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Christo Lassiter Quoted in ABC News Report


UC Law’s Professor Christo Lassiter was quoted in an ABC News.com article about the possibility of prosecuting people who failed to report a felony in the Steubenville, OH rape case.  Here’s the story: Steubenville (OH)  Rape Case Report

Professor Williams Writes Editorial About Justice Scalia’s Scorn of Vote Protections


Constitutional law professor Verna Williams published an editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer  (March 7, 2013) challenging Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments about voter protection under the Voting Rights Act.    

Read the editorial: Scalia Scorns Vote Protections

College of Law Professors Launch New Scholarship Fund for Students


Cincinnati, OH— Prospective students are well aware that a legal education can be a significant financial investment. What’s news at the University of Cincinnati College of Law is what professors have initiated to make things a little easier for students. They’ve established the College of Law Faculty Scholarship Fund.

Specifically, the College of Law Faculty Scholarship Fund will provide necessary financial support to our law students that will help offset the rising cost of legal education. To kick off this initiative, nearly $40,000 was raised, with the average gift exceeding $1,000.

“We have high hopes for this effort,” said A. Christopher Bryant, professor of law at the College and one of the initiators of the idea. “This faculty has always felt a very strong connection to our students. We also understand the realities of the legal profession today—and remember the anxiety we all felt when we were in law school. Creating this scholarship was an opportunity to show our support of them in a tangible form.”

Noted Bryant and Mark Godsey, the Daniel P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and Director of the Ohio Innocence Project, law faculty were excited and very committed to participating in this venture recognizing the increasing pressures on students in terms of debt and the impact of a slowing economy.  As an important initiative of this year’s Faculty Staff Campaign, these efforts helped raise our faculty participation rate to 100%, making UC College of Law one of very few to achieve this high standard.

“We’ve long been proud of the strong relationships that exist between faculty and students at the College of Law,” said Louis D. Bilionis, dean at the College of Law. “Our professors care deeply about their students, and their initiative and generosity in establishing this scholarship fund shows how dedicated they are to making a positive, personal difference in the lives of their students.”

2012 William Howard Taft Lecture on Constitutional Law


*This event, scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, has been postponed due to inclement weather on the East Coast.

New Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
12:15 - 1:15 p.m.
College of Law - Room 114

Webcast: 2012 Taft Lecture

Steven G. Calabresi
Class of 1940 Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law

"The Right to Buy Health Insurance Across State Lines: Crony Capitalism and the Supreme Court"

My lecture will focus on the health care reform debate in the wake of the Supreme Court's historic decision this past June in NFIB v. Sebelius upholding the mandate to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act as a tax. I will argue that citizens have and should have a constitutional right to be able to purchase any health insurance plan that is offered in any of the fifty states even if a citizens' own state has not given an out of state insurer permission to do business within a state. The present licensing system has led to the creation of 50 separate health insurance monopolies or oligopolies in each of the 50 states. This is unconstitutional because it deprives consumers of choices they should have in buying health insurance, it drives up the cost of health care, and it leads to lower quality health insurance because of the absence of competition.

I will argue that 1) the Commerce Clause applies to the buying and selling of health insurance; 2) that the Dormant Commerce Clause, absent the McCarran-Ferguson Act, would and should make it unconstitutional for states to discriminate against out of state health insurance providers; 3) that the Constitution should no longer be read as giving Congress the power to override the Dormant Commerce Clause in the health insurance context because the mandate now compels consumers to buy health insurance; 4) that Congress lacks the direct power under the Commerce Clause to create 50 separate health insurance monopolies and oligopolies in each of the 50 states; and 5) that the McCarran-Ferguson Act violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, Section 2.

My conclusion is that the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the upholding of the mandate to buy health insurance renders the McCarran-Ferguson Act unconstitutional as it applies to the market for health insurance.

About the Taft Lecture

The William Howard Taft Lecture on Constitutional Law was established in 1986 to honor the contributions of the only person to have served as both President (1909-1913) and Chief Justice (1921-1930) of the United States.

William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati on Auburn Avenue in 1857. He is a graduate of the Cincinnati Law School, the predecessor of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He served as Dean of the newly founded University of Cincinnati Law Department from 1896-1900 and was instrumental in the merger of this department and his alma mater in 1897.

