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U n i v e r s i t y o f D a y t o n S c h o o l o f LA W • S U M M E r 2 0 0 7

Hope flows lasting tribute

lessons in homelessness


Educating the future The nephew of Ramzi Nasser, a law school

professor who died in 2006, plays at a park near Nasser’s hometown in California. Nasser’s legacy includes funding for his nephews and niece to attend college as well as a UD School of Law memorial scholarship established by family and friends. Story on Page 10. Photo by David Zaitz

D e a n ’ s

2 News & notes Offering two master’s programs in intellectual property, looking for externships in Alaska, talking murder in high school, fostering hope in New Orleans and finding those four grads in Wyoming

16 Faculty news For more than 20 years, Kelvin Dickinson and Laurence Wohl have taught promising lawyers. Both professors emeriti retired this spring.

18 Roundtable Richard Boykin ’94 takes his D.C. beltway sensibility to a Chicago law firm.

Features 8 Bankrupt, bothered and bewildered Five things you need to know — to protect your practice — before deciding whether to help a client facing bankruptcy.

10 We grieve, we love, we give Scholarships are the School’s lifeblood, helping fill seats and minds. For those who give, memorial scholarships provide a lasting tribute to those we love.

14 Homeless in Ohio The spring intrasession taught students about the everyday struggles — including run-ins with the law — that compound the pains of homelessness.

The Dayton Lawyer is published twice each school year by the University of Dayton School of Law in cooperation with the office of public relations. Send comments, letters to the editor and Roundtable notes to: University of Dayton, Dayton Lawyer, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-1679. Fax: 937-229-3063 E-mail: Web: Roundtable notes will appear in print and online versions of the magazine. Editor: Michelle Tedford Art director: Lisa Coffey Photographer: Larry Burgess

M e s s a g e

Vital scholarship commitments

I treasure the long daylight hours in Dayton, precious time with family and friends, and the spirit of renewal that accompanies this summer season. I find myself reflecting on the blessings of the year. I am deeply grateful for the commitments that more of you are making to fund scholarships. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with bright, dedicated scholarship students and watch them succeed in the face of academic, professional and personal challenges. Your support makes success possible for so many of our students. In this issue of the Dayton Lawyer, we feature three new endowed scholarships memorializing the lives of Melanie Mackin Stump ’84, Ken Surber ’78 and professor Ramzi Nasser. These scholarships ensure that loved ones are never forgotten and provide invaluable support for students. Scholarships are vital to bringing a bright, motivated and diverse group of students to the University of Dayton School of Law in an increasingly competitive environment. Scholarships enable the School to attract high-performing academic students. Scholarships help needy students participate more fully in the American dream. Additionally, scholarships enable students committed to public service to manage their debt load so they can serve our communities on a full-time basis. This spring, outside financial support made it possible for 27 students to volunteer 700 hours to assist hurricane victims. The Class of 2007 donated nearly 4,000 hours to these and other pro bono and service projects, helping faculty members to teach Street Law at the Dayton Early College Academy, prepare appeals for indigents, and serve children, the homeless, the elderly, and others in need. Thank you for your scholarship support and prayers. You strengthen us in offering a tremendous education to our future leaders. I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful summer.

Lisa A. Kloppenberg Dean and Professor of Law

Cover photo: Students spent an alternative spring break serving in New Orleans. Story on Page 6. Photo by Judi Buttoni




n e w s t h e I n

Moving on from independence In 1991, the country of Azerbaijan declared its independence from the collapsed Soviet Union. It took another four years to establish a republic, adopt a constitution, hold open elections and institute a western-style rule of law. Enter Alan Gabel ’83. Gabel is taking a one-year sabbatical from his private practice in Dayton to serve as a criminal law liaison specialist with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Institute, which supports legal reforms in Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East. “We facilitate training for judges, prosecutors and advocates, work with criminal law authorities in Azerbaijan and are exploring ways to increase the number of criminal defense attorneys,” said Gabel via an e-mail interview. He arrived in the nation’s capital of Baku in February. Corruption, human trafficking, financial crimes, human rights violations and inadequacies in the criminal justice system are the nation’s top concerns he said. “I believe one very strong way to assure peace and avoid conflicts is to establish a rule of law,” he said. “This allows nations to live together and prosper with individual rights and dignity.” Experienced attorneys, judges and law school professors from the U.S. and other countries volunteer to aid the reform efforts and teach legal principles and procedures to fledgling systems. Gabel realizes change is never easy but believes the effort is worthwhile. “Because of the oil reserves, there is a tremendous amount of interest and investment occurring in Azerbaijan. Hopefully with this investment, along with continued international pressure and the cooperation of the Azerbaijani government, progress will continue in the rule of law.” —Jeaneen Parsons

Your magazine listens Law alumni love their Dayton Lawyer. That’s what you

told us in the annual reader survey, and we appreciate your time, responses and thoughtful comments. According to the results, law grads rely on this magazine to get most of their information about the UD School of Law. You spend an average of 21 minutes with each issue and most enjoy reading about other alumni and faculty and staff. We will be incorporating your ideas throughout the next several issues and welcome your comments to the editor at any time to To be sure you receive the winter 2008 survey, please update your e-mail address with us; see Page 20 for details. In the meantime, many of you wanted to know where UD law school alumni live. Chances are you’re not alone. See the map below for more details.

