The University of Akron School of Law held another of its monthly outreach clinics on Saturday, August 23, 2014. Local citizens who attend the clinic have the opportunity to complete applications for the Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) or applications for expungement (the court sealing of their criminal record). The purpose of the clinics is to increase employment opportunities for those who have a criminal record.
Eighty-four people attended the clinic held on Saturday at the Mount Haven Missionary Baptist Church. During the 3-hour clinic, law student volunteers completed twenty-nine CQE applications, and twenty-six expungement applications. Twenty University of Akron law students staffed the clinic, including 8 first year students who had not yet attended their first official law school class.
The law student volunteers raved about their volunteer experience at the clinic.
First year student Kyle Cramer stated, “I greatly enjoyed the experience. It was very satisfying helping people. Most of the clients were very grateful.” Fourth year part-time student Kristen Guappone commented: “I truly felt I made a difference. [I helped] clients who [had] acknowledge[d that] they ... made a serious mistake in the past, and were now actively trying to turn their lives around. Frustrated that their past mistake was keeping them from employment or housing, the CQE petition we filed helped them demonstrate and show to the court that they were making a sincere . . . effort to remain a ... law-abiding citizen and to maintain those positive choices in their lives. The clients were overly thankful, some near tears, that [the] granting of this CQE might finally allow them . . . to leave some of their past behind, and have a second chance.”
Third year student Dave Garnier had similar comments about his experience. The “ CQE Legal Clinic is a way for law students to help these people take steps to improve their lives and those of their family members. The CQE application process is not difficult for a law student, but our help makes a real difference in the lives of many Summit County residents with prior convictions. As students at the University of Akron School of Law, aware of the responsibilities of those entering the legal profession to the community ... we welcome such a wonderful opportunity to bring together a need and a possible way to meet that need.”
Third year student Justin Burns also observed that “Akron Law's CQE Clinic is an example of how the University of Akron School of Law can partner with our community to facilitate ex-offenders' re-entry into society. Personally, I found it frustrating to hear of how our clients' past offenses, some [with] convictions over 15 years ago, still faced obstacles in finding employment based on their criminal record. Since the individuals with whom I worked had already demonstrated the ability to lead law-abiding lives in order to become eligible for the certificate, it was inspiring to become part of their journey as they apply to become active, engaged citizens in our community.”
To date, the University of Akron School of Law has hosted 14 outreach clinics. 709 people have attended the clinics and they have been helped by 295 law-student volunteers. The law students have completed 225 CQE applications and approximately 191 expungement applications.
The CQE clinic is supervised by Professor Joann Sahl, and the Expungement clinic is supervised by Attorney Russel Nichols.
The 2014 West African outbreak of the Ebola virus is the most severe epidemic attributed to this pathogen since 1976, when international health officials began keeping records on Ebola. As of August 2014, the total number of suspected cases has approached 2,000, and the number of suspected deaths has exceeded 1,000. The World Health Organization has designated the health crisis as one of international concern. The law has a strong stake in containing this outbreak and preventing future episodes of this kind. Professor Katharine Van Tassel will be speaking on a panel at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Schools addressing issues of law and policy arising from the Ebola outbreak. Professor Van Tassel is the Director of the Public Health Law & Science Center and Health Law Program at the University of Akron School of Law.
Wilson Huhn, professor of law, is quoted in a Bloomberg story on a U.S. Supreme Court decision on contraceptive coverage regulations -- http://www.bna.com/forprofit-closely-held-n17179891700/.
Interim Law Dean Elizabeth Reilly, who will retire June 30, is featured in an Akron Legal News story available at http://www.akronlegalnews.com/editorial/10541# .
Professor Emeritus, Jeffrey Samuels recently spoke to Ray Horner on his WAKR radio show about the recent controversy regarding the Washington Redskins name. Please click here to listen to audio from the show.
Taryn Heath (’82) was recently sworn in as president of the Stark County Bar Association.
The Alliance Review story is available here.
Two law students from The University of Akron School of Law placed sixth overall in the Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition, held June 5-8, 2014. The invitation-only Top Gun competition is sponsored by Baylor Law School and is limited to 16 of the best law schools in trial advocacy. The University of Akron has been invited every year since the tournament's inception in 2010.
Akron Law second years Justin Workman and Scott Kamenitsa represented Akron Law, arguing a case involving copyright law. Workman was selected to be lead counsel and was in charge of presenting both sides of the case. Kamenitsa played a key role in preparing material and making in-trial adjustments.
The duo, coached by Dan Leister ('12) of Sutter O'Connell, went up against some of the top teams in an already stellar field of competition. They won their first two cases 3-0 against Chiacago-Kent and 2-1 against South Texas, before losing their next two in highly contested rounds, including a case against Yale in round 3 that was decided in a split decision by a single point. Akron Law's sixth place finish was the highest ranking for a 2L team.
