Professor Sperino's Article Published in OSU Law Journal
Professor Sandra Sperino’s Let's Pretend Title VII is a Tort is now in print at 75 Ohio State Law Journal 1107 (2014).
Bettman’s Legally Speaking Ohio Blog Cited by FindLaw
Kudos to Professor Marianna Bettman and her Legally Speaking Ohio blog, which was recently mentioned on FindLaw for Ohio v. Clark, Darius, a case from the Ohio Supreme Court which was taken up by the Supreme Court of the United States. The writers of FindLaw noted that the Legally Speaking Ohio blog was a resource for information on the case. It was number 4 on the FindLaw list.
Professor Solimine Cited in Election Law Expert’s Blog
One of the country’s most well-known authorities on national and state election politics and blogger on legislation, Professor Rick Hasen at the University of California Irvine School of Law, commented on Professor Michael Solimine’s newest article “Rethinking District of Columbia Venues in Voting Rights Preclearance Actions,” recently published in the Georgetown Law Journal. Professor Hasen noted he looked forward to reading it (Solimine’s article). “Michael leads the field in his writing on election law procedure.”
Welcome to A New Year
A highpoint for me every year is welcoming our new students to the College of Law – sharing in their excitement, commemorating with them the start of their careers, and celebrating the good things about law and the legal profession that make both essential to a civil and prosperous society.
And Monday, August 18th was as good as it gets. We welcomed the Class of 2017 – a group of 75 students (a smaller class than usual, as is happening at law schools across the country). Impressive, engaged, and rich with promise, they range in age from 21 to 50 and come from 13 states (and birthplaces in at least seven different nations). Alumni of 43 different undergraduate institutions, they majored in 26 different undergraduate fields of study.
We also welcomed five transfer students to the Class of 2016, as well as two exchange students from our New Zealand partner, the University of Canterbury School of Law. And we welcomed 12 LL.M. students who hail from eight nations. Our long-storied law school, now in its 182nd year, is delighted to welcome all these new members into the fold. We are now even stronger.
It’s an exciting year ahead. There are victories to be won in moot courts, trial and negotiation competitions, and transactional meets. Law reviews to publish and influential scholarship to produce. Hundreds of clients to serve in our clinics. Law to learn and skills to hone in our classes. Major lectures and events – including a boundary-spanning program this October from the Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice – that you won’t want to miss. Milestones to mark, including the Ohio Innocence Project’s 10th anniversary and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights’ 35th.
We’ll continue to excel – and get even better – at providing an outstanding legal education. (Did you know the College was recognized nationally for the strength of its experiential learning and practical training?) We’ll provide that outstanding legal education as affordably as possible. (Did you know the College ranks 25th in lowest average graduate student debt, and recently was recognized nationally for value?) We’ll continue to do it all with great spirit and an enviable sense of true community. (Did you know that the College was the only college at UC to attain 100% participation in the recent Faculty/Staff fundraising campaign, and leads UC’s west campus colleges with the highest percentage of alumni fundraising participation?)
Speaking of spirit, community, and the exciting year we’ve begun: The SBA kicked off the year with a Day of Service on September 6, bringing together students, faculty, staff, and alumni in community service projects throughout our city. A great time was had by all. Let’s continue that trend they’ve started.
Best wishes for a great year,
Lou Bilionis, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law
Professor Moore Invited to Participate at Criminal Defense Forum
Congratulations to Professor Janet Moore, who was invited to participate as one of 12 national experts on a new national working group on indigent criminal defense reform in early September. The working group is supported by the U.S. Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Professor Moore’s scholarship focuses on the legal and political conditions that empower stakeholders to obtain greater transparency and accountability from criminal justice systems.
Read more about Professor Moore:
From the Courtroom to the Classroom Janet Moore focuses on Policy Reform
Constitution Day 2014: The American Constitution in a Changing America
Date: September 17, 2014
Time: 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
Location: Room 114
CLE: Application for one (1) hour of general CLE has been submitted for Ohio and Kentucky. Approval is expected.
Webcast (available 9/17): 2014 Constitution Day
About the Event
Polarization in Congress and the nation’s politics. Elections, campaign contributions, and money. Equality and liberty in an increasingly diverse nation. Individual privacy in a digital age. Free market freedoms in a complex society and an interconnected world.
These are among the foremost constitutional challenges of our day, provoking controversies and cases that have captured the nation’s headlines and attention. In this Constitution Day 2014 program, three constitutional law experts will explore how they are testing and evolving the meaning of the United States Constitution in a changing America
About the Speakers
Louis D. Bilionis, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law, is a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of constitutional law and criminal law and procedure, with his work published in leading law journals such as the Michigan Law Review, Texas Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, University of California-Los Angeles Law Review, Emory Law Journal, North Carolina Law Review, and Law and Contemporary Problems. He has taught constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence, as well as seminars on capital punishment, constitutional law and theory, criminal law and procedure, and sentencing.
