Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lou Sirico Receives the 2016 Burton Award for Legal Writing Education

Professor Lou Sirico of Villanova Univeristy received the 2016 Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing and Education. The Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing and Education Committee presents this award (one of the Burton Awards) to the finest law school teacher who has promoted and advanced legal writing.

Courtesy of Professor Karin Mika, we are pleased to share the video of the award presentation by Burton Award Committee Chair Professor Noah Messing to Professor Sirico. The video also includes his brief remarks upon accepting the award. Congratulation, Lou, on this recognition of your contributions to legal writing education.

 

More information about the Burton Awards is available by clicking here.

Hat tip to Karin Mika.

(mew)

May 24, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

More than 100 Participants from 16 Countries Gather in Verona for the 11th Global Legal Skills Conference

VeronaMore than 100 participants from at least 16 countries are gathering this week at the University of Verona Department of Law for the 11th Global Legal Skills Conference, organized by The John Marshall Law School of Chicago. The conference takes place from May 24-26, 2016 in Verona and on May 27, 2016 in Padua. Here are names of some of the speakers:

  • Prof. Lidia Angeleri, Delegate for Internationalization, University of Verona (Italy)
  • Prof. David W. Austin, California Western School of Law, San Diego (California, USA/Italy)
  • Dr. Amrita Bahri, Law Department, Instituto Tecnológico Autónimo de México (Mexico)
  • Prof. Caterina Baruffi, University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
  • Tiffany Bennett, Pennsylvania State University Department of Applied Linguistics (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Prof. Lisa M. Black, California Western School of Law, San Diego (California, USA)
  • Prof. Robert D. Brain, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (California, USA) and Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research
  • Prof. Heidi K. Brown, Brooklyn Law School (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Mireille O. Butler, Pepperdine University School of Law (California, USA)
  • Prof. Paolo Butturini, University of Verona Department of Law and the University of Verona School of Foreign Languages and Literature (Italy)
  • Tatiana Caldas-Löttiger, Eversheds Advokatbyrån, Stockholm (Sweden).
  • Prof. Charles R. Calleros, Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (Arizona, USA)
  • Prof. Catherine June Cameron, Stetson University College of Law (Florida, USA)
  • Prof. Juli Campagna, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University (New York, USA) 
  • Dott. Enrico Canzonieri, Università degli studi di Catania e Floresta Longo Foundation, Catania (Sicily, Italy)
  • Prof. Ashley Krenelka Chase, Stetson University College of Law (Florida, USA)
  • Prof. Susan Chesler, Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (Arizona, USA)
  • Prof. Leonardo ("Aldo") Ciano, Kansai Gaidai University (Japan)
  • Prof. Lurene Contento, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (Illinois, USA)
  • Prof. Alessandra Cordiano, University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
  • Prof. Rachel Croskery-Roberts, University of California at Irvine School of Law (California, USA)
  • Avv. Alessandro Di Carlo, Associate Attorney at Macchi di Cellere Gangemi - Studio Legale (Italy)
  • Dean Victoria L. Eastus, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, New York Law School (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Linda H. Edwards, University of Nevada at Las Vegas Boyd School of Law (Nevada, USA)
  • Mohamed Kamal Eldin, Association of Developmental Awareness, Alexandria (Egypt)
  • Angelica P. Elmido, San Beda College of Law, Manila (Republic of the Philippines)
  • Prof. Anne Enquist, Seattle University School of Law (Washington, USA)
  • Prof. Kathryn Falk Fehrman, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles (California, USA)
  • Prof. Stefano Fuselli, University of Verona College of Law (Italy)
  • Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher, BarWrite (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Chris Gallavin, Massey University College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Palmerston North (New Zealand)
  • Prof. Aaron Ghirardelli, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (California, USA)
  • Prof. Heidi Gilchrist, Columbia Law School and Brooklyn Law School (New York, USA)
  • Janusz Glowka, Vienna (Austria)
  • Prof. Ann Goldstein, New York Law School (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Aaron Richard Harmon, Qatar University College of Law (Doha, Qatar)
  • Prof. Kimberly Holst, Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (Arizona, USA)
  • Stephen Kress, Latham & Watkins, Frankfurt (Germany)
  • Lindsey M. Kurtz, Pennsylvania State University Department of Applied Linguistics (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Prof. Diane Labrèche, Faculté de Droit, Université de Montréal (Canada)
  • Prof. C.J. Larkin, Visiting Associate Professor of the Practice of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (Colorado, USA)
  • Dott. Tommaso Lecca, Università degli studi di Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy)
  • Prof. Katerina Lewinbuk, South Texas College of Law (Texas, USA)
  • Prof. Giovanna Ligugnana, University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
  • Prof. Antonino Longo, Università degli studi di Catania e Floresta Longo Foundation, Catania (Sicily, Italy).  
  • Prof. Paola Lucarelli, University of Florence Department of Law (Italy)
  • Prof. Hether Macfarlane, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento (California, USA)
  • Prof. Stefano Maffei, University of Parma Department of Law (Italy)
  • Dr. Meri West Maffet, Global Education Consultant (California, USA)
  • Prof. Kathryn L. Mercer, Case Western Reserve University School of Law (Ohio, USA)
  • Mr. Alan J. Miller (Florida, USA)
  • Prof. William B.T. Mock, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (Illinois, USA)
  • Prof. James E. Moliterno, Washington and Lee University School of Law (Virginia, USA)
  • Prof. Amy Montemarano, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Prof. Mary-Beth Moylan, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento (California, USA)
  • Prof. Ann L. Nowak, Touro Law Center (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Laurel Currie Oates, Seattle University School of Law (Washington, USA)
  • Prof. Claudia Onniboni, University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
  • Ms Rachel Paling, Efficient Language Coaching (Germany/Italy/United Kingdom)
  • Prof. Robin Wickham Palmer, University of Canterbury (New Zealand)
  • Prof. Christian Pangilinan, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School (Guandong, China)
  • Prof. Reema Parambath, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Prof. Cecilia Pedrazza Goriero, University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
  • Dr. Luis-Maria Pedriza, Osaka University Faculty of Law (Japan)
  • Prof. Marco Peruzzi, University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
  • Dr. Teresa Phelps, American University Washington College of Law (District of Columbia, USA)
  • Mtro. Gerardo Puertas-Gómez, Presidente del Consejo, Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey (Mexico)
  • Prof. Alison Riley, University of Ferrara Department of Law (Italy)
  • Prof. Richard Risman, Syracuse University College of Law (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Barrie J. Roberts, University of California at Berkeley (California, USA)
  • Prof. Shannon P. Ryan, Syracuse University College of Law (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Susan Salmon, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (Arizona, USA)
  • Prof. Mimi Samuel, Seattle University School of Law (Washington, USA)
  • Prof. Anila Scott-Monkhouse, Language Centre, University of Parma (Italy)
  • Prof. Terry Jean Seligmann, Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Drexel University (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Prof. Helene S. Shapo, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law (Illinois, USA)
  • Prof. Craig T. Smith, University of North Carolina School of Law (North Carolina, USA)
  • Prof. Patricia Sours, University of Ferrara Department of Law and and the University of Padua Department of Humanities (Italy)
  • Prof. Lynn B. Su, New York Law School (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Carrie Teitcher, Brooklyn Law School (New York, USA)
  • Prof. Alberto Maria Tedoldi, University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
  • Meghan Thomas, Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto (Ontario, Canada)
  • Prof. John B. Thornton, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law (Illinois, USA)
  • Prof. Grace Calabrese Tonner, University of California at Irvine School of Law(California, USA)
  • Prof. Marco Torsello, University of Verona Department of Law (Verona, Italy)
  • Prof. Stefano Troiano, University of Verona Department of Law (Verona, Italy)
  • Andrea Valsecchi, Lawyer at the Bar in Bergamo and Mediator for the Organismo Mediazione Forense Ordine Avvocati Bergamo (Italy)
  • Prof. Anthony S. Winer, Mitchell Hamline College of Law, St. Paul (Minnesota, USA)
  • Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (Illinois, USA)
  • Prof. Paula Marie Young, Qatar University College of Law (Doha, Qatar)
  • Prof. Emily Zimmerman, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Rebecca Zoshak, Pennsylvania State University Department of Applied Linguistics (Pennsylvania, USA)

