January 22, 2011
AALS Poster Project: Chrstine Rollins' Do you know the learning-style preferences of your law students?
implemented a unique teaching program that assists professors in their teaching based on their students’ learning style. It was because of this program that Professor Rollins and SLU LAW was cited by The National Jurist as being named one of the “Most Innovative Law Schools.”
In addition to her academic duties, Rollins has successfully argued before the Missouri Court of Appeals-Eastern District and the Supreme Court of Missouri, successfully prosecuting ten appellate cases. Her articles include:
-In Forma Pauperis, Sec. 514.040: A Practical User's Guide for Attorneys, 66 Journal of the Missouri Bar 146 (May/June 2010);
-Statutory Assistance for Attorneys Providing Pro Bono Services, 60 Journal of the Missouri Bar 112 (May/June 2004); and
-Using the VARK: A Writing Department's Commitment to "Turning the Light Bulbs On," 22 The Second Draft 13 (Spring 2008).
Professor Rollins gives the following description of the poster:
Four years of data collection and empirical research have been done on the different learning styles of first year law students. Over 1100 students at Saint Louis University School of Law have taken a learning style assessment tool created by Neil Fleming called V.A.R.K. From this data trends have emerged. This poster provides a summary of some of the research.
Faculty interested in teaching pedagogy, reaching their students, or just knowing more about how the students in their classroom absorb information will find this interesting.
January 21, 2011
AALS Poster Project: Eric Gouvin's Entrepreneurship Education for Law Schools
Professor Gouvin is a professor and the Director of the Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship at the Western New England College School of Law, where he teaches classes such as Business Organizations, Contracts, Secured Transactions, and Regulation of Financial Services. He has published such works as:
-Teaching Business Lawyering in Law Schools: A Candid Assessment of the Challenges and Some Suggestions for Moving Ahead, 78 UMKC L. Rev. 429 (2009);
Professor Gouvin gives the following description of the poster:
A diverse team of law professors interested in accessing better teaching materials relating to counseling businesses and practicing transactional law banded together to develop an online community called “eLaw.” The objective was to create an online exchange populated by classroom teachers and clinicians to share ideas, materials, and methods to better educate an increasing segment of law graduates – those wanting to be transactional lawyers. With fewer traditional models of teaching available to draw from, eLaw provides a convenient forum where educators can access existing models from across the country in the form of syllabi, course materials, and scholarship. The hope is that the exchange not only assists in the proliferation of greater entrepreneurial and transactional education of law students (through classroom teaching, clinics, and simulations) but also acts as a catalyst for greater interdisciplinary interaction amongst educators from various disciplines. The project is sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, a non-profit organization which supports educational initiatives to teach entrepreneurship, especially interdisciplinary proposals.The poster describes the eLaw project, highlighting the online collaborative exchange among teachers, scholars and policymakers who care about bringing entrepreneurship education into the law school. The eLaw project has created an active listserv, developed an extensive scholarship database, established a depository of teaching materials and otherwise provided guidance and support for professors seeking to integrate entrepreneurship into their classes. The poster also invites participation in the project from other professors who are not yet members of the eLaw community.The Kauffman eLaw team consists of Esther Barron at Northwestern University Law School, Eric Gouvin at Western New England College School of Law, Laura Hollis at Notre Dame University School of Business, Praveen Kosuri at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Lisa LeSage at Lewis and Clark Law School, Anthony Luppino at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law, and Helen Scott at New York University School of Law. An electronic copy of the poster is attached.The website provides a range of resources for users. Anyone with access to the internet can use the two “public” features – the annotated bibliography of legal and business scholarship relating to entrepreneurship and the listing of internet resources for entrepreneurs and teachers who teach entrepreneurship. The scholarship area is very useful, here are some of its salient features:
- Designed to aggregate and supplement other bibliographic resources. Covers historical materials and monographs that are not covered in things like WESTLAW or SSRN.
- Contains both legal materials and business materials.
- Whenever possible we provide a short abstract to make browsing easier.
- Updated every six months.
