Study Abroad Information Sessions This Thursday

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Five students in a classroom in Giessen, Germany respond to the professor's question.
2017 Summer Session in Giessen, Germany

There will be two information sessions this coming Thursday September 21 in order to provide students with important details about the Law School’s study abroad opportunities.  Plan to attend and learn about how to spend one semester of your law school experience in Copenhagen, Madrid or Poitiers, France.  Information will also be available about the 2018 summer program in International and Comparative Law which will be held in Giessen. Germany.  Foreign study can add an international perspective to your legal education, and the Marquette University Law School offers several outstanding study abroad opportunities.  Advance planning is necessary in order to take advantage of these programs, however, so come to the information session in order to learn more about deadlines and application procedures.

Professors Madry and Fallone will be providing information and answering questions on Thursday at noon (in Room 257) and again at 4:30 pm (in Room 255).

It Is Not Too Early to Plan for Study Abroad in 2018

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A group of twenty students and faculty pose holding certificates at the Closing Ceremony in Giessen, Germany.
Summer Schools Justus-Liebig-University Closing Ceremony

The Ninth Annual Summer Session in International and Comparative Law, one of the nation’s most unique law school study abroad programs, ended with a Closing Ceremony on August 11.  The Closing Ceremony was covered by the local newspaper in the town of Giessen, Germany, The Giessener.  You can read the newspaper’s story at this link.  For those of you who do not speak German, here is a translation of the story courtesy of Google Translate:

GIESSEN – An international atmosphere prevailed in the last four weeks at Justus Liebig University (JLU). During this period, 65 students from 22 nations attended the ninth German Summer School in International and Comparative Law and the 13th Hessen International Summer University (ISU). At the closing ceremony in the university building in Ludwigstrasse, it was necessary to say good-bye.

“I hope that the two programs are the beginning of an intense relationship between you and Germany and that this is not your last visit here,” JLU President Prof. Joybrato Mukherjee wished in his welcoming speech. For him, the academic exchange is very important, especially since in Giessen it is also part of a particularly long tradition. For already University namesake Justus von Liebig had brought together international scientists at the University of Giessen. Professor Thilo Marauhn was delighted that this tradition has been preserved to this day. The holder of the Chair of Public Law and International Law was impressed by the fact that “so many students from so many countries come to Giessen to learn together here.” He was proud to say that the “summer schools” were so much international. “They are at the heart of our international exchange programs and help to make Giessen known everywhere.” Prof. Anuj Desai from the JLU partner University of Wisconsin Law School praised the programs as “an important cooperation between the universities, which is organized by the JLU in an outstanding way”. Program coordinator Magdalena Jas-Nowopolska also emphasized: “The programs mean not only mean studying, but also bringing together people from different countries.”

When the certificate was given, each participant was celebrated loudly during the walk across the stage. But there was also a little melancholy in the air, for the time spent in Germany had come to an end. For some, however, this does not mean a farewell forever. Laura Catalina Guerrero from Colombia wants to apply for a master’s degree in Hamburg. “In the past four weeks, I’ve been totally in love with Germany, and there is so much to see and learn,” said the 23-year-old criminologist. But she will miss the time in Giessen because it is such a “dynamic and student-perfect city”. Bhagirath Singh Ashiya from India feels similar. “I liked it here very much,” enthused the 23-year-old law student. He was particularly impressed by “the transparent legal system and German efficiency”. But most of all, the many green areas in the cities fascinated him. “We do not have that at home”.

After the ceremony, the students celebrated one last time with their newly won friends until late in the evening. Because the next morning it was time to say good-bye and return to their respective home countries. Both programs were organized by the Franz von Liszt Institute at the JLU Faculty of Law.


Continue reading “It Is Not Too Early to Plan for Study Abroad in 2018”

A New Year, New Guest Bloggers!

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Photo of Attorney Albert Bianchi in professional attire.

Headshot of law student Matt Sowden. We have two guest bloggers for the month of September to help us get the new academic year off to a good start.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Albert (“A.J.”) Bianchi, Jr.  A.J. is an attorney at Michael Best and Friedrich LLP where he focuses his litigation practice on intellectual property and federal court matters, including cases involving patent, trademark and copyright infringement, contract disputes, and class actions. He also litigates cases in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota state courts, and has experience with jury trials in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Before joining Michael Best, A.J. served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin for the Honorable William M. Conley, the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb, and the Honorable John C. Shabaz.  He is a 2007 graduate of the Marquette University Law School.

