Some are calling for a stronger connection between Christianity and Christmas, concomitantly rejecting the term “Xmas” as blasphemous, deploring the substitution of “Happy Holidays” for “Merry Christmas,” and urging generally that we “put Christ back in Christmas.” Sincere religious beliefs prompt most of this campaign, but to what extent has Jesus Christ ever been the true heart of Christmas?
The Bible does not give the date of Jesus Christ’s birth, and it was not until the fourth century that the Catholic Church recognized December 25th as Jesus Christ’s birthday. Historians have suggested the day was selected to coincide with pagan winter solstice celebrations that were held in many locations throughout Europe. The solstice came at roughly the same time large numbers of cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during subsequent months. Meat was as a result plentiful, as was the wine and beer that had been started during the preceding spring and summer and had now fermented.
We are happy to have two guests submitting blog posts during November.
Our Student Blogger of the Month is Emily Gaertner. Emily is a 3L at Marquette University Law School. She is Chief Justice of the Marquette Moot Court Association and Vice President of the Legal Writing Society. During her time at Marquette Law School, Emily has competed in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, and will represent Marquette Law at the National Moot Court Competition. Emily has also interned for Judge Paul Reilly at the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District II, and currently interns for Judge Diane Sykes at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Emily serves as a Student Ambassador and tour guide, and volunteers her time at the Domestic Violence Injunction Clinic. Prior to coming to law school, Emily graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2015 and earned a dual baccalaureate in philosophy/pre-law and criminology.
Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Alen Lagazo. Ioua Alen Marcyn Lagazo (“Alen”) serves as Compliance Counsel to CNH Industrial, a leading global manufacturing company for industrial equipment. In addition, he is a board member and co-Director of Social Media and Marketing for BYU Alumni Association – Chicago Chapter.
He is a 2018 graduate of Marquette University Law School, where he completed internships at SoftwareONE, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BP Peterman Law Group, and CNH Industrial. He is a 2014 graduate of Brigham Young University, where he focused on international studies and business management. For 26 months between 2009 and 2011, Alen served a full-time voluntary assignment as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to that, in 2007, he received his Eagle Rank from the Boy Scouts of America.
Ioua Alen Marcyn has been married to Glenna for 6 years and together they have a daughter, Hermione, born just before entering law school. He enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his daughter’s soccer team, entertaining guests and networking. He also volunteers as an adult leader for the youth program for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Our Student Blogger for the month of October is Yamilett Lopez. Yamilett is a 3L at Marquette University Law School and President of the Organization for Student Wellbeing. During her three years at Marquette Law School, Yamilett has been involved in a wide range of activities and organizations, including serving as a tour guide, being Comment Editor for the Marquette Law Review, and volunteering her time at the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic. Prior to law school, Yamilett graduated summa cum laude from Marquette University in 2017 and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in marketing.
Some refer to Bitcoin as the internet of money. Why? Because they believe Bitcoin will revolutionize the way we transact with each other the same way the internet revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. Some critics argue otherwise. But, quite interestingly some of Bitcoin’s biggest critics are the same institutions and industries that stand to be disrupted by Bitcoin. To some, the idea of Bitcoin replacing our current mediums of exchange is too far-fetched. I would argue that our mediums of exchange throughout history have suffered arguably more drastic changes. As a human race we went from bartering, to exchanging precious metals, to paper money, and most recently to plastic cards with magnetic strips. How do you think people reacted when they were told they would not be buying and selling goods with precious metals, but instead they would be using paper? This was a substantial aberration in the manner people transacted with each other, and it took hundreds of years for there to be consensus on this transition.