266 alumni

107 alumni

n n n n n

50-100 alumni 25-50 alumni 10-20 alumni fewer than 10 none

181 alumni

1,872 alumni

268 alumni 152 alumni

ni alum 176

Ahead of the trend — A Jan. 19 Chronicle of Higher Education story highlighted UD, along with Harvard, Stanford and Vanderbilt, as a school that has started or will start programs geared toward addressing concerns about law school education. The story, which addressed the Carnegie Foundation report calling for real-world training in law schools, mentioned aspects of the new Lawyer as Problem Solver curriculum, the accelerated option and experiential learning courses where students interact with clients played by actors. Ohio don’t got game — Professor Blake Watson discussed an Ohio gaming ballot initiative in a November Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal article. He said the issue probably didn’t fail simply because Ohioans are against gambling, but because they didn’t like the specific proposal, a constitutional amendment that would have benefited a few business owners, he said. E-mail privacy — The government’s access to personal e-mails was discussed in a December story in TechNews World. “The premise of the statute is that when I have information that I put in the hands of a third party — whether it’s a bank or an ISP or whatever — I’ve lost all expectation of privacy,” said Susan Brenner, NCR Distinguished Professor of Law and Technology. “I don’t think that’s true.” Assuming race — Professor Vernellia Randall’s “America’s Whitest Law Schools” report was discussed in a December issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. She also commented for a Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer Feb. 6 story on race assumptions surrounding Barack Obama’s presidential bid. Brothers — Esquire interviewed professor Tom Hagel for a feature about his brother, U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel. The March 11 story follows Chuck’s political ambitions back to his boyhood, through the Vietnam War with Tom and into Congress. The magazine wrote, “Tom jokes that we’ll all know whether Chuck’s running for president if Tom is suddenly packed off to a desert island somewhere for the duration of the campaign.” Tom was also interviewed on a March Hardball episode about his brother’s potential run for the presidency.

134 alumni

Graphic by Lisa Coffey/data by Virginia Goshorn


Education, innovation focus of new IP director The excitement of intellectual proplike to see that number grow, includerty law was rising at the UD School of ing those who come to UD for the new Law, and Kelly Henrici ’94 was riding that Master in the Study of Law and Master of wave. Law degrees in intellectual property (see It was 1989, and the School was one accompanying story). She’ll develop ties of the first in the nation to offer a specialized curriculum around intellectual property and cyberlaw. She was a paralegal at Reynolds & Reynolds at a time when the company was leading the way in switching auto dealerships from paper to electronic accounting and ordering systems. The UD program seemed a good fit for what she’d be called on to do; Henrici went on to become a Reynolds corporate attorney Kelli Henrici ’94 and then general counsel for The Relizon Co. Now, she’s back at the School as execu- with undergraduate programs at UD and tive director of the program in law and other schools to draw more engineers and technology, in charge of strengthening scientists into the School of Law. the curriculum, recruiting students with She also will connect with the business technical degrees, expanding practical and innovation centers of the University, learning opportunities, and partnering as well as with entrepreneurs and business with the Dayton business and legal comincubators in the greater community, to munity to enhance the region’s economic give students opportunities to experience revitalization. practical applications of the law to emerg“The goal is for the students to be as ing technology. prepared as possible to go into these highAs an IP alumna, Henrici is reaching tech environments,” she said. out to law school graduates, inviting them Henrici, who joined the School of Law to events like the annual computer and in January, said the pace of change in cyberlaw conference, held June 8 at the IP law requires constant updating of the School of Law, and informing them of curriculum. When she attended UD, the opportunities they have to tap students’ patentability of computer software was skills as externs and clerks. just being accepted by the courts. “There Henrici, who has lived in Dayton since hasn’t been a law school class since the 1988, sees opportunity for law school stuprogram in law and technology began,” dents and graduates to help with efforts she said, “that did not have a cutting-edge to invigorate the region’s economy. Small topic unfolding during the course of its businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators study of IP law.” — who are receiving funding from sources New this year was a first-year IP writing such as Ohio’s Third Frontier project — course, taught by Julie Zink, assistant proneed assistance protecting their products fessor of lawyering skills, and the addition and business practices so they can focus of Distinguished Professorial Practitioner on other aspects of business growth and in Residence Ken Germain, who leads the development, she said. Such opportunities trademark practice group in the Cincinare among the reasons IP law continues to nati office of Thompson Hine LLP. excite her. Currently, 25 to 30 percent of the law “I caught the wave early, and there’s students take courses in the IP track. She’d always something to learn,” she said. “I

remember sitting in Bob Kreiss’ class so many years ago. I remember all these concepts going over my head and I thought, ‘I’m never going to get this.’ Over the years I’ve learned it and had a great career.” Her new career involves helping other current and aspiring attorneys get it, and she couldn’t be more thrilled. n

