Thursday, February 26, 2009

Call for Proposals

The AALS Section on Academic Support will showcase how professors are transforming the learning environment of their classrooms through innovative and creative methods.  Many of these methods  have their roots in traditional academic support tenets of varying lesson plans to reach different learning styles, providing feedback throughout the semester, assessing students in creative ways, engaging students both in and out of the classroom, and encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning.   The committee requests proposals that demonstrate modern classroom and teaching techniques including but not limited to: active learning activities, teaching assessment procedures, exam drafting, skills development in doctrinal courses, and innovative lesson plans.  Show us what's new and different in legal education in the 21st century!

The Program Committee will give preference to presentations designed to engage the workshop audience, so proposals should contain a detailed explanation of both the substance of the presentation and the interactive methods to be employed.  In addition, we would like to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and will look for variety in presentations and presenters.  If you do not have a proposal to submit, but are interested in participating in a presentation, please contact Emily Randon (see below), as assistance with the overall workshop is always welcome.

Based on participant numbers for the last several years, we anticipate over 100 people attending the program.  To assist the presenters in the interactive piece, the program committee members and other volunteers will be on hand to act as facilitators with audience members.

Proposals must include the following information:
1.  A title for your presentation
2.  A brief description of the objectives or outcomes of your presentation.
3.  A brief description of how your presentation will support your stated objectives or outcomes.
4.  The amount of time allocated for your presentation and for the interactive exercise.  No single presenter should exceed 45 minutes in total time allowed.  Presentations as short as 15 minutes will be acceptable.
5.  A detailed description of how the presentation will be interactive.
6.  Whether you plan to distribute handouts, use PowerPoint, or employ other technology.
7.  A list of the conferences at which you have presented within the last three years, such as AALS, national or regional ASP or writing conferences, or other academic conferences.  (The committee is interested in this information because we wish to select and showcase seasoned, as well as fresh, talent.) 8.  Your school affiliation, title, courses taught, and contact information (include email address and telephone number).
9.  Any articles or books that you have published describing the lesson you will be demonstrating.

Send proposals by Monday, March 9, 2009 to Prof. Emily Randon, University of California, Davis School of Law, at the email address of  If you have questions, feel free to contact Emily Randon directly at 530-752-3434.

If you know of colleagues who are true innovators in techniques that achieve the objectives of the academic support community, please encourage them to submit proposals!

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

The ASP Section Program Committee:
Emily Randon, Chair
Robin Boyle Laisure
Hillary Burgess
Barbara McFarland
Kathy Garcia
ASP Section Chair:  Pavel Wonsowicz

February 26, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Federal Courts, Not Federal Tribunals

Prof. Lou Mulligan recently posted Federal Courts, Not Federal Tribunals.  Also check out his previous article, which we featured here.  Lou is a very bright scholar, and his writing is always accessible.    --RR

February 25, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Against Settlement" Symposium

Prof. Howard Erichson and the Fordham Law Review  have put together quite a symposium to discuss Owen Fiss's provocative arguments about ADR and settlement of 25 years ago.  The speakers include Owen Fiss, Sam Issacharoff, Pam Karlan, Susan Sturm, Jack Weinstein, and Kenneth Feinberg.  Click here for more information. --RR

February 24, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry-Level Hiring Report

Larry Solum is compiling this year's Entry Level Hiring ReportClick here to submit your school's information via Survey Monkey.  --RR

February 24, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Horizontal Federalism

Minnesota Prof. Allan Erbsen recently posted an updated version of Horizontal Federalism on SSRN.  It's definitely worth a read.  The abstract follows:

This Article constructs frameworks for analyzing federalism's undertheorized horizontal dimension. Discussions of federalism generally focus on the hierarchical (or vertical) allocation of power between the national and state governments while overlooking the horizontal allocation of power among coequal states. Models of federal-state relations tend to treat the fifty states as a single aggregate unit, obscuring the fact that individual states often cannot concurrently exercise their powers without infringing the other states' autonomy, frustrating the others' legitimate interests, or burdening the others' citizens. Preserving interstate harmony and protecting citizens from excessive burdens therefore requires limits on how states may wield their shared authority. Constitutional law currently addresses these limits in a piecemeal fashion through doctrines regulating such diverse subjects as personal jurisdiction, restraints on interstate commerce, choice of law, federal subject-matter jurisdiction, interstate compacts, federal common law, tax apportionment, interjurisdictional preclusion, and discrimination based on state citizenship. This Article moves beyond the piecemeal approach by identifying facets of horizontal federalism that transcend doctrinal categories. Considering these common features without the distraction of historically contingent doctrinal labels can help reconfigure jurisprudence that is often unprincipled, unsatisfying, and unstable.