Our Student Blogger of the month is Matt Sowden.  Matt is a Second Year law student who is quick to give credit to his “wonderful, supportive wife and two amazing daughters.”  He was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa and served six years in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear electrician on submarines. After his enlistment, Matt attended Drake University where he graduated with a double major in economics and politics. He then worked various jobs for a few years, from warehouse manager to table games supervisor at a casino. During his first year at Marquette University Law School, Matt volunteered at Milwaukee Justice Center’s Family Forms Clinic and at the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic. As for his future career in law, Matt says: “I am still searching for my preferred area of practice.”

Welcome A.J. and Matt.  We look forward to reading your posts this month.


Things Are Heating Up in Germany

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Approximately 60 law students pose for a group photo in front of the law school building at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.cThe 2017 Summer Session in International and Comparative Law is off to a hot start, matching the temperature in Giessen, Germany.  In this photo, you see a mix of jet-lagged law students from all over the world posing outside of the law school at Justus Liebig University (you can also see me and Professor Anuj Desai from the University of Wisconsin).  The students attended orientation this past Sunday, and then set off on a “city rally” in which small teams of students competed to locate different check-in points located throughout the city of Giessen.  It was a fun way to get introduced to their new surroundings.  Then it was back to the law school for the group photo and a Welcome Dinner.

Our 10 Marquette Law School participants have now joined their classmates (and new friends) from countries that include Brazil, Colombia, Poland, Vietnam, Egypt, and Portugal, and have completed three days of classes.  Interest and enrollment appears equally divided among our four course offerings: 1) International Economic Law and Business Transactions, 2) Comparative Constitutional Law, 3) Business Ethics and Human Rights, and 4) CyberLaw.

Following the last class on Thursday, the students will board buses for a 3 day field trip to Berlin and surrounding sights.  At this pace, the four weeks of the program will fly by.  However, I happen to know that some of the U.S. students have still found time during this first week to visit a local beer garden and participate in a karaoke night.

Our program is open to any law student in the United States attending an accredited law school.  Details on the 10th annual Summer Session, scheduled to begin July 14, 2018, will be available this fall.  Watch this space for course, faculty and tuition information.

Welcome Our July Guest Blogger

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A fireworks display in the night sky showing a burst of red color.On this sunny Fourth of July, please join me in welcoming our Student Blogger for the month of July, Alex Castro.

Alex is currently a rising 3L at Marquette University Law School. He was born and raised in south Florida and graduated from the University of Florida in 2014. He has a life-long interest in sports, music and traveling. Alex hopes to pursue a career in corporate and business transactional law, and this summer he is working for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company in Milwaukee.  He is also participating in the Law School’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic. During his law school career, Alex has been active in the Hispanic community, and he plans on continuing his commitment to inclusion and diversity during his legal career through his membership in professional and legal organizations.

Welcome, Alex, and we look forward to reading your posts.

Welcome June Bloggers!

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We would like to welcome our guest bloggers for the month of June to the Faculty Blog.

Our Alumni Blogger for June is Kristin D. Hardy, Compliance Counsel at Rockwell Automation, Inc., the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation, headquartered in Milwaukee. As Compliance Counsel, Kristen focuses on the areas of regulatory compliance, third party anti-corruption, and bribery. Additionally, she handles internal ethics investigations across the global enterprise, while assisting with communications, messaging, and training related to the compliance & ethics program.

Kristen graduated from Marquette in 2014, where she served as the President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). She was also an editorial staff member of the Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, and a MWBLSA Thurgood Marshall mock trial captain and participant.  Kristen currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers (WAAL), an organization dedicated to ensuring diversity in Wisconsin’s legal community through community service and professional partnerships. She was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Kristen has presented at national legal conferences, including the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting (2016) and Chief Litigation Officer Summit (2016). More recently, Kristen was a recipient of the 2017 National Summit of Black Women Lawyers Emerging Leader Award, and a member of the inaugural class of G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy through the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Our Student Blogger for the month of June is Hannah Dockendorff.  Prior to joining Marquette University Law School, Hannah graduated summa cum laude from Cardinal Stritch University with a bachelor of arts in history. During that time, she promoted education in history and science while working for the Distance Learning Program in the Milwaukee Public Museum. Hannah also has a lengthy history of serving others, for example working with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. to integrate recently released convicts into the local community.  While at Marquette, Hannah focused her studies upon immigration and other related legal matters. This resulted in Hannah providing legal assistance for the Milwaukee Justice Center, the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, Catholic Charities Immigration Services, and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division. Hannah also was recently awarded a CALI for International Intellectual Property. Hannah Dockendorff is a newly minted May 2017 graduate of the Law School with Pro Bono Honors for over 120 honors of service.