Henrici sees opportunity for law students and graduates to invigorate the region’s economy.

graduate programs focus on IP law In March, the Ohio Board of Regents approved two graduate degree programs in intellectual property. A Master of Law is for those who have received a law degree anywhere in the world to expand their knowledge of IP so they can practice or teach IP law. A Master in the Study of Law degree is designed for anyone who wishes to acquire advanced knowledge of IP law but not parctice law, such as an entrepreneur or scientist looking to protect intellectual property, said Kelly Henrici, program in law and technology executive director. UD administrators believe this is the 19th U.S. law school, and one of two in Ohio, to offer an LL.M. degree in IP. Professor Cooley Howarth led the development of these programs in collaboration with faculty and staff from the law school and graduate school. The degrees are designed with part-time students in mind, but full-time students can complete the degrees in about a year. The School is accepting LL.M. students from the U.S. for the fall 2007 semester and M.S.L. students and LL.M. students from other countries for the summer 2008, according to Henrici. n Program details are available at or by e-mailing





Externship requirement pairs students with alumni, professionals

Free help adds value to the practice There’s nothing like free help. To Charles Allbery III ’78, second-year law student Shahrzad Allen is so much more than that. Allen is an extern in the downtown Dayton office of Allbery Cross Fogarty, where she spent 192 hours spring semester observing, learning and completing tasks for the attorneys. “An extern can concentrate on issues without being concerned with billable hours,” said Allbery, who took on his first extern spring semester and recommends the program to other attorneys. “They can give time and attention to clients.” That’s an added value to his clients and his practice. The time he and his

S a v e

t h e

d a t e

Aug. 8 Meet

the dean reception, Duane Morris LLP, 1 Market St., San Francisco. Details: http:// alumnicommunity.

Aug. 30 First day of fall classes Sept. 19 American Bankruptcy Law Forum, Joseph E. Keller Hall. Details: Jeffrey.Morris@notes.

Sept. 28 Carl Kessler MemoriaI Scholarship Golf Tournament, Yankee Trace. Details: 937-2293793.

Sept. 29-30 Dean’s Classic

Softball Tournament, NCR Fields. Details: 937-229-3793.


partners spend with Allen — she has met with clients, attended an arraignment and a sheriff’s sale, compiled documents for probate court, observed the firm’s office structure and marketing plan — is offset by the energy and time Allen brings to the office. “They wouldn’t pay you to sit there and learn,” said Allen of her opportunities through the school’s externship program, a required part of the Lawyer as Problem Solver curriculum. She described one task that involved contacting banks, getting information from the client and compiling documents for probate court. “At the end, I’ll have a finished product I can give the attorney, and he can file it with probate and put an end to this for the client, and that’s what makes me really excited.” The learning component is what differentiates externships from students’ typical work experiences, said Denise Platfoot Lacey, who with Monique Lampke administers the program. They’ll be looking to alumni and friends of the School for more opportunities for students to learn as the inaugural extern class of 24 grows to more than 180 placements needed each year. Students submit weekly journals and complete an externship evaluation, writing assignments and other tasks to fulfill requirements for the four-credit course. “This is your opportunity to be trained. It doesn’t exist anywhere else,” said Lampke, adding that 50 federal and state judges, law firms, governmental agencies and other legal entities already have committed to taking on externs. While Lampke and Platfoot Lacey sing the value of the externship for the students — practical experience, networking, time to reflect on how your life goals mesh with your intended career — they are equally excited about the opportunity externships provide for attorneys and judges. Previously, UD externships were optional and focused on the courts. Sharon Ovington ’81, U.S. magistrate judge for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division at Dayton, has supervised ex-

Shahrzad Allen’s externship turned into a summer job at the law office of Charles Allbery ’78.

terns for four years. “It’s valuable to have a fresh, new perspective from someone who isn’t locked in to ‘this is how we’ve always done it.’ They can question that, and I like that a lot,” she said, adding that she also likes the interaction, giving students feedback on their writing and sharing with them lessons from her career. Lampke and Platfoot Lacey are traveling the region, making contacts and securing commitments in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Indianapolis, where students most often request externship positions. Students also use the externship experience to try out locales for possible relocation — one student requested St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands — or to make connections with lawyers in a hometown — such as Ketchikan, Alaska. This requires Lampke and Platfoot Lacey to network with alumni around the world. They hope to build their pool of externship opportunities, pairing students with positions that fulfill the needs of both student and supervisor. n To learn more about the externship program, contact Lampke at 937-229-4660 or Platfoot Lacey at 937-229-4634, or visit

