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Human Rights Quarterly Receives High Rankings by Google for 2nd year

For the second year in a row, the Human Rights Quarterly has been ranked as the number two most-cited international law journal by Google. The Quarterly is recognized as a leading academic journal in the human rights field.

The Human Rights Quarterly, which is over 30 years old, is a multidisciplinary journal covering the range of human rights matters encompassed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Typical articles cover many of the legal aspects of human rights issues, as well as the “non law” aspects.  In its more than three decades and over a thousand articles and book reviews, the Quarterly is highly regarded in the human rights field. Its audiences and authors are represented on every part of the globe.

The Human Rights Quarterly is published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, the oldest university press in the country.

Prof. Vazquez’s Article Listed Named a Top Ten Download on SSRN

“Constructing Crimmigration: Latino Subordination in a ‘Post-Racial’ World,” the new article by Professor Yolanda Vazquez, has made the top ten list on SSRN (Social Science Research Network). The article was listed in the following networks and categories: 

  • PSN (Political Science Network):  Politics in Ethnicity (Topic)
  • LSN (Legal Scholarship Network):  Legal Ethics (Topic) & Criminology eJournal
  • AARN (Anthropology & Archaeology Research Network):  Migration (Topic), Race & Ethnicity (Topic), North America (Topic), and Race, Ethnicity & Indigenous People (Topic)

The article discusses how immigration law marginalizes Latinos. Read the article abstract: Constructing Crimmigration

It also appeared in the following:

Prof. Vazquez Gave Presentation at International Conference

Professor Yolanda Vazquez presented her new article “The U.S. Criminal Justice System in the 21st Century: Shifting Focus to the ‘Criminal Alien’”  at the Law and Society in the 21st Century: the Functions of Law in a Global Society Conference held  June 10-12 in Oslo, Norway.  The conference was coordinated by the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo.

Find out more about the conference:  Law and Society

Prof. Moore Quoted in NY Times Article on Participatory Defense

Professor Janet Moore was interviewed for a May 29, 2015 New York Times article about the growing “participatory defense” movement – community organizing that empowers people who face charges, as well as family and community members, to influence the judicial process. It shows them how to work with defense attorneys and how to make the system easier to understand and more accountable.   Professor Moore discussed the creative trend and what it could mean for society.

Read the full story here:  Guiding Families to a Fair Day in Court

Professor Sandra Sperino Named 2015 Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award Recipient

Congratulations to Professor Sandra Sperino who has been named the recipient of the 2015 Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award. The award recognizes outstanding research and scholarly achievement by a member of the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She will deliver a public lecture on her scholarship here at the College of Law during the 2015-2016 academic year.  

Professor Sperino is an influential, nationally recognized scholar in employment discrimination law who joined the College in 2011. Professor Sperino received her JD from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the University of Illinois Law Review, and a MS in journalism from the University of Illinois. 

After graduating from law school, Professor Sperino clerked for the Honorable Donald J. Stohr of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri. She then went into private practice, working at Lewis, Rice & Fingersh (St. Louis) for the litigation and labor and employment departments.  There she co-authored the successful petition for writ of certiorari and the brief argued before the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Sell.

Professor Sperino left the firm to join academia, participating in the Lawless Fellowship Program at the University of Illinois College of Law. She served on the faculty of the University of Illinois College of Law, the St. Louis University School of Law, and the Temple University Beasley School of Law before joining the College of Law as an associate professor.

Wrote Dean Lou Bilionis in an announcement about her award, “Her research entails a wholesale rethinking of employment discrimination law.  In a series of articles, she has offered a meta-critique of discrimination law that focuses on two principal themes: how judicially-created frameworks for evaluating employment discrimination claims are antithetical to the underling goals of discrimination statutes, and how discrimination law intersects with – and on occasion is distorted by – other areas of the law, such as tort, agency, and civil procedure.”

Leading scholars in the field have referred to her work as “the epitome of quality scholarship.”  Her research is “masterfully execute[d]” and “on the cutting edge of employment discrimination.”  Courts are finding merit in Professor Sperino’s scholarly publications as well.  The Iowa Supreme Court cited two of her articles as it decided to interpret its state antidiscrimination laws more expansively and protectively than federal law has been interpreted.  See Pippen v. State, 854 N.W.2d 1 (Iowa 2014); Goodpaster v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., 849 N.W.2d 1 (Iowa 2014).  The Hawaii Supreme Court similarly has turned to Professor Sperino’s research to interpret its state’s antidiscrimination law.  See Adams v. CDM Media USA, Inc., 2015 WL 769745, No. SCWC-12-00000741 (Hawaii Feb. 24, 2015). 

Professor Sperino’s scholarly record is complemented by her outstanding teaching accomplishments here at the College, where she has received the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.



