Sunday, March 19, 2017
We are pleased to announce good news about our founding co-editor Jeff Lipshaw: Routledge has just published his book Beyond Legal Reasoning: A Critique of Pure Lawyering. It takes on the cramped view of lawyering and legal argumentation that is traditionally taught in law school, especially in 1L classes. The publisher writes:
This book offers an avenue for getting beyond (or unlearning) merely how to think like a lawyer. It combines legal theory, philosophy of knowledge, and doctrine with an appreciation of real-life judgment calls that multi-disciplinary lawyers are called upon to make. The book will be of great interest to scholars of legal education, legal language and reasoning as well as professors who teach both doctrine and thinking and writing skills in the first year law school curriculum; and for anyone who is interested in seeking a perspective on ‘thinking like a lawyer’ beyond the litigation arena.
Keep an eye on his SSRN author page, as he will soon post the Preface as an excerpt. And from the press's bio page, we learn that his middle name is Marc. Congrats, Jeff! [Alan Childress]
Monday, February 20, 2017
Thanks for this reminder from Sam Levine at Touro:
Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility
Submissions and nominations of articles are now being accepted for the eighth annual Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility. To honor Fred's memory, the committee will select from among articles in the field of Professional Responsibility, with submissions limited to those that have a publication date of calendar year 2017. The prize will be awarded at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego. Please send submissions and nominations to Professor Samuel Levine at Touro Law Center: [email protected]. The deadline for submissions and nominations is Sept. 1, 2017.
A worthy honor to the legacy of Fred, whom I am proud to have known back in the day. (Alan Childress)
Thursday, February 9, 2017
The Legal History Blog posts a review of the latest book by my colleague and friend Brad Snyder
Brad Snyder, University of Wisconsin School of Law, has just published The House of Truth: A Washington Political Salon and the Foundations of American Liberalism (Oxford University Press):
In 1912, a group of ambitious young men, including future Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter and future journalistic giant Walter Lippmann, became disillusioned by the sluggish progress of change in the Taft Administration. The individuals started to band together informally, joined initially by their enthusiasm for Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose campaign. They self-mockingly called the 19th Street row house in which they congregated the “House of Truth,” playing off the lively dinner discussions with frequent guest (and neighbor) Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. about life’s verities. Lippmann and Frankfurter were house-mates, and their frequent guests included not merely Holmes but Louis Brandeis, Herbert Hoover, Herbert Croly - founder of the New Republic - and the sculptor (and sometime Klansman) Gutzon Borglum, later the creator of the Mount Rushmore monument.
Weaving together the stories and trajectories of these varied, fascinating, combative, and sometimes contradictory figures, Brad Snyder shows how their thinking about government and policy shifted from a firm belief in progressivism - the belief that the government should protect its workers and regulate monopolies - into what we call liberalism - the belief that government can improve citizens’ lives without abridging their civil liberties and, eventually, civil rights. Holmes replaced Roosevelt in their affections and aspirations. His famous dissents from 1919 onward showed how the Due Process clause could protect not just business but equality under the law, revealing how a generally conservative and reactionary Supreme Court might embrace, even initiate, political and social reform.
Across the years, from 1912 until the start of the New Deal in 1933, the remarkable group of individuals associated with the House of Truth debated the future of America. They fought over Sacco and Vanzetti’s innocence; the dangers of Communism; the role the United States should play the world after World War One; and thought dynamically about things like about minimum wage, child-welfare laws, banking insurance, and Social Security, notions they not only envisioned but worked to enact. American liberalism has no single source, but one was without question a row house in Dupont Circle and the lives that intertwined there at a crucial moment in the country’s history.
