April 6, 2012
A lawyer's incivility may be an ethics violation
In an article titled Be Nice in the April 2012 ABA Journal, G.M. Filisko pointed out that a lawyer's incivility may be an ethics violation. Uncivil conduct may violate ABA Model Rule 8.4(d), which proscribes conduct “prejudicial to the administration of justice.” Moreover, civility is covered by various state rules, such as Michigan’s Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5(a), which states, “A lawyer shall treat with courtesy and respect all persons involved in the legal process.”
Be Nice contains examples of lawyers’ incivility outside the courtroom, including one lawyer’s attempt to run around a deposition table to threaten his opposing counsel. For a discussion of incivility in lawyers' written documents, see my article on that topic.
The John Marshall Law School in Chicago
Construction of the new State Street entrance seems to be almost finished at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Here are some photos that I took last night (after our school's successful Public Interest Auction).
April 5, 2012
Scribes will Co-Host Clarity Conference in Washington DC
Scribes - The American Society of Legal Writers - will co-host Clarity's fifth international conference to be held in 2012 from May 21-23, 2012 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The conference dinner will be at 7:00 p.m. at the National Press Club (with a reception starting at 6:00 p.m.
The Clarity Conference will focus on learning from, and encouraging, activity responding to the Plain Writing Act. That conference will be held all day Tuesday and Wednesday.
Also serving as a co-host of the conference will be the Center for Plain Language, which will present its annual "Clearmark" awards. Those awards celebrate the best documents in the United States (and poke gentle fun at some of the worst).
Get more information about the Clarity Conference from the Scribes website (click under "events").
Must Have Gadget for Lawyers (and Profs?)
The ABA Techshow wrapped up last week with a presentation on must have gadgets, The Gear Report --
Tools, Toys, Gadgets, and Gizmos. As I looked over the ABA Journal's coverage of the presentation, I noticed several gadgets that would be helpful to law professors. In particular, a tablet for your desktop might be helpful for digital commenting:
As more lawyers embrace digital note taking—a push the [presenting] duo credits to the ubiquitous iPads and tablets in the marketplace—there are larger wireless writing tablets such as the Wacom Bamboo tablets and styluses that can turn desktop computers into a virtual canvas. They’re particularly helpful for reviewing briefs and other documents, Petro said.
I currently comment using bubble comments but a tablet would allow free form markup, arrow drawing, etc. These functions are available on iPad but many professors who comment digitally use a laptop or desktop to do so. A tablet might be a further step toward integrating the platforms.
visiting position in Denver
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law anticipates hiring a visitor for its Lawyering Process program for the 2012-2013 academic year to cover sabbaticals awarded to two members of the senior LP Faculty. Lawyering Process is a required first-year, 6 credit, 2-semester course that uses small classes to teach legal research and writing, document drafting, and professional practice skills. The school is seeking applications from both entry-level and experienced candidates with excellent academic records and demonstrated potential for outstanding teaching.
For more information and to apply for the position, see https://www.dujobs.org/postings/15878
1. The position advertised is a year-to-year adjunct appointment.
2. The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range $60,000 - $69,999.
4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 40 - 45.
hat tip: Dave Thomson
April 4, 2012
Congratulations to Amy Sloan
Professor Amy E. Sloan of the University of Baltimore School of Law is being honored this year for Outstanding Teaching by a Full-Time Faculty Member. Her colleague, Eric Easton, wrote that "No one is more deserving of the honor, as Amy's students will tell you. This award shows that her faculty colleagues also recognize just how valuable she is to our program and the law school."
LRW personnel moves at Loyola-LA
As veteran legal writing professor Arnie Siegel retires, other legal writing professors at Loyola in Los Angeles are moving around. Cindy Archer will become the director of the legal writing program, with a new title, Director of Legal Skills. Jean Boylan was recently promoted to the position of the school's first Associate Dean of Clinical & Experiential Learning. And Susan Bakshian has taken over as Director of Bar Programs and Academic Success. All of them began their academic careers at Loyola teaching legal writing.
hat tip: Susan Bakshian
registration for Empire State conference
From Stephen Paskey, SUNY Buffalo:
On behalf of the planning committee, I’m pleased to announce that registration is now OPEN for the Third Annual Empire State Legal Writing Conference.
