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ON ITI D LE IA C E SP
COUNSELOR CINCINNATI LAW
Impacting the global marketplace Passion for the Underdog Students Step into Real World Celebrating Professor Bettman
The Record Highlights Editor: Sherry Y. English Design: Parkey Design Writers: Kyler Davis Liza Dietrich Nancy Ent Sherry Y. English Michelle Flanagan Professor Bert Lockwood William Powell Deb Rieselman Nick Ruma
Impacting the Global Marketplace | 2
Kellie Kulka’s Oral Argument Reverses Client’s Sentence | 22
Photographers: Mark Bealer Joe Fuqua Andrew Higley Michael Mimms Jay Yocis To contact the editor, Phone: 513-556-0060 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Write: University of Cincinnati College of Law PO Box 210040 Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040 www.law.uc.edu
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Rosenthal’s Record-Breaking Gift | 8 New Law Building | 10 Passion for the Underdog | 12 Cincinnati Law Named a Best Value Law School | 44
Law School Launches 3 + 3 Program | 16
3L Helps Secure Prisoner’s Release
Professor Marianna Bettman’s Career Celebrated | 26 Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice Receives Diversity Award | 32
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Opening Statement | 1
Cogan Receives Schott Scholarship Award | 20
UC College of Law Administrative Staff James Crosset Verna Williams Director, Business Affairs Interim Dean and 513-556-0064 Nippert Professor of Law 513-556-6805 Staci Rucker Asst. Dean for Academic Affairs, Mina Jones Jefferson Student Affairs and Diversity Senior Assistant Dean, Chief of 513-556-0065 Staff, and Director Center for Professional Development Bradford Mank 513-556-0075 Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 513-556-0094 Sarah Strouse Registrar Joel Chanvisanuruk 513-556-0070 Assistant Dean for Academic Success and Bar Programs Thomas Giffin 513-556-3531 Sr. Director of Development 513-556-5002
Al Watson Senior Assistant Dean Admissions & Financial Aid 513-556-0077 Sherry Y. English Director College Relations 513-556-0060 Kenneth Hirsh Director Law Library and Information Technology 513-556-0159
Dear alumni and friends, I joined the faculty sixteen years ago, after practicing many years in the areas of civil and women’s rights. Cincinnati Law’s joint degree program in law and women’s studies resonated with me—not only because of my substantive legal experience in the field, but also because it suggested that UC was a place where the divide between theory and practice was very thin. It was a place where I wouldn’t be yet another member of the ivory tower, churning out articles that had little relevance to the law as people lived it. My impressions proved to be true, as I would go on to teach, engage in scholarship, and connect with communities of advocates and scholars through the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice, which I co-founded and co-direct. My tenure here has been marked by the creation of other innovative and cross-cutting endeavors, such as the Ohio Innocence Project, the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, as well as the continued thriving of others, such as the Urban Morgan and Weaver Institutes. There’s a lot happening at the corner of Clifton and Calhoun, which long has made me proud to be on the faculty. Now that the College has undergone a transition, I’m able to see this institution through a new vantage point—that of the interim dean. And what has surprised me most is how much prouder I am of this law school as I learn more and more about it every day. For example, I knew we had a top-rate faculty dedicated to excellent teaching, scholarship, and service and our students were second to none. But, I was gratified to see the preeminence of our educational program revealed in so many dimensions. Among them: • Our students pass the bar at rates 15 points higher than the statewide average. • We’ve been recognized as a Best Value Law School – for the fourth consecutive year. • We’ve also been named a “Best School for Practical Training” - for the third year in a row. • We’ve been named as a top school for public interest law, criminal law, corporate law, business law, and trial advocacy. • And employment rates for our graduates are nearly 15 percent higher than at our peer institutions across the state.
But these headlines are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. This special edition of Counselor magazine goes beyond the data to highlight Cincinnati Law’s recent accomplishments. Our students traverse the globe in greater numbers: our Moot Court team made its first adventure in international competition; the LLM program is partnering with a Colombian university; and the first UC Law student studied at the International Criminal Court, thanks to the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. Our wonderful donors continue to advance our mission of pursuing justice: The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation broke records for Cincinnati Law and Innocence Projects nationally by donating $15 million to our Ohio Innocence Project; while Bruce and Ginny Whitman transformed their passion for helping the underdog to establish the Whitman Fellowship, allowing students to gain experience representing individual plaintiffs and families in personal rights litigation, tort, and employment law. Our students make a difference: three students’ success in the court room changed their clients’ lives in powerful ways; and one student, Entrepreneurship Clinic fellow Tyler Short, impacted the clinic, his classmates and future fellows—both in his life and through his death. I’m excited to have this opportunity to lead the College of Law as we pursue our mission to “create a learning environment that inspires the pursuit of justice, cultivates diverse and innovative ideas about law in society, fosters collaborative relationships, and imparts the knowledge, values, and competencies needed to excel in a changing world.” As the statement suggests, our success depends upon partnering with you. I’m looking forward to working with you as we move ahead. On behalf of the faculty, staff and students, thank you for your support today and in the coming months. Take care,
Verna Williams Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
for Global-Minded Students Cincinnati Law continues to develop its international awareness, expertise and reputation
C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
The practice of law today is increasingly global. Whether one wants to study law in the U.S. or develop expertise in international and comparative law, the University of Cincinnati College of Law helps students develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in an international marketplace. Just a few of the many ways the College of Law has successfully interacted with — and continues to impact — the global community are: | For over 35 years, the UC law school’s Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights has sent students around the world to learn the nuances of promoting and protecting human rights in the international arena. It is recognized globally for its many contributions in the field. | The LLM Program, now in its fifth year, has successfully enrolled 50 attorneys from 23 countries; LLM students have come from England, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, India, Uganda, Estonia, France, the Republic of Georgia, Ghana, the Philippines, Brazil and China. | With more than 30 years and nearly a thousand articles and book reviews, the Human Rights Quarterly is represented — by its audience and authors — on every part of the globe. | One of Cincinnati Law’s international partners is the Southwest University of Political Science and Law (SWUPL) in Chongqing, China, one of China’s top law schools. SWUPL oﬀers our students the opportunity to spend several weeks in Chongqing to learn about the Chinese legal system, economy, society, language and culture. | Cincinnati Law regularly hosts visiting scholars, including from China, South Korea and France. | Professor Bert Lockwood has been involved in international human rights for over 40 years. | The first international Innocence Network conference on the global human rights issue of wrongful conviction was hosted by UC Law’s Ohio Innocence Project and held in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Moot Court Team Goes International University of Cincinnati College of Law Team Competes in International Vis Moot in Hong Kong The University of Cincinnati College of Law team performed well in the 2017 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot at the City University of Hong Kong in March. Coached by John B. Pinney, Senior Trial
Lawyer and Chair, International Practice Group, Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP, the team finished in the top half of a field of 125 teams from six continents — a significant accomplishment for a team competing for the first time in the prestigious event. UC Law’s team was only the second Ohio school to compete “against the world” at the Vis Moot.
Making the Cut In October 2016, the team of eight law students, including three 3Ls, three 2Ls and two LLM attorney students, was selected. Together, they researched and prepared written memoranda supporting each side of a hypothetical commercial dispute; the top four participants were then selected — based on oral skills and proficiency — to travel to Hong Kong to compete. The “traveling” team was composed of Brendan Chisholm ’17, Melena Siebert ’17, Abbey Aguilera ’18, and Franklin Uwizera LLM ’17. Each of them argued at least twice in the multi-round competition. Besides competing, they networked with other law students, as well as attorneys practicing in international commercial arbitration, from all over the world. Participants also had the opportunity to join the Moot Alumni Association, which has thousands of members. Team members who participated in memoranda preparation, but did not travel, were Ryan Kenny ’18, Belinda Seruhere LLM ’17, Ben White ’18 and Mickey Sutton ’17.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
“This trip to Hong Kong was a fantastic ‘capstone’ experience in my law school journey,” said participant Melena Siebert. “Law school trains your mind to think critically. The practice of law teaches you to apply those critical thinking skills to a client’s needs. We applied the skills we have been developing in school in this international arbitration competition; it was a fantastic way to see how the worlds of international law and business intersect.”
Prof. John Pinney (Coach); Ryan Kenny (2L); Brendan Chisholm (3L); Belinda Seruhere (LLM); Abbey Aguilera (2L); Franklin Uwizera (LLM); Ben White (2L); and Steven McDevitt (Asst. Coach). Missing from photo are team members Melena Siebert (3L) and Mickey Sutton (3L)
Competition Supported By Community
“The Vis Moot competition helped me to learn about international dispute resolution, and to apply practical legal skills in terms of research, legal writing and oral advocacy,” commented participant Franklin Uwizera. “I was amazed by the diversity and level of preparedness of the other competitors in Hong Kong. I resolved to pursue a career in arbitration because of the Vis.” “The competition created the opportunity for UC law students to understand how international commerce functions, including effective dispute resolution across different cultures and legal systems,” Pinney said. “The second major benefit to the law school is that it teaches 21st century lawyers to practice law effectively so competitors and other parties understand that UC law school is worthy of respect in that arena.”
What is the Vis Moot Competition? In 1992, the Vis Moot was created for the promotion and study of international commercial arbitration and to train tomorrow’s legal leaders in methods of resolution of international business disputes. Named for Willem C. Vis, a law professor and United Nations diplomat dedicated to enhancing cross-border business transactions, the moot quickly became a success with hundreds 4
of law schools worldwide gathering in Vienna each spring. In fact, it was so successful that in 2003 a second venue in Hong Kong was established — the Vis East International Arbitration Moot. The 2016 moot attracted almost 400 teams to Vienna and Hong Kong, with competitors that included teams from Harvard, Georgetown, Stanford, USC and Yale. Each year in early October, Vis Moot teams are given a “problem” based on a hypothetical commercial dispute arising under the Convention for Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)1. The problem for the 2017 moot involved the sale of jet engine parts from a seller located in “Equitoriana” and a buyer located in “Mediterraneo.” In their “contract,” the parties agreed to resolve any disputes by international commercial arbitration in the country of “Danubia” administered by a Brazilian arbitral institution. (The problem is always drafted to require an understanding of the 1958 New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of International Arbitration Awards and the UNCITRAL Model Arbitration Law, as well as the CISG.) Built into each year’s problem are issues involving both the ubstantive procedures of international arbitration practice and substantive al issues breach of contract issues based on the CISG. Procedural as timely this year were whether the seller’s arbitration notice was rity in and whether the seller should be required to post security es dealt order to proceed with the arbitration. Substantive issues with whether the buyer or seller should pay for losses arising from ted bank fluctuating currency exchange rates and large unexpected moranda fees. Each team argued both sides through written memoranda rators who and oral arguments before real-life international arbitrators volunteered as judges.
The College of Law is a strong advocate for its international tional programs and enhancing the international proficiencyy of its students. Since the Cincinnati region is part of a globalized alized economy, today’s lawyers need to know how to help clients lients resolve business disputes anywhere in the world. The law school is committed to equipping graduates with the skills required quired to practice law that is relevant, including international arbitration, which increasingly is becoming a necessity for today’s dispute resolution lawyers. The Vis Moot allows students to see first-hand another culture and legal system, as well as to learn from some of the world’s leading international dispute lawyers and arbitrators. Professor Rachel Smith, faculty advisor to the law aw scho school’s Moot Court program, and Assistant Dean for International ional Student Programs Nora Burke Wagner helped coordinate ate the team and trip arrangements. Steve McDevitt, an associate ate at Frost Brown Todd, served as the team’s assistant coach. He brought rought a wealth of experience to the team because he had competed eted in the competition in 2013 and 2014 while at Georgetown Law w School. 1 The CISG is a United Nations convention governing the cross-border er sale of goods. The United States and 83 other countries have adopted and are parties ies to the CISG. Unless expressly disclaimed, the CISG automatically applies to contracts acts for the sale of goods where the parties to the contract (buyer and seller) are from different countries that are signatories to the CISG. For example, the CISG willll apply, in lieu of the Uniform Commercial Code, to a contract specifying Ohio law w because the CISG, as a convention to which the United States is a party, is part off Ohio law by virtue of the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.
C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
University of Cincinnati College of Law Partners with Colombian University for Law Program The College of Law and the Universidad Pontificia Javeriana partnership enables Colombian law students to earn a master’s degree in U.S. legal system
The University of Cincinnati College of Law’s master’s degree program for internationally trained attorneys continues to grow as the college has recently established a dual degree program with the Universidad Pontificia Javeriana (Javeriana University) in Bogotá, Colombia.
tthe he n next ext st step tep p
Participating ating in tthe he V Vis is M Moot oott be oo b benefi nefits the law school, participants, supporters ants ts, su supp ppor ortte t rs and ters nd ccommunity, ommunity, as well as enhances how the world views both e wo worl r d vi view e s bo b th the Tristate and the College. The Coll College lleg ege of o Law helped underwrite the cost of sending ding th tthe e team, tea and about $3000 was raised by private te a ate at donations dona nati tions through the UC Foundation to support team. Participation from others, supp ppor o t th the e team am. P rs,, including UC Law Alumni wA l mn lu mni and friends, will help it become an ann annual event. To contribute, nua ual ev ven ent. t. T o co cont ntri riib go o to https://foundation.uc.edu/give by under https://foundation.uc.ed du/ u/gi give b y fi filllling llin ing g in i u un nder the “Other” box: “UC Law Vis Moo Moot Team.” oott Te T eam m.”
