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Scheduled Maintenance August 1st, 2015

The College of Law website and other computing resources will be temporarily inaccessible August 1st, 2015 due to an electrical outage. We apologize for the inconvenience. Learn More.

Prof. McMahon Published Op-Ed on Death Tax Repeal Act in The Hill


Professor Stephanie McMahon recently published the op-ed “(Un)intended Consequences of Death Tax Repeal” in the April 29, 2015 issue of The Hill (a congressional blog). Her editorial looks at the impact of H.R. 1105, the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015,” which would repeal the federal estate tax, and explains her concerns on the hidden agenda behind the bill.  Read more hereStephanie McMahon.

Prof. Sandra Sperino Give Presentation and Has Article Accepted for Publication


 Sandra SperinoThe article “Retaliation and the Reasonable Person”, written by Professor Sandra Sperino, was accepted for publication in the Florida Law Review.  In addition, Professor Sperino recently participated in the Clifford Symposium at DePaul University College of Law where she presented her paper, “The Civil Rights Restatement”. Congratulations!

Prof. Jacob Cogan’s Article Published


jacob coganCongratulations to Jacob Cogan, the Judge Joseph P. Kinneary Professor of Law.  His work The Changing Form of the International Law Commission’s Work was recently published in EVOLUTIONS IN THE LAW OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 275 (Roberto Virzo and Ivan Ingravallo eds., Brill | Nijhoff 2015).

 

College of Law Announces the 2015 Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Awards


Professors Michele Bradley, A. Christopher Bryant, and Janet Moore received the annual award for teaching excellence, which was announced on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

Cincinnati, OH—The recipients of the 2015 Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching share a central characteristic: they enjoy laying a foundation of knowledge that students will use throughout their legal careers. All willingly pass on their knowledge and experience to others, demonstrated by their commitment to teaching and the impact they’ve made at the College of Law. Congratulations to this year’s recipients: Professors Michele Bradley, A. Christopher Bryant, and Janet Moore. 

Michele Bradley, Professor of Practice

Professor Michele Bradley, a College of Law graduate, has distinguished herself as a professor who demonstrates excellence in the classroom, as well as a great advisor outside of the classroom.  She teaches courses in Legal Research and Writing and works closely with the Judicial Extern Program. In the classroom, Professor Bradley creates a learning environment that allows each of her students to feel more comfortable while exploring a new way of writing that can be very difficult to comprehend. Wrote one student in a letter nominating her, “Professor Bradley provides an atmosphere that is conducive to student participation and the ability for us to bounce ideas off of each other.”  Such a trait is especially important for Professor Bradley’s courses as they are filled with 1Ls attempting to adjust to the rigors of law school.   

Outside of the classroom, Professor Bradley is committed to students’ success. She makes herself available to help not only with writing required for class, but also with writing samples students may want to use in applying for jobs.  She seeks out individual students for opportunities she thinks they would find rewarding or that would benefit them by their involvement. Professor Bradley has shown that she not only wants her students to become successful attorneys, but that she is willing to help them reach that goal.

A. Christopher Bryant, Rufus King Professor of Constitutional Law

Professor A. Christopher Bryant demonstrates excellence in teaching both inside and outside the classroom. Inside the classroom he distinguishes himself by fostering discussions among students who often have very polarized opinions. One of the biggest challenges that he has to overcome is addressing controversial topics in a room of twenty-something-year-old students with differing perspectives. His ability to harness students’ passions and convert them into worthwhile discussion topics is unrivaled.

Outside the classroom, Professor Bryant excels as well. He is often a featured participant in law school sponsored debates, a keynote speaker on current events with legal implications, and a facilitator of CLE events open to the broader legal community. Indeed, attending any of these forums will enlighten students as to why Professor Bryant is a wonderful teacher and a great ambassador for the law school.

Finally, Professor Bryant’s dedication to teaching and educational reform also is exemplified by a recent scholarly undertaking. He is hard at work on a new Constitutional Law casebook that will introduce new and more effective ways of teaching constitutional law to students.

Professor Janet Moore, Assistant Professor of Law

Professor Janet Moore’s ability to offer personal insight and perspective inside and outside of the classroom sets her apart from others. She is well-known for her unique teaching style that introduces legal concepts in a fun and engaging manner. Indeed, lessons are filled with nursery rhymes, comedic pictures, pop culture, and anecdotal stories that seamlessly tie into the key points of every lecture. These points stick with students well beyond the exam and turn every lesson into meaningful informative sessions that will help them in their career. She is masterful in not just ensuring that students understand the key points of each lesson, but also that each student recognizes the real world applications and many shades of gray that come with interpreting the law.

Professor Moore has a natural talent for communicating with the student body that has earned her the respect of both the students and the administration.  In addition, she engages outside the classroom, speaking about her experiences as a defense attorney for death row inmates and her past experiences as a litigator. Her knowledge and experience serve as indispensable tools to be passed on to others; and the care and concern she shows to each student makes her feel like everyone’s personal mentor.

