Friday, May 12, 2017
The 13th Global Legal Skills Conference will be held at Melbourne Law School from December 10-12, 2018.
The Conference will be co-sponsored by The John Marshall Law School of Chicago (where the conference series was founded). The Conference Co-Chairs will be Chantal Morton (Director of the Legal Academic Skills Centre and Director of Teaching at Melbourne Law School) and Mark E. Wojcik (Professor at The John Marshall Law School and founder of the Global Legal Skills Conference Series).
Previous Global Legal Skills Conferences have been held in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Costa Rica, Mexico, and, most recently, Italy. The conference is the leading global conference dedicated to legal skills education, and participants come from around the world to attend the conference. Participants include law professors, professors of English as Second Language, lawyers, judges, court interpreters, law students, language students, and other academics.
The GLS-13 Conference is being presented in cooperation with a number of international organizations, including these organizations already confirmed:
- Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers
- The Teaching International Law Interest Group of the American Branch of the International Law Association
We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which the Melbourne Law School is situated.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Professor Emeritus Marjorie Rombauer of the University of Washington School of Law, an icon in the field of legal research and writing education who has been described as the "Founding Mother" of Legal Writing Education, would have been 90 years old today if she were still alive.
Hat tip to Karin Mika.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The Association of American Law Schools Section on Teaching Methods promotes the communication of ideas, interests and activities among members of the section and makes recommendations on matters concerning techniques, strategies and methods of teaching, testing and grading law students.
Section Chair Debbie Borman has shared a link to the first in a series of its new and innovative Section Newsletters, created and produced by that Section's Teaching Methods Communications Committee: Michael Bloom, Ted Afield, and Dustin Benham (a Contributing Editor to the Legal Writing Prof Blog). It's well worth a quick look.
Hat tip to Debbie Borman
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Anthony Niedwiecki, a former President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and former Director of the Lawyering Skills Program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, will be the next dean at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.
Niedwiecki had joined the faculty of The John Marshall Law School in 2010 as an associate professor. He was the Director of the Lawyering Skills Program and also taught Employment Discrimination and a Sexual Orientation Law Seminar. In 2015, he was named as the school's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, in which he oversaw John Marshall's curriculum, accreditation process, bar preparation program, distance education, and experiential learning program.
Niedwiecki received a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University, a J.D. from Tulane University Law School, and an LL.M. from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Before teaching, he was a commercial litigation attorney at Mayer Brown's Houston office and a labor and employment attorney with Gardere & Wynne in Dallas. He also taught at Arizona State University and returned to Temple before joining the faculty at Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad Law Center in 2003, where he was an associate professor and director of the Lawyering Skills and Values program before coming to The John Marshall Law School.
The Board of Directors of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) has announced that Mary Beth Beazley is the recipient of the 2017 Marjorie Rombauer Award. This prestigious award has only been given twice since it was established. First to Mary Lawrence in 2000 and then to Laurel Currie Oates in 2009.
The award recognizes a person who has contributed significantly to the field of legal writing:
- by education about the importance of legal writing;
- by published scholarship that advances the teaching of legal writing and the understanding of its underlying principles;
- by contributions to national legal writing organizations;
- by contributions to individual legal writing programs; and
- by efforts to improve the status of legal writing faculty.
As Mary Beth’s nominees wrote: “Professor Beazley is a force in the legal writing field. For 30 years, she has served the national legal writing field with a generous heart and seemingly endless energy.” Mary Beth uses humor and creativity to teach us all. On top of that, she is “a prolific, versatile writer, and her work seamlessly integrates the doctrine of legal writing intro a wide range of topics. Her scholarship ranges from the substance at the core of our discipline as legal writing faculty, to metacognitive pieces, to the interdisciplinary, combining the social perspective on writing with election law in her article on ballot design.” She has long been a national force in the field of legal writing.
The ALWD Awards Committee Members were Suzanne Rowe, Mary Algero, Todd Bruno, and Terry Pollman. The 2017 Marjorie Rombauer Award will be presented to Mary Beth Beazley at the ALWD Conference in Minneapolis.
Hat tip to Wanda M. Temm (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law).
