Mother and Daughter, Justly Proud

Posted on Categories Judges & Judicial Process, Speakers at Marquette, Wisconsin Court System, Wisconsin Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Mother and Daughter, Justly Proud

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Ellen Brostrom are wary of almost all of the labels that people try to put on them and on other justices and judges.

But one label they are proud of is mother and daughter, and that was clear Thursday during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” session at the Law School. The two are believed to be the only mother and daughter to serve on the bench at the same time in Wisconsin history, Gousha said.

“You’ve just been an incredible role model for me,” Judge Brostrom told her mother. Justice Roggensack said she never intentionally put her daughter on the path to being a judge, but she agreed she was very pleased when Bostrom narrowly won election in 2009.

When Gousha asked how the two of them react to labels such as “conservative” or “liberal” when it comes to describing judges, Justice Roggensack said, “I think it’s a lazy definition.” The use of labels reflects the high degree of partisanship of the times, especially when it comes to elections. She said labels are useful in negative campaigning, which is the way campaigns “can hit hardest fastest.”

Most cases that come before the state Supreme Court don’t fit on a liberal-conservative axis, she said. Continue reading “Mother and Daughter, Justly Proud”

The Future of Family Law?

Posted on Categories Family Law, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on The Future of Family Law?

A good family-law attorney approaches a divorce case with rigorous attention to detail, a strong understanding of finance and property issues, and a readiness to deal with quick changes in circumstances. Who could disagree with that?

Perhaps no one, and these matters were thus common ground in a provocative session for students this week, with presentations by Dean Joseph D. Kearney (“10 Things I Learned During My 28 Days as a Divorce Lawyer”), Milwaukee lawyer Thomas St. John ’72 (“5 Things Any Lawyer Should Know Even Before Taking the Case”), and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael J. Dwyer (“3 Things a Law Student Should Know About Family Law”). But, despite a great deal of common ground, the speakers’ views did not seem entirely in accord.

The basis for the discussion was a case that the Dean handled on a pro bono basis a few years ago in Illinois for a high school classmate. The focus of the Dean and Attorney St. John was primarily on litigation points, and there were many similarities in their lists.  Continue reading “The Future of Family Law?”

Vincent Lyles: Taking the Positive Approach

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“It can be done” – Vincent Lyles says that’s a lesson that successful economic development in Indianapolis can teach other urban centers around the country.

That phrase also sums up Lyles’ attitude about the work he does as president of M&I Community Development Corporation — and, in many ways, it summarizes Lyles’ personality.

Describing his work Wednesday at an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” session at the Law School, Lyles said, “Part of our expectation in life is that tomorrow is going to be better, so let’s keep working.”

The community development arm of M&I Bank has a portfolio of about $100 million in investments in low- and middle-income communities, Lyles said, and makes about $15 to $20 million a year in new investments. “That’s not a big number, but it’s not a small number, either,” he said.

It is not a charity effort.  Continue reading “Vincent Lyles: Taking the Positive Approach”

Asking the Right Questions About Justifying War

Posted on Categories Human Rights, International Law & Diplomacy, Religion & Law, Speakers at Marquette2 Comments on Asking the Right Questions About Justifying War

If you think of “just war” theory as something associated with pacifism or as a path for justifying not using military tactics in many world situations, you’re looking at the subject from the wrong perspective, Catholic commentator George Weigel said Tuesday in a talk at Marquette Law School.

You’re looking at it the way President Barack Obama does – which is “almost entirely inside out and upside down,” Weigel said in a lecture sponsored by the student chapters of the Federalist Society and St. Thomas More Society.

Weigel, a distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., is author of a widely read biography of Pope John Paul II and other books and a commentator on NBC on Catholic news.

He gave Obama credit for using Nobel Peace Prize speech recently to discuss the need to go to war against evil that exists in the world, but he said the underpinning of Obama’s justification of war was built too heavily on factors that were of lower priority than the main pillars of the subject in thought going back to St. Augustine.  Continue reading “Asking the Right Questions About Justifying War”

Learning (At Last) to Value Water

Posted on Categories Environmental Law, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Learning (At Last) to Value Water

welIn 1774, Ben Franklin said, “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of the well.”

“He was wrong,” author Robert Glennon told an audience of about 100 Tuesday at the Alumni Memorial Union at Marquette University.  Even as  wells and water supplies move ominously closer to dry in parts of the United States, the public and many policy makers are not responding in ways that could avert major impacts, warned  Glennon, whose books include Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to Do About It, published last spring.

“We don’t value water in the United States,” Glennon told the session, part of the “On the Issues” series hosted by Mike Gousha, Marquette Law School Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy.