Professor Snyder's story on the book in Politico Magazine is here. And here are some endorsements:
“For the first time, we have the real story of this incredible little galaxy that included such disparate figures as Felix Frankfurter, Walter Lippmann, and Gutzon Borglum, and reached out to cultivate and invigorate the aged Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes--with profound and lasting influence on the course of American politics. Brad Snyder tells this story with verve and insight. This is a major work in the history of this nation’s public life.” -- John Milton Cooper, Jr., author of Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
“With his deep understanding of history and the law, Brad Snyder has crafted a notably illuminating and refreshing book. Deeply researched and finely written, The House of Truth brings to life a group of brilliant friends whose passion for justice helped shape what became known as the American Century.” -- David Maraniss, author of Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story
“This dazzling book provokes reconsideration of the Progressive era, legal reform and modern American liberalism. I know of no other work that so ably transports its readers into the packed and exciting years of the early twentieth century.” -- Laura Kalman, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sunday, January 15, 2017
My school Tulane, per our Vice Dean Onnig Dombalagian, has asked me to post this regarding the fall of 2017:
Tulane Law School invites applications for a one-semester visiting position in the Fall of 2017. Our specific needs for the Fall 2017 semester include basic income tax and corporate tax, criminal law, and professional responsibility. Applicants must possess a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, strong academic credentials, and at least three years of relevant law-related experience; prior teaching experience is strongly preferred. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV, and the names and contact information of three references through Interfolio at https://apply.interfolio.com/40060. For additional information, please contact Onnig Dombalagian at [email protected]. Tulane University is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. All eligible candidates are invited to apply.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
As a former resident of Clinton, Mississippi -- home of Mississippi College's main campus -- and more importantly as a former colleague of Wendy Brown Scott at Tulane, I wanted to congratulate her and especially MC for a great match of leadership and community-directed law school. This Miss. business blog has a good account of the announcement.
Having been supervised by Wendy as my Vice Dean during a time of much upheaval and sadness in Katrina (she and her husband Eddie, a pastor, even lost their church in the Ninth Ward), it's nice that what makes her return to the deep South is good news and not diaspora. Welcome back, and visit Nola every once in a while! [Alan Childress]
Friday, April 11, 2014
Thomas Inkel informed us today of an impressive project at Pepperdine Law School:
Pepperdine University School of Law is pleased to announce the creation of the Parris Professionalism Institute, dedicated to the professional development of first-year law students at Pepperdine. The institute was established by a million-dollar gift to the School of Law. First-year law students from the Class of 2017 will be the first to experience the new program, beginning with a redesigned orientation process this fall. The full announcement may be found on our website at http://law.pepperdine.edu/news-events/news/2014/04/parrisinstitute.htm.
Thanks, Tom. [Alan Childress]
Monday, October 28, 2013
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the defendant in a suit brought by a tenured faculty member of the University of Evansville, who sought review of a determination to dismiss him from the faculty.
The action involved an incident between the tenured faculty member and his department head. While the department head was interviewing a prospective student and her parents, the professor walked into the lounge with a female student, said "Hi, Sweetie" to the department head and "walked up to her - standing with his belt buckle at her eye-level, about a foot from her face - and stroked his fingers under her chin and along her neck."