About the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Award

Each year, students have an opportunity to recognize excellence in teaching at the College of Law by nominating a professor(s) for the Goldman Prize. Awarded annually, the Prize recognizes professors who distinguish themselves in the classroom and whose accomplishments in research and/or public service contribute to excellence in teaching. 

Professor Vazquez Organizes Race/Border Control Event


Professor Yolanda Vazquez organized a themed week on race and border control at Border Criminologies, based at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford.  She also provided the first installment. Read her piece and more about the event. 

Profs. Bettman and Moore Discuss Ohio v. Clark (podcast)


Professors Marianna Bettman and Janet Moore discussed Ohio v. Clark on March 2, 2015 for Bloomberg News. Listen to the podcast.  (view podcast)

Director Ken Hirsh’s Article Accepted for Publication


Congratulations to Ken Hirsh, Director of the Law Library and Information Technology and Professor of Practice, who recently received notice that his article has been accepted for publication. Like Mark Twain: The Death of Academic Law Libraries Is An Exaggeration, will be published in Volume 106 of the Law Library Journal (Number 4). 

Professor Sperino’s Article Cited by Hawaii Supreme Court


Professor Sandra Sperino’s article "Beyond McDonnell Douglas," 34 Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L. 257 (2013), was cited by the Hawaii Supreme Court in its discussion of how to use the McDonnell Douglas test in the context of state law.  The citation is Adams v. CDM Media USA, Inc., 2015 WL 769745, No. SCWC-12-00000741 (Hawaii Feb. 24, 2015).

In her Friend of the Court Blog, Sperino discussed the case. (read the post)

Professor Mank Quoted in Tennessean News Story on Environment Battle


 

Federal regulators have weighed in on a long-running lawsuit alleging that the city of Franklin’s sewage treatment plant has illegally polluted the Harpeth River — a rare move, some said, that reflects the case’s broader significance.

In a brief filed last week by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, regulators roundly rejected claims by the city that a local environmental group couldn’t sue in federal court over alleged sewage discharge permit violations, which include allowing untreated waste to flow into the river and failing to properly monitor the condition of the water.

Though the city relies on those claims in asking for the lawsuit to be moved down to state, rather than federal, court, the brief concluded that “those arguments fail.”

The brief added that enforcement of the provisions of that permit, which allows the city to pump treated wastewater into a protected waterway, is “squarely within the scope” of a federal pollution mitigation program and that citizens can sue over alleged violations.

Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey said the city stands by its claims that state — not federal — court is the right place to make arguments about whether the city has been complying with its permit.

He emphasized that the brief doesn’t say anything about the lawsuit’s allegations and that neither state nor federal regulators have cited the city for violations.

Rather, it’s just a question of “where is the appropriate venue to have this discussion.”

“We think we have made good faith efforts to comply (with the permit),” he said.

But the Harpeth River Watershed Association, which filed the lawsuit, said the EPA’s decision to get involved in the lawsuit speaks volumes.

The association “appreciates the rare step the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in town took … to confirm that citizens like us may indisputably enforce a law designed to protect public health and the environment,” board president Matt Dobson said in a statement.

“We have renewed optimism that our efforts will result in improving the water quality to meet state-required standards for this Tennessee gem that belongs to everyone,” he said.

Anne Davis, a staff attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center who is representing the association in the case, added in a statement that she was unaware of any other cases in which the EPA decided to file a similar statement.

It’s a move, she said, “that highlights the gravity of Franklin’s attempts to undermine the Clean Water Act.”

Though the document, a friend of the court brief, isn’t a binding ruling, it makes a strong statement that probably will catch a judge’s attention, said Brad Mank, a University of Cincinnati College of Law professor specializing in environmental law.

And it’s unusual for the EPA to get involved at this stage in the case, he said.

Typically, he said, federal regulators hold off until a case has reached an appeals court, where a ruling could have the weight of precedent.

Mank said he couldn’t speculate why the EPA would choose to weigh in now.

However, he said, it’s possible that the federal agency is “trying to clarify the law” — about who’s allowed to sue over water pollution issues and in which court — without waiting until a case goes through a lengthy appeals process.

Furthermore, he said, it makes a difference whether the case is heard in state court or federal court: State court judges, who are elected to regular terms, could be more sympathetic to the city’s arguments and they may be less accustomed to hearing highly complex environmental cases.

Federal judges, by contrast, have lifetime tenures.

Still, Mank emphasized, “it’s complicated” because each federal environmental law is different.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman said the agency wouldn’t comment beyond what was in the brief.

Franklin city officials said that attorneys are working on a more detailed response to the brief to be filed within a 21-day deadline.

(Read article)

Professor Mank’s Articles Accepted for Publication


Congratulations to Professor Brad Mank, who recently received notice that two of his articles have been accepted for publication.  Standing to View Other People's Land: The D.C. Circuit's Divided Decision in  Sierra Club v. Jewell, will be published in Volume 40 of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law (2015).   Volume 18 of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law will feature Prudential Standing Doctrine Abolished or Waiting for a Comeback?: Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., sometime in 2015 or 2016.