Wisconsin is not standing at the precipice of a water crisis to the same degree as  metropolitan Atlanta and much of the western United States, but it would still be wise to undertake public education efforts here and to make more effective water use decisions, Glennon said.  Continue reading “Learning (At Last) to Value Water”

Constitutional View, Not Catholicism, Behind Scalia’s Opinions on Abortion

Posted on Categories Constitutional Interpretation, Marquette Law School, Speakers at Marquette, U.S. Supreme Court1 Comment on Constitutional View, Not Catholicism, Behind Scalia’s Opinions on Abortion

scaliaAs a Catholic whose views are in line with those of Pope Benedict XVI, US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia personally opposes abortion.

But what explains his opinions in every abortion-related case that has come to the court since Scalia became a justice in 1986 is not his Catholicism but his “originalist” interpretation of the US Constitution, the author of a new biography of Scalia said Monday.

Speaking at an “On the Issues” forum at Marquette Law School, Joan Biskupic told host Mike Gousha that Scalia has “parallel passions,” Catholicism and the law.

”You just cannot forget that he’s so darned conservative on the Constitution, independent of his Catholicism,“ Biskupic said. Scalia simply does not see anything in the text of the Constitution that supports giving a woman a right to have an abortion.

Biskupic said she found in researching Scalia’s life that his views on the Constitution have been consistent for all his adult life. People she talked to from each stage of his life described him as an originalist.

Biskupic described Scalia as a “many-layered” person. Continue reading “Constitutional View, Not Catholicism, Behind Scalia’s Opinions on Abortion”

The Tierneys and the Law

Posted on Categories Speakers at Marquette, Sports & LawLeave a comment» on The Tierneys and the Law

nsliI had the opportunity last month to be involved in the presentation by our National Sports Law Institute of its Master of the Game Award. The NSLI has given out this award, over the years, to such distinguished individuals as Hank Aaron, Donna de Varona, Bob Harlan, Al McGuire, Bud Selig, and Bart Starr. This year the award was presented to the Tierney family, especially to recognize the contributions of the late Joseph E. Tierney, Jr., of our law class of 1941, and his wife, the late Mrs. Bernice Tierney. The Tierneys are an historic family at Marquette, with Joe Tierney “the first” having been a member of our law class of 1911. As dean, I had the privilege to get to know the late Mrs. Tierney before her death earlier this year. As I explained in my remarks at the NSLI’s luncheon where the award was presented, Mrs. Tierney possessed an unusual combination of intelligence, grace, conversational skills, wit, and good humor; truly she was a remarkable woman. The more impressive remarks, from my perspective, were those of Joseph E. Tierney, III, of our law class of 1966 (and of Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols), who recalled his parents—their involvement in the Law School and the sports law program in particular, to be sure, but more generally as well. As Joe noted in his closing, “To be masters of the game, it is important to identify the game. For both of them, the game was life.” Joe’s remarks, which touch eloquently in just a few words on such varied topics as law, sports, family, and filial piety and such individuals as Marty Greenberg and the late Chuck Mentkowski and Jane Bradley Pettit, are well worth reading.

Feingold: Sept. 11 Prosecutions Will Advance Justice and American World Standing

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Speakers at Marquette, U.S. Supreme Court8 Comments on Feingold: Sept. 11 Prosecutions Will Advance Justice and American World Standing

The decision to prosecute five people accused of involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in federal court in New York drew support Friday from US Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) in comments at a one-hour discussion at Marquette University Law School.

“That’s the way to go,” said Feingold, who has been highly critical of the long confinement, without trial, of the suspects at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

At the same time, US Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced that several other suspected terrorists will be tried in military courts. That group includes Ad Al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who allegedly planned another major attack, the bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole in 2000 in Yemen.

The decisions to go the two different routes in the cases will provide an interesting opportunity to compare civil and military handling of cases of this kind, Feingold told Mike Gousha, who moderated the session and who is a distinguished fellow in law and public policy at the Law School.

Feingold said bringing the Sept. 11 suspects, including Khalid Shaikh Muhammed, who has claimed he masterminded the attacks, into civil courts and allowing the justice system to proceed to a verdict on their cases is the appropriate course, said Feingold, a member of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. “This advances not only our legal system, but our credibility in the world,” he said.

Continue reading “Feingold: Sept. 11 Prosecutions Will Advance Justice and American World Standing”

“I’m a Dominating Bully”

Posted on Categories Education & Law, Speakers at Marquette2 Comments on “I’m a Dominating Bully”

“I’m a dominating bully” — how often do you hear sentences like that? For that matter, how often do you hear the voices of teens, no matter what they are saying, at conferences aimed at dealing with issues involving young people?