- Has an Overview that breaks down the topics into subgroups to make browsing easier.
- There is a search function, but honestly, it is still in development.
- Some principal themes of the Resource Links section:
- Educators might be particularly interested in the subsections on:
- Legal Education
- Theory and Practice
- Entrepreneurs or their advisors might be particularly interested in the subsections on:
- Finance, Intellectual Property and Legal Issues
- Policy Makers might be particularly interested in:
- Community Economic Development
- WomenSimilarly, the “Resources” section seek to impose some order on the many Internet sites that have something of value for entrepreneurs and educators.
- Designed to have information of interest to law faculty, faculty from any other disciplines involved in entrepreneurship education, and entrepreneurs.
- Has an Overview in frequently asked questions format guiding readers to its 13 subsections.
- Some principal themes of the Resource Links section:
- Educators might be particularly interested in the subsections on:
- Interdisciplinary Programs (links to information about the Kauffman Campuses entrepreneurship education initiatives and innovative collaborations between law schools and business schools and other academic units)
- Transactional Skills Programs (featuring examples of concentrated skills programs at U.S. schools)
- Lawyers as Entrepreneurs (includes lists of courses offered at U.S, law schools on solo and small firm practice and entrepreneurial management of a law practice)
- Collaboration Platforms (links to blogs, committees, sections relating to law and entrepreneurship)
- Conferences and Meetings (relating to entrepreneurship education)
- Publications (list periodicals to which entrepreneurship educators might want to submit their scholarship for publication)
- Curriculum Design Funding (lists possible sources of grants from governmental agencies or non-profit organizations to promote entrepreneurship education)
- Continuing Legal Education (in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation)
- Entrepreneurs or their advisors might be particularly interested in the subsections on:
- Clinics (lists and links on a state-by-state basis law school transactional clinics, including small business, community economic development and IP clinics)
- Referral Networks (links to programs to help locate lawyers by practice area)
- Affordable Legal Services (links to various bar association initiatives)
- Help Centers (links to programs assisting with business planning, etc.)
- General Laws and Forms Information (wide variety of links to governmental and bar association websites providing information on federal and state-by-state laws and forms affecting the start-up and operation of a business). The site warns readers about the need to engage qualified legal counsel to assist with such matters.Access to the other sections requires registration. Registration is free, but it provides a modest screening device so that we can be relatively comfortable that the people accessing the course materials are professors. Those materials include sample syllabi, teaching exercises, annotated forms, and “roadmaps” for helping teachers think through the topics in preparation or teaching. The Site is also home to an active listserv of legal educators.
January 20, 2011
AALS Poster Project: Beyond Etiquette: Bringing E-Communications into the LRW Classroom, by Ellie Margolis & Kristen MurrayProfessor Margolis is a professor at the Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she teaches Legal Research and Writing, Appellate Advocacy, and Law and Sexual Orientation. Her articles include:
-Authority Without Borders: The World Wide Web and the Delegalization of Law, forthcoming, Seton Hall Law Review;
-Surfin' Safari - Why Competent Lawyers Should Research on the Web, 10 Yale J. L. & Tech. 82 (2007); and
-Moving Beyond Product to Process: Builing a Better LRW Program, 46 Santa Clara L. Rev. 93 (2005).
-The Art of the Writing Conference: Letting Students Set the Agenda Without Ceding Control, 17 Persp. 35 (2008); and
-My E-Semester: New Uses for Technology in the Legal Research and Writing Classroom, 15 Persp. 194 (2007).
According to Professor Margolis,
The poster grew out of our mutual interest in the ways technology is changing law practice and legal education. While a vast amount of communication in law practice is taking place electronically, until recently, most law school legal writing programs did little to address this development, other than to discuss issues of professional etiquette. Professor Murray and I both introduced assignments into our courses which were designed to help focus on the substantive, as well as etiquette, aspects of electronic communication and how it may differ from traditional legal writing. The poster captures our experience, highlighting the substantive benefits of incorporating electronic assignments into the LRW curriculum, and providing some tips on how to add these assignments without making major changes to existing course structures.The ideas in the poster are further elaborated in my forthcoming article, Ellie Margolis, Incorporating Electronic Communication in the LRW Classroom, 19 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Res. & Writing __ (2011).