(mew)

May 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Tribute to Richard Wydick

A Guest Post from David Marcello
For a dozen years, Dick Wydick generously shared his drafting expertise and his teaching talent at our International Legislative Drafting Institute. When illness curtailed his travels and he could no longer accommodate the flight to New Orleans, his wisdom nonetheless continued as a presence in the Institute classroom, where each participant receives a copy of “the little book” and several days of instruction on how to apply its techniques in legislative drafting.
 
Wydick’s wisdom accompanies us to distant training events as well. I was in Vietnam last week and on more than one occasion held up his book and quoted him to a room full of legislative drafters: ”We lawyers do not write plain English.” On Monday, I left behind two very happy legislative drafters with their own shrink-wrapped copies of “Plain English for Lawyers.”
 
I thought of Dick and Judy as our flight map showed Sacramento below. Then at a layover in Dallas-Fort Worth, I opened email and learned he was no longer with us.
 
We’ve lost a great teacher, an insightful writer, a thoughtful and considerate person. His work endures, embodied in the “Plain English” book and in the vivid memories of his former students and colleagues. His legacy is large, and his contributions are ongoing. Dick Wydick’s lessons continue to inform my teaching, and he will continue to accompany me into every classroom, as a model and a mentor.
 
My deepest condolences to Judy Wydick and the family at this time of loss,
 
David Marcello
Executive Director
The Public Law Center
6329 Freret Street, Suite 130
New Orleans, Louisiana  70118

 

May 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Members of the Legal Writing Journal's Editorial Board!