The incident resulted in a formal complaint, a disciplinary process, the professor's dismissal, and two lawsuits. (Mike Frisch)
Friday, August 10, 2012
In a revealing and candid essay, and review of the sparse literature on mental illness among law professors, Gregory Duhl (Law, Wm. Mitchell) includes a narrative from the "outsider" experience of his own issues with borderline personality disorder. Among many interesting aspects is his contention that his success is in some senses because of his illness and not despite it--and in that way criticizes some aspects of the pathbreaking book by Louiville's James Jones, A Hidden Madness. Duhl's article is new on SSRN and is entitled "Over the Borderline — A Review of Margaret Price’s Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability in Academic Life." His abstract:
This essay is about “madness” in higher education. In Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability in Academic Life, Professor Price analyzes the rhetoric and discourse surrounding mental disabilities in academia. In this essay, I place Price’s work in a legal context, suggesting why the Americans with Disabilities Act fails those with mental illness and why reform is needed to protect them. My own narrative as a law professor with Borderline Personality Disorder frames my critique. Narratives of mental illness are important because they help connect those who are often stigmatized and isolated due to mental illness and provide a framework for them to overcome barriers limiting their equal participation in academic life.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Posted by Alan Childress
We've written before on good books to read before starting law school. Or good activities, including travel or Doing Nothing (but biking W.I. is illegal in North Dakota). To update that: our senior admissions dean at Tulane, Susan Krinsky, gave me permission to link her own collected list of good reads before law school. Here it is (and thank you, Susan): Download Suggested Reading List 2012_Final.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
New edition of Llewellyn's The Bramble Bush to read before law school; mystery novel by Lawrence Friedman
As Jeff will be pleased to know (since he is aware I have worked on this for two years), I worked with Stewart Macaulay (Wisc., Law) to produce a new edition of Karl Llewellyn's classic The Bramble Bush, with Macaulay's intro and notes. It is a great read the summer before law school, if one wants summer reading then. Here is the paperback and Kindle link; it is also on Apple and Nook. Llewellyn had very idealistic views of the legal profession--the last chapter is a rejoinder to a Carl Sandburg poem that wonders why the hearse-horse snickers when carrying a lawyer's bones? But most of the book is a how-to for 1Ls that is, surprisingly (or sadly) still on-the-nose for course prep and exams. I hope people are happy we brought it back--and especially that we fixed the errors in other reprints of it. There are no "cannons of jurisprudence," Oxford.
More on summer reading before law school in my previous post collecting lists on that.
Less relevant to the blog topic, Lawrence Friedman and I released his second mystery novel, about the adventures of trusts and estates lawyer Frank May. Amazon is here.
And new Harvard Law Review issue 6 is in Kindle here. [Alan Childress]
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
As promised last weekend, I announce a book truly on-topic for LPB. This is a collection of essays, on ethics and broader issues of the U.S. profession, from students in my Advanced Professional Responsibility Seminar last year. I added an intro but really the substance is in their 14 chapters. Their topics include:
...false guilty pleas and candor to the court, ethical considerations in keeping the client's files as a digital record, legal outsourcing and competition, the dilemma of student debt in a slowed legal economy, the practice of law by legal websites like LegalZoom, the capital defense of Jared Lee Loughner, Justice Scalia's constitutional seminar for conservative congressmembers, sensitivity to "cultural competence" in legal education and practice, prosecutorial relationships with key witnesses, bar discipline for behavior outside the practice of law, negotiation ethics, hybridized MDL settlements, and the advocate-witness rule.
It is available now in paperback at Amazon or the QP page; plus such eBooks as Kindle and Nook, and at Apple iBooks and iTunes bookstores. Proceeds benefit Tulane's Public Interest Law Foundation, so even if it is not a book you'd buy or download for yourself, please consider asking the law library to acquire a paperback.
Also out is the eBook of an old but amazingly relevant book of advice for prelaw and 1L law students, Karl Llewellyn's The Bramble Bush (e.g., in Kindle). I was pretty amazed he discussed active learning, visualizing case facts, better note-taking, and a script for case-briefing and the uses of precedent. Still is a perennial recommended read for the summer before law school, on lots of lists. This classic had not been released in eBooks before today. Sort of odd how little 1L classes and reading have changed.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Georgetown Law has announced a significant addition to its Center for the Study of the Legal Profession:
Georgetown University Law Center Dean William M. Treanor is pleased to announce that James Jones, former chair of the Hildebrandt Institute and managing partner of Arnold & Porter, will assume the role of senior fellow with Georgetown Law’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, beginning in January 2012.
"Jim Jones is one of the world’s leading thinkers about trends in law practice and the legal profession," said Dean Treanor. "His affiliation with Georgetown will enhance our ability to anticipate changes in the legal profession, strengthen our efforts to prepare students to meet the challenges they will face and enrich the research that we do on a profession undergoing profound changes."
