A general program overviewtravel and tuition details, course descriptions and faculty biographies can be viewed online.  An application form can be downloaded here.  Apply now and I will see you in Germany this summer!

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ACS Panel Explains Voting Rights Litigation in Wisconsin

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Category: Civil Rights, Constitutional Interpretation, Constitutional Law, Election Law, Judges & Judicial Process, Marquette Law School, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Wisconsin Law & Legal System
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img_5794-meOn October 20, I had the honor of moderating a panel discussion at the Law School devoted to Voting Rights Litigation in Wisconsin.  The event was co-sponsored by the Marquette University Law School Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society and the Milwaukee Chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS). A crowd of approximately 60 persons witnessed a lively presentation on the right to vote under the U.S. Constitution, recent legislation in Wisconsin that places burdens on the ability of some people to vote in our State, and the status of litigation in the federal courts challenging these state laws.

The event began with a welcome from the Chair of the Milwaukee Chapter of the ACS, Attorney Craig Mastantuono.  Attorney Mastantuono began with a description of the mission of the American Constitution Society and the benefits of membership.  He also noted the excellent timing of the day’s event, given the attention currently being given to the integrity of the American voting system.  Then Attorney Mastantuono introduced the Mayor of Milwaukee, the Honorable Tom Barrett.

Mayor Barrett began his remarks by providing the Marquette University law students in attendance with a bit of career advice: namely, the importance of being nice to your colleagues in the workplace.  Turning to topic of the federal judiciary, Mayor Barrett criticized lawmakers who impose litmus tests on judicial appointees, in a misguided attempt to ensure that there is “only one type of thinking in our court system.”  Mayor Barrett also expressed his disappointment in the fact that Wisconsin is no longer a national leader in ensuring access to the ballot, and criticized recent state laws that have made it more difficult to vote in the City of Milwaukee.  Finally, while he touted the benefits of early voting as a means of improving ballot access, the Mayor explained that there are limits to the City’s ability to expand the early voting process due to the City’s interest in maintaining a well-administered voting process. Read more »

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Welcome October Bloggers!

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It’s time to welcome our guest bloggers for the month of October.

Our Alumni Blogger of the month is Jacques Condon of the Condon Law Firm in Thiensville. His practice focuses on problem solving in the areas of business law, civil and commercial litigation, and the handling of individual and business disputes. After graduating from Marquette University law School in 1999, he clerked for United States District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller.

Our Student Blogger of the month is Nicholas Ramos. Outside of class, he is a member of Phi Alpha Delta and is currently serving as a Voter Protection Fellow with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio.

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Congratulations to AWL Scholarship Winners Dockendorff and Roelandts

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005571233005856550Today, September 27, 2016, the Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) Foundation honored two Marquette University Law School students with scholarships.

Hannah Dockendorff, 3L (pictured at left), received the AWL Foundation scholarship. The AWL Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a woman who has exhibited service to others, diversity, compelling financial need, academic achievement, unique life experiences (such as overcoming obstacles to attend or continue law school), and advancement of women in the profession. Dockendorff’s history of serving others began with her father, a U.S. Army sergeant in the Gulf War. She has provided legal assistance for the Milwaukee Justice Center, the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, and Catholic Charities immigration services. In Washington, D.C., on a National Day of Service, she worked with the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington to integrate recently released convicts into the community by going to their group home to help them build their meals. In addition to her volunteer work, her school work, and her work this semester with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division, Dockendorff is the main caretaker for her mother, who has cancer.