The Article proceeds in four steps. First, it defines horizontal federalism, explains how horizontal and vertical federalism overlap, and explores structural features of the Constitution that complicate efforts to define limits on state authority. Second, it groups seemingly unrelated examples of state action into eight categories. This typology highlights thematic connections between forms of state action that prevailing doctrine often treats separately. Third, the Article analyzes the Constitution holistically to identify the clauses that regulate horizontal federalism and consider how these fragments fit together to resolve, deter, or mitigate problems arising from the categories of state action noted above. This approach identifies five methods that the Constitution uses to regulate interstate activity.

Finally, the Article develops a model for analyzing jurisprudence implementing the Constitution's methods for coping with horizontal federalism. This model reveals that horizontal federalism doctrines rely on a varying combination of four concepts: capacity (the scope of a state's sovereign authority), constraint (rights or immunities that limit state power), centralization (express or implied federal preemption or authorization of state action), and comity (the need for states to respect each other even when capacity exists free from constraint or central control). Identifying these concepts exposes at least three sources of incoherence or instability within horizontal federalism jurisprudence. First, individual judicial decisions are often imprecise about which concept controls, leading to a lack of fit between reasoning and outcomes. Second, the role of the four concepts can vacillate within a line of precedent over time, leading to confusion about a doctrine's rationale and proper application. Finally, distinct lines of precedent can deploy the four concepts differently despite the lack of meaningful distinctions between the doctrines' underlying purposes or functions. Parsing and critiquing capacity, constraint, centralization, and comity arguments can therefore affect the implementation, justification, and coordination of horizontal federalism doctrines. The model thus provides a foundation for future scholarship reevaluating vast swaths of constantly evolving law.


February 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Prof. Campbell posts article on service of process

Faulkner Prof. Charles Campbell recently posted No Sirve: The Invalidity of Service of Process Abroad by Mail or Private Process Server on Parties in Mexico Under the Hague Service Convention.  The abstract follows:

Mexico acceded to the Hague Service Convention in 1999, with entry into force in 2000. In its instrument of accession, Mexico designated the Directorate-General of Legal Affairs of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs as its Central Authority to receive and forward requests for service of judicial and extrajudicial documents from other contracting States, and objected to alternative methods of serving documents under Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention. Unfortunately, a mistake occurred in the English courtesy translation of Mexico's Article 10 declaration, making it appear that Mexico's opposition applies only to the alternative methods of service of process under Article 10 when attempted through diplomatic or consular agents. The original Spanish declaration relating to Article 10 contains no such limitation. It instead expresses across-the-board opposition to all of the alternative methods of service provided in Article 10. When a contracting State objects to all of the alternative methods of service in Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention, service through the Central Authority is in effect the exclusive means. Accordingly, United States courts are bound to refrain from alternative methods of service of process on parties in Mexico and must use its Central Authority.

The mistake in the English translation of Mexico's opposition to alternative methods of service under Article 10 has led state and federal courts in the United States to conclude that al-ternative forms of service are appropriate in Mexico under the Hague Service Convention. The U.S. Department of State circular on service of process likewise suggests that service of process by international registered mail on parties in Mexico is appropriate, at least if a party does not anticipate enforcing the judgment in Mexico. This article briefly points out the error in the Eng-lish translation of Mexico's Article 10 declaration, explains how the mistake is misleading courts in the United States, and concludes that service of process in U.S. litigation on parties in Mexico pursuant to the Hague Service Convention should always proceed through Mexico's Central Au-thority in accordance with Articles 3 through 7 of the Convention.

February 22, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (4)