Journal091

The Legal Writing Journal announced that it will name five new members to its Editorial Board at the LWI Conference in Portland this July:

Elizabeth Inglehart, Northwestern

Lori Johnson, UNLV 

Lisa Mazzie, Marquette

Sarah Morath, University of Akron

Kathy Vinson, Suffolk

Congrats to the new Editors!  You can visit the Journal here

{ldj}

 

May 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Richard Wydick

Richard WydickWe bring the sad news of the death of Professor Richard C. Wydick of the University of California at Davis School of Law. His book, Plain English for Lawyers, published by Carolina Academic Press, sold more than a million copies and was a standard text for many American lawyers and law students.

Professor Wydick joined the UC Davis Law School faculty in 1971, and was a fixture at King Hall until his retirement in 2003, teaching Evidence, Antitrust Law, Professional Responsibility, Advanced Legal Writing, and “what’s now called Intellectual Property, though it used to be called Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Unfair Competition,” he said.

In recognition of his contributions to legal writing, Professor Wydick received the Golden Pen Award from the Legal Writing Institute and a lifetime achievement award from Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers.

He was a Board Member of Scribes and a member of the American Law Institute.

Professor Wydick died on May 11, 2016. We extend our sympathy to his family, friends, former students, and colleagues.

(mew)

May 17, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

News from Villanova

Villanova University School of Law has promoted Mary Ann Robinson to Professor of Law and Jessica Webb to Associate Professor of Law. Congratulations!

Hat tip to Diane Edelman.

(mew)

May 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona, Italy

Verona Bridge David Austin PhotoThe next Global Legal Skills Conference is being held in Verona, Italy from May 24-26, 2016 at the University of Verona Department of Law, in cooperation with The John Marshall Law School of Chicago. Registration is still open. More information about the conference, including the conference schedule and speakers, is available by clicking here.

The conference is supported by a number of organizations, including the American Society of International Law, the American Bar Association Section of International Law, the International Law Students' Association, and Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers. Speakers also include the chairs and past chairs of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research and the AALS Section on Graduate Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers.

(mew)

May 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Important News for Legal Researchers: Goodbye, Thomas.gov. Hello, Congress.gov!

Thomas.gov, the search engine for federal legislative research, retires as of July 5, 2016. Its replacement is Congress.gov, a website already up and running. Make the switch now. Read more about it by clicking here.

(mew)

May 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 6, 2016

When Judges Change Their Minds

Justice Robert H JacksonRobert H. Jackson (1892-1954) was Solicitor General of the United States (1938-1940), the Attorney General of the United States (1940–1941) and an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1941–1954). He is the only person in U.S.history to have held all three of those offices. He was also the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.

Justice Jackson is widely considered as one of the greatest legal writers of all time. In a concurring opinion in McGrath v. Kristensen, 340 U.S. 162, 176-78 (1950), Justice Jackson wrote to explain why he joined the opinion of the Supreme Court when it was contrary to an Attorney General opinion written under his name just 10 years earlier. He wrote: "I am entitled to say of that opinion what any discriminating reader must think of it -- that it was as foggy as the statute the Attorney General was asked to interpret."

He then stated that there was no lack of precedent "for ways by which a judge may recede from a prior opinion that has proven untenable and perhaps misled others." He noted that Baron Bramwell had "extricated himself from a somewhat similar embarrassment by saying, 'The matter does not appear to me now as it appears to have appeared to me then.'" 340 U.S. at 233 (Jackson, J., concurring)(citing Andrew v. Styrap, 26 L.T.R. (N.S.) 704, 706).

And after citing other examples from Justice Story and Dr. Johnson, Justice Jackson quoted Lord Westbury, who, it was said, "rebuffed a barrister's reliance on an earlier opinion of his Lordship" by stating "I can only say that I am amazed that a man of my intelligence should have been guilty of giving such an opinion." Justice Jackson said that if there were "other ways of gracefully and good naturedly surrendering former views to a better considered position," he invoked them all.

Hat tip to Robert Epstein.

(mew)

May 6, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

An Empirical Look at the Prescriptivist vs. Descriptivist Dilemma in Drafting

In an interesting post for those of us who teach contract drafting, Golden Pen Awardee and legal writing expert Ross Guberman explores the prescriptivist versus descriptivist dilemma facing the contract drafting community.  In an attempt to "bridge the gap" between how transactional lawyers do write, and how some drafting pundits think they should write, Guberman ponders the adoption of a "rebuttal presumption."  Guberman posits if "more than 75 percent of seasoned corporate lawyers adopt a certain practice in contract drafting," it can be presumed such practices arise from more than mere inertia and fearful adherence to jargon.  An interesting hypothesis -- see this legal writing prof's response in the comments!   

Ross-guberman-sweater-300

{ldj}

May 4, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)