January 19, 2011
AALS Poster Project: Jeffrey Proske's 1L Journaling Project
Professor Proske is a professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he teaches Global Lawyering Skills. He joined the faculty after 20 years of legal practice both as in-house counsel and in private practice. Prior to coming to Pacific McGeorge, he served as the General Counsel for National Commercial Ventures, Inc., a Los Angeles, CA based national commercial real estate investment company and developer. Prior to that, Professor Proske served as Associate General Counsel for The Ryland Group, Inc., a Calabasas, CA based, Fortune 500, NYSE-listed, high-volume home builder. Before joining The Ryland Group, Inc., Professor Proske also served as Corporate Counsel for PMC Global, Inc. in Sun Valley, CA, a Fortune 500 international plastics, machines, chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Before going in-house, Professor Proske was in private practice in San Francisco and Los Angeles assisting clients with issues involving finance, business combinations, debt and equity offerings, as well as matters related to real estate, intellectual property and entertainment. Professor Proske has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1989. His most recent publication is "The Proposition 8 Sausage Factory" "The Proposition 8 Sausage Factory" for About.com.
Here is Professor Proske's description of the poster:
“The IL Journaling Project”
The value of an attorney is measured to a great extent by the attorney’s ability to perceive the dimensions and nuances of an issue and to offer perspective and guidance based on careful consideration of the issue. The ability to articulate perspectives effectively both orally and in writing inspires confidence in the reasoning underlying those perspectives. The process of writing can be an effective tool to assist law students to develop unfinished or emerging ideas, and for revealing previously unconsidered dimensions and perspectives on issues.
The “1L Journaling Project” is a TWEN-based forum where students in their first year legal research and writing course are invited to post ungraded submissions on any topic of their choosing relating to the “1L” experience over the course of their first year in law school with a view to compiling the submissions in a bound volume to be distributed to them at the end of their first year.
The “1L Journaling Project” is intended to encourage students to enhance their ability to engage in thoughtful and measured consideration of a topic and to present their perspectives in writing in a public forum - a skill which will ultimately sharpen their ability to reason and communicate in a professional context.
1. To give students a public forum in which to contribute personal thoughts, observations, essays, reflections, insights, and perspectives on subjects of personal interest to them relating to their 1L experience which are not necessarily part of a course of study.
2. To encourage students to use the process of writing to assist them in developing their ability to capture their insights on the page.
3. To encourage students to use the process of writing as a method of problem solving on a personal level, and ultimately in the context of professional representation.
4. To help students develop a method for reasoning and for exploring the dimensions of an issue through writing.
5. To help students build confidence in their ability to communicate effectively in writing in a public forum.
1. Submissions must be attributed to their author. There will be no anonymous submissions accepted.
2. All submissions will be reviewed by the Professor to ensure that they comply with the objectives and rules set forth herein. The Professor retains the right to strike any submissions from the forum site which the Professor deems inappropriate. The Professor also retains the right to discontinue the project at any time if the submissions do not comport with the spirit of the project as outlined above.
3. Professionalism Points: Participation in the “1L Journaling Project” is not mandatory, but may be considered in determining an award of discretionary or professionalism points in the tabulation of the final grade for the class.
Suggested Topics & Formats:
Submissions may take any form from a blog entry to a personal essay to a haiku, or even a Twitter tweet. The point of the project is to try to capture as much of an experience as you can in words on the page.
January 18, 2011
AALS Poster Project: Jessica Dixon Weaver's The Principle of Subsidiarity Applied: Reforming the Legal Framework to Capture the Psychological Abuse of Children
Professor Weaver is a professor at the SMU Dedman School of Law, where she teaches Family Law, Professional Responsibility, and Children and the Law. Previously, she was the first director of the W.W. Carruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic, where she taught an interdisciplinary course and supervised law students who served as guardians and attorneys ad litem for abused and neglected children. She also coordinated seminars and child welfare symposiums that provided continuing education for attorneys and social workers in the child welfare field. As a result of her work as the founding Director of the Clinic, Professor Weaver received the honor of being named one of twenty-five Extraordinary Minorities in Texas Law by the Texas Lawyer in 2009.