Courtney Roelandts, 2L (pictured at right), received the AWL Foundation’s Virginia A. Pomeroy scholarship. This scholarship honors the late Virginia A. Pomeroy, a former deputy state public defender and a past president of AWL. In addition to meeting the same criteria as for the AWL Foundation scholarship, the winner of this scholarship must also exhibit what the AWL Foundation calls “a special emphasis, through experience, employment, class work or clinical programs” in one of several particular areas:  appellate practice, civil rights law, public interest law, public policy, public service, or service to the vulnerable or disadvantaged. Roelandts, who is from a law enforcement family, received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology and went on to receive a master of social work degree. She hopes to combine law and social work in pursuit of social justice. She consistently works with three area pro bono legal clinics assisting with court forms, immigration issues, and domestic violence injunction hearings. She has already completed more than 100 hours of pro bono service and was inducted into the Pro Bono Honor Society in her 1L year. In addition, she is a member of the Marquette Law Review, president of the student American Constitution Society, and an original board member and current secretary for the Organization for Student Wellbeing.

Congratulations to both women for outstanding service and for their representation of Marquette University Law School.

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Obama Clemency Grants Pick Up Steam

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Category: Criminal Law & Process, Federal Criminal Law & Process, Federal Sentencing, Marquette Law School, President & Executive Branch, Prisoner Rights, Public, Race & Law
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Somewhat lost amidst the wall-to-wall media coverage of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 111 federal prisoners on August 30. This builds on what has quietly become one of Obama’s most significant end-of-term domestic policy initiatives. He has now commuted 673 sentences, more than the previous ten presidents combined. The August 30 grants, however, had special significance for me and a small group of recent Marquette Law School graduates.

Commutation (that is, a reduction in the severity of a criminal sentence) is a form of executive clemency. The Constitution expressly grants clemency powers, and presidents since George Washington have used these powers in a variety of different ways. In recent decades, though, there has been a certain whiff of disrepute surrounding clemency. Reinforcing the negative perceptions, President Bill Clinton’s pardon of financier Marc Rich and President George W. Bush’s commutation of the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby seemed to confirm that clemency was mostly used to benefit wealthy, powerful defendants.

The Obama Administration, however, envisioned a very different way to use clemency.   Read more »

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Summer Law Studies in Germany with MU Law

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Category: Human Rights, International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, Uncategorized
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DSC09137Just one week remains in the 8th Annual Summer Session in International and Comparative Law taking place in Giessen, Germany.  In the photo you can see me with some of my students in the Comparative Constitutional Law class.  It is a great group, mixing U.S. students from Marquette and the University of Wisconsin Law Schools (and one attendee from Touro Law School in New York) with students from Brazil, Italy, India, Russia and Georgia.  We had fun comparing the constitutions of our home countries and talking about the ways that the preambles of the various constitutions reflected similar yet different values.  For example, India’s Constitution is adamant that the national government is secular in nature — reflecting that countries enormous diversity of religious faiths and unfortunate history of religious strife.  Meanwhile, Russia’s Constitution is clear that the union of nations into one country is permanent unless unanimously dissolved, in a way that reminds me of Abraham Lincoln’s view of the United States.

After two weeks with me and Professor Thilo Marauhn from Justus Liebig University Law School, discussing and comparing topics related to constitutional structure, we turned the class over to Professor Heinz Klug of the University of Wisconsin and Professor Ignaz Stegmiller from Justus Liebig University Law School.  They focused on comparing civil rights and liberties under various constitutional systems.  All in all, a very thought-provoking course. Read more »

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When is it Plagiarism?

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Category: Higher Education, Legal Education, Legal Ethics, Legal Research, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public
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trump obamaLast night’s Republican National Convention has thrust “plagiarism” to the forefront of the news. One of last night’s speakers was Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. Trump’s speech sounded to many strikingly similar to one given eight years earlier—by First Lady Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

How similar?

Incredibly so. Not just identical words, but nearly identical context and sentence structure. At one point, Trump says, “Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them” (emphasis added). Eight years earlier, Obama had said, “Because we want our children — and all children in this nationto know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them” (emphasis added).

That is plagiarism.