We look forward to reading your posts!

Welcome May Bloggers

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Please join me in welcoming our guest bloggers for the month of May: Michael Anspach and Anthony (Tony) Cotton.

Our Student Blogger for May is Michael Anspach.  Michael just completed his second year at Marquette Law.  He has been elected Editor in Chief of the Marquette Law Review for Volume 101 and he is also Founder of the Law School’s Organization for Student Wellbeing.  He was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and he received his B.A. from Boston College with a Major in Philosophy and a Minor in Music.  Shortly after graduating from Boston College in 2012, Michael began studying the Eastern traditions, specifically Hatha yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda (the traditional Hindu system of medicine).  He became a certified yoga, meditation, and Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle instructor through Deepak Chopra’s school in Carlsbad, California.  Since that time, Michael has been a daily yoga and meditation practitioner.  While in the process of starting his own yoga business, Michael came to realize two things: First, he did not want to turn his spiritual practices into a money-making endeavor, and, second, he enjoyed the contract work, negotiation, and intellectual stimulation, that goes along with any startup business.  Shortly after coming to this realization, Michael made the decision to attend law school.  This summer, he will work at the firm of Anspach Meeks Ellenberger LLP, based out of Toledo, Ohio, where he will focus on civil litigation defense, specifically the defense of nationally-based, long-term care facilities.

Tony Cotton is our Alumni Blogger for May. Tony was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for two years before transferring to UW-Madison. At Madison, Tony majored in Political Science and was twice elected to student government.  Tony the attended Marquette University Law School, where he focused heavily on criminal and international law. During his second year of law school Tony was awarded a grant from the Public Interest Law Society so that he could investigate human rights abuses in Eritrea, East Africa. In the summer of 2004, Tony traveled throughout Eritrea to interview civilians and prepare claims for people who had suffered damages as a result of the Eritrean-Ethiopian war. 

While still in law school, Tony secured an internship with the Federal Defender’s Office in Milwaukee. AS a law clerk, Tony helped draft a habeas brief to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and he was invited to Washington, D.C. to help the attorneys prepare arguments for one of the most significant criminal cases in United States history: United States vs. Booker (2005).  After graduation in 2005, Tony began working at Kuchler & Cotton, S.C. in Waukesha. All of Tony’s practice involves defending those accused of crimes.

Tony was elected to the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL) and has served as President of that organization. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).  Tony has been recognized by Super Lawyers, every year since 2008, and was selected by The Wisconsin Law Journal as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” in 2010. He also writes a monthly column for the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Welcome Our April Student Blogger!

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Photo of law student Courtney RoelandtsOur Student Blogger for the Month of April is Courtney Roelandts.

Courtney Roelandts received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology and her master’s degree in social work. She is a 2L law student who hopes to combine law and social work in the pursuit of social justice post-graduation. She consistently works with three area pro bono clinics, and is a member of the Marquette Law Review, President of the American Constitution Society, and Secretary of the Organization for Student Wellbeing.

We look forward to reading her posts!


Deadline Extended for Study Abroad in Germany

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Students walk outside of the law school at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.The deadline for submitting an application for the upcoming Summer Session in International and Comparative Law has been extended until April 25.  The program has been approved and will definitely take place.  However, there is still room for an additional five (5) students from Marquette Law School or from other U.S. law schools.

Every year, the four week Summer Session in the town of Giessen provides a fantastic opportunity to receive 4 law school credits while studying alongside an international student body and experiencing German culture.  Program participants can choose two courses from among four offerings: 1) Comparative Constitutional Law; 2) International Economic Law and Business Transactions; 3) Cyber Law; and 4) Business Ethics and Human Rights.  Two multi-day field trips — to Berlin and Hamburg — are included in the fees.

The program takes place from July 15 until August 12.  For more details, please visit the Study Abroad webpage, where you can also find more information on the tuition and fees, details on the course offerings , and where you can download an application.

Don’t delay, as the program will fill up quickly.

Photos:  Above, students walk in front of the law school building at Justus Liebig University.  Below, a view of the Giessen City Center, with Bell Tower and Opera House.