Professor Weaver's research and scholarship focus on the analysis of current laws and policy practices in the child protection and juvenile justice systems and their impact on children and families. She also writes about the issue of disproportionality of minority children in state institutions. Her works include:
-The Texas Mis-Step: Why the Largest Child Removal in Modern U.S. History Failed, 16 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 449 (2010); and
-The African-American Child Welfare Act: A Legal Redress for African-American Disproportionality in Child Protection Cases, 10 Berkeley J. Afr.-Am. L. & Pol'y 109 (2008);
Her poster is based upon a forthcoming article that will be published in the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and Law. Here is the abstract:
Psychological abuse is the most prevalent type of child abuse. It lies at the core of child maltreatment because it is embedded in and interacts with physical and sexual abuse, as well as physical neglect. It also has a more extensive and destructive impact on the development of children than any other type of abuse. Yet, the current child protection system fails to adequately address the problem because the normative framework of the child protection system does not always include the psychological abuse of children. For the majority of states, the physical health, safety and well-being of children are focal points in determining whether abuse or neglect has occurred. Although federal law requires that "serious emotional harm" be included in the definition of abuse for all states, less than half of all states in America allow for children to be removed from their parents due to psychological abuse alone. This article proposes a way to fill the gap by incorporating psychological abuse into the larger doctrinal equation of child abuse and neglect treatment and prevention. First, recognizing that a primary challenge to including psychological abuse within the legal standard is the ability to determine the level of psychological harm that warrants state intervention, this article offers a uniform definition of psychological abuse in order to expand the scope of the emergency removal standard. Second, this article borrows from the European theory of subsidiarity to address prevention and treatment of abuse in American communities. This bold new paradigm is a prescriptive process that carefully constructs the law such that necessary interventions in a child's life are allowed to prevent further psychological damage so that victims can start the road to recovery. Ultimately, applying the principle of subsidiarity to the legal framework of the child protection system should reduce the number of children who experience psychological abuse as well as reduce the overall cycle of abuse and neglect in our country.
January 17, 2011
Rescue 911: Court Of Appeals Of Minnesota Finds 911 Call Authenticated, But Not Under Rule 901(b)(5)
The requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.
By way of illustration only, and not by way of limitation, the following are examples of authentication or identification conforming with the requirements of this rule:...
(5) Voice identification. Identification of a voice, whether heard firsthand or through mechanical or electronic transmission or recording, by opinion based upon hearing the voice at any time under circumstances connecting it with the alleged speaker.
As the above language and the recent opinion of the Court of Appeals of Minnesota in Adams v. State, 2011 WL 9162 (Minn.App. 2011), however, Rule 901(b)(5) is merely an illustration, and voice can be authenticated through other means as long as the standard set forth in Rule 901(a) is satisfied.
In Adams, Michael Adams was convicted of burglary in the second degree. At trial, the prosecution established that
a man living in St. Paul returned to his apartment and observed that his door was partially broken and ajar. The victim observed two men, one of whom he identified as [Michael] Adams, run out of the apartment and down the stairwell. The victim followed the men outside and called 911 once he was in the parking lot. The victim testified that while he was speaking to the 911 dispatcher, Adams pulled out a knife and threatened him.
The 911 dispatcher testified at trial and authenticated the recording of the call. Adams's trial counsel objected to the introduction of the recording as hearsay, but not for lack of authentication. The district court overruled the hearsay objection and allowed the jury to hear the 911 call.
The recording captures a conversation between the 911 dispatcher and the victim. The victim reports that between two and four black men broke into his apartment and that one of the men is threatening him with a knife "right now." The victim also states that he does not know the man's name, but he knows that the man lives in his building.