Jones has served over the years in a variety of leadership positions in the legal industry. He spent more than 20 years at Arnold & Porter, serving as managing partner of the firm from 1986 to 1995. From 1995 to 2000, he was vice chairman and general counsel of APCO Worldwide. Since 2001, he has been at Hildebrandt International (later Hildebrandt Baker Robbins), a leading consultant to law firms and legal departments around the globe. For the past four years, he served as Hildebrandt's managing director. Since 2000, Jones also served as chair of the Hildebrandt Institute, the division responsible for executive education and research activities. Jones received his J.D. from New York University in 1970.
Jones has served since 1993 as chair of the Pro Bono Institute. He was also instrumental in the creation of TrustLaw, a project of the Thomson Reuters Foundation designed to promote pro bono collaboration between leading law firms and major NGOs throughout the world. He is an author and frequent speaker on topics relating to the "business of law" and has been a regular speaker to student audiences at Georgetown on trends in the legal profession.
On his new relationship with Georgetown Law, Jones said, "I am delighted to be affiliated with the Georgetown Center for the Study of the Legal Profession. Under the able direction of Mitt Regan and Jeff Bauman, the Center and its talented members have already made a positive impact on the legal profession through insightful research and publications, as well as well-focused educational programs. I look forward to contributing to the Center's success in the future, particularly in the area of executive education."
The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession was created in 2007 to promote interdisciplinary scholarship on the legal profession informed by the dynamics of modern practice; provide students and faculty with an understanding of the opportunities and challenges of a 21st century legal career; and furnish members of the bar, particularly those in public and private decision-making positions, broad perspectives on trends and developments in law practice.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A third-year law student intern who prosecuted an assault case under a student practice rule is entitled to immunity from a civil suit filed by the defendant, according to a recent decision of the Montana Supreme Court. The attorney who authorized the representation also was absolved of liability.
The court affirmed a lower court dismissal of the suit:
Spreadbury asserts on appeal that summary judgment was inappropriate because (1) an unlicensed law student may not act as a lawyer in a criminal proceeding; (2) prosecutorial immunity is not available to the law student and her supervisor; (3) the District Court erred in ignoring his claim of criminal contempt based on Wetzsteon’s violation of the Student Practice Rule; and (4) Corn, as Wetzsteon’s supervisor, was personally liable under the Student Practice Rule in the event Wetzsteon is found to be in violation of the Rule.
In granting Wetzsteon and Corn’s motion for summary judgment, the District Court, without analysis, concluded Wetzsteon and Corn had prosecutorial immunity from all of the claims raised by Spreadbury. The court further concluded that Spreadbury presented no facts creating a material question; rather, he merely set forth speculative and conclusory statements. As such, the District Court ruled Wetzsteon and Corn were entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. The court dismissed Spreadbury’s complaint with prejudice.
Reviewing the record in this case and the relevant provisions of the Student Practice Rule, we conclude neither Wetzsteon nor Corn violated the Rule. Additionally, had Wetzsteon or Corn failed to strictly comply with the Rule, Spreadbury has presented no legal authority to support his argument that such lack of compliance deprives a student prosecutor or the supervising prosecutor of prosecutorial immunity.
The defendant was charged with assault. He was convicted in absentia when he failed to appear for trial after the case had been continued over his objection. The conviction was overturned on appeal based on a speedy trial violation (Mike Frisch)
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
There's an interesting opportunity to dip one's toes in academic waters (see Memo to Lawyers: How Not to "Retire and Teach" for an appetizer and Becoming a Law Professor: A Candidate's Guide for the whole meal). Note the preference specified in the ad (my emphasis). Tennessee (under the leadership of Joan Heminway and George Kuney) has a first-rate business law program, and it would be a tremendous experience for the aspiring academician:
The University of Tennessee College of Law invites applications for a one-semester visiting faculty position, to commence in the spring semester of 2012 to teach Business Associations or Secured Transactions and another business law related course of their own choosing through the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law.