Machete-wielding murderers and constitutional divas

Greene takes Street Law down the block to DECA

Professor Dennis Greene gave the high schoolers the floor, and they’re running away with it. “It’s in defense of others.” “He’s not allowed to just piece him up like that.” “Is it the same defense as last week? When I started whacking people with a machete and Tayana comes in and shoots me?” They raise their voices and try to one-up their classmates, invoking everything from infancy to intoxication defenses for the dramatic scenarios Greene invents as he paces the room at the Dayton Early College Academy during Street Law class. “It’s sometimes a challenge keeping their attention,” says Greene, who this day tells tales of Bobby and Arnold who take on the roles of burglar, murderer, victim, assailant, drunk and bystander. “It’s an important area that hopefully triggers and inspires them to higher education.” Street Law was offered for the first time spring semester and was co-taught by Greene and UD School of Law students to 28 juniors and seniors at DECA, an experimental high school on UD’s campus. Junior Tiffany Smith, 17, now has one more possible profession to add to her list. “Dr. Greene kept saying in class, ‘Once you become a lawyer,’ ‘When you’re a lawyer,’ and I thought, maybe. Why not?” Smith, who says her argumentative nature would make her a perfect litigator, was at first intimidated by Greene’s big words and direct teaching style, requiring them to restate their answers until correctly phrased. “It opened the floor up for discussions so we can talk about things like we did today,” she says. “It feels kinda like college, preparing me for learning there.”

Such challenges are an important part this is war. At risk is the freedom of an of the curriculum, says Devon Berry, individual.” DECA’s community involvement coorSenior Jerusha Clark, 18, sees a direct dinator. He seeks internships, service connection between Street Law class and projects and curricular opportunities to their everyday lives. She points to actions prepare students for college and future by area police to disperse crowds of black challenges. teenagers congregating at bus stops. “They Greene showed early interest in work[teenagers] don’t even know their rights, ing with DECA, which opened in 2003; it and that bothers me,” says Clark, dubbed graduated its first class in June and all graduates will attend college. Greene discussed options with Thomas J. Lasley, dean of UD’s School of Education and Allied Professions, and those at DECA including Principal Judy Hennessey. The Street Law class came from discussions Berry and Greene had through Wingspread, a national consortium addressing education from preschool through law school to increase diversity in the academy, the bench and bar, and in the leadership of the nation. Georgetown University started Street Law in 1972 as part of a clinical project by a group of its students. Greene taught Street Law while attending Yale University in the 1980s. Juanita Tennyson, a thirdyear law student and volunteer instructor, says it is her civic duty to provide students with a positive African-American role model in the judicial Dennis Greene (center) with students who take legal system. “We want to show learning to the street. them that we are here and that we’re accessible — we’re right across “constitutional diva” by Greene for her the street.” recall of rights in the amendments. Early in the semester, Tennyson doled Smith used what she learned to talk out advice as well as justice in her role as with her friend about a rape situation and judge in a classroom mock adjudicatory to approach the School’s law clinic about hearing. She informed lawyers of their a legal issue of her father’s. Next year, she right to cross examination and suggested hopes to join DECA’s first mock trial team. lines of questioning to help each of their “If I didn’t go here, I wouldn’t know cases. about the law,” she says while winding Smith, playing prosecutor, responded down from the semester’s last class. “I with a barrage of questions to which the wouldn’t know how easy it is — it’s techniwitness was left with one response: “yes.” cal but you can do it.” n “If you can get the witness to agree with you, you’ve got it,” Greene told the class. “Remember, everybody, that SUMMER 2007



Saving memories, starting a business Before they’d even built their first product, they already had a buyer. Adrian King and George Limbert, who graduated this year, turned their idea for Life Stories Funboxes into a two-minute elevator pitch for the UD School of Business Administration’s business plan competition. The fivesecond version: a computer-based scrapbooking game that helps the elderly stave off dementia while preserving family memories. In March, they won $2,500 by garnering second place against a field of business students. Each of the five finalist teams presented full business plans, including sales projections and market analysis. King and Limbert used their experience in the software, hotel and restaurant industries to build a plan that left judges with a gut reaction to buy in. Limbert and King are working on a prototype, which they hope to manufacture and market this summer. n

Second Life a first-rate ADR teaching tool Students are practicing appropriate dispute resolution skills — mediation, arbitration and negotiation — in Second Life, the 3-D virtual world where “residents” create characters who can take on any appearance, start businesses, and trade goods and services. In this case, the students create clients and fictitious disputes. Professor Andrea Seielstad utilizes Second Life to break down classroom communication barriers and provoke her students into a new way of thinking about the way that so many legal matters are settled today. Second Life someday could be a forum for real-life negotiations, she said, with benefits including saving money on travel and allowing participants to better control their emotions in contentious domestic disputes. “As a teaching method, it’s fabulous,” said Seielstad, who had never used instant-message communication before. “The quality of mediation was better online than in the classroom.” n 