Representing a major milestone for the law school and the Cincinnati community, this program gives students from this elite private university the opportunity to spend the fifth year of their five-year bachelor of law program at the College of Law, earning a master’s degree in the U.S. legal system. The Javeriana University master’s degree program is designed so the attorney students learn the nuances of the U.S. legal system through seminars, classes, programs and networking. They also have the opportunity for clinic and internship experiences, putting their newly acquired knowledge into practice. Once their U.S. study is completed, students return to their home country to take final examinations. Those who successfully complete the program are awarded an LLM by the College of Law and an LLB by Javeriana University. It is anticipated that up to four students will transition through the program each year. “We’re excited about this arrangement with Javeriana University, the first of its kind for the college,” said Nora Burke Wagner, Assistant Dean for International Student Program and Director, LLM program. “It allows the law school to increase LLM representation from Latin America, in addition to introducing highly qualified emerging lawyers, who desire to launch a career in international business law, to the Cincinnati legal and business communities.”
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Luke Woolman Becomes First UC Law Student to Study at the International Criminal Court by Kyler Davis ’19, communication intern
Luke Woolman with colleagues from his summer at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Luke Woolman, an Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights Fellow, landed an externship working at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, during the summer of 2016. The
Institute had never sent someone to the ICC before, so he worked with them and found a way to get there. The ICC is an intergovernmental organization established by a treaty called the Rome Statute, which was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on July 17, 1998. This treaty gave the ICC jurisdiction to investigate crimes of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in an international setting. Currently, 124 countries are party to the statute, however, the U.S. formally renounced its signature on May 6, 2002. “I was the only American on my floor and the youngest person by far,” commented Woolman. “The court functions in English — with French being the other main language — but there are relatively few Americans there. The two visiting professionals 6
I spent time in the office with were from Canada and Australia. It was a nice mix of people. “Working there was eye opening,” he continued. “In your first year of law school you learn about law in the U.S., but at the ICC, the system of law, the general formatting and many other things are completely different. It’s like learning everything all over. Most people there had worked as a lawyer in their own country for probably over five years; it’s a very competitive place to get a job.” His responsibilities at the ICC included helping with interpretation of documents to legal officers and judges in the chambers; conducting legal research and analysis on questions of international criminal law, public international law, international humanitarian law and human rights law; preparing and providing legal memoranda for legal officers and judges; and preparing summaries of court submissions and decisions. “It was a good experience,” he concluded. “Maybe when I get the amount of work experience needed, I’ll think about it.” This was not Woolman’s first time studying abroad. “I spent a summer training with the Thai army while an undergrad at Texas Christian University, where I was also commissioned as an engineer officer with ROTC. I’d been fortunate enough to travel, but never worked abroad.” He said he is working this summer at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Looking to the future, he said he will consider the JAG Corps, but hopes to work for the government in the U.S., ideally the DOJ or other federal agency.
C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
LLM Graduate Adèle Sentuc Tackles International Food Issues by Nick Ruma Less than two months after graduating with an LLM in 2016, foreign alumna Adèle Sentuc had taken a job as an in-house lawyer at a leading farming and food industry cooperative group in the U.S.
“I was convinced that meeting new people and learning about a new legal system completely different from our French Civil Law system would help me both professionally and personally,” Sentuc said about her decision to come to the United States. “I am extremely happy that I chose Cincinnati. “The fact that it was a smaller city and a smaller law school made me feel comfortable. I was always very well surrounded and advised by professors, staff in general and the JD students.” Born in Paris and raised in Spain, Sentuc chose to pursue a double degree in French and Spanish law, having studied at both the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. She also has a master’s degree in agriculture from the Sorbonne. When we first spoke to Sentuc in September 2015, she told us that her interest in food and agriculture stemmed from accompanying her mother on multiple trips to Africa, where they performed humanitarian work that led Sentuc to assess concerns surrounding the availability and the quality of food in different parts of the world. “I think food issues right now are international and that something needs to be done to eradicate hunger. But if you want to work for a big law firm or a big company in Europe, you have to be able to speak and write in English,” Sentuc said, explaining the added advantage of pursuing an LLM in the U.S. Sentuc’s interest in tackling international food-related issues informed her curriculum at Cincinnati Law, where she focused on Environmental Law, Intellectual Property and International Business Transactions. Sentuc has been utilizing the knowledge she’s gained in all three of these areas while working in-house for a food-industry cooperative group called Vivescia, a job she landed shortly after graduating. Vivescia, which manages the supply chain “from field to fork,” is present in 24 countries and focuses on three main areas of
food production: farming activities, food processing activities, and research and development activities. Sentuc is charged with managing the company’s contracts in France along with their foreign subsidiaries. Sentuc said that she will be applying many of the concepts she’s learned while at Cincinnati Law in her new position and that the professional advice she received from Cincinnati Law’s faculty and staff members was vital to her success. “I am very happy with the year I spent in Cincinnati,” she said. “I bring back home a lot of great memories, friends for life, and knowledge that will be very useful in my personal and professional life. Most of all, I am now a different person — more mature with a stronger personality, more confident with a different perspective perspectivve on life, and extremely motivated to enter the professional world.” .”
Cincinnati Law is building on
its strong record of international mindedness by continuing to develop its international awareness, expertise and reputation. Through oﬀering even more distinctive opportunities for its students, and by further increasing its outreach to institutions, prospective students and other entities around the world, UC Law is gaining increased visibility and respect on the world stage.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Richard Rosenthal’s $15M Gift the College’s Largest Ever
$15 MILLION GIFT FROM LONG-TIME CINCINNATI BENEFACTOR RICHARD “DICK” ROSENTHAL to the College of Law will help free countless wrongfully convicted individuals. The Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) will use the gift — the largest ever for the college and any innocence program — to provide for the program in perpetuity, while ongoing fundraising will enable expansion.
“The Ohio Innocence Project has a laudable mission: to free every innocent person in Ohio,” Rosenthal said. “I’m proud to help ensure its lifesaving work continues now and forever. I’m inspired daily by the students, faculty and staff who work tirelessly in the pursuit of justice.” The world-class Ohio Innocence Project enables students to work side-by-side with professionals to help free the innocent. Donors such as Dick Rosenthal make this life-changing work possible. The majority of the bequest will come to OIP from Rosenthal’s estate. But Rosenthal also increased his annual gift to stabilize OIP’s work. In doing so, he urges individual law firms and corporate donors to increase their gifts, as well, to enable OIP to expand its work. Rosenthal’s annual gift will be directed to muchneeded additional staff and improved technology and other infrastructure necessary to keep OIP sustainable. In recognition of the gift, the law school will convert its three staff attorney positions to “Lois and Richard Rosenthal Assistant Clinical Professors of Law.” OIP students will be identified as “Rosenthal Student Fellows.” Ultimately, OIP will occupy a custom-designed, named space in a new law building that is still being planned. Rosenthal’s investment will additionally boost recruitment of top students and faculty, both nationally and internationally, and support vital programming at the Ohio Innocent Project. Increased giving from other donors would allow OIP to do the following: 8
• Hire an educator/advocate to educate people about wrongful convictions and to make systemic improvements to Ohio’s criminal justice system. • Offer continuing legal-education courses by developing and presenting effective courses to instruct Ohio defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges in effective criminal-justice ethics. • Provide the administration needed to help the program prevent more wrongful convictions. This gift is the largest the law school has ever received. The Ohio Innocence Project is a very important component of UC Law’s experiential “learn by doing” curriculum. By training the next generation of prosecutors, defense attorneys, legislators and judges, it is advancing one of the core Constitutional protections: the right to a fair trial. Founded in 2003, OIP is Ohio’s only law schoolbased innocence organization. To date, the program has freed 25 people who combined served over 450 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. “Student idealism and passion is the lifeblood of OIP,” said OIP director Mark Godsey. “The energy of our students gives us an advantage over other legal organizations, but it’s our generous donors who make their work possible. “Thank you, Dick Rosenthal, for providing much more than financial support of OIP. When John Cranley and I founded the organization, we were just a couple of young lawyers, but Dick and Lois (Dick’s late wife) knew how to build institutions. They had a vision, and helped teach John and me how to take our ideas and passion to the next level. From event planning, to public awareness, to fundraising, Lois and Dick taught us how to build a top-notch organization.” “The Ohio Innocence Project has quickly become a national model for innocence organizations,” said Barry Scheck, co-founder and director of the New York City-based Innocence Project. “It has taken a leading
C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
Courtesy of Movers & Makers Cincinnati: Tina Gutierrez
role in expanding the movement internationally, assisting the startup of new programs across the globe. Thank you to Dick Rosenthal for your incredible support of the innocent.” Each year, about 20 students spend a full year working on cases, digging through files, interviewing witnesses, writing case briefs and applying their knowledge of forensic techniques like DNA testing. Through hands-on learning, they discover how to build a case and what can make a case go wrong, resulting in a tragic injustice. “There is an urgency for me to get this thing cranked on a broader scale,” Rosenthal told the Cincinnati Business Courier. “I couldn’t sleep at night knowing that
there would be people locked up for crimes they did not commit, and I had the wherewithal to do something about it.” In 2004, the Rosenthals gave $1 million to create and endow the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice. The primary component of the Institute is OIP.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Alumnus Gives $1.6 Million for New Law Building
AMES B. HELMER JR., ’75, PRESIDENT, HELMER, MARTINS, RICE & POPHAM CO., L.P.A., has donated $1.6 million to the College of Law to benefit its new building fund. Helmer previously donated $1 million to the fund back in 2009. The timeline and location of an eventual new building are yet to be determined.
“The current home of the UC College of Law is nearly 100 years old,” said Helmer, who is a Cincinnati Law Board of Visitors member. “It’s time.” Helmer has given back to the college for more than 25 years, because the college has given him so much, he has said. Over the past three decades, he created a professorship, student scholarship and prize award, the James B. Helmer Jr., University of Cincinnati Law Review Prize. Established in 1989, the latter recognizes dedicated student editors of the University of Cincinnati Law Review, a studentproduced journal that has been around since 1927. Helmer was
editor-in-chief of the Law Review during his time as a student and says it is a critical teaching tool. “It’s important that a person leave footprints in the sand,” Helmer said. “No alumnus has made it to where they are without help from others they haven’t even met. We can pay it forward for the next generation.” “Jim’s generosity over the years has made a transformative impact at our college,” said former Dean Louis Bilionis. “His most recent gift will cement the future of the college and have a positive, lasting effect on the next generations of law students.” Nearly 25 years ago, Helmer created the James B. Helmer Jr. Professorship of Law, currently held by Professor Brad Mank. Then, in 1995, he created the James B. Helmer Jr. Scholarship which has been awarded to 19 students since its inception. Helmer achieved success at UC and beyond. Upon graduation, he received a two-year clerkship with the late Chief Judge Timothy S. Hogan for the Southern District of Ohio, himself a 1931 UC Law graduate.
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“Working for a judge is like working as an intern for a surgeon,” Helmer said. “You get 10 years of experience in two.” Today, Helmer’s practice focuses on complex litigation. He has written several books and successfully argued before both the Supreme Court of Ohio and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is responsible for rediscovering Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 False Claims Act, a longforgotten tool that lets citizens prosecute government contractors who cheat on their contracts. He convinced Congress and President Ronald Reagan to modernize this dormant law in 1986 and Congress and President Obama to update it in 2009. As a result of those amendments, more than $40 billion in stolen taxpayer money has been recovered and returned to the U.S. Department of Treasury, including more than $1 billion from lawsuits brought by Helmer himself. His lawsuits led to corrections to major defects in U.S. military helicopters, fighters, aircraft carriers, submarines and Air Force One. Helmer says he isn’t finished giving back to UC and plans to invest more in coming years. “We all have a debt to pay. I’m not done paying mine off,” Helmer said.
UC to Fund Design Study for Construction of New College of Law Building on Campus After weighing options related to the future home of the University of Cincinnati College of Law in recent months, the university’s Board of Trustees recently approved $1 million toward a design study related to constructing a new campus home for the college. This decision follows an investigation into various potential options for the College of Law, including a possible move to The Banks downtown, renovation of the existing structure and new construction. The Board had voted at its February 2016 meeting to specifically explore a move to The Banks as part of the deliberations of a University Banks Working Group, a university team established to take an in-depth look at the project. Factors leading to the latest decision include the following: • Integrated learning opportunities for today’s law students are enhanced by remaining on campus. • Remaining on campus allows the university to leverage existing infrastructure and aﬀord students, faculty and staﬀ ready access to available services (UC’s shuttle services, food services, maintenance, housekeeping, security and utilities).
