Congratulations to the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finalists

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, Matt Kass and JP Curran. Congratulations also go to finalists Fefe Jaber and Nicole Jennings. Travis Goeden and Ruth Nord-Pekar won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief. Matt Kass won the Ramon A. Klitzke Prize for Best Oralist.

The competitors argued before a large audience in the Lubar Center. Presiding over the final round were Hon. Michael Brennan, Hon. Thomas Hruz, and Hon. Mary Triggiano.

Continue reading “Congratulations to the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finalists”

Jenkins Competitors Advance to Finals

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Congratulations to the two teams that are advancing to the final round of the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition on April 5:

Team 1: Nicole Jennings & Fefe Jaber
Team 4: JP Curran & Matt Kass

All of the teams are to be congratulated for their hard work, competitive spirit, and zeal. We sincerely thank all the judges who graciously and enthusiastically took time from their weekend to judge the rounds. We are grateful.

Jenkins Competitors Advance to Semifinal Rounds

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This weekend our Jenkins Honors Moot Court competitors are continuing their arguments on the way to the final round. This morning, the teams competed in the quarterfinal round. The following teams have advanced to the semifinal rounds:

Team 1: Nicole Jennings & Fefe Jaber
Team 4: JP Curran & Matt Kass
Team 7: Jessica Zimpfer & Emily Ward
Team 9: Meg Wallace & Robyn Shepard

Congratulations, teams!

Jenkins Competitors Advance to Quarterfinals

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This weekend the Law School hosted our Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition in person for the first time since 2019. Congratulations to the students advancing to the quarterfinal round:

Team 1: Nicole Jennings & Fefe Jaber
Team 2: Bailey Groh Rasmussen & Aimeé Treviño
Team 4: JP Curran & Matt Kass
Team 6: Jake Apostolu & Hunter Cone
Team 7: Jessica Zimpfer & Emily Ward
Team 9: Meg Wallace & Robyn Shepard
Team 10: Samantha Jozwiak & Kyle Kasper
Team 13: Travis Goeden & Ruth Nord-Pekar

Continue reading “Jenkins Competitors Advance to Quarterfinals”

GOP Appeal in Wisconsin Redistricting Case Could Have Far-reaching Impact—If U.S. Supreme Court Takes It Up  

Posted on Categories Election Law, Lubar Center, Public1 Comment on GOP Appeal in Wisconsin Redistricting Case Could Have Far-reaching Impact—If U.S. Supreme Court Takes It Up  

This blog post continues the focus of the Law School’s Lubar Center on redistricting

A Republican appeal of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s legislative redistricting decision earlier this month could have national significance for the federal Voting Rights Act, according to a Marquette University law professor. To that extent, at least, others agree.

If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of GOP state lawmakers, the federal justices could allow so-called “race-neutral” redistricting nationwide, says Marquette Professor Atiba Ellis, who has written about the landmark 1965 civil rights law. Combined with previous high court decisions reducing the strength of other parts of the Voting Rights Act, such a ruling would amount to “erasing the efforts of Reconstruction” and going back to a time before the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution extended voting rights to people of color, Ellis fears.

“That’s my worst-case scenario,” he says.

Not all agree, of course, and much is uncertain or debatable, even the timing: The U.S. Supreme Court might hold off on a decision until after the fall elections, allowing a map drawn by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and approved by the state supreme court to be used for those contests, says Robert Yablon, associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin.

Or the justices might refuse to take up the appeal at all, says Mel Barnes, an attorney at Law Forward, the legal organization that is representing three voting rights groups in the case. Continue reading “GOP Appeal in Wisconsin Redistricting Case Could Have Far-reaching Impact—If U.S. Supreme Court Takes It Up  “

Au Revoir To Kill a Mockingbird

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A photo of the cover of "To Kill a Mockingbird"My oldest daughter teaches bilingual English in a City of Milwaukee high school, and I greatly enjoy our conversations regarding the literary works she assigns.  However, I was surprised when she told me recently that she and her fellow teachers no longer felt comfortable assigning Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird.

Published in 1960, Lee’s novel has for over sixty years garnered great admiration and respect as an American literary work.  Many have considered the novel’s Atticus Finch to be an inspiring lawyer hero and taken the novel’s law-related narrative to be one of courageous resistance to racial injustice.  As recently as ten years ago, virtually every American high schooler was expected to have read To Kill a Mockingbird Bird.

Why has the novel fallen so precipitously?  I can think of at least three developments that have hurt its standing: Continue reading “Au Revoir To Kill a Mockingbird

National Proofreading Day

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It’s the week before Spring Break at the Law School, which can mean only one thing: 1L briefs are due.

It’s timely, then, that today is National Proofreading Day. (It’s also International Women’s Day.) International Proofreading Day “highlights the importance of proofreading our own work.”