throughout Gulf Coast

During one week in New Orleans, students donated 700 hours — nearly a third of a lawyer’s yearly billable hours — to assist with the legal needs of those who lost deeds, homes, family, livelihood and liberty in hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Student Jamielynne Jenkins wrote about her experience for the Dayton Lawyer and on the blog “Road Scholars” (, where you can read more stories of assistance and awareness. I am not struggling to get insurance money for my home. I did not lose all of my worldly possessions. I did not have to bury any family and friends as a result of the hurricanes. I feared I would be viewed as an outsider, someone resented by the victims I traveled to New Orleans to assist with the skills I have learned in law school. I could not have been more wrong. From March 31 through April 7, during the final spring break of my educational career, I was one of 27 students from the University of Dayton School of Law to travel to the Gulf Coast to provide pro bono legal assistance to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Molly Buckman, a fellow third-year student, founded the Alternative Spring Break program. “We have the ability to help people heal,” she said, “so why shouldn’t we?” I answered her challenge and was assigned, through the national student-run Student Hurricane Network, to The Pro Bono Project. I was given two indigent clients with problems of succession, such as transferring title of property. I read one man’s case, picked up the phone, called

him, and then just listened. I was new to him — just a little voice at the end of the line, calling on behalf of The Pro Bono Project. I could tell that he was happy to talk to someone regarding his case, regarding his life. He wanted me to know his story. After Katrina hit, he was relocated to Texas. All of his relatives were scattered. He had no telephone numbers and no way to reach anyone. He lost loved ones and friends. In essence, my client lost everything but the clothes on his back and the shoes on his feet. He lost everything, he said, but he still came home — home being New Orleans. He will never be back in the place he once lived because it is no longer there. My interest in the estate planning area of the law coincided with the need for volunteers for The Pro Bono Project. Other law students helped with the Innocence Project, Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Alliance for Affordable Energy and the Photo by Judi Bottoni


Photo by Judi Bottoni

Two years later, it still looks like a disaster area, commented students (from left) Jamielynne Jenkins, Jay Rivera and Molly Buckman during their April visit to New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. The levee wall (left) breached during Hurricane Katrina, leaving this former neighborhood a mostly empty field. Money for the trip, including funds raised through a bake sale, was matched by Michael Dyer ’80 and the firm Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz.

Louisiana Bar Foundation — Baton Rouge Division. I am glad that I had the opportunity to act as a voice for the victims and share their stories. There are no words to describe how vast the devastation is around New Orleans. Empty parking lots are all

that remains in many of the business districts. Piles upon piles of twisted iron pipes, broken wood, smashed glass and other trash dominate the scene. Stairs to nowhere are in front lawns of the former homes. These are the things that I could see. There was more that I could feel. I could feel the victims’ sadness and frustration at the system. However, I could also hear hope in their voices and see it in their eyes. My client told me, “I have hope that it will all be

okay because I am alive today.” I believe that hope runs throughout the Gulf Coast. Amidst the loss and devastation, people are continuing to heal. It only takes one person to effect change, and if everyone contributes a little bit the aggregate effect could be remarkable. The hope of the victims is effecting change, for in their time of greatest darkness they have persevered. My hope is that I, along with my fellow colleagues, will continue to give of ourselves and utilize our skills to make a difference. Jenkins graduated in May. She has accepted a position with Sebaly, Shillito & Dyer in Dayton.

Students talk with home owner Ulysses Santiago as he points to the high water mark on his home in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Santiago lives with his family in a FEMA trailer next to his home. The mark on the house was made by rescue groups to communicate the occupancy in the house as the flood waters from the levee breach covered the area. SUMMER 2007

Even the most careful lawyers can get snagged handling cases under the Bankruptcy Abuse and Prevention Act of 2005. Experts from the School’s Porter Wright Morris and Arthur symposium on bankruptcy legislation offer five tips to consider when contemplating a client’s bankruptcy.


Bankrupt , bothered and bewildered

Beware of the occasional bankruptcy filing — it could cost you your license to practice.

That was the advice of panelists at the February symposium assessing the effect of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. At the symposium — “Legislating Economic Prudence or Responding to Economic Pressure?” presented by the Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP Program in Law, Religion and Ethics — speakers discussed the success of the act, mandatory credit counseling and the fairness of the means test to the debtor. One of the more vigorous discussions centered on attorney liability issues. Catherine Vance, vice president of research and policy

at Development Specialists Inc., and Thomas Waldron, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Ohio in Dayton, put a bit of scare in the 146 students and 40 practitioners in attendance by talking of new regulations that could catch the unwitting attorney in a thicket of fines and suspension. After the symposium, professor Jeffery Morris and assistant professor of lawyering skills Victoria VanZandt, who organized the symposium, added their own observations. They outlined pitfalls for the average practitioner to avoid and provided a silver lining that can spell success for attentive bankruptcy specialists.

Reasonable investigation With the new code, responsibility for an accurate bankruptcy petition has shifted toward the attorney. You can no longer simply take the information presented by a client as fact, VanZandt said. “Do you have to call their neighbors and ask, ‘Are you sure he doesn’t have another car?’”.... We don’t know what’s required and what information is enough.” The questions stem from wording in the new act that differs from existing bankruptcy code: “reasonable investigation” [§707(b)(4)(C)] and “inquiry” [§707(b)(4)(D)] versus the “reasonable inquiry’’ standard under Rule 9011. There is the need for clarification; “We need the words we can rely on to be good lawyers,” Vance said. This additional burden goes beyond attorneys searching for properties or bankruptcies the client may not disclose. Whereas looking up the Kelley Blue Book value on a car was enough to assign a value, “now you may want to go outside, take a look, start it up,” Morris said.