Although the potential move to The Banks was an exciting possibility, the advantages of staying on campus were considerable. The on-campus option is a cost-eﬀective way of providing students with the experience to learn alongside future engineers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, scientists, architects, managers, teachers and performing artists who they may someday advise and represent. The college will continue to build on its already-strong ties to the legal profession and community in this region and beyond. The goal to enhance the education of its students and their competitive edge in the job market will be achieved by building a new space that is adaptable to both current and future needs. The new structure will help enable the college to continue its mission to educate and inspire leaders who pursue justice and advance the role of law in society. For several years, general consideration has been given to the possibility of renovating or building a new College of Law structure on campus, due to the fact that the current structure is nearly 100 years old. The current College of Law building was originally constructed
in 1920 with additions in the 1960s and 1980s. Due to its age, it contains major systems at the end of their useful operating spans, according to University Architect Beth McGrew. “Renovation or adaptive reuse of the existing structure is not a good option,” she said, “because the original structure and the subsequent additions mean there are diﬀering floor heights, construction types and layouts throughout the structure. In looking at the fit of this facility to the needs of today’s learning environment, we found that the numbers, types and arrangements of spaces don’t really match today’s needs.” The $1 million approved by the board will fund a concept design for a new building, development of a probable cost for new construction and a relocation study (where to house the current oﬃces and classrooms currently housed in the College of Law until construction is complete).
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Alumnus Couple Help Little Legal Dogs Develop Powerful Bites How a passion for helping the “underdog” led Bruce and Ginny Conlan Whitman to fund the Whitman Fellowship, specializing in representing individual plaintiﬀs and families in personal rights litigation, tort and employment law. By Sherry Y. English
OR BRUCE AND GINNY CONLAN WHITMAN (’80 and ’81, respectively) law school was a means to an end. “I wanted to start fighting for people, helping the little guy fight the powers that be, ”Bruce says. “I realized years ago that I could do this if I became a lawyer.”
Today, to keep that dream alive and to expand it, the Whitmans have funded the Whitman Fellowship to train future attorneys who want to represent those battling the big and powerful. “We want to preserve this unique aspect of American law,” Bruce says. Where was this dream born? About 41 years ago in a Cincinnati bar where two college dropouts were working as a bartender and waitress.
From a Bar to Law School Bruce and Ginny worked at local Clifton hotspot Incahoots when they met. “We liked each other 12
and decided we wanted to be together,” says Bruce, smiling. Together, they decided to go back to school, enrolling as students in the university’s Evening College to finish their degrees. Both also decided on law careers. “I thought I’d just be a paralegal,” Ginny says. “My father, who was an attorney, encouraged me to think bigger and be a lawyer. I grew up talking about law around the dinner table. My dad was politically engaged, interested in social and legal issues. It was always a part of who I was.” Bruce, who was influenced by an organization called Gunning for Justice, knew he wanted a career in trial practice. Both applied to and were accepted at Cincinnati Law, and both say that they owe their careers to the fact the law school took a chance on them. “I was 27 years old when I was in law school,” Ginny says. “I had a great career in school, working in leadership roles in class, such as on Student Leadership Education Committee and as an editor on the Law Review.” This was done while she still worked full-time at Incahoots. “I felt very supported by the college.” “For me law school was a great place,” Bruce adds. “I had lots of fun. I’m still friends today with my firstyear study group — Jerry Metz, Mark McDonald and Pat Lane. C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
It is also where his interest in tort law grew. Indeed, it was in his tort class with Professor Stan Harper that Bruce confirmed his area of focus — helping people fight against the powerful who disregard those with a lesser voice. Thus, while in school he worked as a law clerk for Phil Pitzer and for Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley.
Branching Out After graduation Bruce worked for several small firms before branching out on his own in 1983. His big break came with the litigation surrounding the Who concert in Cincinnati. The brother of a friend was one of the victims, and Ginny’s father, Thomas L. Conlan, was his lawyer initially. However, Conlan became ill, which gave Bruce the opportunity to step in. “It was a dream come true — fighting for the underdog,” Bruce says. “There’s nothing like rolling up your sleeves and getting into the fray.” It was also a huge learning experience, learning how to put together a major lawsuit, taking it to trial or settlement. From this experience, he grew professionally and his law firm began to flourish. In the meantime, Ginny clerked for the Hon. S. Arthur Spiegel. From there, she worked for her father. “I walked out of my clerkship into the courtroom,” she recalls. After her
“ We’ve dev devoted our careers to helping ping people against powerful forces. aga There’s a great need for lawyers g trained to deal with these situations.” ons.”
The Whitman Fellowship provides law students with a $7K stipend to work for an employer specializing in representing individual plaintiﬀs and their families in personal rights litigation, tort law and employment law, such as those injured by the negligence of another or wrongfully terminated from employment. The fellowship is designed so that attorneys or law firms partner with the grantor and the student, while providing U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law mentoring and work experience. 13
father passed away in 1984, Ginny went to work for Cincinnati Law alum Jim Helmer, ’75, then at Helmer, Lugbill & Whitman, where she stayed until leaving to start her own practice in 2007. Then, a position at Legal Aid of Greater Cincinnati opened up. “This was my opportunity to change the delivery of law and make it more available to those who are underserved,” Ginny comments. “Bruce said to me, ‘This is what you’ve wanted to do all of your life,’ and he was right. I took a leap of faith that it would work.” Ginny became managing attorney for the Volunteer
Lawyers Project, a position she held until her retirement in December 2015. Today, Bruce and Ginny are continuing their commitment to helping the underserved. “There is a tremendous need for working and middle class people to get proper legal representation,” Bruce says. “We’ve devoted our careers to helping people against powerful forces. There’s a great need for lawyers trained to deal with these situations.” That’s why they established the Whitman Fellowship, with the goal of developing a cadre of
Law student Drennen was
inaugural Whitman Fellow
UC Law graduate Caroline Drennen describes her time as the 2016 Whitman Fellow as “an amazing experience.” As the first recipient of what will become an annual fellowship, Drennen spent the summer working at Beckman Weil Shepardson, a Cincinnati law firm. “The fellowship allowed me to gain firsthand experience working with various aspects of plaintiﬀ-side litigation, personal injury and employment law cases,” she says. Throughout the summer, Drennen received valuable practical experience, such ch as assisting at a trial, mediation and d settlement conference. She also strengthened engthened her legal research and writing skills lls by briefing and composing numerous memorandums emorandums relating to civil litigation, estate tate planning, personal injury, probate, and labor bor and employment. Drennen made a positive impression mpression during her summer with attorney Alison DeVilliers as her supervisor. r. “We are thrilled that Caroline will continue as the law clerk at BWS,”” Devilliers says, “and are confident that the generosity of Bruce and Ginny Whitman hitman has fueled her passion for law and representing the ‘underdogs’ in cases.” ases.” “I’m grateful for the Whitman n Fellowship and would encourage students interested in plaintiﬀ-side de litigation to apply,” Drennen adds.
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attorneys who want to champion the needs of the underserved. “This is tremendously satisfying work,” Bruce continues. “It may not be as lucrative as big time firm work. But there’s great satisfaction in representing people and winning their case.” “We wanted to create this fellowship so we could help find and train students interested in doing this type of work,” Ginny adds. The Whitman Fellowship is designed to support students who are gaining internship experience with tort attorneys. “The fellowship is a great way to help one lawyer at a time develop skills, start a practice and develop other mentoring relationships with groups,” Ginny states. “It is also a way to make an impact.” “The career of the citizen lawyer — the entrepreneur lawyer — is sort of a dying art in this era of specialization,” Bruce comments. “I believe the best representation is one lawyer, one client — partners working together with common goals. I don’t want to see it die.”
College of Law Chief of Staﬀ Completes Service as National President
INA JONES JEFFERSON, CHIEF OF STAFF AND DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, has just completed her term as president of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), an association of more than 2,500 legal career professionals dedicated to facilitating legal career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students and lawyers. The 45-year-old organization advises law students, lawyers, law oﬃces and law schools across North America and beyond.
Jefferson was installed at the NALP annual conference in April 2016. Her tenure includes service as presidentelect in 2015-16, president in 2016-17 and immediate past president in 2017-18. “It has been a privilege to have a leadership role with the preeminent organization for legal career professionals,” Jefferson said. “I have enjoyed advancing the initiatives identified in NALP’s strategic plan and upholding its foundational beliefs that law students and
lawyers should benefit from a fair and ethical hiring process; that law students and lawyers are more successful when supported by professional development and legal career professionals; and that a diverse and inclusive legal profession best serves clients and our communities.” Jefferson, a 1990 University of Cincinnati College of Law graduate, has a strong background in the legal hiring field. As a former hiring partner at a National Law Journal Top 250 law firm, she is one of the few lawschool career-services professionals in the country who has worked on both sides of the table. She practiced commercial litigation for almost a decade and was one of the first African-American women in the region elected to partnership at a large firm. A published author, Jefferson writes on the topic of careers and professional development for numerous legal publications and is a sought-after speaker on the topic of professionalism. She has also taught ethics courses at the college, as well as the legal extern course. Active in the community, she currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL). Jefferson, a former co-director of the Law and Leadership Institute at the College, also served by appointment on the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Continuing Legal Education Committee. Additionally she has been a member of the board of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, Children’s Law Center, ProKids and the Cincinnati Bar Foundation.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College llege of Law
BRIEFS B RIEFS
3+ 3 program
Helps Students Earn BA/JD Deg Degrees More Quickly
Things just got more streamlined for students aiming to attend law school after their undergraduate education. Thanks to a new partnership between Cincinnati Law and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students majoring in Political Science, International Aﬀairs, History, Philosophy, English, or Communications are eligible for the new 3+3 Law Program. The program allows eligible A&S undergraduates to earn both bachelor’s and law degrees in just six years, saving a year of tuition
and time over the traditional path to becoming a lawyer. Students admitted to the program will complete their bachelor’s degree while simultaneously completing the first year of law school. The 3+3 Program is for undergraduates who want to get an early start on learning what law school will be like. Participants will be included in events and lectures, as well as encouraged to enroll in classes taught by law school faculty that will be available to all undergraduates. Recent accolades from National Jurist, including being named a Best Value Law School,
along with bar passage results well above the state average, are simply additional reasons students should consider the College of Law and take advantage of this opportunity. “Each Pre-Law student will have a team of advisers so they are ready to apply to law school at the end of their junior year,” said McMicken College of Arts and Sciences Dean Ken Petren. “We’ve chatted with prospective students about this opportunity, and the response has been very positive.”
Undergrads U ndergrads Begi Beginning ing Law wC Classes
Create Historic Day at College Spring semester 2016 kicked oﬀ with 40 new student faces — University of Cincinnati undergraduates making history as the first undergrads to ever take law classes for credit. The courses were taught by law school faculty, with students from the Honors College participating in Honors experiences in the communications department and at the Ohio Innocence Project. Professor Chris Bryant taught Constitutional Landmarks, introducing students to some of the U.S. Supreme Court’s most pivotal and controversial rulings, including debates from the cases, as well as the context in which rulings were made.
Professor Ann Hubbard taught Disability Rights Law, examining how society and laws both define and respond to individuals with diverse disabilities. A large focus was on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Led by Professor Michele Bradley, then Special Assistant to the Dean for Strategic Initiatives, this initiative is expected to mark the beginning of many such innovative programs and collaborations with the university and the community.
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Join a tradition in the making at the 2 ND Annual Bearcats Dash & Bash 5K and 18.19K on October 1, 2017! All proceeds beneﬁt UC’s Athletic scholarship fund and the Ohio Innocence Project at UC’s College of Law. Visit bearcatsdash.com for more information
The Ohio Innocence Project
Rosenthal Institute for Justice University of Cincinnati College of Law
Three New Faculty Positions
Support the Ohio Innocence Project Jennifer Bergeron, Donald Caster and Brian Howe are now assistant professors of clinical law for the Rosenthal Institute for Justice/ Ohio Innocence Project (OIP), thanks to the generous gift from long-time College of Law supporter Dick Rosenthal. The three were formerly OIP staﬀ attorneys, but will now have responsibilities for teaching and supervising law students enrolled in the OIP Clinic, investigating and litigating claims of actual innocence by Ohio’s prisoners and taking a public role in supporting OIP work. Adding three faculty positions to support the Ohio Innocence Project is a commitment to justice and to legal education at the College of Law. These individuals bring a deep commitment to the OIP mission, and as dedicated teachers they have already had a substantial impact on the education of hundreds of law students. They will be able to continue their important work of representing clients, while expanding their efforts in representing the wrongfully accused with lawyers all over the world by supporting their already significant writing and public speaking activities. Hiring three new faculty members at the same time represents the kind of big-picture thinking that Dick Rosenthal and his family’s generosity to the law school has enabled over the past 12 years. “I am thrilled with the elevation of these three Ohio Innocence Project attorneys to the position of assistant clinical professors of law,” added Mark Godsey, the Daniel P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and director, Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project. “Dick Rosenthal’s gift and the support of our many donors made this possible. But the work of Jennifer, Donald and Brian to free the innocent is what inspired Dick and many others to support our work. There could not be three more deserving lawyers and scholars.”