The involvement of high school students as presenters at the sixth annual Restorative Justice Conference at the Marquette Alumni Memorial Union Tuesday was one of the reasons the day-long event, attended by a capacity crowd of about 350, was a success. The conference was sponsored by the Marquette Law School Restorative Justice Initiative.

Three students from Milwaukee’s Custer High School, two girls and a boy, didn’t offer research evidence or a PowerPoint presentation. They just described incidents they have been involved in as bullies and as victims, gave their thoughts on why students act the way they do — and held the rapt attention of the audience.

All three are part of the Violence Free Zone project at Custer, run by Running Rebels, a local organization that aims to direct teens away from violent behavior.  Continue reading ““I’m a Dominating Bully””

Bullying in Schools–Teaching Respect and Compassion Through Restorative Processes

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Milwaukee, Speakers at Marquette5 Comments on Bullying in Schools–Teaching Respect and Compassion Through Restorative Processes

450px-Bully_Free_ZoneAll too often, we see and hear people trying to intimidate others-whether it involves politics, religion, driving habits, employment, sports, family or any other topic that creates conflict. Rather than civil and respectful discourse on tough topics, many routinely call each other derogatory names and describe the other as “evil,” “Hitler-like” “self-centered,” etc. We see physical violence and harassment occurring regularly in schools, places of employment and even on our highways. Finally, the language people use on talk shows or in e-mails, blogs, and even tweets often is designed to intimidate, ridicule and even destroy those with whom the speaker or writer disagree. I consider that this conduct to be an attempt at “adult bullying”…trying to “win” an argument by physically or verbally attacking others who in good faith see a situation or issue differently.

For the last four years, the Marquette Law School Restorative Justice Initiative (RJI) has held very successful annual conferences on topics involving victims and restorative justice, the international application of restorative justice and two conferences on creating safe streets through restorative justice. Last year when the planning committee for our 2009 (RJI) conference met, we decided to focus on restorative practices that address bullying because many schools were asking our assistance in creating approaches to address a serious problem of bullying in both elementary and high schools. On November 10, we will present our “Bullying in Schools–Teaching Respect and Compassion Through Restorative Practices” conference at the Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union. Not surprisingly we “sold out” all 350 seats at the conference. Students, parents, teachers and social workers continue to struggle with how to address instances of student bullying through physical and verbal abuse not to mention the terrible phenomenon of what is happening on the Internet including the sending of nude student pictures to others. Our conference is designed to help people learn of better ways to promote respectful and civil dialogue in our schools.

Dr. Brenda Morrison, our keynote speaker, describes bullying in the school context this way: Continue reading “Bullying in Schools–Teaching Respect and Compassion Through Restorative Processes”

Water, Jobs, and the Way Forward

Posted on Categories Milwaukee, Speakers at Marquette2 Comments on Water, Jobs, and the Way Forward

waterDoes Lake Lanier hold an important message about the possibility for economic growth in the Milwaukee area? If so, it’s a message that business and political leaders in Wisconsin need to move with urgency, boldness, and vision if they want to make southeast Wisconsin the hub of freshwater-related business in North America.

That was a key theme of a conference Monday convened by Marquette Law School. “Milwaukee 2015: Water, Jobs, and the Way Forward” brought Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and business and academic leaders together before an audience of several hundred at the Alumni Memorial Union.

“My dream is, by 2015, when people think water, they think Milwaukee,” said Richard A. Meeusen, president and CEO of Badger Meter and co-chair of the Milwaukee 7 Water Council, a group of civic leaders focused on building  the metropolitan area as a hub for businesses related to water.  Continue reading “Water, Jobs, and the Way Forward”

Conference on the Wisconsin Supreme Court: Review and Preview

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At the beginning of this semester, I proposed that the law school host a conference on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Dean Kearney lent his support and we were fortunate enough to obtain the co-sponsorship of the Appellate Practice section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

So yesterday we hosted a sold out gathering of over 100 lawyers for  “Conference on the Wisconsin Supreme Court: Review and Preview.”  Our meeting began with a plenary panel discussing the question of judicial recusal predicated on campaign contributions and speech. The discussion was moderated by the Hon. Diane Sykes (L’84) of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the panelists included Attorney Robert Henak (who has filed motions to recuse Justice Michael Gableman is connection with certain campaign ads and support), along with our own Chad Oldfather and me. Much of the discussion focused on the implications of the recent decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. and the recent consideration by the Wisconsin Supreme Court of competing rules on recusal.

This discussion was followed with breakout panels discussing business and criminal law cases, respectively. Continue reading “Conference on the Wisconsin Supreme Court: Review and Preview”