Flynn Adamantly Defends Police Department and His Work as He Retires as Chief

Posted on Categories Civil Rights, Criminal Law & Process, Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Flynn Adamantly Defends Police Department and His Work as He Retires as Chief

Near the end of their hour-long conversation, Mike Gousha asked outgoing Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn what was next for him.

“Really nothing much,” Flynn said. He’s going to go back to Virginia where his family lives and spend  more time with his children and grandchildren. Maybe he’ll do some consulting ahead. But, first, “I do need to de-stress a little bit, despite how relaxed I’m appearing.”

The line got a big laugh from the audience in the Lubar Center at Eckstein Hall for the “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” on Feb. 8. As he finished a decade as Milwaukee’s police chief, Flynn was fired up, outspoken, and more than a bit emotional and angry. Continue reading “Flynn Adamantly Defends Police Department and His Work as He Retires as Chief”

Jacob Haller Named Public Interest Student of the Year

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, Public2 Comments on Jacob Haller Named Public Interest Student of the Year

Even before he began law school, Jacob Haller was involved in the kind of public interest work that is at the heart of Marquette Law School’s pro bono efforts. He continued on that path as a law student. Now in his last semester at the Law School, Haller has been named this year’s Outstanding Public Interest Law Student.

Angela Schultz, assistant dean for public service, said that as an undergraduate at Marquette University, Haller worked as an intern at the Milwaukee Justice Center and an intern in the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s office.

As a law student, Haller became involved in many public service opportunities, including the Public Interest Law Society and clinics offering people help with family law and domestic violence problems. Haller won two PILS summer fellowships to do public interest legal work. He is currently co-president of PILS. Schultz said he will graduate in May with honors for completing more than 500 hours of pro bono work. Continue reading “Jacob Haller Named Public Interest Student of the Year”

Mission Week Speakers Encourage Deep Efforts to Learn About Others

Posted on Categories Public, Race & Law, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Mission Week Speakers Encourage Deep Efforts to Learn About Others

The relationship between Sharon Morgan and Thomas DeWolf did not get off to a good start. They met at a conference in Virginia. She was a black woman from Chicago, a successful communications writer with a strong interest in genealogy. The descendant of people deeply involved in the slave trade, he was a white man who was the executive director of a West Coast-based nonprofit that focused on the continuing impact of slavery in America.

She was put off by him. He was not sure how to deal with her. But step by step, they got to know each other and had break-through conversations about their backgrounds.

During an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School on Tuesday, DeWolf said, “What we got to was revealing ourselves to each other in ways that we were taking off the masks. . . . The masks, if you’re willing, can come off.” Continue reading “Mission Week Speakers Encourage Deep Efforts to Learn About Others”

Give A Warm Welcome To Our February Bloggers

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, PublicLeave a comment» on Give A Warm Welcome To Our February Bloggers

Please join me in welcoming our two Guest Bloggers for the month of February.

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Samantha Greenberg.  She introduces herself as follows:  “I am from Miami, Florida. Out of high school, I left Miami and moved to Buffalo, New York where I attended Canisius College. Moving to Buffalo, I had never seen snow before, and the two years I attended Canisius College were the two worst winters Buffalo had had in years. After my sophomore year, I transferred to the University of Miami, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sports Administration. During my time in undergraduate studies, I had many opportunities to work in the sports field, ranging from interning at a sports agency, to even being a college mascot. I chose to come to Marquette University Law School because of their prestigious National Sports Law Institute, and I hope to take the knowledge I learn and apply it towards the real world in a career in sports law.”

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Lucas Bennewitz.  He is a 2015 Marquette University Law School graduate. Mr. Bennewitz works as an Assistant District Attorney for the Racine County District Attorney’s office and has focused his entire career on litigation since being admitted to the Bar. While at Marquette, Mr. Bennewitz was involved in Moot Court, and the Student Bar Association, and was an editor for the Intellectual Property Law Review.

We look forward to your posts!

Law School’s Schoone Fellow Describes Wisconsin’s Legal History in “On the Issues” Program

Posted on Categories Legal History, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Wisconsin Law & Legal SystemLeave a comment» on Law School’s Schoone Fellow Describes Wisconsin’s Legal History in “On the Issues” Program

Joseph A. Ranney says his interest in almost two centuries of Wisconsin’s legal system stands on two things. One is as simple as this: “I love history.” The other is the large amount of time he has spent reading old volumes of Wisconsin legal records as a student and as a lawyer.

His passion for the subject has made Ranney, the Adrian P. Schoone Fellow in Wisconsin Law and Legal Institutions at Marquette University Law School and a partner with the firm of DeWitt Ross & Stevens in Madison, an expert on Wisconsin’s legal history. His most recent book, Wisconsin and the Shaping of American Law, was published in 2017 by the University of Wisconsin Press.