(You can see a side-by-side text comparison here and here and side-by-side video comparison here.) Read more »

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Schultz Receives Recognition from the Wisconsin Law Journal

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Category: Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, Public
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Kindness, patience, and compassion—those were the key words in the description of Angela Schultz when the Wisconsin Law Journal recognized her as one of this year’s outstanding “Women in the Law” at an event attended by more than 300 people last week at the Pfister Hotel.

Schultz is Marquette Law School’s assistant dean for public service. She worked as an advocate for victims of domestic violence in Oregon and as a lawyer in Milwaukee focusing on elder and disability law before joining the Law School in 2011. She has helped hundreds of law students become involved in pro bono work and has become a leader in Milwaukee in helping thousands of people receive legal help that would otherwise have been out of their reach.

Angela SchultzIn an article in the Wisconsin Law Journal, Mary Ferwerda, director of the Milwaukee Justice Center, praised Schultz. “She’s very knowledgeable about access to justice issues and how what we do makes a difference,” Ferwerda said. “She has a lot of forward thinking in how to structure a program so that it is effective for clients and for student learning.”

“At the end of the day, we are a helping profession,” Schultz said. “We have a lot of compassionate, big-hearted people who come out of Marquette Law School who do all kinds of good things across the community.” Schultz has been a big success in helping make that happen.

A video recognizing Schultz may be viewed by clicking here.

 

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New Marquette Lawyer Sheds Light on Urban Neighborhoods—and Much More

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Marquette LawyerPair up the wisdom of a leading national expert on understanding urban neighborhoods with an effort to increase the vitality of a large section of Milwaukee’s west side and what do you have? You have the cover package of the Summer 2016 issue of Marquette Lawyer magazine.

Professor Robert J. Sampson, the Henry J. Ford II Professor of Social Sciences at Harvard University, delivered the Robert F. Boden Lecture at Marquette Law School in September 2015, drawing on his work in Chicago and Boston examining the fabric of urban neighborhoods. ”Neighborhood Inequality and Public Policy: What Can Milwaukee Learn from Chicago and Boston?” offers an essay version of Sampson’s lecture, along with reactions from several Milwaukee leaders.

A partner piece describes efforts by Marquette University and other major institutions to improve housing, business and commercial life, safety, and community amenities in near west side areas of Milwaukee—generally between the Marquette campus and the Harley-Davidson offices and factory a couple miles to the northwest. “Writing a New West Side Story” describes the ambitious undertaking under the leadership of Marquette’s President Michael R. Lovell.  The piece concludes with a comment by Provost Daniel J. Myers.

The cover package also includes a reflection by Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy, on the Law School’s public policy initiative, which aims to increase dialogue about major issues and shed light on subjects such as what can help urban neighborhoods. The dean’s column at the beginning of the magazine also speaks to Milwaukee, urban America, and the Law School’s interest in these matters.  Read more »

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Applications Still Being Accepted for Study Abroad in Germany

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csm_Teaser_SuSch_01_17bc017384

 

There is still time to join law students from Wisconsin, throughout the United States, and around the world as they come together in Giessen, Germany from July 16 to August 13, 2016 for the Eighth Annual Summer Session in International and Comparative Law. The program already has the minimum number of participants necessary to move forward, but additional participants are welcome and applications will continue to be accepted until May 27.

The faculty includes Marquette Law School’s own Professor Ed Fallone and Adjunct Professor Doug Smith, as well as Professor Heinz Klug from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Professor Thilo Marauhn of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, and Professor Sorcha MacLeod of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

Participants can choose two classes from the following four courses: 1) Comparative Constitutional Law: The E.U., Germany and the U.S.; 2) International Economic Law & Business Transactions; 3) Business Ethics and Human Rights Law; and 4) Comparative Corporate Governance. The schedule includes field trips to Berlin and Hamburg, as well as free time to travel Europe on your own.

Applications can be downloaded from the “Study Abroad” link on the Marquette Law School webpage. Interested students from Marquette or other ABA accredited law schools should contact Prof. Ed Fallone at edward.fallone@marquette.edu for more information.

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