- The event starts on Thursday, May 25 with a lecture by bestselling author Daniel Stashower, tracing the “non-fiction novel” genre from Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood to such recent bestsellers as Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, and exploring the fiction techniques that help writers in this genre craft stories that both engage readers and can withstand rigorous fact-checking.
- A workshop the afternoon of Friday, May 26 features an interactive “CSI: Evanston” activity that will challenge participants to outline a true-crime narrative.
- The colloquium ends that Friday evening with a brief storytelling session on the life of a notable mystery author and a dramatic, interpretive reading of that author’s work.
Monday, May 8, 2017
The Teresa Godwin Phelps Scholarship Award honors individual works of outstanding scholarship specific to the legal writing discipline that are published in any given calendar year. The award is meant to set aspirational standards for others writing in the field.
In making an award, the selection committee and the Legal Writing Institute Board of Directors will focus solely on whether an individual work is specific to the discipline of legal writing and on whether it makes an outstanding contribution to the discipline. Neither the selection committee nor the Board will take into account long-term contributions to the field or contributions in service, program design, teaching, or improving status for the legal writing field.
The selection committee may recommend and the LWI Board may give more than one award for any given year.
Published articles and books are eligible for the award. To be eligible for an award made for any given calendar year, the work must be nominated for the award, and the work must have been published in its final form in that calendar year.
Anyone, except a member of the selection committee in that year or author of the nominated work, may nominate a work for consideration by the selection committee. Nominations must be in writing, briefly summarize the reasons for the nomination, include a copy of or link to the work, and must be received by the deadline for nominations. Nomination deadlines and contact information for that year’s selection committee will be posted on the Legal Writing Institute website.
The publication date assigned by the publisher determines eligibility regardless of whether the work is actually available on that date. If the final form of the work is not actually available to the public in the year of its official publication date with the result that a nomination is untimely or the selection committee lacks time to consider the work before making award(s) for that year, the selection committee may evaluate the work and recommend an award for the subsequent year even though its official publication date was in the previous year.
Any person, except a member of the selection committee in a given award year, is eligible to win the award. The author’s faculty status, level of experience, and areas of teaching will not be taken into account.
Annual Nomination Deadline and Process
For works published in 2016, the nomination deadline is June 30, 2017. The LWI Board plans to announce the Award winner or winners by September 30, 2017.
Send nominations to Kate George, administrative assistant to Ian Gallacher, the secretary of the 2016 selection committee, at email@example.com.
Nominations must be in writing, briefly summarize the reasons for the nomination, provide a copy of or link to the nominated work, and must be received by the deadline for nominations. The committee will not accept nominations by the author of the nominated work or by any member of the committee in that year.
Questions: Please contact Kate O’Neill, Chair of the 2016 selection committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hat tip to Ian Gallacher.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Registration is open for the 6th Biennial Applied Legal Storytelling Conference, which will be held this year from July 11-13, 2017 in Washington, D.C at the American University Washington College of Law.
Register by clicking on the link - Applied Legal Storytelling Conference. The website has information on hotels and dorms. The program for the conference will there too if it isn't already.
The Gala Reception will be held at the Lincoln Cottage, Abraham Lincoln's home in Washington, D.C. and the "Cradle of the Emancipation Proclamation."
Hat tip to Jason Palmer.
Winners Announced for the 2017 LWI/ALWD/LexisNexis Scholarship Grants; A Total of $20,000 in Grants Awarded
- Mark Cooney (Western Michigan, Cooley Law School), What Courts Cite
- Lindsay Head (LSU), A Contract to Hire: Unilateral Grading Contracts in the Legal Writing Classroom
- Nancy Millar (Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School), The Science of Successful Teaching
- Amanda Smith (Widener University, Commonwealth Law School), “Say What?”: A How-To Guide on Providing Formative Assessment to Law Students Through Live Critique
Hat tips to Louis Sirico (LWI) and Greg Johnson (ALWD), Co-Chairs of the Joint Scholarship Grants Committee.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
The University of Massachusetts School of Law in North Dartmouth announced that Julie Baker and Michael Murry have joined the faculty at UMass Law.
