Marquette’s First Basketball All-American Was a Marquette Law Student

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Boops MullenMarquette’s men’s basketball program has produced a long line of All-American basketball players. The ranks of this elite group include such notable hoopsters as George Thompson, Maurice Lucas, Dwayne Wade, Jim Chones, Dean Meminger, Earl Tatum, and Butch Lee.

However, the first Marquette basketball All-American was 6’2” guard Edward “Boops” Mullen who played for the Hilltoppers (as the team was then known) from 1931 to 1934. Mullen was named as a first team selection to the Converse All-American team following the conclusion of his final varsity season, during which he had been enrolled as a first year Marquette law student.

Mullen was also the first (and to date only) Marquette law student to have played in the NBA or one of its predecessor leagues after receiving his law degree. Continue reading “Marquette’s First Basketball All-American Was a Marquette Law Student”

The Link Between the Kennedy Assassination and the Onset of Beatlemania

Posted on Categories Legal History, Public4 Comments on The Link Between the Kennedy Assassination and the Onset of Beatlemania

This past November, there were seemingly endless efforts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy.  Now (Feb. 9) we are in the midst of a similar celebration and reexamination of the 50th anniversary of arrival of the rock and roll band the Beatles in the United States and their initial appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Both of these efforts reflect the boundless enthusiasm of the Baby Boom generation for the celebration of the cultural landmarks of its childhood and adolescence.

These two events, occurring about 2 ½ months apart, are more closely linked than most people appreciate.  Had it none been for the tragic events of November 22, 1963, Beatlemania would probably have arrived in the United States even earlier than it did. Continue reading “The Link Between the Kennedy Assassination and the Onset of Beatlemania”

Marquette Law Professor and CAS Arbitrator Matt Mitten Helps Resolve First Legal Dispute at the Sochi Winter Olympics

Posted on Categories Arbitration, Marquette Law School, Public, Sports & Law2 Comments on Marquette Law Professor and CAS Arbitrator Matt Mitten Helps Resolve First Legal Dispute at the Sochi Winter Olympics

Olympic_rings_without_rims.svg

Professor Matt Mitten was one of three members of a Court of Arbitration for Sport panel that was called upon to resolve the first legal dispute to arise at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Along with fellow arbitrators Patrick Lafranchi of Switzerland and Robert Decary of Canada, Professor Mitten denied the claim of Austrian skier Daniela Bauer that she had been improperly excluded from the Austrian Olympic team.

The decision was handed down in Sochi. Bauer filed her claim on February 2, and the matter was heard by the Ad Hoc panel on the evening of February 3, with a final decision handed down at 1 p.m. (local time) on February 4.

A full account of the proceedings can be found here.

Iowa Supreme Court Contemplating Diploma Privilege

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Iowa Judicial Branch BuildingThe Iowa Supreme Court has recently announced that it is entertaining a proposal that would exempt graduates of the University of Iowa and Drake University law schools from the Hawkeye state’s bar examination.  If the rule is adopted, Iowa would join Wisconsin as the only state that grants the diploma privilege to graduates of American Bar Association accredited law schools within its boundaries.

The diploma privilege refers to the practice of admitting the graduates of certain law schools to a state bar without requiring them to take a bar examination.  Although the number of states recognizing some version of the diploma privilege at some point in their history is approximately 30, the use of this mechanism was denounced by the American Bar Association in the 1910s and 1920s and fell into disfavor in the second half of the 20th century.

However, as late as 1980, there were still five states that recognized the diploma privilege: Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.  Continue reading “Iowa Supreme Court Contemplating Diploma Privilege”

Redskins and Hog Rinds–Trademark Denied

Posted on Categories Intellectual Property Law, Public, Race & Law, Sports & Law3 Comments on Redskins and Hog Rinds–Trademark Denied

Pork RindsThe United States Patent and Trademark has recently refused to register the trademark “Redskins Hog Rinds” for a California food company on the grounds that the mark is “disparaging” and therefore prohibited by Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the federal trademark statute.