Lori Strait Named the 2012 Nettie Birk/Dottie Sutton/Louise Erway Award Recipient


Congratulations to Lori Strait, the recipient of the 2012 Nettie Birk/Dottie Sutton/Louise Erway Award. The staff recognition award was formally announced at the Hooding Ceremony.

In her position as program coordinator she provides significant support for the work of the law school’s faculty. In addition, she supports the staff and projects of the Corporate Law Center and the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC).  Strait interacts with students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the general public, many of whom are clients of the ECDC.  As one nomination stated “[s]he relates well to both students and clients, always greeting them with a smile and a genuine sense of caring and professionalism.”  Her steadfast dedication was observed during the ECDC Pro Bono event with Duke Energy, for which she served as the project leader.  

Finally, her commitment to the law school community extends beyond the business day.  As one student noted “[s]he attended the PILG student-faculty basketball game, which… also demonstrates her interest in the students and her jovial nature.” 

This year’s selection committee included:  Professor Michele Bradley, Professor Christo Lassiter, Joel Chanvisanuruk (last year’s winner), John Hopkins, Amanda Kennedy ‘12, , Shannon Kemen, Becky Rhoda ‘14, and Suzanne Smith ’13.

Chanvisanuruk Named Staff Recipient of the Marian Spencer Diversity Ambassador Award


Joel Chanvisanuruk May 04, 2012 - Joel Chanvisanuruk was named staff recipient of the Marian Spencer Diversity Ambassador Award at the university’s recent Diversity Conference. The award is presented each year to highlight campus-affiliated individuals and groups whose diversity initiatives have positively impacted the university.  Chanvisanuruk is the law school’s Academic Success Director and head of the Diversity Committee.

The Diversity Conference announcement reads:

In his role, Joel delivers workshops and works individually with law students to help them adapt to law school curriculum, prepare for exams and improve their academic performance in order to achieve their full academic potential as a law student. But in addition to these duties, Joel also serves as chair of the UC Law Diversity Committee which provides counseling to students regarding diversity issues, while also bringing together faculty, staff and students of the College of Law to develop proposals to support present diversity initiatives. 

Working with the College of Law Office of Admissions, Joel launched “Law School 101 Day”, a program focused on educating Department of Education Trio-qualified students, diverse students and first-generation college students from regional colleges and universities on becoming an attorney. The program included diverse and first-generation faculty, students and attorneys speaking on their experiences of becoming an attorney while providing useful information on the application process, financing and academic rigor of law school.  As a staff member within the College of Law, Joel is constantly talking with co-workers about how we can create a more efficient and comfortable working atmosphere for all persons such as spearheading potluck committees and staff programs that work to enrich relationships and foster inclusion and community. From race and ethnicity to gender, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic background and beyond – Joel believes that all of these areas are equally important when creating an environment that students, staff and faculty can feel comfortable.

Dean Jefferson Honored with NALP President’s Award


Mina Jones Jefferson ‘90, Assistant Dean and Director, Center for Professional Development, was named a 2011-2012 President’s Award Winner—one of the highest honors in the field—at the annual meeting of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Dean Jefferson was lauded for her work as chairperson of NALP’s Employment Outcomes Task Force.   Under her leadership the Task Force published a comprehensive Best Practices Guide that will assist all law schools in the data collection process. Jefferson will again serve as chairperson of the task force during the 2012-2013 academic year.

One of the first African American women in the region elected to the partnership of a large firm, Jefferson practiced commercial litigation for nine years before joining the College of Law. A former hiring partner, she has the distinction of being one of the few law school career services professionals in the country who has been on “both sides of the table.”  Dean Jefferson speaks on professional development throughout the tri-state and is very involved in the community, including currently serves on the board of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati Board of Trustees and by appointment on the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education.

What is NALP?

Founded in 1971 as the National Association for Law Placement, NALP—The Association for Legal Career Professionals—is a nonprofit educational association established to meet the needs of all participants in the legal employment process (career planning, recruitment and hiring, and professional development of law students and lawyers) for information, coordination and standards. NALP is dedicated to continuously improving career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students, lawyers, and its members.

