Friday, August 29, 2014
The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of revised opinions and commentary for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. This edited volume is a collaborative project among feminist law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key Supreme Court decisions relevant to gender issues. Editors Kathy Stanchi, Linda Berger, and Bridget Crawford seek prospective authors for 20 to 25 rewritten Supreme Court opinions covering a range of topics including reproductive rights, equal protection, the state’s use of criminal power, privacy, the family, women’s political participation, Title IX, employment discrimination and substantive due process. The editors also seek authors for commentaries of 1,500 to 2,500 words to put into context each of the rewritten cases.
The U.S. Feminist Judgments project was inspired by the successful collection and publication in Britain of Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice, edited by Rosemary Hunter, Clare McGlynn, and Erika Rackley. This volume, which included feminist versions of twenty-three key British decisions from the Court of Appeal and House of Lords, was published in 2010 and has been very well received. Like the sister project in Britain, the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project endeavors to pioneer “a new form of critical socio-legal scholarship” that illustrates how cases could have been decided differently had a feminist method been employed. We believe that U.S. Supreme Court law is ripe for this kind of scholarly treatment.
Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten opinions must apply by September 15, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Click here for the application.
Editors will notify accepted authors and commentators by October 7, 2014. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on February 1, 2015. First drafts of comments on the rewritten opinions will be due on March 15, 2015. The editors are in the process of identifying a publisher; publication of the final volume is anticipated for late 2015.
Applicants may indicate their preferences among the list of cases posted here. Applicants also may suggest other cases for rewriting. The tentative cases were chosen with the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Kathryn Abrams, Katharine Bartlett,Devon Carbado, Mary Anne Case, Erwin Chemerinsky, April Cherry, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Martha Fineman, Margaret Johnson, Sonia Katyal, Nancy Leong, Catharine MacKinnon, Rachel Moran, Melissa Murray, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Nancy Polikoff, Dorothy Roberts, Dan Rodriguez, Susan Ross, Vicki Schultz, Dean Spade, Robin West, and Verna Williams.
h/t Kathryn Stanchi (mew)
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
Coleen Barger has been named Ben J. Altheimer Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Among her many contributions to the legal writing field, she is a co-author of the ALWD Citation Guide and is a founder of the Journal of Appellate Practice and Process. She's also an editor emeritus of the Legal Writing Prof Blog.
(jdf and mew)
Thursday, August 21, 2014
The fall issue of Legal Communication and Rhetoric: JALWD arrived in my mailbox today with lots of interesting articles. One that caught my eye is Hawking Hyphens in Compound Modifiers. Its author, Joan Magat, urges readers to hyphenate phrasal adjectives, asserting that the practice is “never incorrect.” To show how hyphens clarify compound adjectives, she provides as examples the phrases common-law rule and legal-writing curriculum, which would be ambiguous without the hyphens. The issue also contains an article by Heidi Brown titled Converting Benchslaps to Backslaps, in which Prof. Brown explains the origin of the term benchslap (the subject of yesterday's post).
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
From a federal district court decision authored by Judge Harry D. Leinenweber:
The Court would like to make an observation. The parties should consider long and hard before requesting leave to amend any of the dismissed counts other than Counterclaim V. To say that the parties, particularly the Plaintiff, have attempted to plead the kitchen sink with respect to what appears to be a relatively simple employment case, is to understate the obvious. The Court would suggest to the parties, particularly the Plaintiff, to consider the problems associated with instructing a jury with such a mishmash of legal theories. To expect a jury to wade though the necessary issue instructions, together with the explanatory and definitional instructions would be monumental. Enough said!
Simmons v. Ditto Trade, Inc., 2014 WL 3889022 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 8, 2014).
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Linda Edwards of UNLV has published a new book titled Readings in Persuasion: Briefs That Changed the World. As Lucille Jewell’s review of the book explains, it presents briefs from real cases, including Loving v. Virginia and Lawrence v. Texas, infused with context. Jewell writes that “Students who use this book will form independent conclusions of advocacy approaches employed by the brief authors.”
Monday, August 4, 2014
The July ABA Journal contains an informative interview with Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit. Legal advocates will be interested in Judge Posner’s comment that judges “are not good at . . . preventing personal experiences of various sorts—emotions, deeply held beliefs, etc.—from influencing decisions.” He also said that when judges lack sufficient information about a case, they “necessarily fall back on how [they] ‘feel’ about a case.” Posner also observed that he has changed his views over the years: "I'm much less reactionary than I used to be." That's appropriate, he says--judges should be willing to change their minds.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
The Law Library of Congress has a new website, Congress.gov. The new website makes it easier to search for information about federal legislation. It's pretty easy to use. Go on, have a look at www.congress.gov. It's pretty cool. And you're going to have to tell your students about it anyway.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Two sports stories caught my attention this weekend: the Colorado Rockies gave out 15000 jerseys Saturday night despite the misspelled name on the back, and the plaque for new Hall-of-Famer Greg Maddux contains a grammatical error.
