The Marquette Law School community is saddened by the news that Professor J. Gordon Hylton has passed away at age 65, following a battle with cancer.
Gordon was a wonderful colleague on the Law School faculty. He joined the faculty at Marquette University Law School in 1995, after teaching previously at the Chicago-Kent College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Gordon left Marquette Law School in 2015 to join the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law full time (having visited at UVA many semesters previously). He also served a memorable year as the Fulbright Professor of Law at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kiev, Ukraine. A wonderful In Memoriam webpage celebrating Gordon’s career appears on the website of the University of Virginia School of Law.
Gordon taught courses in Property Law, Trusts and Estates, and Legal History, among others, and was also closely involved with the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette Law School. He was a frequent contributor to the Marquette Law School Faculty Blog, where he was known for his posts on the history of Marquette Law School in general and on the often overlooked athletes who had a historical connection with our institution. His blog posts were sometimes quirky, often obscure, but always among the most interesting to appear on the Faculty Blog. Continue reading “Remembering Professor Gordon Hylton”
Please join me in welcoming our two guest bloggers for the month of May.
Our Student Blogger of the Month is Darrin Pribbernow. Darrin introduces himself as follows: “I grew up in New Holstein, Wisconsin. I attended Lakeland University and achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with minors in sociology and political science in 2017. During my undergraduate career I was involved in many organizations including: Student Government Association, the Zeta Chi Fraternity, and Criminal Justice club. Each organization afforded me unique networking and leadership opportunities. My interest in the law began in middle school and it has been my goal since then to become a lawyer. The move to Milwaukee from such a small community was daunting to say the least. Having now lived here for a year, however, I can’t imagine going back to a small-town lifestyle. My decision to attend Marquette is already one of the best that I have made and I look forward to further developing my skills as a lawyer in pursuit of a career as a criminal prosecutor in Wisconsin.”
Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Mark Thomsen (cum laude, 1987). Mark is an attorney at the Milwaukee office of Gingras, Cates & Wachs. On the lawfirm website, Mark describes his career as follows: “When the Indiana steel mill department shutdown in 1984 where I had worked for nearly 8 years as a steelworker, including a stint as union representative, my family and I moved to Milwaukee. I started law school and after graduating in 1987, I served as a law clerk to the Hon. John L. Coffey, circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. My time as a lawyer has now spanned 30 years, and my practice is primarily dedicated to representing and fighting for justice for injured people, including those injured by nursing home neglect, by medical and legal malpractice, in automobile and trucking collisions, by people’s general negligence, by defective products, and for violations of individual’s civil rights (§1983 claims). During this time, whether by settlement or trial whenever necessary, I have successfully obtained millions over the years for those individuals and families I have been honored to represent.”
We look forward to reading your posts over the next month.
The following conversation was overheard this morning outside of the entrance to the parking structure in Eckstein Hall:
Parking Attendant: I’m sorry, but you will have to back up your car. The parking structure is full.
Faculty Member: I can see past the gate. There are plenty of empty spots.
Parking Attendant: Those spots are reserved for faculty and students only.
Faculty Member: But I have been on the faculty for 26 years.
Parking Attendant: My apologies. I didn’t recognize you. However, those spots are reserved for today’s On the Issues with Mike Gousha. He is interviewing the author of the book “Trump Bad: How to Sell Your Book By Using Trump’s Name in the Title.”
Faculty Member: I happen to know that that event is tomorrow.
Parking Attendant: My mistake. Today those spots are reserved for people attending Charles Franklin’s press conference. He has new poll results: “Public Support for Cheese Curds Reaches Record Low in Wisconsin.”
Please join me in welcoming our two guest bloggers for the month of April.
Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Bill Davidson. Bill is a December 2016 graduate of Marquette University Law School and has served as an Assistant District Attorney in Milwaukee County since February 2017. In addition to prosecuting a wide variety of civil and criminal offenses in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Bill has represented the State of Wisconsin in several matters before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. He resides in the Greater Milwaukee Area with his wife and daughter where he enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.
Our Student Blogger of the Month is Benjamin James Britton. Benjamin introduces himself as follows: “I am a father to a 6 year old son and currently a 3L at Marquette University Law School graduating in May 2018. Prior to coming to law school I obtained my Bachelor’s in Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin with a Minor in psychology in May of 2007. Upon completing my undergraduate studies, I immediately began working as a paralegal and have continued to do so during my studies at Marquette.”