Jennifer Paschen Bergeron ’02,
Assistant Professor of Clinical Law » Jennifer ifer Bergeron, ’02, joined the OIP legal staff in 2007, wanting to refocus her career from litigation to public interest. While attending the College of Law, she was a fellow with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and a member of the University of Cincinnati Law Review. Prior to law school, she earned a BA from Centre College and an MA from the University of Virginia. After earning her law degree, Bergeron worked as an associate at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, as well as Ulmer & Berne LLP, focusing on employment litigation. Intrigued by the work of OIP, she had followed the case of Clarence Elkins, one of its first exonerees, which impacted her decision to focus on social justice. When an opportunity to join the OIP legal staff presented itself, Bergeron joined the team. In an interview several years ago, she discussed why she enjoys her job as an attorney with OIP. “When you believe a client is innocent, but he or she is stuck in prison with no one else to turn to, you can’t walk away from that. It’s also a huge thrill when you actually exonerate someone.” She also works closely with law students, training a new group of fellows each year.
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Donald Caster ’03, Assistant
Professor of Clinical Law » Donald d Caster has worked on both sides of the aisl aisle — as a prosecutor and, now, as a defense attorney. This experience has given him insight into a prosecutor’s point of view on post-conviction cases, which is invaluable as a staff attorney and a teacher with OIP. A graduate of Youngstown State University, he received his JD from the College of Law in ’03. While a student here, Caster was a member of Moot Court and the University of Cincinnati Law Review. He was also a fellow with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. After graduating, he clerked for the Hon. Robert C. Chambers, Chief Judge, United States District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. Thereafter, he returned to Cincinnati to join Gerhardstein, Branch & Laufman, a civil rights firm, as an associate. Subsequently, he opened a solo practice, focusing on criminal defense and appellate litigation. He later worked in the Appellate Division of the Butler County Prosecutor’s office before joining OIP as an attorney. In his new position, Caster will continue his work teaching students and litigating cases. In addition, he and assistant clinical professor Brian Howe deliver presentations and publish articles on aspects of the innocence field. The professors’ most recent work is scheduled for publishing this spring in the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Review: Taking a Mulligan: The Special Challenges of Narrative Creation in the Postconviction Context.
Brian Howe ’10,
Assistant Professor of Clinical Law » After graduating from Thee Ohio State University, Brian Howe pursued a career in advertising. Recognizing that he wanted to find a more fulfilling vocation, however, he decided upon law school to work in the area of public interest. While attending the College of Law, Howe worked on the University of Cincinnati Law Review and as an OIP fellow, researching and investigating cases he would have the opportunity to litigate years later. The recipient of numerous awards, he received the Gustavus Henry Wald Memorial Prize for Contracts, the Ernest Karam Book Award and the Thompson Hine Flory Advocacy Prize. Upon graduation in ’10, Howe received an Equal Justice Works fellowship, representing consumers who faced predatory lending and servicing practices in rural southwest Ohio. After the two-year fellowship ended, he continued this work as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, defending foreclosures, handling evictions and assisting with other related cases. Howe joined OIP as a staff attorney in 2014 and has helped litigate several exonerations, including the case of Derrick Wheatt, Laurese Glover and Eugene Johnson, who spent 20 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. Howe first worked on this case as an OIP fellow.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
BRIEFS Professor ssor Cogan Named 2016 Scholarship Award Recipient International law expert Jacob Katz Cogan, the Judge Joseph P. Kinneary has been selected as the Professor of Law, h 2016 recipient of the Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award, which annually recognizes outstanding research and scholarly achievement by University of Cincinnati College of Law faculty. Professor or Cogan is an influential, internationally recognized scholar whose current research is shedding new light on international internati will have a significant law that wi impact on the global legal community. impa Cogan’s research projects include: • A study of how the purview of international law and institutions has shifted over time
exploration of “operational • An exp international law” — the informal (and sometimes hidden) rules that are created through the practices and understandings of states and international institutions • A closer look at the structures of global governance, especially international organizations scholarly publications, Cogan In sc of The Oxford served as co-editor coHandbook of International Organizations Looking to the Future: Essays (2016) and L International Law in Honor of W. on In Michael Reisman (2011). His articles and essays have appeared in the American Journal of International Law, the European Journal of International Law, the Harvard International Law Journal, and the Yale Journal of International Law, among others. One of his published pieces was awarded the Francis Deák Prize of the American Society of International Law.
Cogan is an active member of the American Society of International Law and an elected member of the American Law Institute. The college awarded him the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Since 2007, he has edited the International Law Reporter, a widely read blog on international law, international relations and associated disciplines. Cogan earned his JD from the Yale Law School, his MA and PhD from Princeton University, and his BA, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining UC, he served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, where he received a Superior Honor Award. As a Schott Award recipient, Cogan will present a public lecture this year.
Dean Emeritus ritus Tomain R Recognized for Faculty Excellence Respected legal scholar and Dean Emeritus Joseph P. Tomain has Excellence Award, received the Faculty Fac which is supported by the Twenty-Fifth Reunion Faculty Excellence Fund to recognize college faculty who have made the greatest scholarly contributions to legal education within an academic year. Dean Emeritus and Wilbert and Helen Ziegler Professor of Law Tomain is the inaugural recipient recipien of this distinguished distingui h award. His teaching and research interests focus in the areas of energy law, law and the humanities, regulatory policy, and contracts. Tomain has written extensively in the energy law field. His recent publications include: • Clean Power Politics: The Democratization of Energy (Cambridge University Press 2017)
• Energy Law in the United States of America (Kluwer Publishing 2015) • Energy Law and Policy (West Publishing 2015) • Achieving Democracy: The Future of Progressive Regulation (Oxford University Press 2014) These publications build on an already impressive scholarly record that p nine additional books, more includes nin than 50 articles artic and numerous book chapters and essays. addition, Tomain is In ad chair emeritus of the Board of the ch KnowledgeWorks Foundation and has served on the boards of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center and the Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment. He has been actively involved with the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and serves as a life member of the American Law Institute, the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
In academia, Tomain held positions as Visiting Environmental Scholar, Lewis & Clark Law School; Distinguished Visiting Energy Professor, Vermont Law School; Visiting Scholar in Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame; Visiting Fellow, Harris Manchester College, Oxford University; Fulbright Senior Specialist in Law in Cambodia; and National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellow, Stanford University. Before beginning his academic career, Tomain practiced general litigation in New Jersey. He received his JD from George Washington University and his BA from the University of Notre Dame.
Staci Rucker Joins the College of Law in
New Assistant Dean Position Featuring Diversity Staci Patterson Rucker is the College of Law’s first assistantt dean tudent aﬀairs for academic aﬀairs, student y This new position reflects and diversity. the law school’s continued commitment f an intellectually challenging to fostering d diverse learning environment, a value and thaat is embraced by the University of that Cin ncinnati, also. Cincinnati, Dean Rucker is the first adm ministrator at Cincinnati Law to have administrator thee word “diversity” in her title. She has alreeady improved the quality of life for already stu udents at the law school by developing — students with Associate Dean Brad Mank — a new system of subject-matter-based academic advising, as well as by streamlining some of the students’ administrative tasks in registration and exams. Many students have benefited from her good judgment and sound advice. As assistant dean, Rucker is responsible for the administration of student services and the hands-on management of student issues. “Whether it is academic planning, disability services, a leave of absence or faculty/student relations, I strive to be students’ first stop for answers and support,” Rucker says. “I am also a resource for faculty and staff who may need help developing a plan to support a student in crisis.” While the college has always had an academic and student affairs dean or director, Rucker is the college’s first dean for diversity. “In that position, I will have tremendous responsibilities to architect the college’s efforts to define,
ultivate and support a more diverse and cultivate in nclusive campus environment and legal inclusive co ommunity in Cincinnati,” she says. “These “Th community reesponsibilities will be interpreted and responsibilities accted upon by collaborating with college acted an nd Greater Cincinnati leaders of a varie and variety ceenters, offices and initiatives that already alread centers, su upport diversity and inclusion efforts.” support Rucker is an experienced leader n higher education. Prior to joining the in C fo College of Law, she was assistant dean for sttudent affairs at the University of Dayton Dayto student Scchool of Law, where she was the visionary visiona School behind the development of the school’s behind learning communities, dean’s fellows and academic advising programs. She was also responsible for advising all student groups, overseeing the coordination of orientation and graduation, and counseling students on a range of issues, including professional development, academic concerns and incidents of bias and harassment. The opportunity to join the Cincinnati College of Law, however, was one she couldn’t pass up. “The University of Cincinnati is an internationally renowned university and impacts every aspect of the city,” she says. “The university’s commitment to diversity is nationally and internationally respected. It is an exciting time to be at UC, and I am honored to be a part of it.” A summa cum laude graduate of Howard University and a graduate of Harvard Law School, Rucker began her career as an attorney at law firms in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. After transitioning to North Carolina, she joined
nd administration, adm the ranks off academia and nterim direct or of academic ac serving as interim director Carolin na Cent support at North Carolina Central w, where she also University School of Law, gal-writ course. taught an upper-level legal-writing Later, before coming to the Ohi Ohio Valley, she clerked for the Hon. James A A. Wynn Jr., formerly on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and now on the Fourth Circuit. import Reflecting on the importance of al philosophy philo diversity and her personal on d the fol inclusion, Rucker shared following: ce of di “It is not just the presence diversity on tolera a campus, or a practice of tolerance or acceptance of differences, that makes a campus community inclusive. Rather, it is an active strategy to harness and value differences to achieve an institution’s overall mission. “I look forward to engaging in open and honest dialogue with students, faculty, staff and alumni to build an exemplary law school where diversity and inclusion are valued and interwoven seamlessly into every aspect of the college and the community it serves.”
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Three Students Step into the Real World
and Start Changing Lives Oral Argument Reverses Client’s Sentence Kellie Kulka, ’16, had an opportunity opportu unity only a small number of law students s get — to aargue a case before beffore a federal appe appellate court, the Sixth Sixtth h Circuit Court C o of Appeals. What W Wh hatt happened h her first time up? The court cou ruled in her client’s favor, reversing the sentence. reversin ““This is a big win,” Kulka said. “I’m jus just shocked that they issued an opinion so quickly.” The case, United States v. T Fowler, involved a Detroit doctor who was con convicted of healthcare fraud. The law school’s Sixth Circuit Clinic, which introduces students to the basics of appellate advocacy, took the case on appeal. The 2014-15 clinic participants wrote the initial brief; last year’s group did additional research and brought the case to argument in March. Clinic director Colter Paulson, senior associate at Squire Patton Boggs, explained, “Kellie took oral argument preparation and her representation of the client very seriously and spent the better part of two months working on and preparing for the argument.” This was in addition to her regular clinic assignments and academic work. 22
“When When I walked through thr security at Potter Pot Stewart Court House, I was asked if I was there to argue a case, to which I responded, ‘Yes, I am,’” m,’” Kulka said. “That’s when the experience rience became very real to me — that hat this wasn’t just a Moot Court competition, ompetition, but that I was actually advocating for someone. I spent months onths reading trial transcripts and the briefing by the parties. I was actually dreaming about the case by March. However, it was not until I told them m that I was there to argue, that I was as able to take real ownership the case.”” “Kellie’s Kellie’s preparation paid off,” Paulson said. “In fact, she did such an excellentt job during oral argument that the federal public defender in a companion his reply i case ceded d d hi l time i to her so she could drive our points home before the panel.” “I argued in the En Banc Courtroom,” Kulka remarked. “I had been in that room before to observe, but actually learning that I would argue in that room was surreal. I was nervous initially, but once I began to present the case, the adrenaline kicked in, and I rode that thrill for the remainder of my time.” The clinic team won a reversal of the doctor’s sentence because the court failed to make factual findings to support it. Furthermore, Paulson and the team feel that they should C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
reduce the be able to substantially s client’s sentence on rremand, based on some of the languagee written in the decision about the extent exxtent of the fraud. “But we also won w a larger victory,” Paulson noted. noteed. “Lots of arguments sentencing argument ts like this are losers because of a waiver waaiver before the argued trial court, but we arg gued that the ndings right to factual findin ngs could not be waived. “There were no n cases in any circuit saying so, but we got the panel to agree that even if tthe trial attorney argument, waived the argument t, ‘the district court was still under an obligation ndings to make factual findin ngs regarding the applicable Guidelines Guidellines range.’ requires This decision require es district courts to make to support k ffactuall findings di sentences rather than (as is often the case) just hand-waving to create a Guideline sentence.” The other clinic co-director is Lauren Kuley, associate at Squire Patton Boggs.
