Congratulations to Marquette’s Spong Tournament Team

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This weekend 3ls Meredith Donaldson and Ben Lucareli competed in the 47th William B. Spong, Jr. Invitational Moot Court Tournament at William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The team advanced to the quarterfinals amidst stiff competition.  Meredith and Ben were coached by three moot court alumni:  Attorneys Nicholas Chmurski, Stephen Cox, and Matthew Martz.  Their time and assistance is much appreciated.  Congratulations team!

 

Loophole in Drunken Driving Law Should be Closed

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An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle that prevents a driver from operating the vehicle until first providing an adequate breath sample. In Wisconsin, an IID is required in one of three circumstances after being convicted of either Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC): the defendant is a repeat drunk driver, the defendant refused a chemical blood or breath test under Wisconsin’s implied consent law, or the defendant is a first time drunk driver and had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 “at the time of the offense.” Because OWI 1st’s are not crimes in Wisconsin, defense attorneys specializing in OWI cases try to negotiate with prosecutors to stipulate that the defendant’s BAC was 0.149 to avoid the costly and cumbersome IID requirement. This arbitrary threshold creates an obvious loophole.

The state legislature should revise this language in the IID statute because its vague language is leading to ridiculous results in court and does not promote consistency in OWI cases. As a matter of syntax, the statute as its currently written is arguably ambiguous. The legislature specifically used the phrase “at the time of the offense” as opposed to “at the time of driving.” The most common interpretation (and one favored by defense attorneys) is that the word “offense” only encompasses the physical act of driving and nothing after it. However, if that is what the legislature intended, then it would have been clearly to use the word “driving” instead. Further, the current language is in clear conflict with the OWI statute that penalizes drunk driving. A second reasonable interpretation is that “offense” includes everything from the driving to when the police officer issues the citations. However, this reading appears to cast too wide a net. Continue reading “Loophole in Drunken Driving Law Should be Closed”

The Real Math: Who Owes Whom?

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A photo of the mascot for the Florida Marlins baseball team, a man dressed in a foam costume with a fish head and wearing a baseball jersey.The start of Spring can mean one of two things. For some people, Spring can mean the weather will finally get warmer, or they will be going on a vacation. However, for baseball fans, Spring means the beginning of a new season on the road to October. Players head out to Spring Training, where they showcase to their fans the excitement of heading towards the 162-game season. Nevertheless, with the beginning of baseball season means the off-season has concluded and controversies start to surface in the media. Whether it was a favorite player being traded or a new ownership of a team, the possibilities of controversies are endless. In this particular situation, the county of Miami-Dade in Florida is filing suit against Miami Marlins (former owner) and Marlins TeamCo, LLC (the new owner of the Miami Marlins). The county of Miami-Dade is filing suit against the Marlins for refusal to pay the five percent equity payment that the Marlins promised to pay when they sold the Marlins to the Bruce Sherman-Derek Jeter group.

$1.2 Billion Dollars. That number represents the dollar amount that Jeffrey Loria sold the Miami Marlins to the Bruce Sherman-Derek Jeter group for in October of 2017, even though he only purchased the team for $158.5 million.  How much did the county of Miami-Dade receive from this transaction? Zero dollars. The real question in this case is why should the county of Miami-Dade receive any type of monetary relief from this transaction.

During the season of 2009, times were tense between the Miami Marlins and the city of Miami. The owner at the time, Jeffrey Loria, was making statements that he wanted to move the Marlins out of Miami and into a new market unless a new stadium was built. However, Loria claimed that since profits were decreasing, the team could not build a new stadium without the help of public funding. The county of Miami-Dade provided approximately $389 million towards the construction of the stadium, and the city of Miami agreed to provide approximately twenty-five million dollars and the land for the stadium. Besides providing public-funding, the county of Miami-Dade and Jeffrey Loria came into an agreement. The agreement stated that Jeffrey Loria would keep the Marlins in the Miami market for a specified period of time, and if he did then the county would provide public funding. However, if Jeffrey Loria sold the team within that specified period of time, then the team would have to make an equity payment to the county of Miami-Dade.

Continue reading “The Real Math: Who Owes Whom?”

Restorative Justice and Clergy Abuse

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Several people sit in chairs in a "healing circle" discussing instances of abuse by clergy.My trip to Rome in spring 2016 triggered a return visit this past November, when I again taught a segment of a certificate program addressing the Catholic sex abuse scandal.

The Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Child Protection offers the four-month graduate certificate program to religious sisters, brothers and priests from around the world who are assigned to head up Protection for Children offices. The program goals: to teach how to deal with past abuse and prevent further incidents.

I spent a full day with 19 students representing four continents. While there were some language barriers to overcome, the group was able to comprehend the power of Restorative Justice (“RJ) presented in different contexts — particularly its value regarding sexual abuse within the Church.

I explained how in past clergy abuse cases, it is not often possible to bring victims and offenders face-to-face in dialogue because many offenders are in denial, deceased or too old, with limited memory. We, therefore, explored the hope that RJ offers in addressing “secondary victimization” by members of the Church’s hierarchy.

Continue reading “Restorative Justice and Clergy Abuse”

25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction: Interview with Andrew Lawton

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The 25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 16 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Andrew Lawton, a current law student, shares his experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

The United States Attorney’s Office-Eastern District of Wisconsin.

What kind of work did you do there?

The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) prosecutes a wide variety of federal crimes. The case load within the office is diverse, depending on enforcement priorities and actual apprehension of suspected criminals. My work was primarily to draft research memorandum summing up the case law in a specific area of interest to any of the attorneys, which included a wide range of topics from asbestos to armed robbery to human trafficking. But I also drafted court documentation such as motions when needed, and I observed court appearances where I took notes for the attorneys, including in prolonged jury trials.