Cost of doing business Added inquiry and a thorough factchecking of your client’s information can add considerable time to a process that was once handled fairly routinely by lawyers in many practice areas. Preventing mistakes — not only in disclosure but also in new deadlines for credit counseling and filing — can be costly to an office that’s unprepared. “They are getting themselves into a thicket, which they can navigate through,

but the cost of doing that for one case may be seven to 10 times the fee you could get for it,” Morris said. Since fees for debtors are reviewed by the court to assure they are reasonable, it would be difficult for such attorneys to charge amounts that would recoup their expenses, he added.

bankruptcy practice — she mentioned an attorney filing a case to meet a deadline without the client’s signature — can run you up against an unforgiving court. “It’s not that you are a bad attorney or an incompetent attorney, it’s that your best intentions sent you afoul and the courts are not going to forgive you for Attorney-client relationship that,” she said. The bankruptcy act also added the The court can impose on an attorney designation of “debt relief agency” to the financial sanctions not proportionately attorney’s job description. Anyone who tied to the injury, Morris said. These can provides bankruptcy advice to consumer include paying attorneys’ fees and fines to clients with non-exempt assets of less the court. But the biggest threat, he said, than $150,000 is a debt relief agency. This is to “have your ticket punched” — susincludes a personal pension of license injury lawyer — as to practice. Being From the mouths of well as everyone in dismissed from bankexperts to the ears the firm — with a ruptcy court can trigof students client contemplatger a review by your Among those who discussed the ing bankruptcy state bar, which can while waiting for a lead to state disciplinorigins, interpretations and impact of settlement check. ary procedures and the 2005 bankruptcy act Feb. 26-27 Such a designasuspension of your in Heck Courtroom were: tion changes how license to practice. *Mark Redmiles, attorney with the attorneys commuOffice of the Executive Director of nicate with their Silver lining the United States Trustee Program clients. Debt relief For those who *Judge Lawrence Walter, United agencies are prohibwould flee from States bankruptcy court for the ited from advising bankruptcy for these Southern District of Ohio clients to incur reasons and more, *Chief Judge Eugene Wedoff, more debt. Morris Waldron had a bit United States bankruptcy court for offered the scenario of advice: Consider of a client who has the Northern District of Illinois your options. There’s equity in a house. *William Staler, vice president and money to be made. The lawyer cannot national community outreach director of He multiplied the suggest she take out standard filing fee Consumer Credit Counseling Service a second mortgage, times 50 weeks in a *Brady Williamson, chair of the even though it year. “Multiply by a Bankruptcy Commission would relieve some couple years and it of her debt. doesn’t take long to “We have never ever had the federal reach a million dollars,” he said. government distinguish or define the Understanding the intricacies of relationship between the attorney and the the practice may be challenging, but a client,” Waldron said. Several courts have well-run office can make even jumpheld this provision unconstitutional, and ing through new hoops routine. And one of those cases, Hersh v. U.S., is currentthere will be lots of clients looking for ly pending before the United States Court bankruptcy lawyers, Morris said. Lawyers of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. who used to file occasional bankruptcy petitions are refusing to handle cases for Your license at stake their existing clients. “Those who would With a nod toward Sarbanes-Oxley, do two or three a year, they are not doing Vance said that the bankruptcy legislait; they’re sending clients to a specialist,” tion is an additional step in a trend where he said. attorneys have become the subject of litiAs Americans spend, the need for these gation. They need to know that a sloppy specialists grows. n SUMMER 2007

Photo by Donna Conner

We grieve, we love, we give For students and universities, scholarships are the lifeblood that helps fill seats and minds. For those who give, memorial scholarships provide a lasting tribute to the talents of those we treasure.

by Michelle Tedford


Twelve boxes in Lorena Surber’s garage represent her husband’s 28 years as a labor lawyer with Jackson Kelly. They fill that space between two parked cars where other families park bikes, store garden hoses, discard work boots. They’ve been stacked there since March 12, 2006, when Ken Surber ’78 died. Twice a day she passes the boxes. She cannot move them, though she did once open a box looking for tax documents but instead found a file marked “personal.” It was an unexpected gift, a file he kept on each family member: the newspaper clipping from Lorena’s 1990 graduation from dental school, a note about daughter Claire’s move to Georgia, pictures of sons Mac and Jonathan through the years. “People who came to me after he died, they would say they knew he was so proud of us,” she said. Those colleagues and friends also talked of how the personality he brought to a room exceeded his football-player presence. His manner endeared strangers and kept friends close. When he died less than two months after his cancer diagnosis, what remained were an empty office, a stack of boxes, a void knifed in the soul, and a triggering event that bonded those who wanted his memory to be tangible and living. They endowed a scholarship. Friends of Ken Surber joined dozens of other loved ones who have contributed to the UD School of Law’s 15 memorial scholarships, nearly half of all the School’s endowed scholarships. For some, it’s a way to ensure a person is never forgotten. For others, it’s a chance to support a student in a career their loved one held so dear. For the School, such gifts are imperative for creating a diverse, intellectual and committed academic environment.