A. Christopher Bryant, Rufus King Professor of Constitutional Law, has been a prolific scholar and an exceptionally skilled and award-winning teacher of constitutional law. His numerous published articles and essays reach a wide range of issues of contemporary constitutional importance, including the separation of powers, judicial review, and the roles of the various branches of the national government in constitutional interpretation. He is a recognized expert on the scope and exercise of national legislative power and the respect that Congressional action is owed from the federal judiciary, with leading articles on the subject published in the Cornell Law Review, George Washington Law Review, BYU Law Review, Notre Dame Journal of Legislation, and William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.
Ronna Greff Schneider, Professor of Law, is an expert in constitutional law, with a focus on the First Amendment, and education law. She is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues involving constitutional law, education law, and educational policy and is the author of the two volume legal treatise, Education Law: First Amendment, Due Process and Discrimination Litigation (Thomson Reuters), and its annual supplements (available in print and online in Westlaw).
Sperino Cited by Iowa Supreme Court and Quoted in Washington Post
July 2014 has been a great month for Professor Sandra Sperino. In addition to having her work cited several times by the Iowa Supreme Court in cases involving federal and state employment law and employment discrimination, she was quoted in a Washington Post article about punishments federal whistleblowers may receive on their jobs. And, she also was published in the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Iowa Supreme Court Cites Sperino’s Work
The Iowa Supreme Court cited articles by Professor Sperino in two opinions issued this summer. The two cases are Goodpaster v. Schwan's Home Serv., Inc., 13-0010, 2014 WL 2900950 (Iowa June 27, 2014) and Pippen v. State, 12-0913, 2014 WL 3537028 (Iowa July 18, 2014).
In both cases, the Iowa Supreme Court decided whether it should interpret the Iowa Civil Rights Act to be consistent with federal law. In both cases, the Iowa Supreme Court used Sperino’s work to support its conclusion that Iowa state law should be interpreted independently from federal law.
Sperino’s articles discuss how fractured federal discrimination law has become over time. Under federal law, discrimination protections are found in three main statutes: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Prior to the 1990s, the federal courts tended to read these three statutes consistently. If a phrase was interpreted one way under Title VII, the courts would interpret the same or similar phrase in the ADEA to have the same meaning. However, in recent cases, the Supreme Court has interpreted these statutes differently.
Sperino’s work explains how many states have a single anti-discrimination statute. It is difficult for state law to continue to follow federal law because federal law now approaches some questions differently, depending on whether the underlying claim is one for age discrimination, sex discrimination, or disability discrimination. In many states, claims for age, sex, and disability discrimination would all be brought under the same state statute.
Her work also explains that Congressional amendments to Title VII and the ADA were largely in response to Supreme Court decisions interpreting these statutes narrowly. State laws may use different words than the federal statutes. Many state laws also do not have the same history of narrow court interpretation followed by subsequent amendment. It is now difficult to read many state laws in tandem with federal law. As the Iowa Supreme Court noted: “Congressional reaction to a specific case decided by the United States Supreme Court does not shed light on the meaning of state law when there has been no comparable narrow state court precedent to stimulate a legislative override.” Pippen v. State, 12-0913, 2014 WL 3537028, at *15 (Iowa July 18, 2014).
Here are links to the cited articles:
- Sandra F. Sperino, Revitalizing State Employment Discrimination Law, 20 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 545, 546–64 (2013), available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/results.cfm
- Sandra F. Sperino, Diminishing Deference: Learning Lessons from Recent Congressional Rejection of the Supreme Court's Interpretation of Discrimination Statutes, 33 Rutgers L. Rec. 40, 42–43 (2009), available at http://lawrecord.com/files/33_Rutgers_L_Rec_40.pdf.
Washington Post Article Quotes Sperino
Professor Sperino was also quoted in the August 4, 2014 Washington Post article “For whistleblowers, a bold move can be followed by one to department basement.” The article follows the case of former Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital employee Paula Pedene who alleges she was reassigned to a new position after complaining to higher-ups about mismanagement at the hospital. In the article Sperino talks about the challenges employees often face when attempting to bring this type of case to court.
- Here’s a link to the story: “For Whistleblowers, a bold move can be followed by one to department basement”.
Finally, her article Fakers and Floodgates, co-authored by Professor Suja Thomas, University of Illinois College of Law, appeared in print at 10 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 223 (2014).
Professor Black Cited in Supreme Court Ruling and NY Times Story
Professor Barbara Black’s article “Fraud-on-the-Market” was recently cited in Halliburton Co.v. Erica P. John Fund. Available in the North Carolina Law Review, it was cited in Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion, decided on June 23.
Also, Professor Black was quote in the New York Times story “Taking a Broker to Arbitration”, published on July 19, 2014. She discussed the advantage of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) model for investors.