Law Student Helps Secure Prisoner’ss Release
Former President Barack Obama’s spring commutation of 61 federal prisoners has a Cincinnati Law connection: Ariel Guggisberg, ’17, helped draft the clemency petition for one of the prisoners whose sentence was commuted. “It feels like we really changed a person’s life,” she said. The clemency petition was made possible under the umbrella of Clemency Project 2014, a working group of attorneys and advocates who provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received shorter sentences if sentenced today. Participants include federal defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, more than 70 of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms, 500 small firms, solo practitioners, as well as 30 law schools and clinics. The project was developed after former Deputy Attorney General James Cole appealed to the legal profession to provide free assistance in identifying eligible prisoners and assisting them in preparing clemency petitions. Clemency Project 2014 reviews requests from prisoners who have served 10 years and do not have
obviously disqualifying features (e.g., crimes of violence). Thee prisoner is assigned an attorney, who ho reviews documents in the prisoner’s ner’s case to determine if other criteria ria are met. Lawyers assist qualified prisoners in filling out and filing clemency petitions. That’s where Guggisberg came in. As part of her 2014 14 summer internship at the firm Pinales inales Stachler, Guggisberg — under thee direction of her supervising attorney ney Candace Crouse — was charged with helping to draft the petition for her client Michael Morris. “I thought ght it was so much fun over last summer,” ummer,” she how our said, “finding ways to argue h client would be sentenced differently today — such as ‘old laws required mandatory outlandish sentences,’ ‘sentencing laws differ today,’ and ‘our client has accepted responsibility and learned from his experience.’ “We had to show he’d been rehabilitated and that he could contribute to society.” After the petition was written, it was submitted to the U.S. Office of the Pardon Attorney, who makes final recommendations to the president. Then they waited. President Obama’s commutations were part of a larger effort calling for changes in sentencing laws. Most of the recipients “are low-level drug offenders whose sentences would have been shorter if they were convicted under today’s laws,” wrote President Obama in a Facebook posting. He went on to describe pardons and communications as ways “to show people what a second chance can look like.” Guggisberg and her colleagues at the firm had the pleasure and privilege of breaking the exciting news to their client. She described it as a “surreal experience.” Mr. Morris, who was in Texas, went to live with
family in the upper Midwest, to begin his new life when he was officially released in July. What did she learn from this experience? Guggisberg shared that she was impressed and encouraged by watching her colleagues do everything they could for clients every day. “It was beautiful to see. I learned that to be successful, you have to have thick skin and relentless hope in humanity.”
First Cincinnati Law Student to Win Jury Trial Like many law students, Lacey Jane Brewster, ’16, had dreamed of trying her first jury case, but never imagined that she would do so while still a student. Best of all, she won. “Initially, the courtroom was very intimidating,” she says. “I remember having to stop and take a deep breath as I watched the jury come in for the first time. It was one of the most surreal moments in my law student career. “It took a little bit of time to get my feet underneath me, but by the end of the trial, I felt like I belonged there. Everything came into synch, and I was doing what I needed to do. Things started to become more natural and less robotic.” She was a fellow with UC Law’s Indigent Defense Clinic and a student legal intern, certified by the Ohio Supreme Court to represent people in court under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Her training had begun before school began in the
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Firestone and Higgins fall, when she faced ced 90 hours of training in thee clinic’s “trial boot camp.” “After we conducted our investigation, we thought that our client had a very strong story of innocence,” Brewster wster says, referring to her and her supervisor. upervisor. “And we were ready to argue gue that to a jury.” Then in March and April 2016, she got to do the voirr dire of the jury (questioning of prospective jurors here is cause not to to determine if there erve), deliver the allow a juror to serve), nt, draft and file opening statement, hose, cross examine motions, argue those, ses, directly examine the state’s witnesses, the defendant’s witnesses, and present ts. closing arguments. ely, the jury came “Ultimately, guilty verdict in back with a not-guilty s,” she says with about 25 minutes,” he first clinic student pride. She was the to win a jury trial.l Getting that opportunity gave her a great deal of insight regarding the preparation and strategy that goes into developing a case, she adds. It also gave her confidence in “knowing how to pop back up when you are knocked down.” All in all, her experience “will will help me be a better advocate when I go out an practice with my own clients,” she says. The clinic is what attracted Brewster to Cincinnati Law from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she got a psychology undergraduate degree. With the goal of working as a public defender, she has had long had a passion for both criminal law and reaching out to the underserved. — Deb Rieselman Watch the video of Brewster’s interview here: youtube.com/watch?v=8Y5UgU_lkOs
Two Urban Morgan Institute Fellows were awarded fellowships last year with the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation: Suzy Firestone, ’14, and Patrick Higgins, ’16. The competitive fellowships bring to the legal aid community talented law school graduates to focus on specific and urgent issues facing low-income individuals and families.
Firestone to Focus on Immigration, Education Issues Educ Suzy Fi Firestone is using the fellowship to work with Legal Aid of Greater Cincinnati to provide advocacy about Cincinn immigration and education issues immigr that aff affect low-income immigrant children and families in southwest Ohio. SShe said her project was created in respo response to the flood of children and families fam from Central America who come co to the United States to flee violence and poverty. violenc While at UC Law, Firestone W focused on public interest and immigration law. As an Urban immigr Morgan Institute Fellow, she worked on the H Human Rights Quarterly all C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
three years, saying it was “a good opportunity to connect to likeminded people.” Firestone spent a semester with Su Casa, a Roman Catholic charity in Cincinnati that provides Hispanic and Latino individuals with social, educational, language, employment and health-care services. In addition to helping clients complete Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) forms, she also interned with Legal Aid. Before coming to Cincinnati Law, Firestone graduated with a major in political science and a minor in social and economic justice from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she worked at an AmeriCorps crisis service center. The Spanish language program there helped her understand how immigration status was connected to and exacerbated problems faced by immigrants, such as poverty and the threat of domestic violence, Firestone said. “It made me want to provide the type of relief that would impact and help provide people with greater stability,” she added. Through her project, Firestone hopes to ensure that her clients can stay in the U.S. without being forced to return to the dangerous conditions that prompted them to risk the journey here. She also wants to be sure that children can access their right to a public education and make progress in school. The achievement of her goals will come from providing direct representation in immigration and education cases, as well as offering outreach in immigrant communities. She also hopes to increase the capacity of her project and enlarge
Prestigious Fellowships its overall impact through the use of student externs and volunteers, as well as pro bono attorneys. Since graduating from the College of law, Firestone has been a clerk for Magistrate Judge Michael J. Newman, United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Higgins to Focus on Reducing Employment Barriers Patrick Higgins was also awarded a two-year fellowship with the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation — to work at the Ohio Poverty Law Center in Columbus, Ohio. Specifically, he will partner with the Legal Aid Society of Columbus and Southeastern Ohio Legal Services to build coalitions aimed at reducing barriers to employment in central and southeast Ohio. Higgins studied at New York University, where he was in the first graduating class of the Global Liberal Studies program. His concentration was in Politics, Rights and Development with a minor in Spanish. The Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights was his primary reason for choosing to come to Cincinnati Law, Higgins said. He received the Arthur Russell Morgan Fellowship and worked on the Human Rights Quarterly as the senior articles editor with Portfolio. “When I decided that law school was the best next step for my career, I knew that I had to retain a focus of bringing human
rights home,” he said. The college’s g Center for Race, Gender, er, and Social Justice, as well as its urban rban location, convinced him that hee would be studying in an environment ronment “committed to using the he law for good,” he said. His law school career has been full of notable experiences. nces. During his first summer, he worked for a human rights think tank in Bogotá, Colombia, called Dejusticia, where he conducted research on policy affecting Colombia and the rest of the Global bal South. During his second ond year, Higgins was an extern at the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, helping the Family and Immigration Practice Group. That summer, he was an associate with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality in Toledo, Ohio, in the Agricultural Worker and Immigrant Rights practice group — an opportunity, he said , that exposed him to a wide array of legal experiences, including a trial for a racial profiling lawsuit filed against the United States Border Patrol. ol. “My experiencess working work r in ing civil c viil ci legal aid and education du ucattio i n aatt th the he C he College olle legee le of Law ha have ave ta taught augh ht m mee tthat hat llegal e all eg advocacy advocac cy alone cy alo lon ne cannot can nno ot solve so olve lvve every everry issue,” ssue,” hee sa said. aid. dA Aside s dee fro si from om th the he le legal eggaal and policy cyy projects prro oje ject ctts he’ll he l be be doing, doi oing ngg, he he hopes to use use his his fellowship fel ello low wshi hiip to o build bui uild l
a coalition of p people p and ggroups p so that the project’s impact is felt well beyond his two years there. Higgins was recently awarded a 2016 Equal Justice Works Public Interest Award, presented to law students in eight regions who have demonstrated commitment to public interest law and pro bono work, and have provided extraordinary service through clinics, volunteer work, internships, and extracurricular projects.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Professor Bettman’s Career
Celebrated Congratulations to Cincinnati Law graduate and Professor Emerita of Practice Marianna Brown Bettman, who received the University of Cincinnati’s Distinguished Teaching Professor Award in April 2016. The award was presented at the university’s annual Faculty Awards Celebration. Professor Bettman has had a positive influence on the practice of law in Ohio and beyond through the hundreds of students she has taught. UC Law looks forward to her continued association with the school even as she enjoys a well-deserved retirement. Professor Bettman started her professional career working in community development during the late ’60s, speaking to community members about school desegregation. Recognizing the role legal solutions could play to address racial injustice, she determined that her next career step would be the law school at the university. While there, she excelled, winning the Constitutional Law Prize and becoming the first woman to be awarded first prize in Trial Advocacy. After graduation in 1977, Professor Bettman began working in 26
private practice. From there, she was elected Judge, First District Court of Appeals — the first woman elected to this position. She developed an expertise in separation of powers, state constitutional law, and the Ohio judicial system. After six years on the bench, the opportunity arose to join academia, leading her to College of Law in 1999. She remained at the school for 15 years. Her mastery of material and the high expectations she set for students is legendary. Students, in turn, thrived under her style. Noted one, “Professor Bettman keeps us on our toes. You must be well-prepared at all times because you are called on in every class!” In addition to teaching, Bettman directed the JudgeIn-Residence and Judicial Extern programs. Professor Bettman is the recipient of numerous awards. They include the following: the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2005, 2011, 2014), the Excellence in Education Award (Ohio Magazine, 2011), Cincinnati Attorney of the Year (Jewish National Fund, Judge Carl B. Rubin Legal Society, 2010), the Foot Soldiers in the Sand Award (National Association for the C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
Advancement of Colored People, National Chapter, 2008), UC’s A.B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching (2008), the Nettie Cronies Lutes Award (Ohio State Bar Association, 2008), the UC Law Alumni Association Distinguished Alumna Award (2001), UC’s Women’s Studies Distinguished Alumna Award (1998), the YWCA Career Woman of Achievement (1994) and many more. She authors the well-respected blog Legally Speaking Ohio and the monthly newspaper column Legally lly Speaking for the American Israelite, te, in addition to lecturing at numerous ous continuing-legal-education seminars, nars, including an annual presentation at the Ohio Judicial Conference. Professor Bettman retired from teaching in December 2015. However, she is still committed to the law school and the education and training of future generationss of attorneys.
To mark her retirement, as is tradition at Cincinnati Law, Bettman was celebrated during her last class. The day, Dec. 3, 2015, was oﬃcially proclaimed “Marianna Brown Bettman Day” via a proclamation by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. In addition, she was awarded Professor Emeritus status by the University’s Board of Trustees, cementing her lifelong relationship with the college and the university.
Saying Goodbye when Professor Bettman Retired After 15 years of pushing law students to be better than they knew they could be, Professor Marianna Bettman retired at the end of fall semester 2015. Since starting her career, she has been recognized at many levels — for teaching excellence, for her contributions to the legal profession, and for her advocacy. Surprisingly, however, law was not always Professor Bettman’s goal when she graduated from the University of Cincinnati with honors in 1966.
The Hon. Susan J. Dlott, the Hon. Karen Nelson Moore, Louise Roselle, former Dean Jennifer Bard, Kathleen Brinkman ’75, the Hon. Nathaniel R. Jones
“My mother always thought that I should be a lawyer, but, of course, it took me a while longer to realize it,” Bettman said, “even though mothers are always right.” Professor Bettman received top grades and honors while at law school, graduating in 1977. Here she was a winner of the Constitutional Law Prize and was the first woman at the college to take first prize in Trial Advocacy. After working in private practice, then on the First District Court of Appeals, she returned to the law school to teach. When asked what was the best part of teaching, Professor Bettman gave an interesting response. “Teaching first-year, firstsemester torts, for two reasons,” she said. She loves seeing pieces fall into place for students who are just starting law school. And because torts has a lot of societal issues wrapped into it, the story behind them is usually interesting, giving students a way to enjoy the class even if they don’t love the subject.
“Just to see that light go on is so
much fun for me. And in that semester, they’re just like sponges; they want to absorb everything,” she explained.
Research assistants for Professor Bettman celebrate her career.
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT PROFESSOR BETTMAN
“Marianna is an
accomplished advocate, preemine preeminent practitioner, judicio judicious jurist, praised professor and talented teacher.” Judge Karen Nelson Moore, Unit United States Court of Appeals for the SSixth Circuit
“There’s no way I
can adequately characterize Marianna. She is a civil rights advocate. advocate She was for civil rig rights before civil rights were cool. And she never abandoned h her commitment to tha that.”