Time is running out to apply for the 2018 Summer Session in International and Comparative Law to be held over 4 weeks in Giessen, Germany (July 14 – August 11, 2018). The tuition for the program has been reduced in the amount of $750. Accordingly, the total amount of academic and non-academic fees for 4 Law School credits, lodging and two field trips has been reduced to only $4,350 (airfare is still the responsibility of each student). We are very pleased to be able to provide this reduction in the total cost of the program for all of our participants.
The deadline for applications for this summer’s program is March 23. Applications will be accepted after the deadline if there is space available. Applications can be downloaded on the following webpage:
Welcome home to the Law School team that participated last weekend in the annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Law Moot Court Competition at St. John’s University in New York City. This is the first year that the Marquette University Law School has entered a team in the Duberstein Competition, which has a reputation for fierce competition and high quality judging. Our team of Jacob Heuett, Bradley Suiters and Alexander O’Reilly worked long hours to prepare for the competition, only to do battle with a Nor’Easter that closed airports in New York City and delayed their arrival until early Sunday morning. The storm interfered with the travel of numerous teams, and the competition organizers were forced to cancel the first round of arguments and schedule some teams to argue back to back. Despite facing adversity, our team performed admirably. While the team did not advance to the octo-finals, they set a foundation upon which future Law School teams can build. Special thanks to Len Leverson for serving as the team’s practitioner coach. Congratulations!
Please join me in welcoming our two Guest Bloggers for the month of February.
Our Student Blogger of the Month is Samantha Greenberg. She introduces herself as follows: “I am from Miami, Florida. Out of high school, I left Miami and moved to Buffalo, New York where I attended Canisius College. Moving to Buffalo, I had never seen snow before, and the two years I attended Canisius College were the two worst winters Buffalo had had in years. After my sophomore year, I transferred to the University of Miami, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sports Administration. During my time in undergraduate studies, I had many opportunities to work in the sports field, ranging from interning at a sports agency, to even being a college mascot. I chose to come to Marquette University Law School because of their prestigious National Sports Law Institute, and I hope to take the knowledge I learn and apply it towards the real world in a career in sports law.”
Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Lucas Bennewitz. He is a 2015 Marquette University Law School graduate. Mr. Bennewitz works as an Assistant District Attorney for the Racine County District Attorney’s office and has focused his entire career on litigation since being admitted to the Bar. While at Marquette, Mr. Bennewitz was involved in Moot Court, and the Student Bar Association, and was an editor for the Intellectual Property Law Review.
On this cold Winter’s Day, let’s give a warm welcome to our Guest Bloggers for January.
Our Alumni Blogger for the month is Pamela M. Heinrich. Pam serves as General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs to NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, a national trade association representing the fixed annuity industry. In addition, she is the Outside Claims Manager for Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
Pam is a 1981 graduate of Ripon College (B.A., English) and a 2008 graduate of Marquette University Law School, summa cum laude. During law school, Pam served as an associate editor of the Marquette Law Review and as student editor of the Federation of Defense & Corporation Counsel Quarterly. She also completed internships with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Criminal Appeals Unit. Prior to joining NAFA, Pam was an associate attorney at Quarles & Brady, practicing in the firm’s Product Liability litigation group.
Pam has been married to Tom for 33 years and together they have three grown children (and a son-in-law!) and a Siberian Husky, named Juno. Pam enjoys cooking and entertaining (often!), yoga, and sailing.
Our Student Blogger for the month is K.C. Parker. K.C. is a current 1L who attended a military academy instead of from a high school. By the age of seventeen he was in the military, and on his way overseas. After military service, K.C. became a certified law enforcement officer in Wisconsin. He received his B.S. at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay in Democracy and Justice Studies, and Economics. K.C. is currently involved in the Veterans Association and the Business Law Association at Marquette Law School, and has assisted veterans as part of the Estate Planning Clinic.
Our system of justice rests upon two pillars: equal treatment and independent judgment. Every person who appears before our state courts expects to be treated equally to every other litigant. In addition, every party to a lawsuit expects to have his case heard by a judge who is free to exercise their own independent judgment. Recently, the state legislature in Madison and Governor Walker approved legislation – a $3 billion package luring Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen TV factory in Racine County — that seriously undermines these two fundamental principles.
The principle of equal treatment commands that the same rules should apply to all parties appearing before the court. No one should receive special status. It is true that the two sides in a case might not be evenly matched, and that one might have more financial resources or a more skilled legal team. But, even then, both parties in the case should be subject to the same set of laws and procedures, and have the same opportunity to argue that the law supports their claim.
