Welcome to Our January Guest Bloggers

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Welcome to Our January Guest Bloggers

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.

We look forward to your posts!

“Work-Mom” Balance

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Profession, Public, Uncategorized1 Comment on “Work-Mom” Balance

A young child sits on the floor looking at a copy of the Marquette Lawyer magazine.My husband Brad and I are proud parents of a 20-month-old daughter, Lucille.  Having to balance being a mom and a litigator at a large firm is probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.  But it’s also an accomplishment of which I am very proud, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I don’t pretend to be an expert, and I still have a lot to learn.  But based on the past 20 months, here are some tips that I’ve acquired to support a “work-mom” balance:

It takes a village.  I won’t sugarcoat this:  I’d have to quit my job if it weren’t for my husband and my mom.  My husband works predictable, regular hours and, with rare exception, does not have to work at night or on the weekends.  He is an extremely present dad, is helpful at home, and is very supportive and understanding of my job.  My mom lives 30 miles away and is our go-to babysitter, with little to no notice, particularly when Lucy is sick and has to stay home from daycare.  She watched Lucy twice per week when she was an infant and is the most dependable person in our lives.

Invest in superior daycare, whatever that means for you and your family.  For us, it means that Lucy attends a daycare in downtown Madison, only two blocks away from both my and my husband’s offices.  Continue reading ““Work-Mom” Balance”

Study Abroad Information Sessions This Thursday

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Study Abroad Information Sessions This Thursday
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).

Jiang Tianyong, Subversion, and the Seductive Rule of Law

Posted on Categories Human Rights, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Jiang Tianyong, Subversion, and the Seductive Rule of Law

Chinese lawyer Jiang Tianyong sits in front of a microphone during his trial.As the Chinese lawyer Jiang Tianyong painfully realized, a belief in the rule of law is commendable in one context but deplorable in another.  While a belief in the rule of law has traditionally been honored in the dominant American ideology, the same belief is suspect given the dominant Chinese ideology.

Jiang had been a prominent human rights lawyer in Beijing and represented a large number of Chinese dissidents, often with surprising success.  His most famous client was perhaps Chen Guangcheng, an activist who fled house arrest and received asylum in the American Embassy.  Most recently, Jiang represented a group of other human rights lawyers, who were being prosecuted for criticizing the government.

In late August, 2017, Jiang himself was convicted of inciting subversion and attempting to undermine the Chinese Communist Party.  His trial as broadcast live on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media network, and highlights of the trial appeared daily on Chinese network television.

Jiang’s conviction was hardly surprising since, late in the trial, Jiang confessed.  In his confession, Jiang apologized for the harm he had done and, indeed, admitted he was part of a conspiracy to topple the Chinese Communist Party.  His confession ended with an emotional plea for mercy and for “a chance to become a new person.”

What’s surprising, at least for an American, is that Jiang said he had stumbled into subversion because of a misguided belief in the rule of law.  Jiang pointed at “the bourgeois Western constitutional system” and claimed that it had a “subliminal influence on him.”  Because of his belief in the rule of law, Jiang said, he rejected China’s political system and worked to replace it with the type of system that reigns in the United States. Continue reading “Jiang Tianyong, Subversion, and the Seductive Rule of Law”

On Overstating the Case for Confederate Monuments

Posted on Categories Civil Rights, First Amendment, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Race & Law, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on On Overstating the Case for Confederate Monuments
Statue of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee sitting astride a horse.
The Robert Edward Lee statue in Emancipation Park

It is that values question we should really be asking. As far as I can tell, those who object to the removal of the statutes seem to be saying that those Confederate generals who defended slavery, secession, and white supremacy represent the values of a twenty-first century America that is becoming more egalitarian and diverse.

It is overstatement to say that by removing monuments to Confederate generals one is erasing all history. Commentators have wondered aloud whether this will become a long-term movement towards total eradication of history of the South. The president even suggested this by asking when this will stop. He called the removal of Confederate monuments the destruction of culture. These claims incorrectly conflate crafting historical memory with the fact that honorific statuary in public places signals the values of the modern-day community.Memory of the Civil War and its aftermath will not suddenly be completely erased forever because statues are torn down, street names changed, buildings renamed, and the like. Culture will not be destroyed. (And as an aside, one should ask, “Who’s culture is being protected by protecting these monuments?”) The consequences of the Civil War, for good and ill, linger. Moreover, history’s memory is a lot longer than the beginning and ending of a statue, and history will continue to be useful as long as scholars, schools, and society have open and honest conversations about the past.

History is dynamic. Honorary statues are not. Communities change and values evolve and those who are honored yesterday may be disfavored tomorrow. Think about it this way–when the American Revolution concluded, as my friend and Marquette colleague Edward Fallone points out, no one objected that the history of British rule over the colonies would be erased forever when the statues of George III were torn down. Two hundred forty one years later, we literally still sing songs to sold-out audiences about the American Revolution. And Hamilton the Musical! still gets the facts right.

The communal choice of determining who is and who is not to be honored in the present day is a completely different conversation than one about the state of history. We shouldn’t confuse the two. Continue reading “On Overstating the Case for Confederate Monuments”

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

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on It Is Not Too Early to Plan for Study Abroad in 2018
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!

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on A New Year, New Guest Bloggers!

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

Posted on Categories Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Things Are Heating Up in Germany

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

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Welcome Our July Guest Blogger

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.

R.I.P. Gregg Allman (1947-2017)

Posted on Categories Popular Culture & Law, Public, Uncategorized2 Comments on R.I.P. Gregg Allman (1947-2017)

Singer Geg Allman plays the keyboard.It is my impression that a good rock ‘n roll band can help a lot in law school.  If listened to at the “appropriate” volume, the band can reduce the stress of the first year and relieve the tedium of the second and third years.