During an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program in the Lubar Center in Eckstein Hall on Wednesday, Ranney talked about trends in Wisconsin’s legal history and some of the important and sometimes colorful episodes in that history, going back to the 1820s when Wisconsin was a territory and it was a challenge to get people to respect what judges did. Continue reading “Law School’s Schoone Fellow Describes Wisconsin’s Legal History in “On the Issues” Program”

Scholar Spotlights Role of Coretta Scott King in Her Husband’s Work

Posted on Categories Civil Rights, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Scholar Spotlights Role of Coretta Scott King in Her Husband’s Work

If you want to understand the full breadth of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you need to appreciate two aspects that often don’t get the attention they deserve: The role of his wife, Coretta Scott King, as Martin Luther King’s partner in activism, and the importance both of them attached to the pursuit of social justice beyond a narrower definition of civil rights.

That was an overall theme of a lecture on Martin Luther King’s legacy at Eckstein Hall on Jan. 25 by Clayborne Carson, a history professor at Stanford University, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, and one of the foremost experts on the King family’s work. Carson has authored several books about the civil rights era and, in 1985, was asked by Coretta Scott King to edit and publish authoritative editions of her husband’s speeches, sermons, and other writing. That led to seven volumes of the papers of King. Continue reading “Scholar Spotlights Role of Coretta Scott King in Her Husband’s Work”

The Challenges of Being a Bad Lawyer

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Public1 Comment on The Challenges of Being a Bad Lawyer

I know this is technically a blog, but, if it were some other social media platform, that right there, my friends, would be “click bait.”  What?? This guest blogger is going to talk about how difficult it is to be a lousy attorney?  But, no, I don’t mean bad lawyer in the sense of legal incompetency or shaky professional ethics; I mean it in terms of being the bad-guy lawyer, the bearer of the bad news, the lawyer whose job it is to tell the client that he or she is not getting a settlement or can’t win the case or …any number of other unhappy communications.

It turns out that I am conflict averse.  That this was news to me was pretty lame because I chose – at age 49! – to go into litigation after graduating law school. In fact, I chose to join the products liability defense litigation practice group when I joined a Milwaukee firm the September after graduation.  For some reason, I imagined that being a litigator would suit my personality, which, as my husband will confirm, likes to win arguments.  But it turns out I didn’t have a very good sense what litigation entailed: rather than using persuasive argument to prevail on some esoteric, high-minded point, litigation is really more like a bare-knuckled battle royale.  For me anyway, there was just too much…conflict.  And, I was too old for it.  It was exhausting.

When I changed course in my legal career and became general counsel for a national insurance trade association, I thought I’d left my conflict days behind me.  But, another epiphany here (and, yes, I really am getting to be too old for these), there is “conflict” even in a legal profession that is primarily transactional.  Continue reading “The Challenges of Being a Bad Lawyer”

Marsy’s Law in Wisconsin 

Posted on Categories Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Process, Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on Marsy’s Law in Wisconsin 

Have you ever heard something that, almost immediately after hearing it, bounced your thoughts from the possible benefits to the seriously questionable outcomes that might follow, and left you swinging back and forth between the two?  This is exactly what happened to me just recently after hearing about Marsy’s Law coming to Wisconsin.  As it stands, I can get behind the general idea of the law, but I do have some doubts—problems, even—with the way the law is being pushed forward. 

“Marsy’s Law” is the idea that crime victims, and the families of crime victims (who become victims by association) should have equal rights to those who are accused of victimizing the family.  According to the web site for Marsy’s Law for All, the law is named for Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas, a “beautiful, vibrant University of California Santa Barbara student, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.” (Quote from Marsy’s Law for All) One week after Marsy’s  murder, some of her family members entered a grocery store and were confronted by the man who was accused of murdering Marsy.  Marsy’s alleged murderer had been let out on bail and the family had not known about it. 

Marsy’s Law for All argues that the United States Constitution and every state constitution have a detailed set of rights for people who are accused of crimes, but the United States Constitution and 15 state constitutions do not have a list of rights for victims of crime.  As I am writing this, the web site for Marsy’s Law argues that the United States Constitution has 20 individual rights for those accused of a crime, but none for the victims of crime.  States, on the other hand, have been making some progress.  California, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Ohio have passed Marsy’s Law, with efforts to adopt the law currently underway in Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, Idaho, Oklahoma, and here in Wisconsin.    Continue reading “Marsy’s Law in Wisconsin “

Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century

Posted on Categories Environmental Law, Lubar Center, Marquette Law School, Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Water LawLeave a comment» on Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century

I have previously written in this space about the difficult water policy issues facing “megacities,” generally defined as cities with a population of over ten millA photo of the cover of Marquette Lawyerion people. Meanwhile, the Law School, working in partnership with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has taken an increasing role and interest in studying various aspects of the “Chicago Megacity,” the region stretching from the Milwaukee area, across metropolitan Chicago, and into northwest Indiana. For example, see hereherehere, and here for discussion of a variety of issues such as economic development, transportation, and education.

We are excited to announce that on April 17, the Law School and the Journal Sentinel will continue those efforts, hosting a conference titled “Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century.” The event is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required; find out more and register at this link. More details about the conference follow.