“She showed us
that being a lawyer also means being a leader.” Professor Ronna Greff Schneider
Bettman, for being an integral part of all the students’ experiences at UC Law.” Samantha Rheingold, ’16, Student Bar Association President
“Marianna Bettman is a ceiling ‘shatterer.’” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Supreme Court of Ohio
Judge Nathaniel Jones of Blank Rome LLP
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Indigent Defense Clinic Strives to
Raise Standards of Performance for Future Public Defenders
Kate Cook, ’14 interned with the Indigent Defense Clinic and learned the nuances of representing clients. She’s here with director Danielle Colliver and a clinic client.
By Nick Ruma
For Amanda Bleiler, ’15, her first glimpse into the world of public defense came while involved with Cincinnati Law’s Indigent Defense Clinic in her third year. She remembers doing arraignments in Room A for the first time as an “intimidating” experience. “I was impressed with how efficient the public defenders had to be,” Bleiler said. “You get about five minutes to talk to your client in a room with several other attorneys talking to their clients. You have to get the information to formulate a bond argument to hopefully get your client released. It was overwhelming.” Currently a deputy state public defender in Colorado, Bleiler conceded that a lot of the work she does might seem overwhelming to the unaccustomed. But she and scores of other Cincinnati Law students have been able to start adapting to the world of public defense while still in law school via the Indigent Defense Clinic, which was founded in 2007. “I knew I wanted to do public defense before law school,” said Guy Cardamone, ’12, who works at the Miami, Fla., Public Defender’s Office. “Before signing up [for the clinic], I asked an upperclassmen who also wanted to do public defense about it, and he advised against it. I’ll never forget him saying this, ‘The clinic
doesn’t teach you how to be a public defender; it teaches you how to be a perfect defender.’ “The thought of choosing one over the other didn’t sit well with me. So I decided to try to become a perfect public defender — achievable or not — and it was one of the best decisions I made in law school.”
Training Future Generations of Defenders The clinic’s purpose is multi-faceted. According to Cincinnati Law Professor Janet Moore, the clinic was founded to train the next generation of indigent defense attorneys and public defenders to take the cases of people who are facing charges but cannot afford lawyers while, also, providing an excellent experiential learning opportunity for law students. “Unfortunately, in our present system, public defenders are notoriously overworked,” said Lacey Brewster, ’16, who was involved with the clinic last year. “What I really valued about the clinic is that I had an opportunity to learn how to try a case before I get 30 cases thrown in my lap.” In the long term, Moore said, she hopes the clinic will “act as a change agent by raising standards of C O U N S E L O R | 201 2016-17 1
performance for defense lawyers,” while also “changing the culture around indigent defense, with an eye toward training folks with experience in systems analyses, who could look for system-impact litigation opportunities to change bigger picture policies — so we’re not just oiling the machinery of the incarceration system.” Each year, the clinic accepts eight students — four from Cincinnati Law and four from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. At a
Lacey Brewster — along with some of her clinic classmates — cofounded a Bearcat Chapter for the National Association of Public Defense (NAPD), a grassroots organization committed to supporting public defense work. “We really want to focus on developing relationships with law students and with practicing public defenders. And we want to address some of the systemic issues in the prison system,” Brewster said. “We’re devoted to changing the connotations surrounding public defense. Public Defense isn’t something you do because you couldn’t do anything else; it’s something you do because you recognize that it’s a privilege to serve and a valuable need in our society.”
“In one of my cases, I minimum, accepted students must be represented an African-American in their third year and be certified as Student Legal Interns by the Supreme minister who frequently traveled to Over-the-Rhine and Clifton to help Court of Ohio, which allows them people in need,” said Charles Rittgers, to stand up in court and represent ’10, a former clinic participant who people under the supervision of a now practices criminal defense in licensed attorney. private practice. “The police had Aside from the basic repeatedly stopped him for what they requirements, Moore said, it doesn’t claimed were minor traffic violations. hurt if students have “some cultural In my case, he was charged for not awareness of the issues that face using a turn signal when leaving poor people in this country, the the curb. intersection of different structures “After some research and that reinforce poverty and the public-records requests, we learned disproportionate effect of those that the officer who charged the policies on folks of color.” She added, “That’s a package of stuff that’s nice to minister had been recorded using racial slurs and had an Africanbring to the table.” American man die in custody, but Once accepted, students somehow remained on the police attend a “trial boot camp” during force. The case was dismissed, and my the two weeks before classes start mentor attorney brought a civil action in the fall, totaling about 90 hours against the officer. of training. “What we strive to do “The clinic helped prepare is to give students very intensive me for practice,” Rittgers continued. practical experience in every stage “I continue to use techniques of the litigation process, from client I learned from the instructors interview through reentry advocacy,” and mentoring attorneys. More Moore said. importantly, the clinic helped shape Clinic director Danielle Colliver, of the Office of the Hamilton the way I approach my role as a defense attorney.” County Public Defender, also trains them on other procedures they need to learn. 3L Chris Collman is a clinic fellow this The clinic lasts a full year, year, working through the Hamilton throughout which students perform County Public Defender’s office. the duties of actual public defenders, taking cases and defending clients. U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
BRIEFS B RIEFS S
at the Intersection of Law and Psychiatry By Nick Ruma
For nearly two decades, students at Cincinnati Law have been exploring the spaces where the not-so-disparate fields of law and psychiatry intersect, taking advant advantage of a ra rather unique opportunity oﬀered by the college. Dr. Glenn M. Weaver, who started at the law school in 1986 as an adjunct professor, founded the Institute of Law and Psychiatry in 1998 with the intention of furthering the understanding between the two fields. “It is such a unique experience that very few law students are able to have across the nation,” former clinic fellow Olivia Luehrmann said. “The Weaver Institute is actually the reason I came to UC Law, and I know that my law school education would not have been the same without it.” Each spring, first-year law students can apply to be a Weaver Fellow and are chosen based on academic merit, school performance and a demonstrated interest in mental health law. Beginning fall 2016, the fellowship now will be open to “uniquely qualified” law students who are beginning their first year, said James Hunt, the administrative director of the Weaver Institute. 30
Coursework Builds Understanding Once chosen, Weaver Fell Fellows are required to take three courses: Law and Psychiatry, which is a course open to all law students, plus Mental Health Law I and Mental Health Law II, both of which are open only to Weaver Fellows and taken in conjunction with the Medical School’s Forensic Psychiatry Fellows. “It is a very enlightening and symbiotic experience,” said 3L and Weaver Fellow John D. Elleman. “The law students, such as myself, and the doctors help one another learn and understand the different perspectives involved.” “Professor Stephani (who teaches Mental Health Law I & II) is very passionate in instilling a sense of respect for the autonomy of the client,” said Lacey Brewster, ’16, former Weaver Fellow. Outside the classroom, Weaver Fellows further their understanding of law and psychiatry by attending monthly gatherings of the Forensic Psychiatry Journal Club. Weaver Fellows and Forensic Psychiatry Fellows attend the dinners, along with law professors, practicing attorneys, C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
psychologists. psychiatrists, and psychologist Occasionally, magistrates, and mental health philosophers, an patients and their advocates join the group to discuss the latest research and trends. “It is an amazing experience to be invited to the table in a discussion of recent research and issues in forensic psychiatry with such a broad and respected array of local professionals,” Elleman said.
Community Work Builds Experience Beginning in the spring of their second year, Weaver Fellows start the community-placement portion of their fellowship. Structured as an independent research project, the placement allows fellows to work for two semesters within areas of the community where law and psychiatry intersect. For her first semester of community placement, Brewster reported to the Competency Restoration Unit at Summit Behavioral Healthcare. She would sit in on meetings, shadow psychiatrists, look through forensic files and review legal analyses — all activities geared
toward determining if a patient was competent enough to stand trial. “Some of the stuff you and I would take for granted amazed me,” Brewster said. “I ultimately got a very good perspective of what a client’s life would be like going through competency restoration.” In her second semester of community placement, Brewster shadowed a social worker with the Veterans Affairs Justice Outreach Program, which required reaching into the legal system to find and help veterans in need. She also sat in on Therapeutic Treatment Courts, which differ from regular trial courts. The court personnel constituted a treatment team, which met an hour before the trial to identify and discuss therapeutic needs of the defendant, who in these cases was a veteran. The defendant would then arrive to further discuss treatment options. “I think that these steps address underlying needs of people more than just putting them in a box,” Brewster said. “And usually, that’s going to be more effective in the long run.”
Experience Provides Insight and Perspective John Elleman completed his community placement project at the Butler County Probate Court during Magistrate Patricia Hider’s civil commitment docket. He spent a lot of time in and out of court with the magistrate, as well as with the prosecutor who represented the Mental Health Board, the probate court monitor, the respondent’s counsel and a forensic psychiatrist. Though Elleman plans on practicing criminal law, a path different from the work he did with Magistrate Hider, he said his time there offered insights that changed his perspective on legal issues.
“Now when I see criminal riminall cases, particularly misdemeanors, meanorss, I am much more likely to look the ook at th he defendant and consider whether heth there are potentially underlying mental all health issues that may be aff affecting ng the defendant’s behavior,” Elleman em said. aid. “If instead of sending someone meo like ike that to jail for short stays beh behind bars, getting them psychiatric h help may ay address underlying issues once and nd for all, and break the cycle of deviant viant behavior, court dates and jail time.” me.” For Olivia Luehrmann’s first semester of community involvement, ment, she divided her time among threee areas. For the first half of the semester, she observed Judge John n Andrew West’s mental health docket. cket kt Mental health dockets are a fairly new concept, in which eligible defendants are transferred from normal criminal court dockets to specialized ones, Luehrmann said, where they are treated for their specific illnesses, assigned case workers and treated “as individuals instead of just another defendant.” She spent the second half of the semester shadowing professionals in the “fast-paced environment” of the Christ Hospital Behavioral Unit. In her second community placement, Luehrmann shadowed a treating psychiatrist at Summit Behavioral Healthcare Center. “At both hospitals, I was able to observe a treating psychiatrist’s day-to-day activities, as well as the legal hurdles that they face with nearly every decision they make,” Luehrmann said.. “I want to be a felony prosecutor after graduation. Thee Weaver Institute has undoubtedly ly given me the tools I need to pursue sue such goals.”
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College Coll C of Law
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Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice Receives University’s
Marian Spencer Diversity Award The college’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice received the 2016 University of Cincinnati Marian Spencer Diversity Ambassador Award at the 8th Annual Diversity & Inclusion Conference. The center, identified as an ambassador for diversity and inclusion, was honored for its impactful programming and efforts to prepare the next generation of attorneys to thrive in a diverse, global workforce. Co-directed by Emily Houh, Gustavus Henry Wald Professor of the Law and Contracts; Kristin Kalsem, Charles Hartsock Professor of Law; and Interim Dean Verna Williams, Nippert Professor of Law, the center was formed six years ago.
“Receiving the Spencer Award is humbling, given its namesake’s heroic efforts for social justice in Cincinnati. It inspires us to work even harder,” said Interim Dean Williams. Continued Professor Kalsem, co-director, “It was wonderful to receive this recognition for just doing the everyday work of the center. The Marian Spencer Diversity Ambassador Award honors the kind of programming and initiatives that are the very mission of our center.” The center’s mission is to cultivate scholars, leaders and activists for social change. To that end, it has three pillars: the Joint Degree JD/MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the first of its kind in the nation; the Freedom Center Journal, a joint scholarly
C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
publication of the college and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which examines issues of gender, sexuality, race and class; and the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic, a legal laboratory where students receive extensive training in the laws surrounding domestic violence and trial advocacy, while assisting battered women and their families; and its new community-based research arm. Through these program areas, the center has been able to make an impact on a broad and long-lasting scale. An example of their efforts was advocating for Cincinnati City Council to pass a resolution declaring freedom from domestic violence a fundamental human right — the first such resolution passed in the country. In addition, it has hosted varied programs exploring cutting edge issues, including economic justice, domestic violence, civil rights and policing, hate crimes, philanthropy and women’s movements, same-sex marriage, fair housing, and social justice feminism.
Marian Spencer (center right) poses with law professors and co-directors of the college’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice: from the left, Kristin Kalsem, Emily Houh and Interim Dean Verna Williams
Connect with Cincinnati Law Online LinkedIn University of Cincinnati College of Law Students and Alumni
Twitter Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice: @uclawjustice Center for Professional Development: @CincyLawCPD Ohio Inncocence Project @theOhioInnProj
Robert S. Marx Law Library: @UCLawLib
The Marian Spencer Diversity Ambassador Award, sponsored by the universityâ€™s Diversity Council, showcases current campus-aďŹƒliated individuals and groups whose diversity initiatives have positively impacted the university. Recipients must meet one of several criteria: showing an awareness for diversity, exhibiting sensitivity to people of various cultures, helping colleagues/ peers grow in the area of diversity, and preparing others to thrive in a diverse, global workforce. The award was named after UC alumna and activist Marian Spencer.
UC College of Law @UCincinnatiLaw
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YouTube Channel: College of Law OIP (Ohio Innocence Project)
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Blog: Marx Markings (library) Info/Law Blog (Prof. Tim Armstrong) Ipso Facto (Prof. Ken Hirsh) Wrongful Convictions blog (Prof. Mark Godsey) International Law Reporter (Prof. Jacob Cogan) Legally Speaking Ohio (Prof. Marianna Bettman) Friend of the Court Blog (Prof. Sandra Sperino)
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
OIP gains four exonerations in 2016
HE LAST 18 MONTHS FOR THE OHIO INNOCENCE PROJECT has been marked with amazing wins. Through its work, four individuals have been freed on grounds of innocence.