My band during law school was the Allman Brothers Band.  It released an extraordinary string of vinyl albums in the early 1970s, with “Eat a Peach” (1972) being my personal favorite.  My friends and I didn’t think of the Allman Brothers as progenitors of southern rock but rather as countercultural southern musicians able to blend the blues, jazz, and even a little country.  The Band compared in our minds to Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and, of course, the Grateful Dead.  And who knew that an aspiring Georgia politician named Jimmy Carter was also a fan of the Band’s incredible improvisational jams?

The Allman Brothers song that I played the most was “Whipping Post.”  Gregg Album wrote the song and also sang the lead vocal.  Its studio version appears on the Band’s debut album, but even better is the live version on “At the Fillmore East” (1971).  I realized from the start that the song was about lost love, but I chose to think of it in relation to my existential condition:  “Tied to the whipping post.  Good Lord, I think I’m dying . . . .”

During the 1970s, the Allman Brothers Band lost two of its original members in separate motorcycle accidents.  (The Band members loved Harleys.)  Afterwards, Gregg Allman struggled to hold the Band together, but alcohol and drugs were mean nemeses.  He also had six marriages, including an ill-fated and much-ridiculed union with Cher.  But still, he continued to make music and to tour.  Elise Papke and I caught his tremendous performance at the Northern Lights Theater in the Potowatomi Casino from second-row seats in 2015, and yes, “Whipping Post” was on his play list.

It was with great sadness that I read of Gregg Allman’s death due to liver cancer on May 27, 2017.  R.I.P. old friend, and thanks for your help along the way.

We Need More Than Equality

Posted on Categories Civil Rights, Human Rights, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Race & Law, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on We Need More Than Equality

girl_blowing_soap_bubblesOver the past few months, I’ve tried to wrap my brain around the multitude of complex issues that have occurred between police officers and people of color within the United States. From my recollection, it seemed like every other day there was a new incident involving an unarmed black man being gunned down by individuals who are sworn to protect the public: the police. Whenever the news of these incidents were revealed to the public, I noticed friends, family, and strangers all begin to take sides as to who they believed was either right or wrong in this situation (involving the police and the individual who was shot). Through social media and conversations with peers, I’ve observed people pick “sides,” such as, “Blue Lives Matter,” “Black Lives Matter,” or “All Lives Matter.” When I observed people use these phrases to justify their stance on life (and which lives matter), I began to establish my own thoughts about how we as a society ought to view life from a metaphysical standpoint. Within this essay, I will first illustrate the significance of the fact that humans are social beings. Second, I will illustrate the importance of sympathy and empathy for social beings like humans. Third, I will argue that human life is precious and that it ought to be appreciated and celebrated uniformly with all human life.

Humans are social beings. We are dependent upon our experiences within the world and with other human beings. Our experiences are important because they help shape our ideas and beliefs; they also allow for us to understand our surroundings as well as other people. For instance, you could not place a new born baby in a room by itself for its entire life and expect it to develop into a human being who can properly rationalize and truly understand what is going on around it. We need other human beings in order to thrive and live. As social beings who learn from experience, hopefully in some capacity during our lifetime, we learn to develop sympathy and empathy. The hope is that we are given the opportunity to have enough experiences in order to indirectly or directly relate to another human being. I’m sure you’ve heard the old phrase: “We fear what we do not know.” A majority of the time, that statement is true because we often don’t fear the things we thoroughly understand (with some exceptions of course). When we fail to sympathize or empathize with another individual who has/had different experiences than us, we occasionally resort to stereotypes and make assumptions. We can learn so much from other people when we listen, rather than immediately resorting to various preconceived notions. Sympathy and empathy wouldn’t be important if we were not the social beings that we are. We rely on others to live and, arguably, could not survive without other human beings. Continue reading “We Need More Than Equality”

Whom Do I Want As My King?

Posted on Categories Constitutional Law, Election Law, Legal History, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Uncategorized1 Comment on Whom Do I Want As My King?

2014_1006_1024px-mount_rushmore2_largePart Three of a series on Election Law, providing context to our system of government, our election process and a little history to evaluate and consider in the candidate-debate.  Prior blog posts discussed the lead-up to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and provided context to the debate over the American system of government. Here is further context.  For a more in depth discussion and a great read — upon which much of this blog finds its genesis — look to Ray Raphael’s book Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive (2012).

I begin with the delegates. Think of it like this: If you were a wealthy American landowner in the late eighteenth century, and held a position of prominence for some time, you probably wanted to ensure that, whatever government governed, your status remained unchanged. Should not your vote count a little more than someone else? Can we really let the people select of our elected officials?

On these basic questions the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were either conflicted, or outright opposed. As Roger Sherman, the representative from Connecticut proclaimed, “The people immediately should have as little to do as may be about the government. They want information and are constantly liable to be misled.” On the flip side was Alexander Hamilton who touted the “genius of the people” in qualifying the electorate.

Basically, even if a Constitutional Convention delegate agreed to a national government and an “executive branch” to that government, he still had open questions as to what should it look like, how much power it would have, and who would decide the person/persons for such an office.

So how did the delegates get from point A to point B? First, the delegates took the unusual move of calling for secrecy in their debates, something unheard of then and which continues to be a source of confounding discussion even in today’s society; in 1787, and as often argued today, the delegates wanted the freedom to speak freely.

Second, the delegates used England’s King George III as a counter-point to an executive. They wanted no part of a monarchy, or despotic leader, yet needed the executive position to have some teeth so that it would be recognized internationally and complement intra-national needs. Continue reading “Whom Do I Want As My King?”