College of Law Student Awarded Prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowship

This spring, College of Law rising 2L Andrea Brown became one of only 80 students to receive the prestigious and highly competitive Peggy Browning Fellowship. During the summer break she will be working with the IUE-CWA, an organization committed to supporting and empowering local labor unions. Mary Ann Moffa, executive director of the Peggy Browning Fund, described the award as a “tribute to [Ms. Brown’s] outstanding qualifications.”

This year, 400 people from over 150 law schools applied for the Peggy Browning fellowship. Named for union activist Margaret Browning, the fellowship supports outstanding students who commit their summers to fighting against social injustice in the workplace. The award is given to students who both excel in the classroom and show a commitment to workers' rights as, demonstrated in their previous work, volunteer, and personal experiences.

Recalling her time as an English major at the University of Chicago, Brown spoke of the way literature impacted her views on labor and employment. She suggests that her passion for social justice served as a lens through which she viewed her academic studies, and acknowledged the way in which her exposure to the depictions of inequality in literature inspired her to work as an advocate for social and economic equality.

“Whether it was women’s political and economic roles in Shakespeare’s Richard II or classism and poverty in The Grapes of Wrath,” she commented, “issues of equality were always at the forefront of my academic life.”

Her professional career, too, exemplifies her dedication to supporting workers and labor leaders. Before coming to law school, Brown served as a community organizer for Working America, AFL-CIO. During this time, she helped union members access the resources that they needed to achieve the goals of their community, while simultaneously encouraging nonunion members to join the organized labor movement.

“There is strength in numbers, and strength in brother and sisterhood,” she said. “While we can recognize economic inequality staring back at us in our schools, our neighborhoods, our low-wage job, it is not until we talk together about that inherent inequality that we become less alone.”

Even her personal life seems to be shaped by her desire to empower workers. When asked where she would take a visitor in her hometown of Hamilton, OH,  Brown discussed how proud she would be to show off the resilience of Main Street.

“Hamilton was hit hard by the economic downturn and a lot of small businesses closed down,” she said. “Within the last few years, there are signs of life as new independent shops and restaurants have opened along Main Street.”

Brown anticipates learning a lot and enhancing her skills during her 10-week fellowship with the IUE-CWA. “I came to law school because I knew I wanted to do something that, as cliché as this sounds, would leave the world at least a little bit of a better place.”

Author: Catlin Wells ‘16

John Holschuh, Jr. Kicks Off Year as OSBA President

For College of Law alumnus John D. Holschuh, Jr. there’s no position he’s more excited, proud and honored to hold than that as president of the Ohio State Bar Association. His term begins July 1, 2015, and he already has begun thinking about the goals during his tenure. 

“The local bar is phenomenal, and the Cincinnati Bar is outstanding, but on a state-wide level there is none better than the Ohio State Bar (OSBA),” Holschuh remarked, further noting that OSBA has been recognized as the number one bar association in the country (in member benefits and in representing the interests of its members). “It really is a phenomenal organization and I’m extremely honored and privileged to be the next president.” 

He has served as president of the Cincinnati Bar Association as well as the Cincinnati Bar Foundation, is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, an Advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and fellow of the International Society of Barristers.

The journey leading up to this recent milestone has been nothing short of impressive, as Holschuh has received countless praise and honorable recognition throughout his legal career. He has served as president of the Cincinnati Bar Association as well as the Cincinnati Bar Foundation, a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Society of Barristers.

Holschuh’s desire to attend UC and to pursue a legal career derives from the influence of his father, who served as federal judge in 1980 and was the chief judge for the Southern District of Ohio for a number of years.

“Dad had always kind of encouraged me. My dad went to Miami, so I went to Miami. My dad went to UC Law, so I went to UC Law. He was the epitome of a lawyer. Total class. Respected by everybody and anybody you ever knew. Living up to that role model has been a challenge, but I’ve tried.”

Since graduating from UC Law in 1980, Holschuh has spent his legal career with the Cincinnati firm Santen & Hughes, L.P.A., where he has dedicated 35 years of practice in the areas of medical malpractice and personal injury litigation. 

Holschuh notes that his devotion to the firm and success as a litigation attorney stems from the fortunate opportunity to have had Bill Santen as his mentor early in his career. He believes mentorship to be of utmost importance for young lawyers.

“For me [having a mentor] was invaluable. It took probably six or seven years before I was able to be a first-rate trial lawyer--probably longer than that. And Bill was always there to guide me along the way. Having a mentor to guide you and having someone you can go to anytime there’s an issue is absolutely critical.”

Finding ways to build mentorship opportunities and reaching out to young lawyers to increase their involvement with OSBA is one of Holschuh’s goals as OSBA president, in addition to providing more access to justice.

“Right now there’s a huge need in Ohio for people who need legal services and can’t afford it,” Holschuh explained. “So while the need has increased, the availability of lawyers and funding has decreased dramatically. And at the same time we’ve got a lot of young lawyers coming out of law school in debt and without jobs. There has got to be some way we can pair that up and mix that together. So we’re working on that.”