A third person can be heard in the background, but it is difficult to make out what that person is saying. But at one point, the third person clearly says "Mother f-----. (Inaudible.) Mother f-----." No one specifically identified the third person's voice as Adams's on the recording or at trial.
After Adams was convicted, he appealed, claiming that the 911 call was improperly authenticated "because no witness specifically identified the third person's voice on the 911 call as his, the recording was inadmissible for lack of authentication." The Court of Appeals of Minnesota disagreed, noting that
Our decision in State v. Washington, 725 N.W.2d 125 (Minn.App .2007), review denied (Minn. Mar. 20, 2007), is instructive. In Washington, the appellant was convicted of two counts of fifth-degree domestic assault based in part on a 911 call made by the victim, who did not testify....The appellant objected to the admission of the 911 call on several grounds, including that no one had authenticated the voice on the recording as that of the victim....The district court allowed the recording into evidence....We affirmed, concluding that the district court had not abused its discretion in admitting the 911 call because there was other testimony indicating that the victim had placed the 911 call.
The court then applied Washington to the case before it and concluded that
Here, the testimony authenticating the 911 call is even stronger than in Washington because the victim testified to the events captured on the 911 call....The victim testified that Adams pulled out a knife and threatened him while he was speaking to the 911 dispatcher; at least one other witness corroborated the victim's testimony. This testimony is adequate to establish that the third person on the 911 call was Adams. Thus, Adams cannot establish that the district court committed error-let alone plain error-by admitting the 911 call.
January 16, 2011
I Need A Remedy: DDC Precludes Evidence Of E-Mail Referencing Subsequent Remedial Measure After Traffic Death
Federal Rule of Evidence 407 provides that
When, after an injury or harm allegedly caused by an event, measures are taken that, if taken previously, would have made the injury or harm less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove negligence, culpable conduct, a defect in a product, a defect in a product's design, or a need for a warning or instruction. This rule does not require the exclusion of evidence of subsequent measures when offered for another purpose, such as proving ownership, control, or feasibility of precautionary measures, if controverted, or impeachment.
And, as the recent opinion of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Cohen v. District of Columbia, 2011 WL 108713 (D.D.C. 2011), makes clear, Rule 407 covers not solely the fact of a subsequent remedial measure but also communications related to such measures.
In Cohen, "D.Q., a foster child and ward of the District of Columbia, was killed when he was transported by van to Progressive Life Center for an appointment, he exited the van, and stepped into oncoming traffic." Thereafter, Brett Cohen, as personal and legal representative of the Estate of D.Q., brought suit against: the District of Columbia, Progressive Life Center (the contractor that arranged for placement with foster parents and provided regular counseling and medical care to D.Q.), Nile Express Transport, Inc. (the company that operated the van that transported D.Q.), and William Woods (the driver of the oncoming car).
The District of Columbia and Progressive thereafter moved for summary judgment, and the district court granted the motion. Cohen then moved for reconsideration and sought
to introduce evidence of subsequent remedial measures, evidence that he failed to present in opposition to the motions for summary judgment. In support of his claim that the District lacked sufficient policies regarding the transportation of foster children, [Cohen] points to an email prepared by the District more than two months after the accident that refer[red] to the development of new transportation policies. The email state[d]:
In an effort for MAA to administer and manage the provision of safe transportation from pick-up to delivery, with or without driver assistance as necessary, attached are some protocols we can start applying while “formal” non-emergency transportation Policies and Procedures are being discussed, developed and written.... The medical provider or Agency (e.g.CFSA) must request or arrange for an attendant for Medicaid recipients who are minor children under the age of 15, when they know there is no parent or guardian available to accompany the child on the trip to the provider's faculty or office.
According to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the first problem for Cohen was that "[t]he email [wa]s not new or newly discovered. If [Cohen] wanted to rely on this evidence, he should have filed it in response to Defendants' motions for summary judgment." And, according to the court, the second problem was that this e-mail referenced a subsequent remedial measure, and Federal Rule of Evidence 407 bars the introduction of subsequent remedial measures."