Continue reading “Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century”

Supreme Court Navigates Two Water Disputes, With More On The Way

Posted on Categories Environmental Law, Public, U.S. Supreme Court, Water LawLeave a comment» on Supreme Court Navigates Two Water Disputes, With More On The Way

On Monday the Supreme Court heard arguments in two interstate water allocation disputes, Florida v. Georgia and Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado. The Court has also accepted a third such case, Mississippi v. Tennessee, and assigned it to a special master. The cases will force the Court to examine the The Rio Grande River near the USA-Mexico borderbalance between economic development and environmental protection, the federal role in state water disputes, and whether groundwater and surface water allocation should be governed by the same decisional rules.

The trio of pending cases belies the Court’s expressed preference for such disputes to be resolved by interstate compacts entered into pursuant to the Compact Clause (Article I, Section 10, Clause 3). It has previously commented that it approaches interstate water disputes with caution given the “complicated and delicate questions” involved, and has advised “expert administration [via a compact] rather than judicial imposition of a hard and fast rule.”[1] Nevertheless, in these cases at least, an old adage often attributed to Mark Twain trumped the Court’s advice: “whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting over.”

Continue reading “Supreme Court Navigates Two Water Disputes, With More On The Way”

Welcome to the Line

Posted on Categories Intellectual Property Law, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Media & Journalism, PublicLeave a comment» on Welcome to the Line

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took up and reversed net neutrality.  If you are unfamiliar with net neutrality, it is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are not allowed to discriminate against certain users, websites, content, or whatever else.  For example, Spectrum (formerly Time Warner) is not allowed to block its users from or charge them for accessing Facebook.  Or, for a real-life example, Madison River Communications was fined $15,000 by the FCC for restricting their costumers’ access to a rival service. John Oliver explains net neutrality here. (Language warning.)  In a way, you could think of net neutrality as an equal opportunity law for the internet.  Or, at least you could have.  On December 14, 2017, FCC chairman Ajit Pai and the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality, which leaves the internet in the United States in a fairly bad spot.

Luckily, in my opinion, the FCC has a gauntlet of lawsuits to go through now that it repealed net neutrality.  It also seems there is a fair number of people who share my viewpoint.  As it stands, the FCC had something around 22 million complaints filed against its ruling.  FCC Chairman Pai canceled his scheduled appearance at the to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas due to death threats.  On top of this, the Internet Association is bringing together powerhouse companies to join the fight against the unpopular ruling.  Companies like Google, Amazon, Etsy, and Alphabet have stated they are joining the lawsuit.  The Internet Association’s President and CEO Michael Beckerman stated, “The final version of Chairman Pai’s rule . . . dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers.  This rule defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet.”    Netflix even took to Twitter and sent the message, “In 2018, the Internet is united in defense of #NetNeutrality.  As for the FCC, we will see you in court.”  Furthermore, a number of states have come forward stating their opposition to the repeal and have indicated that they, too, will join the fight.

Seeing this net neutrality issue unfold has solidified my choice to attend law school.  Continue reading “Welcome to the Line”

A Reflection upon My Tenth Anniversary of Being a Lawyer

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public1 Comment on A Reflection upon My Tenth Anniversary of Being a Lawyer

Happy 2018!  Since this is my first guest blog, I thought I might introduce myself a bit as a Marquette Lawyer, as the Dean likes to call us.

2018 marks the ten-year anniversary of my graduation from Marquette University Law School, a fact that I am reminded of by the flurry of communications sent by the law school to “Save the Date” for the upcoming tenth reunion in June!  I attended law school as a “non-traditional” student, having graduated from my undergraduate college in 1981. I began as a part-time student, but I switched to full-time for my second and third years once I realized that, if I didn’t goose this along a bit, we would be paying for two children in college on top of my law school tuition!  But, although I started as a part-timer and could have attended the evening classes designed for the part-time students, throughout my tenure at Marquette, I almost always took classes during the day with the more traditional – and by that I mean younger – students.  I did so primarily so I could be home in the evenings with my husband and three children, who were in middle school and early high school.  I wanted to be available for homework and swim meets and choir concerts and school plays and all the other activities attendant to children of that age, and my (then) part-time job was flexible enough for me to attend day classes.

I really enjoyed taking classes with those energetic and earnest 20-somethings, many of whom were in undergraduate colleges and universities just the semester before starting law school.  A story I’ve told often over the years illustrates the age difference between me and my cohort: One of my first semester law school classes was Criminal Law with Professor O’Hear and we were scheduled to take our first midterm exam. I hadn’t taken an exam of any sort since my senior year in college, and I was slightly anxious but, hopefully, prepared.  I sat down in class and turned to my neighboring student, a smart and nice young man named Luke whom I’d sat next to throughout the semester.  I told Luke that I’d realized earlier that morning that it had been 23 years since I’d taken a midterm exam.  Luke’s eyes opened wide, and he exclaimed, “That’s how old I am!”  I laughed (and have enjoyed the memory ever since), but it brought home to me just how long my “pause” had been between college and law school. Continue reading “A Reflection upon My Tenth Anniversary of Being a Lawyer”