Julie Baker has been visiting at UMass Law this year after spending 14 years teaching at Suffolk University. In addition to Legal Research and Writing, she has taught Negotiation, Transactional Drafting, Moot Court, and Juvenile Defense. Before she became a professor, Julie worked as a litigation associate at Rubin and Rudman LLP in Boston and as a public defender at the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Boston. She also clerked in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She received her B.S. from MIT and her J.D. from Boston College Law School.
Michael Murray is currently teaching at the University of Kentucky, and previously taught at the University of Michigan, Valparaiso University, the University of San Diego, University of Illinois, and Saint Louis University. In addition to Legal Research and Writing, he has taught Art Law, Civil Procedure, Employment Law, First Amendment and Censorship, Professional Responsibility, and Remedies. Prior to teaching, Mike practiced intellectual property, corporate and commercial, and products liability litigation at Bryan Cave in St. Louis, and clerked in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He earned his B.A. from Loyola College and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Hat tip to Shaun B. Spencer, and congratulations to Julie and Michael.
Friday, May 5, 2017
The Cleveland State Univeristy Board of Trustees announced that the next dean of the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall School of Law will be the current interim dean, former Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher. Dean Fisher is described as a Clevelander who has dedicated his life to public service and social justice, and that he is coming to the law school with the intent of collaboratively running an institution dedicated to preparing its students to make this world a better place.
Congratulations, Cleveland-Marshall and Dean Fisher.
Hat tip to km
The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) will hold an Innovative Teaching Workshop on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 in connection with the 2017 ALWD Conference at the University of Minnesota School of Law. The deadline for presentation proposals has been extended to June 1, 2017.
The workshop will be held from 9:00 am to 1:30 p.m. The informal, pre-conference workshop is designed to provide legal writing faculty an opportunity to highlight, share, and further develop their creative teaching ideas and techniques. Participants will be divided into small groups led by experienced legal writing professors. We welcome proposals for teaching ideas/techniques related to the conference theme of Acknowledging Lines: Talking About What Unites and Divides Us, as well as proposals relating to innovative teaching ideas more generally.
There is no fee for the workshop, but participants will apply for the workshop by submitting a description of no more than 300 words of the teaching idea/technique they would like to present, including any brainstorming prompts/questions they might like to focus on during the session, as well as their contact information. Enrollment is limited to sixteen people first-come, first served. Participants will be notified by return email of acceptance into the workshop.
Please email your proposal to: Kirsten Dauphinais at email@example.com. The deadline is rolling with a new closing date of June 1, 2017. After the conference, workshop participants will be asked to write up a one-page synopsis of their workshopped idea to serve as a takeaway resource for other participants. And hey, if anyone wants to post their idea here on the Legal Writing Prof Blog we're happy to accommodate you!
If you have questions the conference, please email Kirsten Dauphinais at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hat tips to the ALWD Innovative Teaching Workshop Committee: Kirsten Dauphinais (Chair), and committee members Olympia Duhart, Emily Grant, Laura Graham, Tamara Herrera, and Katherine Kelly.
Professor Coughlin is the director of the Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research Program at Wake Forest University (WFU) School of Law. She also has appointments in the WFU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where she is a core faculty member of the Wake Forest Center for Bioethics, Health & Society, as well as the WFU School of Medicine’s Translational Science Institute.
The award will be presented during the 2017 Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) Biennial Conference in Minneapolis, Minneso ta in July 2017. The Mary S. Lawrence Award recognizes an individual for a combination of pioneering scholarship and innovative curriculum or program design. The award is named for Professor Emerita Mary S. Lawrence, longtime Director of the Legal Writing and Research Program at the University of Oregon School of Law and an early Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section (AALS) on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. For her scholarship and her pioneering work in legal writing education, Mary received the first Distinguished Service Award from the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research; the inaugural Marjorie Rombauer Award from the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD); a joint LWI/ALWD Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education.
The LWI Awards Committee recommended Professor Coughlin for the 2017 Mary S. Lawrence Award to recognize her impactful scholarship, especially her lead authorship of the first-year legal writing text A Lawyer Writes; her curricular innovations at Wake Forest, especially those springing from her cross-appointments with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine; and her influence in our field as a mentor. A press release issued by the Legal Writing Institute stated that Professor Coughlin’s nominator had said that one of her “most unique contributions” was in “fostering dialogue between legal writing teachers and ‘doctrinal’ teachers. Chris believes that legal writing underlies every other legal discipline and that all scholarship is ‘legal writing scholarship.’”