Dean Jefferson Honored with NALP President’s Award


Mina Jones Jefferson ‘90, Assistant Dean and Director, Center for Professional Development, was named a 2011-2012 President’s Award Winner—one of the highest honors in the field—at the annual meeting of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Dean Jefferson was lauded for her work as chairperson of NALP’s Employment Outcomes Task Force.   Under her leadership the Task Force published a comprehensive Best Practices Guide that will assist all law schools in the data collection process. Jefferson will again serve as chairperson of the task force during the 2012-2013 academic year.

One of the first African American women in the region elected to the partnership of a large firm, Jefferson practiced commercial litigation for nine years before joining the College of Law. A former hiring partner, she has the distinction of being one of the few law school career services professionals in the country who has been on “both sides of the table.”  Dean Jefferson speaks on professional development throughout the tri-state and is very involved in the community, including currently serves on the board of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati Board of Trustees and by appointment on the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education.

What is NALP?

Founded in 1971 as the National Association for Law Placement, NALP—The Association for Legal Career Professionals—is a nonprofit educational association established to meet the needs of all participants in the legal employment process (career planning, recruitment and hiring, and professional development of law students and lawyers) for information, coordination and standards. NALP is dedicated to continuously improving career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students, lawyers, and its members.

OIP Helps Bryant Gaines Walk Free


March 14, 2012 will go down in history as the day Bryant “Rico” Gaines walked out of prison a free man. He served nine years of a life sentence for a murder the both he and the Ohio Innocence Project says he did not commit. Gaines, however, will not go home cleared of all charges, despite his innocence. He decided to take a plea deal to a reduced charge of “conspiracy to commit manslaughter.”  After many years of imprisonment and push back from the judicial system, Gaines determined that this was his best option to be free. Congratulations to the many individuals who worked on this case: many OIP students, OIP attorney Karla Hall, and Cincinnati defense attorney Bill Gallagher.

Media Stories

The Wrongful Convictions Blog.

Cincinnati Enquirer

Professor Darrell A.H. Miller, Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award Lecturer, will Speak on the Second Amendment


The Second Amendment in Theory and Practice

Date: November, 13, 2012

Time: 12:15 p.m. Location: Room 114

CLE: Application has been made for 1 hr. of general CLE credit for Ohio and Kentucky. There is no charge for this program.

About the Lecture

In District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, the United States Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment preserves an individual right to keep and bear arms and that this right applies equally against federal, state, and local governments. But the precise scope of the right, including its day-to-day application in modern American life, remains the subject of intense discussion, speculation, and litigation.

Professor Miller’s lecture will explore these two important constitutional cases; what they decided, what they left undecided, and what they may mean for the future. In the process, the lecture will touch on the complicated and fascinating relationship between the poetry of high constitutional theory and its translation into the prose of deciding individual cases.

About the Award: the Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award recognized outstanding research and scholarly achievement by a member of the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

RSVP to Lori Strait at 513-556-0117 or lori.strait@uc.edu. Visit our website at www.law.uc.edu for more information.

About the Speaker

Darrell A.H. Miller, Associate Professor of Law, is the recipient of the 2011 Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award, recognizing outstanding research and scholarly achievement by a member of the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He will deliver a public lecture on his scholarship during the Fall 2012 semester.

A graduate of the Harvard Law School and a British Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, Professor Miller is considered a prolific and influential constitutional law scholar. His articles— focusing on civil rights, constitutional law, and civil procedure—have been published and cited, debated, and discussed in numerous legal journals and publications. It is an impressive body of work that engages under-enforced and undermined constitutional provisions to make them relevant today. Professor Miller’s scholarly work has contributed to judicial and academic discourse alike, with citations in the United States Supreme Court as well as the lower appellate courts.

In addition, Professor Miller’s scholarship has garnered high praise from some of the most prominent constitutional law scholars in America, who commend his deep, imaginative, and interrelating analyses of the First, Second, and Thirteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He has become a sought-after speaker and contributor at academic symposia and other forums across the country, demonstrating further his stature as one of the country’s outstanding young legal scholars.

At the College Professor Miller is highly regarded by the students, having twice received the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching since he joined the law school in 2007.