Friday, January 13, 2017
Bob Brain Finishes Term as Chair of AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research; New Chair is Sabrina DeFabritiis
Professor Bob Brain (Loyola Law School, Los Angeles) is pictured here with an exit sign at the end of his term as Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. He now joins a distinguished list of former section chairs who have advocated for legal writing professors within the AALS and the legal education community. He began his legal career in the litigation department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he received a pro bono award from the LA County Bar Association for his work with Public Counsel, and represented the ACLU in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He later joined the faculty at Pepperdine University School of Law where he taught contracts, torts, constitutional law, sales, and trial practice. While at Pepperdine, he co-taught a course on the history of the U.S. Supreme Court with Chief Justice Rehnquist, tried cases on a volunteer basis for the LA District Attorney’s Office, and served as a commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He later taught at Pacific McGeorge School of Law before becoming a partner at the litigation firm of Howarth & Smith where he tried fraud, defamation, securities, products liability, and assault matters, representing clients like the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Suzuki Motor Corporation and the victims of 9/11. He joined the Loyola faculty in 2006. He is a prolific author and an innovative teacher who has used and developed games for use in class, such as Contracts Jeopardy and Legal Writing Family Feud. If we only known about those innovations earlier, our survey says that we might have had a very different panel session at the AALS Annual Meeting.
The new Section Chair is Professor Sabrina DeFabritiis (Suffolk University Law School). She graduated from Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, where she served as Vice President of the Moot Court Honor Board and the Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy. She was a member of the Moot Court Tax Team, which won the National Competition in 2002. Seems like yesterday. After clerking for the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court, Professor DeFabritiis spent approximately four years as an associate in the Boston office of Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy P.C., where she practiced in their advanced motions and appellate practice department. She teaches Legal Practice Skills and Advanced Legal Writing. She also serves as the Faculty Advisor to the Foreign Direct Investments Moot Team and the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Team.
The new Section Chair-Elect (who will take office next January when the AALS meets in San Diego) is Professor Suzanna K. Moran (University of Denver, Sturm College of Law). The Section Secretary is Professor Wendy Adele Humphrey (Texas Tech University School of Law).
Other members of the Section's Executive Committee, in addition to immediate Past Section Chair Bob Brain, are Professors Rebekah Hanley (University of Oregon School of Law), Allison Martin (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law), Joe Mastrosimone (Washburn University School of Law), Anne Mullins (University of North Dakota School of Law), and Nancy Soonpaa (Texas Tech University School of Law).