Photo by Donna Conner.

Tom Mackin hopes the dedication of his daughter, Melanie Mackin Stump ’84, will live through the scholarship.

When Kristina Teague came to UD in 2003, she was like most students: eager to learn but already saddled with debt. For Teague, the eldest of four children, her undergraduate education was paid through work as a portrait artist and student loans. In her four years as an art teacher, she barely made a dent in her debt. “Even as a teacher ... I always felt the need to serve the community and help as much as I could,” she said. “As a teacher, I felt like I was doing this, but I wasn’t finished.” When her school district cut its budget and 16 teachers, she decided to serve as a lawyer. Scholarships made it possible to attend UD, she said. During her three years at UD, she received $38,500 through three UD scholarships. Nearly half of her classmates receive UD scholarships; those 245 students averaged about $10,000 in



Photo by David Zaitz

UD scholarship aid annually. Scholarships are becoming increasingly important to offset the cost of law school, which has been rising rapidly during the past 15 years. Private law school tuition has increased by 130 percent since 1990, according to a January 2006 article in the National Law Journal Online. For fall 2007, the UD School of Law will cost first-year students $32,760. Nationwide, school scholarships cover 6 percent of the average student’s tuition. The 2007 study “Law School Debt Among New Lawyers” noted that the single most common source of financial aid during law school was federal loans. The School’s scholarship endowment is $10.6 million, which compares to an average of $63 million for private law schools, said Tim Stonecash, dean of external relations. Between 3.5 and 5 percent is available annually as scholarship awards, as set by the UD board of trustees. The remainder of the income is rolled back into the fund to ensure the gifts — and their intentions — last in perpetuity. External funding — gifts from alumni and friends — reduces the School’s reliance on tuition to support faculty, programs and scholarships, which in turn attracts quality students, which will enhance the School’s reputation, he said. “The law school for our lifetime will always be tuition-driven. Our real goal is to become less tuition-driven,” he said.

knew she’d be a great lawyer. ... The thing that I noticed most about Melanie was how determined she was. She had much more determination than I ever had,” said Mackin, who was chief of publicity at seven Olympic games for ABC Sports and interviewed Albert Einstein on his 72nd birthday. “There are relatively few people who do in life what they truly want to do and love it,” Mackin said. “I was fortunate, I loved my job and I had fun doing it. And, I think, the same was true of Melanie.”

The law school teaches students to be servant leaders, but that can be difficult to do with debt carried over from undergraduate studies and accumulated in law school. The JD Monographs reported that the median debt among recent law graduates, including school loans and credit cards, was $70,000. That compares to the $40,000 median entry-level salary of public defenders and the $36,000 a year new attorneys make at civil legal services organizations, according to the 2006 NALP salary report. When Teague graduated in May, her combined debt in government and private loans was more than $120,000. “It makes me wonder if the investment will be worth it,” she said. “The optimist in me says yes, but the realist in me says that it is quite expensive to invest in a profession that helps people. I could have done a lot to help others with that kind of money, or I could have paid the salary for five teachers who lost their jobs when I did.” Finding the right words to express sorrow for a death is difSuch discernment and caring are characteristics UD encourficult. Often the easiest thing to do is cry. ages in its student body. The School also encourages a diversity of Deborah Adler ’81, the School’s development officer, shared perspectives, and scholarships allow it to recruit a bright and ditears with Tom Mackin at his New Jersey nursing home. The father had surrounded himself with photos of his daughter’s high verse student body, Assistant Dean of Admission Janet Hein said. Scholarships are equally as vital to students looking to make school days, college graduation and married life as a mother to Ronnie and wife to Randy Stump ’84. Melanie Mackin Stump ’84 lifelong career choices based on values instead of money. “We believe we have an outstanding program to offer, but died in October 2005. we need to do whatever we can do to provide partial tuition to “Once you get over the awkwardness, once you get through prospective law students,” Hein said. “This allows graduates more the emotional tension, you realize that people want to share flexibility in the job search, going after the jobs they want rather stories and want to do something to remember their loved than the job needed to reduce a large debt.” ones,” said Adler, a courtroom adversary and friend of Mackin Stump. While working through the pain of his daughter’s death, Mackin said he latched onto the idea of a scholarship in his Encouraging students to follow their passion into their careers daughter’s honor. was something Ramzi Nasser brought to the classroom. As an as“I did it almost by instinct, as soon as it was proposed to me,” sistant law professor, he shared with students his compassion for he said. “I knew it was the kind of thing that she would have the criminal defendant. He once missed his own birthday party done if she were alive.” because he had worked all night on a case for a defendant whose The Melanie Mackin Stump Memorial Scholarship has tallied maximum penalty was 60 days in jail, said sister Reema Khan. $60,000 in pledges. In addition to family, those contributing “He wanted to open students’ minds to defendants as more to the memorial include colleagues and friends, such as Edna than criminals,” she said. “They were victims of society and vicScheuer ’80, Mackin Stump’s former partner. After the cancer tims of circumstance.” diagnosis, Mackin Stump told Scheuer that she would like to be In 2004, he jumped in the car in California with University remembered for helping women succeed in careers in law; the of Pennsylvania Law School friend David Dudley and drove east scholarship is designed to do just that. toward his new position in Dayton. For what seemed like a thouMackin also hopes his daughter’s dedication to every endeavsand miles, Nasser played a CD by Bonnie Prince Billy, Dudley or is remembered. said. When they passed a casino with a rollercoaster closed for “If Melanie wanted to sing, she made it to the all-state choir; the evening, Nasser insisted on spending the night so they could same with the violin. Whatever she did, she did it well; so I ride it in the morning. 12