The plaque will probably stay as is, but the jerseys are going to be remade later this year.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Are You Going to the AALS Meeting in DC this January? Take an Extra Day to See the Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta!
If you're going to Washington D.C. this January for the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, plan an extra day to stop by the Library of Congress which will have a special exhibit on the Magna Carta.
The year 2015 will mark the 800th anniversary of the 1215 Magna Carta, the first document to limit the power of the King and to uphold the rights of the individual.
An exhibit called "Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor" will open at the Library of Congress on November 6, 2014 and continue to January 19, 2015. It features the "Lincoln Cathedral" copy of the Magna Carta, which is being loaned by Lincoln Cathedral in England (pictured here).
Friday, July 25, 2014
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Legal writing professors often use prominent examples of plagiarism to warn their students about its dangers and how to avoid plagiarism. (Quick answer: cite whenever you use the words or ideas of others, keep good notes so you can do this, and if you plagiarize your intent doesn't matter.)
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of examples of prominent plagiarism to share with students.
Today's example lands on the FRONT PAGE of the NEW YORK TIMES. Ouch. And ABOVE THE FOLD. Double ouch.
If you can buy a print copy of the New York Times, grab a copy and save it for your classes this fall. You'll be amazed at how much space the newspaper devotes to the story, particularly the almost full page following on page A18.
If you access the electronic copy, you can play the interactive plagiairsm game and see how much of Senator Walsh's paper was plagiarized.
Here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/23/us/politics/john-walsh-final-paper-plagiarism.html. If that doesn't work, go to the New York Times website and find the story on your own. Jonathan Martin, Senator's Thesis Turns Out to Be Remix of Others' Works, Uncited, N.Y. Times, July 24, 2014, at A1.
Senator Walsh is now 53 years old. According to the New York Times, he wrote the paper when he was a candidate for a Master's Degree from the U.S. Army War College, which he received in 2007 at the age of 46. The newspaper reports that the Army War College is conducting a review to determine if its former student committed plagiarism.
The story is a painful but important lesson for our students. Many of them go on to be elected in political and judicial offices. Something they do in law school can come back years later in their professional careers.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The results of the 2014 ALWD-LWI survey are now available! The report can be found on both the LWI and ALWD websites. By providing information about the field of legal writing at the country's various law schools, previous surveys have been influential in helping to upgrade the status of the field. The survey typically receives a very high response rate.
LWI president Linda Berger and ALWD president Kathleen Vinson congratulate survey co-chairs Marci Rosenthal and George Mader (pictured here) and their committee members for diligently completing a very time-consuming task.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Professor Dan Markel, the D'Alemberte Professor at Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, focused his scholarship on topics such as the proper scope of mercy, the death penalty, punitive damages, shaming punishments, and transitional justice in states recovering from mass atrocities. He was raised in Toronto and studied politics and philosophy as an undergraduate at Harvard. He did graduate work in political philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Cambridge, before returning to Harvard for his law degree, where he was an Olin Fellow and on law review. Upon graduation from law school, Professor Markel was a research fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School, a clerk for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and an associate at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel in Washington, D.C., where he practiced white-collar criminal defense and civil litigation in trial and appellate courts. At Florida State University, he primarily taught in the area of criminal law.
He was shot at his home on Friday morning, around 11:00 a.m. and died of his wounds early this morning. Here is a link to a news report about the shooting.
A memorial service is planned for noon Sunday at Congregation Shomrei Torah, located at 4858 Kerry Forest Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida. His funeral will be held in Toronto.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his family, friends, students, and colleagues.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Registration is now open for the Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, to be held on September 19 and 20th at Stanford Law School. The theme of the conference is Beyond Carrots and Sticks: Motivating Students to Do Their Best Work. Register by clicking here: http://conferences.law.stanford.edu/legalwriting/
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The 2014 Scribes Annual Membership Luncheon will be held during the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Boston on Friday, August 8, 2014 from Noon to 2:00 p.m. The luncheon will be held in the Colonnade Boston Hotel, Braemore/Kenmore Rooms, 120 Huntington Avenue, Boston. The Scribes Brief-Writing and Book Awards will be given during the luncheon. Get more information and confirm your attendance by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517.371.5140, ext. 4402. RSVP's are kindly asked by July 31, 2014.
For more information about Scribes, including membership information, click here.
Monday, July 14, 2014
UMKC professors Nancy Levit and Allen Rostron (pictured here) recently posted current information for scholars seeking to publish in law reviews. Among other helpful points, their post identifies the eight schools that now accept submissions only through Scholastica.