From the Courtroom to the Classroom Janet Moore Focuses on Policy Reform
Originally from Midland, Michigan, Professor Janet Moore had no expectation of attending law school and later teaching law. “People had told me that I should go to law school, but I thought it would be boring,” said Moore. But as she contemplated career paths she followed the Bork hearings. Robert Bork was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to the Supreme Court in 1987, but his nomination was ultimately shot down in the Senate. The fierceness of the debates opened Moore’s eyes to the immense importance of the U.S. legal system. She attended law school at Duke University, graduating with not only a JD, but also a MA in Philosophy. There she was the editor-in- chief of the Law and Contemporary Problems law review, the nation’s first interdisciplinary law journal.
Professor Moore first became interested in criminal law during her criminal procedure course. “I was astonished at how easy it was, and is, for the government to get its teeth in people’s hides, and not let go,” she shared. During this time, she saw a friend’s husband go through the horrifying experience of being wrongly accused of child abuse. “It was a strange time,” she said. There was a hysteria that gripped the country around that time where such accusations were abundant. Professor Moore did not discount the seriousness of the crime of child abuse, but seeing a friend go through the experience of being wrongfully accused left a big impression on her as she was in the midst of her legal studies.
After graduating she clerked with Judge James Dickson Phillips, Jr. on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. During her clerkship, she saw a case come through the court on a man’s second habeas petition (essentially his last chance to get his conviction reviewed). It was a case where there were some serious concerns about his competence to stand trial, his confession, and—ultimately—his guilt. Moore emotionally recalled the moment where she found out the court would not vote for the petitioner, and she shared that it was at this point that she knew she did not want to be involved with the side of the system sentencing people to death.
Taking a Hiatus from Legal Work
Following her clerkship, Moore and her family spent a few years in France, near Paris. This period was a hiatus from any legal work, during which she immersed herself in the taking care of her children as well as the French culture. During this same period, the habeas petitioner mentioned above was exonerated and freed from prison. The example set by lawyers in that case and other death penalty cases led to Moore’s involvement with capital litigation. When Moore and her family returned to the US, she passed the bar and began looking for work, which she found at the Office of the Appellate Defender in Durham and Asheville, North Carolina. She was immediately assigned defense appeals in death penalty cases. As Moore began winning the cases, it turned into a career. The experience she had with various cases she worked on while in North Carolina is something Moore is able to utilize in the classroom in her courses, including Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence.
After seven years working in North Carolina, Professor Moore and her family moved to Ohio, where she began working with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center concentrating on evidence-based criminal justice policy reform. Her work focused on diverting the school-to-prison pipeline and other strategies to prevent criminal justice involvement at the front end rather than on appeals or post-conviction. She also worked on matters regarding prison condition issues, including a class-action lawsuit focused on juvenile detention systems. During this time she continued her own appellate and post-conviction defense practice. After five years in Ohio, Professor Moore found herself at UC College of Law, first by helping to found the Indigent Defense Clinic, and later by becoming a professor at the College.
Empirical Research is the Foundation
Professor Moore is currently involved in numerous research projects. One project involves co-chairing a task force on national discovery reform and drafting a model bill. Additionally, she is working to expanding the empirical research that she did with the assistance of some criminal justice researchers at Washington State University, using the Indigent Defense Clinic as a way to further that research. “Every client that comes into the clinic is handed this ‘client’s bill of rights’,” explained Moore. The “client’s bill of rights” explains what the clients can and should expect from their attorneys.
Complementary research uses a client feedback survey, which was initially tested in Hamilton County, and may be expanded for use in Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Washington. In addition to her research, Professor Moore works closely with her students and is involved with the Criminal Law Society, a student organization at the College of Law for students interested in criminal law practice.
Professor Kenneth Hirsh Recognized as a Top 50 Innovator in Law
Kenneth Hirsh, Director, Law Library and Information Technology and Professor of Practice, has been named a “2013 Fastcase 50” award recipient by legal publisher Fastcase. This award recognizes the top 50 innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law, as determined and chosen by Fastcase. Noted Phil Rosenthal, president of Fastcase, in the announcement, “This is a notable moment for legal tech and the impact of these individuals are making on the shifting legal landscape...Along with the record number of nominees this year, we’re witnessing a rise in the boundary-pushers for big data, open government, and legal information.”
In addition to receiving this award, Hirsh was elected to the executive board of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). His three-year term commenced July 2013.
A prominent leader in two of the foremost organizations in his field—the AALL and the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), Professor Hirsh has a reputation as an innovator, using his legal education, practice background, and technical expertise to bring new technologies to students and faculty. He has been honored by both organizations for his outstanding service and contribution.
Professor Hirsh is a graduate of the University of Miami and received his JD from the University of Florida. After practicing law in Florida for several years, he returned to school to obtain his MS in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. He then joined the Law Library at Duke University School of Law, serving in numerous positions. He also has served as a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke, teaching courses in legal research and technology.