Congratulations to Justin and Scott! Well done!
The University of Akron School of Law is once again teaming up with the Federal Judicial Center to offer a course for federal district court judges on patent litigation. The program will be held June 30-July 1, 2014 in Menlo Park, California. A similar, highly successful, program was held last April in Charleston, South Carolina.
The course is designed to provide federal trial judges with a better understanding of the many issues they will face in presiding over patent infringement suits. The program includes sessions on the legal and economic issues in patent litigation, settlement, case management conferences, claim construction, discovery, helping the jury, and post-trial proceedings. The curriculum was designed by Professor Robert C.
Kahrl, the Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the University of Akron School of Law, and is taught by leading patent litigators from around the country, as well as by retired jurists with long experience in presiding over patent suits and appeals.
Approximately 50 federal judges have been invited to participate in the upcoming program, many of whom are participating in the current pilot program that allows judges to elect to preside over patent suits.
The Federal Judicial Center is the research and education agency of the federal judiciary.
Tracy Thomas was invited to moderate the 2015 AALS panel, “Engendering Equality: A Conversation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and New Voices in Women’s Legal History.” This is a joint program of the Women in Legal Education section, the Legal History section, and the Constitutional Law section featuring remarks by Justice Ginsburg and new scholars in women’s legal history.
April 16, 2014
The University of Akron School of Law Mock Trial Team is National Champion once again! In the recent four-day American Association for Justice’s Student Trial Advocacy Competition in Santa Monica, CA, the Akron Law team of advocates Joseph Darwal and Justin Workman, along with their witnesses Elizabeth Emanuel and C. Adam Carro, competed against the top trial programs in the United States. When all was said and done, Akron Law was crowned national champions for the fourth time in eleven years.
The Akron Law team’s climb to the top began in March when they participated in a hard fought regional competition that narrowed the field from 224 teams down to the top 14. During that regional competition, Akron Law bested a field of teams from Case Western Reserve Law School, Michigan State, Cleveland State, Thomas Cooley, University of Cincinnati, Capital University, and the University of Toledo. That win entitled Akron Law to compete in the national competition.
Over the first two days of the national competition in Santa Monica, the Akron Law team lost its first two trials to the eventual #1 and #3 seeded teams, New York University and Duquesne University, in 2-1 decisions that were decided by the narrowest of margins. The disappointing early results meant that, in order to make the cut to the final eight, the Akron Law team would need to sweep all three judges in its round against South Texas College of Law, nationally recognized as one of the top five trial advocacy program in the country. And, that is exactly what they did.
From that point on, the Akron Law team could not be stopped. Joseph Darwal and Justin Workman consistently won the jury over during opening statement, witness examination and closing argument, while witnesses Elizabeth Emanuel and C. Adam Carro laid out Akron’s case on direct examination and confounded opposing counsel on cross. Regardless of which side of the case Akron presented – plaintiff or defense - the results were the same. Together, the team swept through the quarterfinal and semi-final rounds against the Charlotte School of Law and Stetson University setting up a championship round against Syracuse University. In the end, Akron Law won over every member of the championship round jury panel, consisting of Los Angeles’ most prominent trial attorneys, in a 3-0 decision that capped off an unprecedented comeback from the preliminary rounds.
The victory was the well earned by all four members of the competition team. The team was coached by Akron Law graduates Larry Sutter (’89) and Kevin Kita (’11) with the law firm of Sutter O’Connell, and Tony Wise (’13), with the Stark County Public Defender’s Office.
Betsy Shaver accepted an offer to publish her article, Can the States Ban the Use of Non-Positive Interventions? Re-Examining Positive Behavior Supports under IDEA, in the Steton Law Review.
Kristen Barnes’ proposal, Race Conscious Admissions in Higher Education in the European Union and the United States, was accepted for a paper presentation at the AALS Mid-Year Workshop on Transnational Perspectives on Equality Law, to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 22-24, 2014.
Sarah Morath accepted an offer to publish her article, The Farmer In Chief: Obama’s Local Food Legacy, in the Oregon Law Review.
Please send additional scholarship news to email@example.com.
Combating Threats to the International Financial System:
The Financial Action Task Force
Friday, April, 25, 2014, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
The event will be followed by a wine and cheese reception
New York Law School Auditorium
185 West Broadway, New York, New York 10013
Registration is available here for $60
($50 for ACTEC members and NYLS alumni;
No charge for Law School and College & University students with valid ID;
no charge for NYLS Faculty and Staff)
Registration includes 6 CLE credits (Transitional and Non-Transitional; 3.5 in Areas of Professional Practice and 2.5 in Ethics); continental breakfast, lunch, and reception
Current news – Professor Will Huhn to speak on WAKR about the upcoming Ohio same sex marriage ruling that will be handed down on April 14 -- Read more here.
