Monday, May 3, 2010

AALS Section on Litigation Issues Call for Papers

The AALS Section on Litigation has issued a call for papers for the 2011 AALS Annual Meeting on "Current Issues in Judicial Disqualification." The deadline for submitting a draft paper is September 1, 2010.

The call for papers states:

In connection with the January 2011 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in San FranciscoCalifornia, the AALS Section on Litigation will be sponsoring a panel discussion on "Current Issues in Judicial Disqualification" (the "Program").  The Sections on Professional Responsibility and Civil Procedure are co-sponsoring the Program, which is tentatively scheduled for Friday January 6, 2011 from 4:00pm-5:45pm.

The legal landscape for judicial disqualification has received a few recent jolts.  In Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., 556 U.S. ___, 129 S. Ct. 2252 (June 2009), the United States Supreme Court ruled that due process required disqualification of a West Virginia supreme court justice whose campaign received $3 million in campaign support (via independent expenditures, not direct campaign contributions, which were limited to $1,000 under state law) from Massey's CEO.  In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___, 130 S. Ct. 876 (January 2010), the Supreme Court invalidated restrictions on direct corporate expenditures concerning political issues, raising the stakes with regard to potential appearances of partiality resulting from judicial electoral processes (the scope of the decision remains a matter of debate, as reflected in the famous dust-up between President Obama and Justice Alito during the 2010 State of the Union address).  These Supreme Court decisions came in the wake of the ABA's 2007 Model Code of Judicial Conduct, which recommended that states require disqualification in cases of substantial campaign contributions, as well as the Supreme Court's 2002 decision in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002), which invalidated many restrictions on judicial campaign speech.  With interest groups' asserting themselves into judicial elections with zeal, and scholars' noting the risk of judges' unconscious bias, issues of judicial disqualification are more prominent than ever in litigation.

The Program will explore the current shape of judicial recusal, including efforts to limit the influence of money in judicial elections and the degree to which the introduction of expanded due process considerations has altered the disqualification equation.  The Program will include a speaker selected from this Call for Papers.  Eligible papers may address any topic related to judicial disqualification, including regulation of campaign spending, or the degree to which "independent expenditures" on behalf of a candidate or other support for or relationships with a candidate require disqualification.  Assessments of CapertonCitizens United, or other key judicial decisions are within the scope of the Program topic.  These are only examples; papers may be submitted on any topic relevant to the Program's theme.  Both essay- and article-length papers are welcome.  The selected author will be invited to participate in the Program, at the expense of the author's institution.  The Review of Litigation at the University of Texas has agreed to publish the winning paper and other articles submitted by panel members (subject to theReview's final approval of the articles).  The Review is well known for its publication of scholarship related to litigation, civil procedure, and dispute resolution.

The deadline to submit a draft paper is September 1, 2010 Please e-mail the draft paper to Professor Michael W. Martin, Chair of the Section on Litigation, at mwmartin@law.fordham.edu.  Decisions will be communicated no later than October 1, 2010.

[H/T: Michael Martin]

~clf

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