The Foxconn legislation creates special treatment for Foxconn whenever that corporation is sued in Wisconsin courts. The law forces the Wisconsin Supreme Court to directly take appeals involving “Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zones” (EITM) from the circuit courts. By law there is only one such zone, and that zone is home to Foxconn. Typically, the high court would hear appeals at their discretion, and then only after the case was heard by an intermediate court. The reason for placing cases involving Foxconn on a “fast-track” to the Wisconsin Supreme Court should be obvious. That Court currently boasts a majority of Justices who were elected with the financial support of Wisconsin’s largest trade and manufacturing lobbyists. The drafters of the legislation expect these Justices to be sympathetic to the concerns of manufacturers like Foxconn.
We expect our state court judges to be free to exercise their independent judgment when deciding the merits of a case. It is the trial judge that hears the facts and the evidence, and who determines the appropriate remedy should the plaintiff prevail. It is not the state legislature’s job to decide which party in a case should win, or what remedy should be imposed in an individual case. Continue reading “Foxconn Deal Tips the Scales of Justice”
There is frost on the pumpkin, so it must be time to welcome our guest bloggers for the month of November.
Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Stacy Alexejun. Stacy is a litigation attorney in the Madison office of Quarles & Brady LLP. She focuses her practice on product liability defense and intellectual property litigation, with an emphasis in trademark, trade secret, copyright, and unfair competition matters. Before joining Quarles, Stacy clerked for three terms for Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She is a 2009 graduate of Marquette University Law School and has a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin. She and her husband Brad have a 20-month-old daughter, Lucille.
Our Student Blogger of the Month is Samantha Feak. Samantha is originally from Sagola, Michigan. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and graduated with a degree in international politics and U.S. foreign relations. She served as a Summer Law Fellow at the Milwaukee Justice Center and has been active in both the American Association for Justice and the Wisconsin Association for Justice.
On Wednesday night, October 11th, the non-partisan organization Common Cause in Wisconsin is holding a town hall meeting/public hearing entitled “Access to Justice.” Co-sponsors of the event include the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County, and the American Association of University Women of Wisconsin. This free event is open to the public and will take place October 11 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM at Marquette Law School in the Appellate Courtroom (Main Level). Marquette University Law School is not a sponsor of the event.
The focus of the event will be the recusal rules that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has adopted for our state judiciary. Wisconsin’s current state recusal “non-standard” was written by the lobbyist organization Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce in 2010. The current rule essentially states that judges may decide for themselves whether to recuse themselves in a case involving a donor or special interest group who made campaign contributions to that judge.
This past April, the Wisconsin Supreme Court discussed a petition by 54 retired Wisconsin judges to establish reasonable thresholds for recusal of trial and appellate judges when they receive campaign contributions from a defendant or plaintiff – or if they benefited from spending by an “outside” special interest group involved in a case before their court. The State Supreme Court voted 5 to 2 to reject this petition, and the Court did so without any input from the public.
The purpose of Wednesday night’s event is to educate persons in attendance on the issue of judicial recusal rules and to seek public input on possible reforms. I will be one speaker at this event, along with former State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler, former Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Michael Skwierawski, and Jay Heck from Common Cause.
Again, this event is free and open to the public. I hope to see you there.
The cool fall air in the morning tells us that October has arrived, and with the new month comes a new pair of guest bloggers.
Our Alumni Blogger is Emil Ovbiagele. Emil works with closely-held businesses and entrepreneurs. He practices in the areas of corporate law, small business and real estate acquisitions, employment law, and commercial litigation. Emil obtained his B.A., JD, and MBA from Marquette University. He currently serves on the Board of the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association. Since 2014, he has volunteered as a competition coach for several mock trial teams at the Marquette University Law School. In 2017, Emil was recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” and was selected by the Wisconsin Law Journal as an “Up and Coming Lawyer.”
Our Student Blogger of the month is 2L Aurusa Kabani, who provides the following bio: “I was born in the armpit of Texas, also known as Houston, but I could not have been happier to be raised in Fort Worth, where the weather is always nicer. As the baby in the family with two older brothers, ESPN has a very special place in my heart, especially when the Dallas Cowboys or the Dallas Mavericks are playing on our home turf. I am a full-time law student studying at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, currently I am externing at NCAA’s Enforcement division and attending IU McKinney Law School in Indianapolis, Indiana for the semester. The reason I chose to attend law school is because there are very few people who look like me in the field of law, but particularly in sports law. I am here to change that and shatter glass ceilings.”
Please join me in welcoming our October guest bloggers!