Yesterday, the Civil Litigation Clinic's students conducted a Landlord-Tenant presentation at the International Institute for Refugees from Burma and Bhutan, read more at Asian Services in Action's website.
The University of Akron trial program added another regional championship to its trophy case this weekend when it took part in the American Association for Justice’s mock trial competition in Cleveland, Ohio. Two Akron teams, consisting of advocates Lavell Payne and Ben Sorber, along with their witnesses Dakota Fox and Elayna Saad, and advocates Joe Darwal and Justin Workman, along with their witnesses Elizabeth Emanuel and C. Adam Carro competed in the field of 16. In the end, only Akron could beat Akron.
J. Dean Carro, retired Dean’s Club professor of law at UA, will discuss the history and modern interpretation of the Second Amendment at a League of Women Voters of Tallmadge program March 20, 7 p.m., at Tallmadge High School. This Tallmadge Express announcement is available here.
Testimony by Katharine Van Tassel, UA professor of law and director of the Public Health Law and Science Center and Health Law Program, is quoted in a Legal News Pros story about a hearing before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. held March 14. Text is available here.
From The Akron Beacon Journal:
Bankruptcy filings declined 5 percent in Ohio last year — the fourth consecutive year that they dropped in the state.
Ohio lagged behind the nation, though, which saw filings fall 12 percent, according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
There were 47,892 cases filed in Ohio last year, compared to 50,641 the previous year.
Both personal and business filings declined.
There were 46,946 personal filings, down 5 percent, and 946 business filings, down 12 percent.
Reginald Jackson, a former president of the American Bankruptcy Institute and a partner at the Vorys law firm in Columbus, said the slightly improved economy and fact that there had been so many filings in previous years may explain the lower numbers.
Willa Gibson, a law professor at the University of Akron, agreed and also cited a healthier stock market and government programs that helped struggling homeowners with their mortgages.
“More people are probably employed so that has an impact as well as the ability to refinance at lower interest rates,” she said.
Medical bills and job loss are the two biggest problems that push people into bankruptcy.
The court statistics show there were:
- 36,486 Chapter 7 filings, which involve liquidating nonexempt property with the proceeds going to creditors.
- 11,284 Chapter 13 filings, which involve a debtor keeping his property and paying back the debt over time.
- 111 Chapter 11 filings, a reorganization usually done by a corporation.
- 11 Chapter 12 filings, which are reserved for farmers and fishermen.
The filings in Summit County fell 3 percent to 2,660, which includes one case filed outside the bankruptcy court’s northern district. Stark and Portage counties experienced 2 percent and 6 percent declines, respectively.
Elsewhere in the Akron area, Wayne (6 percent), Medina (3 percent) and Cuyahoga (1 percent) had increases.
Cuyahoga had the most filings in the state with 7,050, which includes seven cases filed outside the bankruptcy court’s northern district. Noble County in southeastern Ohio had the least with 24.
WASHINGTON, DC - The United States Commission on Civil Rights announces that it will hold a briefing to examine compliance with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a federal law that requires Medicare-participating hospitals to treat emergency medical conditions of any person regardless of capacity to pay, and makes unlawful the discharge of patients prior to stabilizing any medical condition. The purpose of EMTALA is to prevent hospitals, states and/or localities from prematurely discharging indigent people in need of emergency care and transporting them to other entities, a practice colloquially called “patient dumping.” The briefing will take place on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 9:30 am ET at the Commission’s headquarters: 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425. Please note that the offices are accessed on F Street NW. Interested members of the public are invited to attend and no reservation is necessary.
Of concern to the Commission is the extent to which patients with a psychiatric disability are denied adequate care and whether there has been systemic neglect of this group. Experts at the briefing will present research on how many patients across the country may have been prematurely discharged; will discuss what policies are in place to detect potential violations of the law; will report on possible links between deficiencies in federal expenditures to states and prevalence of patient dumping; and will discuss whether hospital policies governed by the Act should be revised to ensure the protection of patients’ rights. The Commission will hear from nine speakers in three panels. The government panel will be Marilyn Dahl, Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Eileen Hanrahan, Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Civil Rights; and Sandra Sands, Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. The advocates/practitioners panel will be Staci Pratt, ACLU; Gina Greenwood, Baker Donelson; Hernan Vera, Public Counsel; and Susan Preston, Goodell, DeVries, Leech and Dann LLP. The scholars/academics panel will be Katharine Van Tassel, The University of Akron School of Law; and Richard Elliot, Mercer University School of Medicine and School of Law.