The Ohio Innocence Project plays an important role in the legal education of all of UC Law students. Not only do the students — who directly represent the clients with Professor Mark Godsey and the staff attorneys — learn valuable litigation skills, but all law school students benefit from its commitment to
Glover, Eugene Johnson and Jim Parsons, now living at home with family.
2nd Triple Exoneration Frees Defendants After 18 Years Three men are free after being wrongly convicted and incarcerated for murder. Derrick Wheatt, Laurese Glover and Eugene Johnson had their convictions for the 1995 murder of Clifton Hudson Jr. thrown out after nearly a decade of legal advocacy from the Ohio Innocence Project.
Three men hear their convictions being thrown out of court ourt after they each spent nearly 20 years behind bars for crimes they did not commit. From the left are Derrick Wheat, heat, Eugene Johnson and Laurese Glover.
justice and the rule of law that are at the heart of the U.S. legal system. To date, the OIP has freed 25 people who together served more than 450 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Here are the stories of Derrick Wheatt, Laurese 34
Judge Nancy Margaret Russo, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, threw out that conviction in March 2015, granted a new trial and set bond. While the men were out on bond, the case was sent to the Eighth District Court of Appeals, which C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
upheld Judge Russo’s decision to overturn the convictions. On Aug. 15, 2016, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty asked that the case be dismissed, and it was. Their freedom came after a key eyewitness recanted her testimony. Furthermore, police-report information had cast doubt on the defendants’ guilt in 1998, but had not been disclosed to the trial team. “They have been fighting to prove their innocence for nearly 20 years,” says Mark Godsey, director, Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project. “They had tried for exoneration twice before and had come close in the past. OIP has worked on the case since 2006, and we are happy to be with them as they finally taste their longsought freedom.” The OIP represented defendants Wheatt and Glover; Johnson was represented by attorneys Brett Murner and Jim Valentine. Additionally, co-counsel on this case was Carmen Naso, senior instructor of law, and law students at the Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic, Case Western Reserve School of Law, Cleveland. The OIP and Kramer Law Clinic partnered on this case and plan to work together on additional cases in the future.
A Murder Many Years Ago On Feb. 10, 1995, in East Cleveland, 19-year-old Clifton Hudson Jr. was murdered. Witnesses reported seeing a person wearing dark clothing and a
Derrick Wheatt (left), represented by OIP, and Eugene Johnson (right), represented by Brett Murner M and Jim Valentine, celebrate their freedom.
dark hat at the scene. Three juveniles — Wheatt, Glover and Johnson — happened to be near the scene. But when the shooting started, they sped off, they insisted. All three later provided the police with descriptions of the shooter that matched the basic descriptions given by other witnesses. But in a twist of events, they were charged with the crime. The three were convicted of Hudson’s murder in January 1996, based on their presence at the scene and identification by 14-yearold Tamika Harris. She originally reported to police that she saw the shooter get in and out of the defendants’ truck; but, she insisted, she never saw the shooter’s face. It was this tip, though, that led to the group’s initial arrest. At the trial, Harris changed her story, admitting that she never saw the shooter actually get in or out of the truck. She testified, however, that she could positively identify Johnson as the shooter. Additionally, the prosecution found alleged gunshot residue on Wheatt and Johnson. The three were convicted; Wheatt and Johnson were sentenced to 18 years to life in prison; Glover was sentenced to 15 years to life.
Finding Grounds for a New Trial Over the years, the men maintained their innocence. Then in 2004, Johnson’s attorneys, Murner and Valentine, filed a motion for a new trial on the grounds that Harris, now an adult and in nursing school, had recanted parts of her testimony. She stated that when she went to the police station years earlier, the officers told her they had found the people responsible, showed her photos of the three defendants and asked which of the three was the shooter. Harris said she picked the one whose jacket was closest to the one she saw: Johnson’s. Though the trial court granted a new trial on this basis, the Court of Appeals denied it in 2005, largely because of the alleged gunshotresidue evidence. Two years later, the OIP accepted the case. Attorneys and fellows spent hundreds of hours reviewing evidence, interviewing potential witnesses and filing motions. In fact, Brian Howe, ’10, the OIP attorney of record, worked on this case as an OIP fellow.
In 2009, the OIP filed another new trial motion based on advancements in knowledge about gunshot residue. Specifically, the type of testing used in 1995 was already known to be particularly prone to false positives from other items and was no longer being used by the FBI. The trial court denied the motion, stating that the increased accuracy of newer methods did not “invalidate” the older method. A break in the case came in 2014 when the OIP received longconcealed police reports that included information not raised at the original trial: 1) the existence of two witnesses who confirmed that the shooter came from a nearby post office lot, 2) information that unknown people in a different car had shot at the victim’s brother just days before the crime, and 3) information that someone else had threatened the victim himself the day before the murder. No known connection existed between any of those threats and the defendants. So the OIP filed another new trial motion on the basis that this information had never been disclosed to the defense. A January 2015 hearing on the motion was led by Howe and the Kramer Clinic’s
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Carmen Naso. “The evidence at the hearing was overwhelming,” Howe says. “None of these men should have ve ever been convicted.” The Court of Common Pleass granted a new trial on March 25, 2015, stating, “The Court finds that the defendants’ constitutional rights were violated by the suppression of material, exculpatory evidence.” The new trial was to begin in August 2016, but the prosecution dismissed the charges.
A Day Worth Waiting For “This has been a long day coming for Mr. Johnson, Mr. Wheatt and Mr. Glover,” said Howe at the time. “I know it must be an incredible feeling. It is particularly important and gratifying for me because I worked on the gunshot residue motions as an OIP fellow. It’s incredible to see all of our hard work come to fruition.” Special thanks to the many individuals who spent hundreds of hours working on this case over the years. The list includes attorneys Brian Howe, David Laing and Carrie Wood; and student fellows Shabnam Allen, Nicole Billec, Amanda Bleiler, Scott Brenner, Chris Brinkman, Brandon Brown, Chris Brown, Eric Gooding, John Hill, Matt Katz, Eric Kmetz, Shaun McPherron, Amandaa Rieger, Amanda Sanders, Bryant Strayer and Queenie Takougang,
Daughter Sherry Parsons poses for a picture with her frail 78-year-old father after he was released from prison. “It took way too long,” she says. “Even one year earlier, he could be walking around and going to coffee with his friends.” He died less than 10 months after being freed.
Man Regains Freedom After 23 Years In February 1981, Barbara Parsons was found dead inside her bedroom, beaten 15 times in the head by someone using a large, heavy object. Initially no suspect was identified, but 12 years later, her husband, Jim Parsons, was arrested and convicted for the murder. Parsons was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. After 23 years incarcerated, however, his conviction was overturned on April 20, 2016, thanks to the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP). Parsons was released and lived with family until he died in February of this year.
An Unfair Advantage Immediately after Barbara Parsons’ murder, an investigation began. Just an hour after the body was found at their Norwalk, Ohio, home, Jim Parsons was with the police. He showed no signs of a struggle, and his alibi was solid. The case went cold. Years later, a new detective was assigned to the case, who sent the suspected murder weapon and the bed sheets on which Barbara was found to forensic scientist Michele Yezzo at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, asking her to look for any matching patterns of blood. C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
While running those tests, Yezzo failed to fully document her procedures. She used a chemical on the sheets to make the blood stains easier to see, she said. However, the chemical fades after several hours, and she neglected to photograph each piece of evidence while the stains remained visible. Although Yezzo said she found matching patterns between the weapon and the sheets, she was the only person to see it due to lack of additional documentation. Even so, the court ruled against Parsons. He was found guilty and sent to jail. Around the same time that she was testifying, Yezzo was under severe job pressure, had been suspended for making threats against co-workers, and displayed other signs that called her mental stability into question, says OIP staff attorney Donald Caster, ’03, who represented Parsons’ appeals. “About three years before she testified against Parsons,” he says, “there was a memo that was written by her sup supervisor that said the consensus in the lab was that her mental health iss issues were affecting her work and tha that she would stretch the truth to sat satisfy a law enforcement agency.” When Caster found that inf information, he contacted Scott Br Bresler, clinical director of forensic psy psychiatry at the University of Ci Cincinnati Medical Center. Bresler, wh who routinely conducts fitness-fordu duty evaluations, evaluated Yezzo’s
OIP’s 10 years on the case
likely mental state at the time of the trial and determined that her ability to work should have been called into question long before the Parsons trial. Withholding this information about Yezzo led to an unfair trial, Caster insists. “Our star witness, whose subjective judgments were entirely what the case was about, was perhaps mentally unstable. “And not only that, when we brought her in and she testified at the hearing in the Parsons’ case, she agreed that every day she was coming in thinking that she was going to be disciplined for her erratic conduct. So what better way for a forensic scientist to help save their job than to solve a cold murder case?”
Fighting for Freedom OIP investigations can take years to complete, and often the fellows working on the cases pass them down to others. In fact, Parsons’ case spanned 10 years, involved 21 law students and even predated Caster’s time with the OIP. OIP fellow Alex Barengo,’17, gave credit to the previous fellows, saying that the investigation of the case had already been completed and that he and his partner, Miranda Anandappa, ’17, simply had the responsibility of making sure everything was in place so nothing would go wrong in court. Caster filed for postconviction relief and a new trial motion. The hearing included testimony from witnesses, scientists, one of Mr. Parsons’ daughters and several people from the state. Days later, Caster learned that the judge had ruled to overturn the verdict. Jim Parsons was a free man after 23 long years. Then he died on Feb. 8, 2017.
OIP fellows and staﬀ all realize it can take many years to complete an investigation. They also realize that persistence pays oﬀ. The Parsons’ case, for instance, spanned 10 years and involved 21 law students, OIP lawyer Donald Caster and OIP staﬀ member and lawyer Liza Dietrich. The case even predated Caster and Dietrich’s time with OIP. OIP fellow Alex Barengo, ’17, gave credit to the previous fellows, saying that the investigation of the case had already been completed when he arrived and that he and his partner, Miranda Anandappa, ’17, simply had the responsibility of making sure everything was in place so nothing would go wrong in court. The reason some OIP investigations drag on as long as this one stems from the diﬃculty in finding the information necessary for a post-conviction claim, says Liza Dietrich. “The students have to reinvestigate not just the underlying crime, but its complete aftermath — pouring through volumes of transcripts, police reports, witness statements, court filings, looking for evidence of innocence that is either well hidden or might not even exist. “They are essentially searching for a four-leaf clover in a massive field surrounded by miles and miles of barren wasteland. Examining the field inch by inch is the only way to find it.” The process is painfully time-consuming and often can be hampered by external forces beyond their control. “Mr. Parsons’ conviction,” Dietrich explains, “was overturned because state withheld exculpatory information in the Yezzo file, regarding her fitness for duty. In learning of the file, the students basically discovered the existence of something they weren’t supposed to know about.” In the end, OIP fellows found the elusive clover “while navigating through the field wearing blindfolds,” blindfolds,” she says with pride. “Persistence certainly paid oﬀ here.”
OIP Celebrates #25
After maintaining his innocence for 23 years, Evin King was released from Cuyahoga County Courthouse on April 19, 2017 due to the hard work, dedication and eﬀorts of the OIP. In 1996 King was convicted of murdering his girlfriend despite no direct evidence of guilt. But advancements in DNA testing and further analysis of the evidence supported King’s claim of innocence. Read the full story and see the video: www.law.uc.edu/oip/evin-king.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
35 Years: Celebrating the Legacy of the
Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights
Benefactor William Butler and his wife Jane (now deceased), director Bert Lockwood, assistant Nancy Ent and a number of interns to Botswana over the last 28 years.
â€œHuman Rights: Promotion and Protectionâ€? was the theme of a conference hosted by the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights (UMI) in celebration of its 35th anniversary in April 2015. Many human-rights alumni from around the world discussed their work and careers at the event.
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“The decision to focus on our alumni was easy,” said Bert Lockwood, Distinguished Service Professor of Law aw and Director, UMI. “The difficult task was choosing 25 from the hundreds that at are making important contributions to social justice in their communities.” • Caleb Benadum focused on human trafficking at the National Underground Freedom Center. • Professors Terry Coonan, Florida State University, and Dina Haynes, New England Law | Boston, are collaborating on a course book on human trafficking. The day-long event and dinner featured a mix of alumni from the early, middle and recent classes, as ts well as those engaged in human rights work abroad and within the United States. Alumni came from China, South Sudan, Tanzania, Venezuela, United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Canada, as well as California, Colorado, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, and Ohio.
• Tara Van Ho related the work of the Essex Human Rights Clinic and the Business & Human Rights Project in Denmark.
Intersection of Alumni Work and Human Rights
• Kate Pongonis’’ distinguished career with the U.S. State Department led to postings in the Dominican Republic, China, Ethiopia, South Africa and Venezuela.