JOB QUALIFICATIONS: Successful applicants must have a strong academic and practice background. Preference may be given to those applicants who are seeking to enter the academy from private practice. In furtherance of the University's and the College's fundamental commitment to a diverse faculty, minority group members and women are strongly encouraged to apply.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Applications, including a letter of intent, resume, and the names and addresses of three references, should be sent to:
CONTACT: George W. Kuney W.P. Toms Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law The University of Tennessee College of Law 1505 W. Cumberland Avenue Knoxville, TN 37996-1810
The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The New Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department affirmed an order dismissing claims by a legal writing professor at Hofstra:
Beginning in July 2000, the petitioner was employed as a legal writing teacher at the Hofstra University School of Law (hereinafter the law school). In the fall of 2008, he submitted an application for reappointment and for a five-year contract as a member of the legal writing faculty. The petitioner's application was subsequently denied on the ground that there was a significant decline in his teaching performance since the execution of his last contract.
The petitioner commenced this proceeding to review the denial of his application for reappointment and for a five-year contract. The petition alleged, among other things, that the decision not to offer him a five-year contract was arbitrary and capricious and was made in violation of the rules of the law school, which set forth the procedure to be followed when considering applications for reappointment. The Supreme Court denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding. We affirm.
"One of the most sensitive functions of the university administration is the appointment, promotion and retention of the faculty" (New York Inst. of Tech. v State Div. of Human Rights, 40 NY2d 316, 322). Courts will "only rarely assume academic oversight, except with the greatest caution and restraint, in such sensitive areas as faculty appointment, promotion, and tenure, especially in institutions of higher learning" (Matter of Pace Coll. v Commission on Human Rights of City of N.Y., 38 NY2d 28, 38).
Accordingly, "judicial review of a determination of an educational institution with respect to the appointment, promotion and retention of faculty is limited" (Matter of Perinpanayagam v University at Buffalo, 39 AD3d 1220, 1221). "In reviewing such a determination, a court, which must not substitute its judgment for that of the university, must determine whether the determination was made in violation of the university's rules, or is arbitrary and capricious" (Matter of Lipsky v New York Inst. of Tech., 69 AD3d 725, 725-726; see Gertler v Goodgold, 107 AD2d 481, 487, affd 66 NY2d 946; see also Matter of Gray v Canisius Coll. of Buffalo, 76 AD2d 30, 36-37).
Contrary to the petitioner's contention, the determination that there was a significant decline in his teaching performance since the execution of his last contract was not made without sound basis in reason or regard to the facts, and the petitioner failed to demonstrate that the determination to deny his application was arbitrary or capricious (see Matter of Pell v Board of Educ. of Union Free School Dist. No. 1 of Towns of Scarsdale & Mamaroneck, Westchester County, 34 NY2d 222, 231). Moreover, even if the law school's Committee on Appointment, Reappointment, and Promotion of Clinical Skills, Legal Writing, and Academic Support Faculty (hereinafter the Committee) failed to conduct the exact number of classroom and student conference observations outlined in the rules promulgated by the law school, we conclude that the observations undertaken by the Committee constituted substantial compliance under the circumstances (see Gurstein v Bard Coll., 280 AD2d 264; Matter of Loebl v New York Univ., 255 AD2d 257, 258-259; see also Tedeschi v Wagner Coll., 49 NY2d 652, 660-661).
Furthermore, the petitioner's contention that the reappointment process failed to include a decision by "the Law School Faculty" does not require reversal. The record discloses a rational basis upon which the respondents could have concluded that the petitioner waived his right to this portion of the reappointment process (see Matter of Lipsky v New York Inst. of Tech., 69 AD3d at 725-726), especially given his failure to raise this issue in the context of the administrative appeal which was provided to him at his request (see Matter of Nicoletta v New York State Div. of Parole, 74 AD3d 1609, 1610).
Monday, February 14, 2011
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
For those of you out in the practice world who are curious about how academic legal theory and first year contract law pedagogy might be combined with real world intuitions and experience, I've posted a new article, Metaphors, Models, and Meaning in Contract Law , on SSRN.
