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”

ALWD Scholars’ Forum

Posted on Categories Legal Scholarship, Marquette Law School, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on ALWD Scholars’ Forum

On October 9, the Law School hosted an Association of Legal Writing Directors Scholars’ Forum before the Central States Region Conference.  The Forum was an all-day event in which legal writing faculty from across the United States came to discuss their current scholarship in a roundtable format.  After Dean Rofes’ warm welcome, Professor Dan Weddle from UMKC Law School gave an excellent presentation on how to critique scholarship.  The group then broke up into small sections to give the participants a chance to discuss their scholarship and receive feedback.  At the end of the day, a panel of experienced authors gave helpful and practical advice on how to get published.  Continue reading “ALWD Scholars’ Forum”

The Role of the Wisconsin Attorney General in Charity Oversight: A Review of Past Practice, Current Law, and Their Implications

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“The Role of the Wisconsin Attorney General in Charity Oversight:  A Review of Past Practice, Current Law, and Their Implications,” a program co-sponsored by the Law School and the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, unfolded last Thursday in a packed room with an audience comprised of nonprofit executives, attorneys who counsel nonprofits, and, of course, students.  The lunchtime event began with introductions by Dean Joseph Kearney and the Helen Bader Institute’s Executive Director, John Palmer Smith.  Next, Barb Duffy, the Program Manager for Research at the Helen Bader Institute, set the stage by highlighting issues addressed in her article published last May in the Exempt Organization Tax Review.  The program’s three panelists included two attorneys from the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office, Steven P. Means and Charlotte Gibson, as well as a nonprofit legal scholar, Evelyn Brody.  The panelists addressed the Wisconsin Attorney General’s ability to oversee charities under current Wisconsin law, the practices of other state Attorneys General in charity oversight, and the recent Conserve School case.  Audio of the program is available on the Law School’s webcast page.

Brown v. Board of Education as a Disputing Process Lesson

Posted on Categories Legal History, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Brown v. Board of Education as a Disputing Process Lesson

supreme courtLast week, we were privileged to hear Professor Michael Klarman speak on “Why Brown v. Board of Education Was a Hard Case.”  This was one of the most enjoyable and interesting talks I have heard in a long time.  I highly recommend it, and you can click here to get the webcast.  My guess is that this would still be as funny and insightful on the audio.   There were two particular points that he made in reviewing the history of the case that linked to conflict resolution theory that I want to highlight here.

First, Klarman noted that, contrary to typical practice, the justices facing the Brown decision did not take a straw poll at their first conference discussing the case.  In fact, as he notes, by his count, there would have been only four votes to overturn Plessy at the beginning and nothing near the unanimity that the Court presented in its decision the following year.  What was the import of not taking this poll?  As Klarman notes, this allowed the justices to change their mind and to preserve fluidity in their thinking.  In other words, the justices did not lock themselves into an opening position that then they would feel necessary to defend throughout the discussions. 

The impact of publicly locking yourself in to an opening position is problematic, as we know.  Continue reading “Brown v. Board of Education as a Disputing Process Lesson”

Criminal Appeals Conference Podcast

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Criminal Appeals Conference Podcast

I had a great time at the Criminal Appeals Conference here on Monday and Tuesday, with an impressive line-up of speakers covering a wide variety of topics, from the historical development of the harmless error doctrine to the dysfunctional handling of death penalty appeals in California to federal sentencing appeals to the failure of appellate courts to make use of the science on eyewitness identification (among many other topics).  A podcast of the Conference is now available here.

Criminal Appeals Conference Next Week

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Legal Scholarship, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Criminal Appeals Conference Next Week

It won’t be long before our distinguished speakers begin arriving in Milwaukee for the Criminal Appeals Conference on Monday and Tuesday.  You can preview the Conference handout (including abstracts of the papers to be presented and biographies of the speakers) here.  The main venue for the Conference is now full, but it is still possible to register here for overflow seating with a video feed.  An audio recording will be also be available for download after the Conference.

Criminal Appeals Conference

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Legal Scholarship, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Criminal Appeals Conference

Chad Oldfather and I are organizing a conference on criminal appeals at Marquette on June 15 and 16.  I am very excited about the line-up speakers, which includes many leading criminal law and appellate process scholars from around the nation, as well as several state supreme court justices and other appellate judges.  The full schedule, including links for registration, can be found here.

Why Judges Aren’t Legislators

Posted on Categories Judges & Judicial Process, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Why Judges Aren’t Legislators

I have not yet had a chance to blog on Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s intriguing Hallows lecture, but I have always been a bit uneasy about judges advocating abandonment of the traditional tools of the trade when they lead to a result that does not “make sense” or is “unworkable.” I don’t say that it can never be done (as Justice Scalia has said, “I, too, am a sinner”), but it is a principle with no readily defined stopping point.

So what, you may ask, does this have to do with Attorney General Van Hollen’s Advisory Memorandum stating that there is a constitutional right to openly carry firearms?  Well, there is a history.  In 1998, the voters amended the Wisconsin Constitution to create an very broad right to “keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.”  This is, to put it mildly, in tension with Wisconsin’s extraordinarily broad prohibition of concealed carry.  There are virtually no exceptions, and there is no provision for the issuance of permits.

When first faced with this conflict, the Wisconsin Supreme Court observed that it was “anomalous.” One might have expected that the anomaly would have been eliminated by declaring the statute to be unconstitutional in its overbreadth and placing the onus on the legislature to draft a more carefully tailored law. But the court, apparently concerned about unlimited concealed carry, did not do so.

Rather, it decided to proceed on a case-by-case basis, deciding when the need for security was compelling enough to result in constitutional protection for concealed carry. Briefly (and at the risk of some oversimplification), you can conceal your weapon if you run a store in a high-crime area, but not if you transport money to the bank in a small town and not if you simply live and travel in a high crime area.

In so holding, the court emphasized the particular problems associated with concealment and noted that a gun owner has other options. Continue reading “Why Judges Aren’t Legislators”