• Linda Murnane and Erin Rosenberg discussed their work with international courts: the International Criminal Tribunal forr the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the International Criminal Court. • Taegin Reisman works for the Justice Initiative at the Open Society Foundation and manages the International Justice Monitor, a blog that follows developments in n international justice trials.
• Marilu Gresens Peries elaborated on her work at the British company Maplecroft, a leading global consultancy firm that advises major corporations on corporate social responsibilities matters.
• Cathy Blank’s 25-year tenure at the U.S. State Department gave her the opportunity to deal with issues such as the Bosnian elections, the Northern Ireland Peace Process, and the Middle East.
in Montana, now work on Indian law matters. Diamant-Rink works in the Department of the Interior, and McGahan works on domestic violence issues as a legal services attorney on a Montana reservation. • Janine K Kosen osen works for the International Rescue Committee, where she designs, supports and leads initiatives aimed at creating lasting and transformational change for women and girls in gender-based violence in crisis-affected countries and humanitarian emergencies. Teresa a Ya Yates ates has • Similarly, Te worked in Africa for more than 20 years and currently is the coordinator of the Gender Justice Program of Oxfam where she runs the “We Can” campaign, coordinating the work of more than 500 NGOs. • Al Alexi A exi Wood, Wood, an attorney at a major Toronto firm, has a major pro bono practice on behalf of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and has won a number of major cases before the Canadian Supreme Court.
• Sapphire Diamant-Rink and Hilly McGahan, both of whom grew up on Indian Reservations
• Michael Heflin has worked at Amnesty International and the Open Society Foundation where he now heads up the grant-making initiative on LGBT rights.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
• Lisa Green has practiced immigration law in Colorado since 1990 and is nationally known for her work on asylum cases. • Lindsay Wilkes, a recent graduate, practices immigration law in Washington and currently works on behalf of children detained in Texas. • Teresa Martinez, an attorney with California Rural Legal Services at the time of the conference, has been recognized by the Santa Barbara Women’s Lawyers Association for her commitment to public service. • Heather Gomes discussed her work with Maryland Legal Services, which was the first legal services organization to adopt an international human rights framework.
• Carrie Hagan directs the Civil Practice Clinic at Indiana University in Indianapolis where she has pioneered an interdisciplinary approach with the School of Social Work. • Erica Hall works for World Vision in London and focuses on gender and children’s issues in armed conflict. Her work has included stints in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Uganda. • Adam Moser discussed his work on environmental issues in China for the Vermont Law School program in Beijing. After the conference, he was to begin his work in Myanmar at EarthRights.
• Rebecca Landy is developing human rights advocacy strategies for social justice NGOs within the U.S. through the U.S. Human n Rights Network. • Sue Tatten’s inspirational work on behalf of human rights and the rule of law across the world rld has taken her to Darfur, Sudan, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Libya, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Liberia and many other locations.
MORE HIGHLIGHTS Special thanks to the panel chairs: Thomas O’Donnell, Ret. Partner, Baker & Mackenzie; Sarah Ganslein, associate, WilmerHale; Molly Russell, attorney, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati; Sean Arthurs, Phd, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Tom Bockhorst, gen. counsel, Colonial Consulting; Marcie Warrington, Blue Legacy International; Keith Syler, former clerk, Fed. Dist. Court So. Ohio; Nancy Oliver, College of Law. Also, thanks to Nancy Ent, coordinator, UMI, and others who worked together to create this event.
The above glimpse provides a sense of what was an extraordinary day for the UMI. The celebration concluded with a dinner where leading human rights historian Professor Paul Lauren, University of Montana, served as keynote speaker. Reception entertainment was provided by alumni folk singer Tom O’Donnell, former Morgan Fellow and partner at Baker & McKenzie.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
BRIEFS B RIEFS
A Story of Compassion… Of o one ne sstudent, tu ud den de ntt, T Tyler yler Short Short; of on one ne clinic; of college olle ege ffaculty, acullty ty y, sstaﬀ taﬀ and an a nd stu sstudents; tu ud dents; a and nd n do off a distraught trraught ffather a athe r wh w who ho g gave ave b back acck a ck tto o tthe he sschool chool byy Michelle Miciche chelle hellllee Flanagan, he Fl ’18, ’188, ccommunications ommu m nicatition onss in inte intern tern rn
One month before his 2012 hooding at Cincinnati law, 24-year-old Tyler Short had sharpened his focus on his career. He and a classmate had decided to go into practice together, and Professor Lew Goldfarb had agreed to be Short’s mentor. “I think he finally felt like he had a direction,” Goldfarb recalls, “and that was the day before he died” (unexpectedly, from an undetected heart condition). Although the University of Cincinnati is a large campus in a large metropolitan area, the College of Law is UC’s smallest college with enrollment of only a few hundred students at any one time. Such size easily cultivates a sense of family. That means Short’s untimely death was felt deeply throughout the school, and the college community quickly reached out to comfort the rest of the Short family, living in Louisville. Tyler’s father, Dr. Kerry Short, a urologist, recalls that members from every corner of the law school offered their support, “from the dean on
down,” with 30 individuals coming to the funeral and others attending the visitation. Although Dr. Short had little association with the law school prior to Tyler’s death, the tragedy tightly tied him to the school and the students in a very short time. The outpouring of compassion and support that the law school gave to Dr. Short compelled him to create an award in honor of his son. He wanted to do something in his son’s memory, but also wanted to give back to the law school that had helped him and his family through a terrible time. Even though he knew how much Tyler enjoyed working in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, Dr. Short was largely unaware of his son’s success until clinic director Professor Lewis Goldfarb approached him. Goldfarb described Tyler as the ideal student for the clinic, with his “adventurous spirit, thirst for learning, passion for helping others, and a fierce determination to chart his own path after his law school graduation.” The clinic was where he had spent most of the day before he died. So shortly after his son’s funeral, Dr. Short funded the Tyler Short Award for Entrepreneurial C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
Excellence. The award is presented annually to a graduating student who has been involved with the ECDC, where Tyler was an intern for several months before his death. The award-winning student should also be someone who “exhibits a strong entrepreneurial spirit, possesses a keen interest in advising entrepreneurs or aspires to be one, and excels in curricular and/or extracurricular activities related to the same.” Goldfarb and Dr. Short agree that the entrepreneurship-related award captures Tyler’s spirit and continues his legacy. “Tyler really enjoyed the clinical application of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic,” Dr. Short said, “being involved outside the law school and with clients, and having a more hands-on approach. They were growing together, Tyler and the program itself, you could say.” In the few short weeks between Tyler’s death and the hooding ceremony, faculty members began to muse about the possibility of considering Tyler’s coursework complete and thus his eligibility for graduation. Ultimately, Tyler was hooded posthumously with his father standing in his place on graduation
Matt Dearden ’14, Dr. Short (Tyler’s father), Dylan Sizemore ’14, Michelle James ’13, Prof. Lew Goldfarb, and Nick Ehlert ’15. Missing: Matt Seifert, 2016 award winner
day. Since that somber day, Dr. Short has come to the hooding ceremony each year. Last November, he also attended the ECDC’s fifth anniversary celebration. Tyler’s spirit lives on in the school. Walking into the ECDC Office, one finds it impossible to miss the Tyler Short Wall of Fame, which is covered in photos of each semester’s interns. Intern poses have gotten more creative over the years, a possible side effect of Tyler’s unique love for life and striking humor. “It seems like Tyler’s name comes up a lot through the course of talking to our students each semester,” Goldfarb said. “Oftentimes when people come back here and see the Wall of Fame, we talk about who Tyler was. Whether it’s about the clinic or the pictures, there seems to always be discussion about him.” Tyler was a force to be reckoned with, his friends confided. Some of his greatest escapades became known to Dr. Short only after his death, when Tyler’s friends shared their memories of him. “One night when he was a freshman, he and a friend decided to swim across the Ohio River,” Dr. Short remembered about his son. “They were on the Kentucky side,
maybe out being silly and daring and double-daring each other. “Long story short, he and his friend decided to swim across the Ohio River, to be promptly arrested on the Ohio side. His friends had gotten scared about two people who had drowned, so they called the police when they were part way across. “He was a bit notorious, for better or for worse,” Dr. Short laughed. Tyler Short is survived by his father, three brothers, his grandmother and a girl friend. His mother, Lisa, passed away in 2006.
purpose p p
The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic enables thirdyear law students to obtain “hands on” experience representing local small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on transactional legal issues critical to their success. Such services include assistance and counseling on entity selection and formation; regulatory compliance and licensing; advice on trademark and copyright protection; lease review and negotiation; contract preparation, review, and negotiation; as well as any other legal issues confronting a small business.
Colleagues say that Tyler was always willing to lend a hand to others, excited about learning, and possessed a great sense of humor and a zest for life.
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Good News About UCâ€™s College of Law Unprecedented recognition and acknowledgement of student and alumni accomplishments throughout the last year show the strength of a degree from the College of Law. Across the board, numbers tell the story.
High Bar Passage Results
first-year enrollment increase for 2016 fall
attorneys from 23 countries in 5 years in LLM program
increase in applications over 2015
undergraduate majors from 52 colleges
of new law students came from out of state
passage rate of Ohio Bar Exam for UC first-time takers in July 2016
overall passage rate for UC College of Law
passage rate for out-of-state graduates for jurisdictions that have released their outcomes
of UC Law students have undergraduate g degrees degreees from from UC
passage rate for UC exam takers in February 2016 placing UC Law No. 1 in Ohio and 33% higher than state average
C O U N S E L O R | 2016-17
15% higher than statewide average, placing UC Law 2nd among Ohio law schools
pass rate in Indiana, Montana, Texas and West Virginia
High Graduate Employment
Ranked #60 by U.S. News & World Report positioning Cincinnati Law among top 50 (tied at 32nd) public law schools in the nation for 2016
3rd in the Nation for Prosecutor and Public Defender Careers The rating came from preLaw magazine’s winter 2016 edition. Similarly, the National Jurist magazine placed UC Law among the nation’s top 20 schools of 2016 for students interested in the same fields. Schools were recognized for excellence in public-service careers, based on curricular offerings, employment placement, starting salary, student debt and loan repayment assistance programs.
40th in the Nation (ABA 2014 employment summaries)
10th in the Midwest (noted by ChicagoINNO)
Our graduate employment numbers represent a 16% increase from last year, one of the largest increases in the country.
Best Value Law School The National Jurist and preLaw magazines have ranked the College of Law one of the Best Value Law Schools for the fourth and third consecutive years, respectively.
Top for JD-Required Positions
The ranking is designed to identify law schools where graduates have excellent chances of passing the bar and getting a legal job without taking on a lot of debt.
Top School for Practical Training In spring 2016, ’15 and ’14 the College of Law was ranked a top law school for practical training by National Jurist magazine. Also preLaw magazine Also, listed Cincinnati Law among the 2016 Best Schools for Practical Training.
The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic was a key reason for the ranking. Since its inception five years ago, the clinic has assisted 163 business owners with 700 legal matters, estimated at nearly $1M of free legal services to the local economy.
The National Law Journal named the College of Law among the top 50 law schools in the country for sending graduates to the top 250 law firms.
of 2015 graduates obtained full-time, JD-required jobs within 10 months of graduation These outcomes affirm the value of our externship programs, clinic opportunities, volunteer activities, networking, and connections with the legal community, which make our students work-ready.
Good news continues not just for students, but also for alumni. Top 30 Super Lawyers Schools (The National Jurist fall 2015 magazine, Super Lawyers List)
28th in the nation, the College has 13.1 percent of its alumni considered Super Lawyers.
Our strong academic programming, bar prep programs and scholarship offerings for highly qualified students has gone a long way toward preparing our students for success.
Alumni Involvement Vitall Alumni are invaluable to current students. Consider being a mentor, serving as adjunct faculty, speaking on campus or hiring a student. Contact the Center for Professional Development (513-556-6810) to find out how you can be a part of our success. U N I V E R S I T Y O F C I N C I N N A T I | College of Law
Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Cincinnati, Ohio Permit No. 133 College of Law College Relations University of Cincinnati P.O. Box 210040 Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040 Address Service Requested
Upcoming 2017-18 Events » Sept. 18, 2017
Constitution Day Lecture
» Oct. 1, 2017
Bearcats Dash and Bash; 5K and 18.19K
» Oct. 17, 2017
Schwartz Lecture in Tort Law, featuring Attorney Paul Taylor
» Nov. 3-4, 2017
» Nov. 15, 2017
Harold C. Schott Lecture, featuring Prof. Jacob Cogan
» Fall 2017
Cincinnati Law Downtown Teach-In
» April 12, 2018
Robert S. Marx Lecture, featuring Prof. Osagie Obasogie
UC Law All Class Reunion
Maxel Moreland ’17 (center) was one of five law students selected to participate in the Indigent Defense Clinic through the Hamilton County PD’s oﬃce. He is at work with rising 3L Jackie Miller and Judge Robert Winkler. Read the story on page 32: Indigent Defense Clinic Strives to Raise Standards of Performance for Future Public Defenders.
Visit www.law.uc.edu/alumni/events/ continuing-legal-education for additional information about these and other events as well as CLE opportunities.
Cincinnati College of Law