The gist of it is this: the dominant metaphor for contract in practice and the academy is "contract as model." One upshot of this metaphor is an article of faith (among lawyers at least) about the rational linkage between what is going on before the fact in the creation of the contract, and what gets litigated after the fact. Sometimes the metaphor is appropriate, and sometimes it is not. I've played with my intuition and admitted casual empiricism that the contract, even in a heavily negotiated deal, is as often the "thing" that Arthur Leff conceptualized in his iconic 1964 American University Law Review article as it is a model or map of the transaction . I've proposed an alternative metaphor of "journey" in which the objectification of an agreement in the contract (a milestone, metaphorically speaking) is often as important as the content itself. The piece contains illustrations I use in class (see Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon, above, but you have to read the article to get the context), as well as a discussion of how I use the fundamentals of metaphor theory to explain hard cases in which the parties assert, and judges must choose between, competing legal "algorithms".
Why does there seem to be such a wide gap between the subject matter of the usual first-year contracts course and what practitioners (particularly transactional lawyers) actually experience? My claim is that it is the result of a powerful theoretical system whose hallmark is a closed linguistic system—in the coinage of one noted scholar, “an epistemic trap.” The subject matter of contract law requires dealing with legal truth not just as a coherent body of doctrine, but also correspondent in some way to actual self-legislation of the parties. I propose escaping the trap with a turn to metaphor theory. The underlying metaphor common to prevailing conceptions of contract law, and which demands some form of correspondent truth from the contract (and contract law), is “contract as model of the transaction.” I suggest alternative metaphors of categories as containers, ideas (including “the meeting of the minds”) as objects, and the transaction life cycle as a journey. The goal is to focus on the “subjective to objective” process of the transactional life cycle, and to consider the perspectives of the participants in or observers of the transactional life cycle, and the models and metaphors that shape the conceptual frames from within which those participants and observers perceive and make use of the legal doctrine.
February 14, 2011 in Abstracts Highlights - Academic Articles on the Legal Profession, Law & Business, Law & Society, Lipshaw, Teaching & Curriculum, The Practice | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Friday, October 29, 2010
A job posting just announced at Georgetown:
Georgetown University Law Center is seeking to hire a Externship Director. We are looking for a person with both administrative and teaching skills who can build and grow an excellent program. The Externship Director will be responsible for all aspects of the program, including: assisting students in finding appropriate placements; ensuring the quality of student placements; designing and teaching "bookend" classes at the beginning and end of the semester in which students define their learning goals and then reflect on whether they have achieved them; and holding individual student reflection sessions throughout the semester. The Externship Director will be supervised by the Associate Dean for Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning; because this is not a faculty position, there is no scholarship requirement. Teaching experience and familiarity with public interest, non-profit and/or governmental entities are desirable. Please send a resume and cover letter to Associate Dean Deborah Epstein, [email protected]. Applications must be received by November 12th, 2010.
Monday, October 25, 2010
The New Jersey Appellate Division has reversed a trial court decision that the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic was not subject to the state's Open Public Records Act ("OPRA").
The plaintiffs had sought documents relating to the clinic's finances and its representation of two private citizens' groups that were opposing the proposed development of an outlet mall.
The court here concluded that the trial court erred in exempting the clinic from OPRA and remanded to the trial court for a determination whether specific documents are exempt from disclosure under the definition of "public records." The trial court also must determine if records should be disclosed under a common lasw right to access. (Mike Frisch)
Monday, October 18, 2010
Fall Newsletter by AALS Professional Responsibility Section Is Available for Download, Packed with Info
Through the generosity of the AALS Section on Professional Responsibility and the hard work of many people and especially its editor Margaret Tarkington, a BYU law prof who is visiting at Cinncy right now, comes the fall newsletter: Download Fall_2010_Newsletter. It contains recent developments, bibliography, a letter from the Chair, and announcements including job postings, conferences, calls for papers, and the like. Margaret's own recent article contributing to this field is The Truth Be Damned: The First Amendment, Attorney Speech, and Judicial Reputation, 97 GEO. L.J. 1567 (2009). [Alan Childress]