Professor Genetin’s article on the Erie doctrine, Reassessing the Avoidance Canon in Erie Cases, 44 Akron L. Rev. 1067 (2011) (Reassessing the Avoidance Canon), has recently received significant attention. The so-called “Erie doctrine” originated in a case entitled Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938). The Erie doctrine, among other things, explores the appropriate allocation of power between the federal and state governments. Professor Genetin’s article on Erie was also cited in two recent law review articles. In an article that will be included in a forthcoming 75th anniversary symposium on the Erie doctrine, Professor Allan Erbsen (University of Minnesota Law School) cited Reassessing the Avoidance Canon in his article emphasizing the need to develop “default rules” for analyzing Erie doctrine issues. Similarly, Professor Jill Fraley (Washington & Lee University School of Law) cited the article in discussing whether statutes and procedural rules should be read textually or in light of the purpose and history of the provision at issue.
Stefan Padfield’s article, Rehabilitating Concession Theory, has been published in the Oklahoma Law Review. In his article, Professor Padfiled writes that the three primary theories of the corporation are concession theory, real entity theory, and aggregate theory. This Essay argues that the reports of concession theory's demise have been greatly exaggerated and that there remains a serious role for the theory in discussions concerning the place of corporations in society. This is important because without a vibrant concession theory we are left primarily with aggregate theory and real entity theory, two theories of the corporation that both defer to private ordering over government regulation.
In November 2013, the Tennessee Supreme Court cited Professor Genetin’s article in an opinion, Cooper v. Glasser, 2013 WL 6174469 (2013), that the court stated presents a question of first impression – whether a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure or state claim preclusion law would govern when a federal court dismisses supplemental state-law claims from federal court and the plaintiff later re-files the identical claims in state court.
Professor Bernadette Genetin was elected as the Chair of the Section on Litigation at the recent Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). At that meeting, the Litigation Section presented a program entitled Preparing the 21st Century Litigator, focusing on effective means of training litigators. Professor Genetin plans to follow that program with one exploring the future contours of the discovery process. This essential subject is taking on increased importance, as the debate on proposals to limit discovery available under the Federal Rules heats up.
Professor Jack Sahl will be presenting the ethics lecture at the Practicing Law Institute’s seminar on Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry. Click here for more information on this program.
On Sunday, January 12, Akron Law Professor Martin H. Belsky and Lee A. Gill, co-chairs of the University of Akron’s Diversity Council will be featured in a program entitled, “Praying With Their Feet: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel.” The program celebrates the lives, visions and teachings of Heschel and King with the hope of encouraging those in attendance to work toward social justice. “One of the most remarkable things about both [King and Heschel] is that they trusted in people to do the right thing and understood that to attain justice, they had to convince the majority to accept the minority,” says Belsky. “Once you get to a common core of understanding and an acceptance of one another — once you can humanize the other — you’re halfway there. This program is a way to build understanding.”
In his recent essay, The Behavior of Federal Judges: A View from the D.C. Circuit, 97 Judicature 109 (2013), a review of a recent book, The Behavior of Federal Judges, by Lee Epstein, William Landes, and Judge Richard Posner, D.C. Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg refers extensively to Associate Dean William Jordan’s 2001 article Judges, Ideology, and Policy in the Administrative State: Lessons from a Decade of Hard Look Remands of EPA Rules, 53 Admin. L. Rev. 45 (2001). Dean Jordan’s article was an empirical study examining the effects of political ideology on decisions by judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He concluded that, on balance, “we have a picture of careful judging, without the strong ideological influences that have been predicted in other studies.”
Responding to the authors’ assertion of high dissent rates on the D.C. Circuit and their finding of a “significant ideological influence on court of appeals decisions,” Judge Ginsburg noted that Professor Jordan’s approach to examining circuit court decisions “would capture the complexity of such a case by examining each issue,” while the book’s authors “would suppress that complexity by characterizing the case as a whole.” The result, according to Judge Ginsburg, was to “overstate the degree of disagreement and to see ideology where there is none.” Referring Professor Jordan’s article, Judge Ginsburg concluded that, “It is no small consolation to see the D.C. Circuit absolved-yet again-of the charge, so often levied in the vacuous but vociferous political debates over the confirmation of a new judge, that the court is a political partisan.”
University of Akron School of Law Professors Katharine Van Tassel and Wilson Huhn offer predictions for 2014. They discussed the Affordable Health Care Act from two different perspectives. Click here for further reading.
“As officials and pundits continue to debate the long-term effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, law schools have begun stepping up their efforts to train future healthcare lawyers charged with helping clients comply with the act’s regulations and adapt to changes brought on by advancements in the medical field. Last summer The University of Akron School of Law became the latest institution in northeast Ohio to offer specialized training for those considering going into the field, launching its Public Health Law & Science Center and Health Law Certificate Program.