The LWI Awards Committee includes Co-Chairs Myra Orlen and Kirsten Dauphinais, and members Brenda Gibson, Margaret Hannon, Greg Johnson, Mary Nagel, and Suzanne Rowe.
THE LEGAL WRITING INSTITUTE WRITERS WORKSHOP
The Legal Writing Institute announced an extension of the deadline to apply for the fourteenth Legal Writing Institute Writers Workshop. The workshop will take place on Friday, July 14 through Monday, July 17, 2017 and it will give up to twelve Legal Writing faculty the opportunity to spend time working on their academic writing projects and improving their scholarly skills.
The Workshop will take place at a Victorian Mansion in the 16th Street Heights area of Northwest Washington DC; depending on demand, there may also be a few rooms in a nearby bed and breakfast or hotel. The Workshop will take place immediately after the Applied Legal Storytelling Conference.
Who Can Attend?
All members of the Legal Writing Institute are eligible. You must have a scholarly writing project well underway and beyond the initial stages of performing early research and drafting a tentative outline. You must at least have some sort of partial draft. To be clear, we expect you to arrive with a substantial work product. In most cases, a scholarly writing project should result in a law review article or something similar.
Although all LWI members are encouraged to apply, the workshop is limited to 12 participants. We give priority to full-time Legal Writing faculty for whom scholarly writing is a prerequisite for retention, promotion, or tenure. Priority goes to applicants who have not attended past Workshops.
What Will You Do at the Workshop?
Participants make presentations on their projects to small groups of three and receive feedback. Each session runs about ninety minutes. They also take part in several guided discussion groups, each on a different topic. Participants will also have time to work on their drafts.
Will There Be Facilitators?
Yes, experienced scholarly writers: Christine Coughlin, Deborah Gordon, and Louis Sirico
Where Will the Workshop Be?
The workshop will take place at a large Victorian mansion (an AirBnB property), a great location for thought and productivity. We will have exclusive access to the whole mansion
Participants will pay a $300 registration. LWI will cover all meals, beginning with lunch on July 14 and ending with breakfast on July 17.
Contact Kim Holst at email@example.com or (480) 965-1144.
How to Apply
Please fill out the application found here (or at forms.law.asu.edu/LWIWW2017) by noon, Wednesday, May 10.
Hat tip to the Writers Workshop Governing Board: Cynthia Adams, Ken Chestek, Deborah Gordon, Kim Holst, Chris Rideout, and Lou Sirico
Monday, April 24, 2017
Many readers of this blog are coaches of teams that compete in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
The International Law Students' Association announced that the topics for the 2018 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition will be:
- the validity of interstate arbitral awards,
- the capture of a marine vessel,
- the breach of nuclear disarmament obligations, and
- the conduct of naval warfare.
The problem itself will be released in September and memorials will be due in January. Qualifying national and regional rounds are held around the world before the international finals in Washington DC in April 2018.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Another presenter at the Scribes CLE program at the Oklahoma City University School of Law was attorney John Browning of Passman & Jones P.C., in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Browning is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a member of Scribes -- The American Society of Legal Writers. His practice areas include Data Privacy, Network Security, Electronic Discovery, and Information Management & Compliance.
His presentation warned attorneys and law students of the dangers of social media for lawyers, citing many recent cases of attorney misconduct and disciplinary actions based on Twitter and Facebook posts. He also discussed whether attorneys now have a duty to investigate social media posts of potential jurors, parties, and witnesses in litigation. He warned against misguided attempts to "friend" jurors, witnesses, or adverse parties, noting that such attempts would be ethical violations (and that you can't avoid the ethical violation by asking your paralegal to "friend" an adverse party).
One important admonition he shared involved the breach of a confidential settlement agreement for $80,000. When the plaintiff's daughter disclosed on her Facebook account that she was going to Europe on a trip being paid for by that settlement money, the settlement was voided and the plaintiff had to return the entire amount. You can read more about that case by clicking here or here.