That’s easy enough to say, but less easy to do. Or at least, less easy to do well. Among the tips to effectively proofread are:

  • Let it “bake.” I’m not sure where I first heard this phrase, but it refers to setting aside your writing before beginning to proofread it. I always suggest setting aside a brief or memo for a day or so, but I understand that amount of time is not always available. Any amount of time away, though, allows you to return to your draft with fresh eyes.
  • Proof in hard copy. Hard copy edits are a must. You will see things about writing in hard copy that you will easily miss if you proofread only on screen.

    list of proofreaders' marks from the Chicago Manual of Style
    List of proofreaders’ marks, from the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Learn proofreader marks. If you’re going to proof in hard copy, it’s worth it to learn the marks that editors use. Knowing these marks will speed up your proofreading and—if you’re on the receiving end of a proofread document—make sense when you go to make the changes.
  • Monotask. That is, remove distractions—like your phone, email alerts, an open browser. It’s easier to focus when the distractions are set aside.
  • Know your tendencies. Maybe you have trouble with correctly placing apostrophes or passive voice creeps into your sentences. Make a list of the writing habits you know you need to watch for in your own writing, then consult that list as you proofread.
  • Shun autocorrect. Autocorrect does not catch every error; in fact, it always skips over correctly spelled words that are incorrect in context. Just ask my 1Ls, who must watch out for singers who are waving rights, rather than signers who are waiving rights.
  • Read aloud. Or backward. Or out of order. Approaching your document differently allows you to see (or hear) what’s really there, rather than what you know you’re written.

Continue reading “National Proofreading Day”

Congratulations to AWL Scholarship Winners Dixon, Jozwiak, and Knackert

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This past fall, the Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) Foundation honored three Marquette University Law School students with scholarships.

Sebrina Dixon, 3L, 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.

head shot of Sebrina Dixon
Sebrina Dixon, 3L

Dixon is an Iowa native and a graduate of Iowa State University. Although she double majored in psychology and criminal justice, she found tax law in law school and settled into her niche. She is the co-founder and co-president of the new Tax Law Association. Dixon is a member of the student chapter of AWL and the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and is a staff editor of the Marquette Benefits and Social Welfare Law Journal.

Samantha Jozwiak, 2L, received the Shirley S. Abrahamson Scholarship. Recipients of the Shirley S. Abrahamson Scholarship must have “demonstrated perseverance in the face of adversity” and show commitment to issues affecting women or children in the community and to public service. The late Shirley S. Abrahamson served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for 43 years. She was the state’s first female supreme court justice and, later, its first female chief justice. Continue reading “Congratulations to AWL Scholarship Winners Dixon, Jozwiak, and Knackert”

NMCC Moot Court Team Goes to Nationals

Posted on Categories Appellate Advocacy, Legal Profession, Legal Writing, Public1 Comment on NMCC Moot Court Team Goes to Nationals

Please congratulate third-year law students Lauren Brasington and Carsyn Bushman for their success at the final rounds of the National Moot Court Competition (NMCC), co-hosted by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the New York City Bar Association and held virtually this year. The team was capably coached by Attorneys Kieran O’Day and Evan Thomsen.

Continue reading “NMCC Moot Court Team Goes to Nationals”

Republicans Could Get Last Word on Redistricting—as Democrats Did in 1983  

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You may have heard that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will be deciding legislative district lines that will stand for the next decade.

It might happen that way. But if Republicans win back the governor’s office and retain control of both houses of the Legislature this fall, they could redraw the map next year to favor their party even more than any of the GOP-leaning options the high court might choose.

That’s what Democrats did when they were in the same position 40 years earlier, although the 1983 Democratic effort differs significantly from the Republican-engineered 2011 redistricting plan that Democrats have denounced as an extreme partisan gerrymander.

A Supreme Court opinion in the current case will leave the door open for Republicans to redraw the map if they are in charge of both the legislative and executive branches. Continue reading “Republicans Could Get Last Word on Redistricting—as Democrats Did in 1983  “

Neighborhoods where Milwaukee isn’t segregated

Posted on Categories Lubar Center, Milwaukee Area Project, Public5 Comments on Neighborhoods where Milwaukee isn’t segregated

The following statistics were calculated by aggregating 2020 census blocks into Milwaukee neighborhoods. Because of data quality concerns stemming from the Census Bureau’s new differential privacy techniques, I do not present data for neighborhoods with fewer than 400 residents.

The 2020 Census reconfirmed Milwaukee’s status as one of the most segregated cities and metropolitan areas in the United States.

According to Brown University’s Diversity and Disparities Project, metro-wide Black-white segregation declined slightly, but the Milwaukee metro still ranks 2nd-most segregated, just as in 2010. Within city limits, the absolute degree of Black-white segregation measured by Brown University remained unchanged, and segregation between other groups declined only modestly.

These dismal statistics point to how far Milwaukee remains from being a fair place to live for most of its residents. Still, there are neighborhoods in Milwaukee that saw significant positive change over the last decade. Their populations grew more representative of the city as a whole.

One way to measure this is a “diversity index,” which shows the likelihood that two people randomly chosen from the same neighborhood would identify with different races. Continue reading “Neighborhoods where Milwaukee isn’t segregated”

Marquette Law School poll looks at Justice Breyer and nominations to the Supreme Court

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It has been a busy week for the Marquette Law School Poll. On Wednesday the latest national Supreme Court Survey was released (before dawn), news came a few hours later of Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement, on Thursday the national issues segment of the poll was released (before dawn) and finally a lengthy review of public opinion of Breyer and of the nomination process for the Court was released (after dawn) with a look over Law School polling about the Court since 2019.

Here are links to these releases for all the details.

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