View from above of the City Center of Giessen, Germany with Clock Tower and Opera House.

Welcome Our Alumni Blogger for March

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Cain Oulahan headshotWe are pleased to have Cain Oulahan join the Faculty Blog as our alumni blogger for March. Cain is an attorney with Straub Immigration in Milwaukee. His practice focuses on family-based immigration, deportation defense, naturalization, U visas, deferred action, post-conviction relief and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Attorney Oulahan graduated cum laude from Marquette University Law School where he was an associate editor of the Marquette Law Review. His comment, titled “The American Dream Deferred: Family Separation and Immigrant Visa Adjudications at U.S. Consulates Abroad,” was published in the Summer 2011 edition of the Marquette Law Review and was the winner of the 2011 Golden Quill Award for outstanding student comment.

Cain is currently President of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Treasurer of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Legal Advisor to the Wisconsin State Board of the League of United Latin American Citizens. He volunteers regularly with the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic and frequently presents on immigration issues for local non-profit organizations, churches and schools. He has appeared on the PBS program Adelante, the Telemundo evening news and program Buscando Soluciones, and has been interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio.



Apply Now for 2017 Summer Session in Giessen, Germany

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Three students in the summer program in Giessen, Germany sit at their desks and laugh.Applications are due March 24 for the Summer Session in International and Comparative Law being held in Giessen, Germany from July 15 through August 12, 2017.  Participants can choose from among four courses — CyberLaw, Comparative Constitutional Law, International Economic Law & Business Transactions and Business Ethics and Human Rights — and spend a month living and studying with a truly international student body.  A distinguished faculty from law schools in Germany, the United Kingdom and Wisconsin will lead the classroom instruction.  More information, as well as an application, can be downloaded here from the Law School Study Abroad webpage.  Past participants agree that this program was one of the most fun and memorable parts of their legal education.  If you need any more reasons to apply, consider watching this YouTube video made by last summer’s participant, A.J. “The Wanderer” Lawton, which documents his travels to Giessen, program field trip destinations in Hamburg and Berlin, and other sites throughout Europe.  Apply Now!

More Doubts About the Court’s Resolution of the John Doe Investigation

Posted on Categories Constitutional Interpretation, Constitutional Law, Election Law, Public, U.S. Supreme Court, Wisconsin Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on More Doubts About the Court’s Resolution of the John Doe Investigation

Today, the United States Supreme Court summarily affirmed the decision of a Three Judge Panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in  Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission.  By affirming the panel in this case, the U.S. Supreme Court seriously undermined the legal rationale that the Wisconsin Supreme Court relied upon when it dismissed the John Doe investigation into possible illegal campaign coordination during the Governor Walker Recall Election.  In one sense, today’s action by the U.S. Supreme Court merely establishes the narrow rule that “electioneering activity,” which encompasses a variety of activity beyond express advocacy on behalf of a candidate for office, is subject to regulation without violating the U.S. Constitution.

However, the action of the U.S. Supreme Court is significant because it also necessarily rejects a converse proposition: that the scope of permissible government regulation of election activity is limited to conduct which constitutes “express advocacy.”  The Independence Institute case is relevant to the John Doe Investigation because both cases raise the legal question of whether the U.S. Constitution permits any regulation of election activity other than “express advocacy” or its functional equivalent.  “Express advocacy” is usually defined as a communication that expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.

The Independence Institute is a nonprofit organization.  It challenged disclosure requirements contained in the McCain-Feingold Act which would have required it to disclose its donors if it spent more than $10,000 on “electioneering communications” in the 60 days before a general election (or the 30 days before a primary election).  The group argued that this statutory requirement was unconstitutional because it went beyond the regulation of express advocacy.  As described by Judge Wilkins in an earlier proceeding in the D.C. Circuit, the argument of the Independence Institute reduced to the argument that “the only speech that should be considered an electioneering communication, and therefore trigger the BCRA’s reporting and disclosure requirements, is speech that is ‘unambiguously related’ to a campaign.”  The group wanted the Court to rule that the disclosure requirement in the statute could only be enforced in instances involving express advocacy.

If this sounds familiar, it is because the legal argument advanced by the Independence Institute is parallel to the reasoning adopted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its opinion ending the John Doe Investigation (State ex rel. Two Unnamed Petitioners v. Peterson, 2015 WI 85).  Continue reading “More Doubts About the Court’s Resolution of the John Doe Investigation”