Building a better legal community through mentorship and access to justice are goals whole-heartedly aligned with Holschuh’s perspective on what it means to be a lawyer--making a difference in the lives of others.

“There’s no greater reward than doing something good for a person,” he explained. With several stories to share, Holschuh couldn’t settle on just one particular moment to capture the essence of being a lawyer, humbly stating that “fortunately I have a number of them,” as he recalls several phone calls and cards he has received from former clients, thanking him for taking on their cause. “That’s why I love what I do, when you get those kinds of moments. Those human interest stories that you get into, that’s what the law is about.”

Holschuh encourages students interested pursuing a legal career to find ways to open their perspective, and to get involved in things to distinguish themselves.  “If you invest yourself in something that you love it will pay off in the future, there is no doubt about it. Get involved, get connected, join organizations, and have fun. I know it sounds so sophomoric but enjoy it. You know law school is not fun per-se, but you can make it fun, by getting involved with other things outside the classroom, meeting people and connecting.”

Author: Sarah Nelson’17

Prof. Vazquez Publishes Article on Latino Subordination

Professor Yolanda Vázquez’ has recently published the article Constructing Crimmigration: Latino Subordination in a “Post-Racial” World.  It is now in print at 76 Ohio State Law Journal 599 (2015).

Michael Daevenport '93 newly invested to operate Grandville stamping firm as minority enterprise

GRANDVILLE, MI – Jireh Metal Products has been acquired by a group of local investors who plan to operate the metal stamping company as a Minority Business Enterprise.

The new owners include by Michael Davenport, Andy Otteman and Gregory VandenBosch, the company said in a news release on Tuesday, May 19. Jireh produces metal stampings and assemblies for the office furniture, hardware and automotive industry.

Davenport, a basketball star at Ottawa Hills High School in the 1980s who went on to star at Xavier University, will lead Jireh as president and CEO.

Seller Ron Wierenga, who has led the company since 2000, will retain an ownership share and have an active role in the development of customer relationships, the company said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the new ownership structure, Jireh plans to pursue Minority Business Enterprise certification, the company said.

The certification "will allow Jireh to provide support to many companies, including current customers, that have supplier diversity programs in place and those that recognize that a diverse supply base offers a competitive advantage in today's multicultural business economy," the company said..

With more than 30 years in business, Jireh employs nearly 100 people and operates two manufacturing plants with 120,000 square feet. The company is headquartered at 3635 Nardin Street SW in Grandville and has a production facility at 864 Productions Place in Holland Township.

Davenport most recently served as the director of community development for First Financial Bank in Cincinnati, where he led the bank's community development strategy. Previously, he served as a regulatory attorney for First Financial, Fifth Third Bank and U.S. Bank, where he managed the implementation and review of consumer lending legislation.

"Jireh's current products and customer base provided our team with a solid platform and the potential to grow with existing customers. We have a great opportunity to extend our relationships with these partners," said Davenport in a news release.

"While we retained all of Jireh's employees in the transition, we are also looking forward to adding additional staff to expand our areas of expertise and industry knowledge."

"Our team has done extensive due diligence on Jireh and knows the business inside and out. With Ron's involvement and guidance, Jireh will be able to continue in the direction that has allowed Jireh to grow with its partners," said Davenport. "We're confident that we'll be able to reach the company's growth targets."

Otteman, a former employee of Herman Miller Inc. and tech start-up, Parnunu, will serve as director of new business development.

The deal was financed by Mercantile Bank. Grand Rapids-based StreamSong Advisors played a key role in the deal structure.

"Providing acquisition and growth capital for proven leaders like the new Jireh Metal Products team is a perfect fit for the Mercantile business model and our local focus, said Kevin Paul, senior vice president of commercial lending at Mercantile Bank.


Deborah Brenneman '93 recognized with the 2015 Glass Ceiling Award by the Ohio Diversity Council

Thompson Hine is proud to announce that Cincinnati Labor & Employment Partner, Deborah Brenneman has been recognized with the 2015 Glass Ceiling Award by the Ohio Diversity Council.  This award recognizes women in the workplace who demonstrate leadership excellence, maintain a record of accomplishments in areas of expertise, display integrity and portray the highest ethical standards among colleagues and clients.  Deborah has over 20 years of experience, focusing her practice on representing management in all areas of employment law.  She has successfully tried cases in state and federal courts around the country for global companies, and is a recognized expert in the field of trade secret and noncompete litigation.  She has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer since 2009.  She currently serves as the Cincinnati co-chair for the Spotlight on Women Initiative, a firm-wide program designed to foster an energetic and supportive atmosphere for women at the firm and within the business community. Debbie is the Vice Chair of the board of the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, which awarded her its Women of Excellence Award in 2010.  She is also a former Athena Award Finalist.