For his work to promote ethical uses of social media by lawyers, Mr. Browning received the 2016 Lola Wright Foundation Award. That award is presented annually to a Texas attorney to recognize "outstanding public service in advancing and enhancing legal ethics in Texas.”
Among the panels today was one on drafting judicial opinions and appellate briefs. The panelists (from left to right) were: Valerie Couch, Dean of the Oklahoma City University School of Law; Illinois Appellate Court Justice (and President of Scribes) Michael Hyman; Chief Judge Kem Thompson Frost of the Texas 14th Court of Appeals; and Minnesota Appellate Court Judge (and Scribes Board Member) Kevin Ross, the panel moderator.
The panel examined the structure and purpose of each part of an appellate court opinion. The panel described effective ways of presenting the facts and controlling law. They discussed the dangers of using humor in judicial opinions, noting that for litigants their cases are complex, expensive, and serious. And not to disappoint, the panelists also discussed the hot topic of whether citations should appear in the text of an appellate court opinion or in a footnote.
Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers – has renamed its Distinguished Service Award as the Joseph Kimble Distinguished Service Award. The honor came as a complete surprise to Professor Kimble, a former Executive Director and longtime Board Member of Scribes. Professor Kimble was in the audience at the Oklahoma City University School of Law when the announcement was made. The decision to name the Distinguished Service Award for Professor Kimble was a unanimous decision of the Scribes Board of Directors in great appreciation of his years of dedicated service to Scribes.
Joseph Kimble is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. He was a staff attorney for the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals. He later practiced law in Flint, Michigan. He joined the full-time Thomas Cooley faculty in 1984.
He is senior editor of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing and the longtime editor of the "Plain Language" column in the Michigan Bar Journal. He has published dozens of articles on legal writing and written two acclaimed books. He led the redrafting of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence. Professor Kimble is also a past president of the international organization Clarity, served as the executive director of Scribes (the American Society of Legal Writers), is a founding director of the Center for Plain Language, and was on the board of the Legal Writing Institute. He is a Fellow of the State Bar of Michigan and a member of the State Bar's Publications Committee.
In 2000, he was named a "Plain English Champion" by the Plain English Campaign, in England. He is one of the first persons to receive that award. In 2007, he won the first Plain Language Association International Award for being a "champion, leader, and visionary in the international plain-language field." He has twice won a prestigious Burton Award for Reform in Law — in 2007 for his work on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and in 2011 for his work on the Federal Rules of Evidence. In 2010, he won the award from the Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research of the Association of American Law Schools. And in 2015, he received the John W. Reed Lawyer Legacy Award from the State Bar of Michigan.
The first recipient of the Kimble Distinguished Service Award was the Honorable Kenneth L. Gartner, a longtime Chair of the Scribes Brief-Writing Award Committee. With the help of a large team of legal writing professors and attorneys who read winning briefs submitted from moot court competitions across the country, the Scribes Brief-Writing Award Committee annually selects the “Best of the Best” Moot Court Briefs.
Kenneth Gartner is a commercial trial and appellate litigator with the New York law firm of Lynn, Gartner, Dunne & Covello LLP, where his practice includes commercial real property, business contracts, tort, and fraud cases. He also represents judges, lawyers, and law firms in criminal, civil, and disciplinary matters and serves as an expert witness or special counsel on legal ethics issues. He previously served as a civil and criminal trial judge in the Nassau County District Court, where he earned the history of being the most published judge in the history of the New York State District Court. He has chaired the Scribes Brief-Writing Committee for more than ten years.
Milani Writing Competition on Disability Law, Civil Rights, Family and Medical Leave, or Sexual Orientation
Mercer Law School and the American Bar Association host an annual legal writing competition in honor of Mercer's former legal writing professor, Adam A. Milani. The ABA website says that the First Prize will range between $300 and $500, depending on whether multiple awards are given, and possible publication in the Disability Rights Reporter. But the Mercer website says that the award is up to $1000, and that seems to be the correct information.
The submission may address any aspect of disability law, theory, or practice the contestant chooses. Other permissible topics include issues arising under any of the following statutes: Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Family and Medical Leave Act; or any state statutes or municipal ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The deadline for submission is Friday, June 9, 2017. Further information is available by clicking here.
Hat tip to Suzianne D. Painter-Thorne