On that note, what is Bitcoin? Most people will say that Bitcoin is a digital currency. While at its essence this is not a false statement, if Bitcoin is simply a digital currency it would be inconsequential. Most of our currencies today are already digital. Bank accounts today are digital databases, and we use those bank account to transfer money to and from each other, in electronic form. That is digital money. The reality is that only about 8% of total world currencies exist in physical form. It would seem that if Bitcoin is as revolutionary as some claim, it would need to offer something beyond the digitalization of money, and it does. Let’s discuss some of these characteristics and possibilities. Continue reading “Bitcoin and Money: An Advocate’s View”
Please join me in welcoming Jose Lazaro, our Student Blogger of the Month for the month of September. Here is how Jose introduces himself:
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico where my entire family still resides. At age fourteen I was given the opportunity to play baseball at a boarding school in Philadelphia. I then moved to Florida, where I got drafted by the New York Yankees after my senior year of high school. Instead of pursuing professional baseball I chose to be a student-athlete and went on to play four years of college baseball. After battling injuries, my baseball career finally ended after shoulder surgery and an unsuccessful two-year long rehab attempt. I am now a second-year law-school student here at Marquette University pursuing a number of interests and focused on acquiring a set of skills that will allow me to have a positive impact on the lives of others and the community at large. This past summer I interned at Harley-Davidson, and I will be a summer associate at a Milwaukee law firm this upcoming summer 2019.
An Orientation Session about your study abroad opportunities during law school, with important deadlines, will take place Thursday September 6 at 12:15 pm in Room 257 of the Law School.
The shortest study abroad opportunity takes place over Spring Break 2019 and is a component of Professor Schneider’s International Conflict Resolution class. The class will travel to Israel and study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict first hand.
The month long Summer Session in International and Comparative Law, scheduled to take place in Giessen, Germany Saturday July 20 through Thursday August 15, 2019, includes multi-day field trips to Berlin and Hamburg. In Hamburg this past summer, MU students danced until dawn and then had breakfast at the Fish Market as the sun rose. Apparently, its a thing.
MU Law regularly hosts exchange students visiting for an entire semester from the University of Comillas in Madrid, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Poitiers in France. Oddly enough, these students find Milwaukee to be an exotic locale.
At the same time, MU Law students have the opportunity to spend one or more semesters of their legal education as a visiting law student in Madrid, Copenhagen, or Poitiers. We definitely get the better of that deal.
Professor Sorcha MacLeod, who teaches in the Summer Session in Giessen, Germany, is an expert in the law of armed mercenaries. And I thought I was cool because I teach Con Law.
You can explore the Study Abroad homepage on the Law School website, however updated information for 2019 will not be available online for a few weeks.
After teaching in Germany for 6 summers, I have come to the conclusion that the words “German” and “pizza” should never be used in the same sentence.
Things you learn teaching Comparative Constitutional Law: the first two words of the German Constitution are “human dignity,” while the U.S. Constitution did not originally mention human rights at all.
Did I mention that an Orientation Session will take place Thursday September 6 at 12:15 pm in Room 257 of the Law School?
To the left you can see a photo that seems to show a plate of spaghetti noodles topped by some sort of strawberry sauce. However, first looks can be deceiving. This is actually a photo of a popular type of gelato, called “spaghetti eis,” that is served at the Cafe San Marcos and at numerous other locations in Giessen, Germany.
Similarly, if you were to walk around the campus of Justus Liebig University for the next three weeks, you would undoubtedly see a large group of students laughing and talking as they make their way to and from classes. You might even assume that these are German law students attending a summer session. However, once again first looks can be deceiving.
These students currently enjoying the warm and sunny weather are actually over 40 law students who have gathered in Giessen from the United States and across the globe to participate in the Summer Session in International and Comparative Law co-hosted once again by the Marquette University Law School and our partners the University of Wisconsin and Justus Liebig University. There are 14 students attending from the United States and a variety of other countries represented including Brazil, Poland, Egypt, Portugal, Belgium, Macedonia, Italy and Vietnam, to name a few.
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.”
With spring in the air, I thought the following poem from Emily Dickinson might help us mark the welcome change of seasons. However, Dickinson also provides a cautionary note. The spectacular inspires us, but it also slips by. Spring not only arrives but also departs. Our resulting sense of loss is like “Trade” encroaching “upon a Sacrament.”
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:
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.