The conference will be held all day on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at SUNY Buffalo Law School in Buffalo, New York. In conjunction with the conference, there will be a half-day ALWD Scholars’ Forum on Friday, June 22.
There is no fee for the conference or the Scholars’ Forum, and we’ve arranged a conference rate at two hotels near the law school. You can find further details and register for the conference at the conference web site: www.law.buffalo.edu/empirestate2012
We’re particularly excited about this year’s conference for three reasons.
First, we once again have a terrific program. The conference will feature more than 20 presentations on a wide range of topics, including: implementing learning outcomes and assessment, conducting student-led conferences, teaching continuity and structure, developing advanced writing courses and specialized research courses, teaching visual persuasion, developing and placing scholarship, and teaching writing skills actually used in practice. And many of the presentations involve classroom-ready teaching exercises, including plain language skills, research skills, using local rules, and legislative advocacy.
Second, we’re delighted to have Sarah Ricks from Rutgers School of Law – Camden as our keynote speaker. Sarah will address the overlap between legal writing programs and ‘experiential’ learning (such as hybrid clinical/writing courses), as well as collaboration between legal writing faculty and professors who teach in clinical, pro bono, and externship programs.
And third, we’re pleased to offer an optional trip to Niagara Falls the day after the conference on Sunday, June 24. (There will be a small fee for the trip.)
June is a wonderful time to visit Buffalo, and if you have an extra day or two there are many other fun things you can do, such as touring a Frank Lloyd Wright house (the Darwin Martin house), visiting one of the country’s best modern art museums (the Albright-Knox), or watching a play at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
We hope that you’ll join us in June. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Stephen Paskey, Lecturer in Law, SUNY Buffalo Law School
April 3, 2012
Comparing the ALWD Citation Manual and the Bluebook
At this time of year, those who have learned citation from either the ALWD Citation Manual or the Bluebook may want to see a detailed comparison of the two manuals. A chart comparing their latest editions is available on the website of the Association of Legal Writing Directors.
April 2, 2012
Jessup Results: Russia Beats United States in Final Round
The team from Moscow State University (Russia) beat Columbia Law School (New York) in the Final Rounds of the 2012 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, which were held in Washington, D.C. this past Saturday.
The final round bench -- for the first time in Jessup history -- consisted of three sitting judges from the International Court of Justice. (You can read more about the competition at the International Law Prof Blog).
A DVD of the final round will be available for purchase from the International Law Students Association (ILSA), the organization that puts on the Jessup competition each year. It is a highly recommended training tool for coaches and teams competing in the 2013 Jessup Competition. (You should probably have teams watch a couple of years of the final round competitions.)
The International Rounds of the Jessup Competition this year seems to have been the largest ever in the organization's history.
Results from John Marshall Trial Advocacy Competition: Barry Beats Harvard
Barry University Law edged out a victory over Harvard Law in the championship round of the 2012 National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition Saturday evening at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The teams were so outstanding, the trial round so close, that at the conclusion of the final arguments, the trial Judge, Stanley Sacks, paused and then said, "Wow!" Judge Sacks, who has presided over some 450 jury trials in the criminal courts building in Chicago told the student advocates from Barry and Harvard that this was among the best and perhaps the best trial he had ever witnessed. The three juror-evaluators, all highly experience trial lawyers, concurred.
The finalists had prevailed in a field of 20 law school teams. drawn from all regions of the United States, and from Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Over 125 Chicago-area judges and trial lawyers evaluated contributed their time an talent to this award-winning competition. Their enthusiasm and dedication to the art of trial advocacy brings them back each year to help out
Barry, Harvard, and the semi-finalist teams from Creighton and Golden Gate, will return to compete in the 23rd annual competition in the spring of 2013. The competition will again be held at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
Hat tip to Professor Ron Smith, director of the competition, and congratulations to all the competitors.
April 1, 2012
save the date
Emory University School of Law will host its third biennial conference on the teaching of transactional law and skills on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3, 2012. The registration fee for the conference will be $179.00. It includes a pre-conference lunch, snacks, and the reception on November 2, and breakfast, lunch, and snacks on November 3. Plans are in the works for an optional dinner for attendees on Friday evening, November 2, at an additional cost. Attendees are responsible for their own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements. We will post information here about the call for proposals, accomodations, and the optional dinner as it becomes available.
hat tip: Carol D. Newman