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Restorative Justice and the Language of Hope

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Professor Janine Geske standing at a podium with an open laptop as she addresses an audience in Germany.Regardless of one’s language, Restorative Justice (“RJ”) translates as hope. That was evident from my experience in Germany last October at a conference hosted by the University of Göttingen, which was titled “Victim Orientation in the Criminal Justice System: Practitioners’ Perspectives.”

I was invited to be one of the keynote presenters at the two-day conference. My presentation to the attendees — most of whom were criminal justice professionals including probation and parole agents — addressed how the United States actively uses RJ processes within the criminal justice system. Oh, and my presentation was the only one in English, with real-time translation provided in German through the marvels of headset technology.

I have become used to speaking internationally, so the language difference is not a daunting barrier for me, especially given the immediacy of RJ as an understandable concept and successful tool. I described the process and impact of victim/offender dialogue sessions in cases of violent crime and the value of restorative circles, particularly for schools and community organizations. Although Europe does not have much experience in using circles, I could tell that the conference attendees were eager to hear more about that process and about victim/offender dialogues in the context of juvenile RJ. As usual, most of my explanations were told through the stories of actual cases. I know that by describing the poignant experiences of real victims and offenders, the audience will better understand the transformational experience of an RJ process.

Continue reading “Restorative Justice and the Language of Hope”

On the Issues: WEDC Chief Praises Foxconn Plan as “Transformational”

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Transformational. That was the word that Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, used often on Thursday during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program. Hogan was describing the impact he expects to result from Foxconn, a high-tech megacorporation, building a huge plant in Racine County where it will make liquid crystal display equipment.

Hogan endorsed and defended every aspect of the agreement between Foxconn and state and local governments, from its cost – expected to total well over $3 billion in public expenses – to the plant’s environmental impact to what benefit Foxconn will bring to people in northern Wisconsin to the availability of workers to transportation issues connected to the plant to the political process that led to approving the deal to the precedent it might set for supporting other economic development ideas. Continue reading “On the Issues: WEDC Chief Praises Foxconn Plan as “Transformational””

25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction: Interview with Jacob Haller

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The 25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 16 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Jacob Haller, a current law student, and the Public Interest Student of the Year, shares his experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

The Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office—Milwaukee County Drug Treatment Court.

What kind of work did you do there?

The Milwaukee County Drug Treatment Court is a pioneering specialty court aimed at addressing addiction as a root of criminality.  The MCDTC works with non-violent offenders who are facing nine months or more of incarceration.  The defendants are given the option to participate in a 12-18 month intensive rehab program supervised by the court.  I worked with defendants and their families to ensure that goals set by the court were being met.  This meant working with a defendant directly, as well as service providers, district attorneys, and employers to enure the best possible outcome for the defendant and the broader community.

Continue reading “25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction: Interview with Jacob Haller”

25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction: Interview with Grace Gall

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The 25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 16 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Grace Gall, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

I worked as a PILS Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee in the Civil Division.

What kind of work did you do there?

Legal Aid provides free legal service to individuals throughout Milwaukee who cannot afford private legal counsel. I worked mainly on Civil Rights cases for indigent clients who required Legal Aid service. I did several client interviews for cases involving excessive bail or use of segregated housing within jails. I also worked in the Civil Division on cases dealing with Landlord Tenant law. I helped prepare case documents and did research on a variety of topics.

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Congratulations Jessup Moot Court Team

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The four members of the Law School team stand side by side at the Jessup International Moot Court Competition.Congratulations to Mitch Bailey, Brian Laning, Nate Oesch, and Courtney Roelandts for their strong effort in the 2018 Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Midwest Regionals in Chicago last weekend.  In its 59th year, the Jessup Competition is the world’s largest moot court competition, with participants from over 645 law schools in 95 countries.  This year’s Jessup problem involved the validity of interstate arbitral awards, the capture of a marine vessel, the breach of nuclear disarmament obligations, and the conduct of naval warfare.  The team was awarded 7th Best Memorial in the Midwest Region.  Congratulations!

Attorneys and Marquette Law alumni Rene Jovel (Jessup 2014), Caitlin Noonan (Jessup 2012), and Gina Ziegelbauer (Jessup 2012), as well as Professors Ryan Scoville and Megan A. O’Brien served as team advisors.  Special thanks to Juan Amado (Jessup 2011 and former team advisor), Jared Widseth (Jessup 2014) and Margaret Krei (Jessup 2013) as well as Attorney Nathan Kirschner for giving so much of their time to judge practice rounds this year.  Thanks also to Jeff Perzan for volunteering his time.

25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction: Interview with Shannon Strombom

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The 25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 16 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Shannon Strombom, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

What kind of work did you do there?

The legal services office of Catholic Charities provides immigration and refugee assistance to low-income clients. Over the summer, I got a chance to work on a variety of different immigration petitions and applications. This included responding to Requests for Evidence on a petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residency and Special Immigrant Religious Worker petitions, as well as writing briefs for asylum applications, and helping eligible legal permanent residents or refugees apply for naturalization.

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Flynn Adamantly Defends Police Department and His Work as He Retires as Chief

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Near the end of their hour-long conversation, Mike Gousha asked outgoing Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn what was next for him.

“Really nothing much,” Flynn said. He’s going to go back to Virginia where his family lives and spend  more time with his children and grandchildren. Maybe he’ll do some consulting ahead. But, first, “I do need to de-stress a little bit, despite how relaxed I’m appearing.”

The line got a big laugh from the audience in the Lubar Center at Eckstein Hall for the “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” on Feb. 8. As he finished a decade as Milwaukee’s police chief, Flynn was fired up, outspoken, and more than a bit emotional and angry. Continue reading “Flynn Adamantly Defends Police Department and His Work as He Retires as Chief”