The ruling, handed down on December 29 by an attorney-examiner, can be appealed. The decision concluded that there was no reason to deny registration of the mark except for the fact that it was disparaging to Native Americans. The examiner reached this conclusion on the basis of dictionary definitions that identified the term as disparaging and by the opposition to the continuing usage of the term “Redskins” by a number of Native American groups, including the National Congress of American Indians and the Oneida Nation, as well as articles about Indian activist opposition to the term that appeared in the Washington Post and the magazine, Indian Country Today.

This is not the first time that the term “Redskins” has been ruled disparaging. In recent years the Washington Redskins football team has unsuccessfully attempted to register variations on its famous mark. Continue reading “Redskins and Hog Rinds–Trademark Denied”

Wisconsin Adopts the Uniform Trust Act

Posted on Categories Public, Wisconsin Law & Legal System1 Comment on Wisconsin Adopts the Uniform Trust Act

On December 14, following the signature of Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin trust law took on a dramatically new look when 2013 Wisconsin Act 92 took effect.  This act adopted the Uniform Trust Code, with minor modifications, as the law of the Badger state.

Introduced into the legislature on November 4, after almost a decade of study, the proposed revision of the state’s trusts laws sailed through both the Senate and the Assembly with very little opposition. Continue reading “Wisconsin Adopts the Uniform Trust Act”

The Use of Native American Logos in Czech Ice Hockey

Posted on Categories Public, Race & Law, Sports & Law3 Comments on The Use of Native American Logos in Czech Ice Hockey

HC PlzenI was generally aware of the Czech fascination with American Indians, but I was caught by surprise when I encountered a trio of Native American musicians and dancers performing in resplendent tribal costumes on a street corner in downtown Prague during my first day in the city this past December. (See below.)

I was even more surprised to discover that the players of HC Skoda Pilsen (Plzen, in Czech), the reigning champion of the Czech Extraliga (the country’s highest Hockey League), wear an Indian head patch on their uniforms and are nicknamed the Pilsen Indians.

In addition to the logo, the Pilsen club also has a live mascot (presumably a Czech) who dresses liked a Plains Indian. Moreover, at the beginning of each season, an individual in the garb of an Indian shaman comes on to the ice in the club’s home arena and performs a good luck ritual on behalf of the team. The mascot and shaman can be seen here.

Continue reading “The Use of Native American Logos in Czech Ice Hockey”

Postcard from Prague – Part Two: Describing the Czech Legal Profession

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PragueUnlike the situation in the United States, where we basically have a unified legal profession with a single type of lawyer, the Czech legal profession contains several different categories of legal professionals. While most Czech legal professionals have a common university education in law (see the previous post), they are classified by different categories which are determined by the role they play, and, to a lesser extent, by the nature of the three years apprenticeship that the individual law student completes following law school.

Czech educated lawyers are divided into three basic categories: advocates (or lawyers), public prosecutors, or judges. While there is some movement between these categories, most members of the legal profession spend their careers in one category or another. In addition to these three categories, some lawyers also serve as public notaries. Czech notaries are a sort of public official who provides important services related to inheritance and the drafting of legal documents. Notaries are appointed and their numbers are limited by statute. Importantly, notaries are viewed as neutral public figures who provide necessary services, but who do not represent their clients in the same way that advocates do. Continue reading “Postcard from Prague – Part Two: Describing the Czech Legal Profession”

Postcard from Prague – Part One: Comparing the U.S. and Czech Experiences in Legal Education

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Public2 Comments on Postcard from Prague – Part One: Comparing the U.S. and Czech Experiences in Legal Education

Prague Legal education in the Czech Republic is similar to that in the United States in some regards, but it departs from the U.S. model in a number of ways.

First of all, the choices of where to study law are clearly more limited in the Czech Republic.  There are only four universities in the Czech Republic that are authorized to award law degrees:  Charles University (Prague); Masaryk University (Brno); the University of Western Bohemia (Pilsen); and Palacky University (Olomouc).

The most noticeable difference is that Czech students study law as undergraduates, as is the case in most countries of the world.  (The United States and Canada are outliers in that regard.)  Would-be lawyers typically enter the university as law students and remain law students the entire time they are enrolled. Continue reading “Postcard from Prague – Part One: Comparing the U.S. and Czech Experiences in Legal Education”

Wisconsin and the Repeal of Prohibition

Posted on Categories Constitutional Law, Legal History, Milwaukee, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Wisconsin Law & Legal System1 Comment on Wisconsin and the Repeal of Prohibition

prohibition_ends_at_lastThis past December 5 marked the 80th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, America’s experiment in the creation of an alcohol-free society.

Prohibition officially ended in 1933 with the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution. The new Amendment repealed the earlier 18th Amendment, which had made the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages illegal in the United States.

The repeal of Prohibition is an event that has been celebrated daily in Wisconsin for the past eight decades.

Somewhat remarkably, Wisconsin, long associated with the production of alcoholic spirits, did actually vote for Prohibition. On January 17, 1919, in the wake of intense anti-German sentiment throughout the United States and in the aftermath of World War I, in which the U.S. government had used its war powers to sharply curtail the production of alcoholic beverages, the Wisconsin legislature approved the 18th Amendment by a majority vote. However, in “defense” of the legislature, Wisconsin’s approval did not come until after the Prohibition Amendment had already been ratified by the requisite number of states to bring it into law. Continue reading “Wisconsin and the Repeal of Prohibition”

Why Is the Word “Redskin” so Offensive?

Posted on Categories Public, Sports & Law4 Comments on Why Is the Word “Redskin” so Offensive?

The debate over the appropriateness of Native American team names rages on. Whatever the propriety of generic Native American team names like Indians, Chiefs, Braves, or Warriors, or tribal names like Utes, Chippewas, or Seminoles, there seems to be a widespread belief that the term “Redskins” is especially offensive and insulting to Native Americans. How this perception came about is somewhat puzzling, as it appears to be of relatively recent origin.

There is little evidence that the perception of “redskin” as an inherently offensive term for Native American existed before the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. Traditionally, the word “redskin” was viewed as a synonym for Indian or Native American and did not carry the sort of negative connotations that have long attached to ethnic slurs like “chink,” “wetback,” “kike,” or “nigger.” Sportswriters covering teams with Indians nicknames during the first three quarters of the twentieth century routinely substituted “Redskins” for “Indians” or “Braves” in search of variety, and they apparently did so without being aware that this alternative word choice was more offensive than the original.

Although the name “Redskins” was earlier used by the Muskogee, Oklahoma, minor league baseball team and the Miami University of Ohio football team, the Redskins name is today primarily associated with the Washington team in the National Football League. Continue reading “Why Is the Word “Redskin” so Offensive?”

Remembering a Classic Work of Constitutional History

Posted on Categories Constitutional Law, Legal History, Public3 Comments on Remembering a Classic Work of Constitutional History

November 2013 marks the centennial of Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, arguably the most important book written on the United States Constitution other than the Federalist Papers. Few works of historical scholarship have ever so dramatically transformed the scholarly (if not the public) debate over the meaning of a major American event.

At the time of the publication of An Economic Interpretation, the Indiana-born Beard was a 39-year-old Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, the school from which he had received his Ph.D. in 1904. As his title suggested, his new book argued that the framers of the United States Constitution of 1787 had been motivated, not exclusively by nationalistic or democratic concerns, but by the desire to protect the property rights of wealthy Americans, especially those (including themselves) who had invested in federal bonds and had speculated in western lands. Continue reading “Remembering a Classic Work of Constitutional History”