Reema Khan (center) and Randh Abedsalem (right) play with their children in a California park where they would celebrate family events with brother Ramzi Nasser.

Alumni and others who worked at Jackson Kelly latched onto the idea of the Ken Surber Memorial Scholarship. Those alumni owed much to him; in 1978, he was the first UD grad to be hired by the firm. A year later, he was instrumental in bringing on David Barnette ’79, now a member of the firm’s business department. Many more Flyers followed, including Laurie Miller ’01, Thomas Hurney ’80 ’83 and Douglas Smoot ’81 in the Charleston, W.Va., office. “We would hope we’d have a Surber Scholar apply here for a job — they’ll receive a royal welcome — and then we’ll see the fruits of this scholarship,” Barnette said.

Co-workers and attorneys who opposed Ken Surber in court contributed, as did classmates. Ron Brown ’78 met him in law school. The two formed a lasting friendship that included celebrating milestones of their two growing families: First Communions, weddings and summer vacations. “Whether he was playing football, whether it was the law review, whether it was his job, he gave it everything he had,” said Brown, chairman and CEO of Milacron in Cincinnati. Brown sent a letter to classmates, asking them to remember

Photo by Joel Sites

Khan recalled how her brother must have known he was getting sick again but didn’t want anyone to worry. Nasser’s cancer had been in remission for three years when he quit his job as a trial and appeals attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego — where he represented low-income people in federal court from arraignment to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court — to join the UD faculty. After he died Sept. 10, 2006, many communities grieved: his students and colleagues at UD, his law school friends, his family and the Palestinian community near Los Angeles, where his proud father had dubbed the family store Ramzi’s Liquor and Deli when Nasser was still in high school. “The Arab community in Southern California is very close,” said sister Randh Abedsalem. “They were like brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers to him. (Giving to the scholarship) came natural to them. ... His lifelong dream was to become a professor, and Dayton helped him realize that.” After the family announced the scholarship fund, Nasser’s father walked into the Nile Coffee outside Los Angeles, where he would go for the support of friends during Nasser’s illness. His father walked out with 13 pledges of $1,000 each. When Nasser’s mother and Khan arrived in Dayton for a memorial service, they brought with them checks totaling more than $38,000.

The Jackson Kelly family is supporting the first Ken Surber Scholar.

his friend’s commitment to work, his enjoyment of life and his love for family. “It’s great to see Ken live on at UD School of Law in some way,” he said. More than 40 individuals and offices from Staten Island, N.Y., to Denver have contributed to the fund — still growing past the $25,000 mark necessary to endow a scholarship. The first Ken Surber Scholar will take his or her seat in Keller Hall this fall. n For information on contributing to these scholarships or establishing one in honor or memory of a loved one, contact Deborah Adler at 937-229-4764 or SUMMER 2007


Without home without voice

Vicky Keeney described herself as a normal, suburban, American wife and mom who ran a skydiving school before she became homeless. She said she’s looking for help, not so much in changes to the law, but for changes in attitudes about homelessness.

Law students learn from the homeless about how the law affects daily struggles

by Shawn Robinson



“We know better than to put ‘homeless’ on a job application,” said Keeney, who told of homeless people being targeted by law enforcement for littering, jaywalking or open-container violations. “You can go to jail as simply as we do (for those things), but you don’t have a spotlight on you.” Some University of Dayton School of Law students took a mid-semester break from traditional classes to examine how laws hinder or could help people like Keeney during a one-week intrasession course on homelessness, part of the Lawyer as Problem Solver curriculum. “Few law students have an understanding of the homelessness problem,” said Richard Saphire, the law professor teaching the course. “The system does provide resources for those of us engaged in managing the symptoms of or getting rid of homelessness. Lawyers can and should play a major role in accomplishing these objectives. Lawyers should be exposed, on a personal and professional basis, to homelessness. There is no better occasion for this to happen than in the context of their professional education in law school.” Saphire said a variety of laws nationwide effectively criminalize homelessness or prevent movement of homeless people. Dayton’s anti-panhandling law is an example, according to Saphire, current board president of The Other Place, Dayton’s only daytime homeless shelter. Other examples include cities removing park and bus benches from downtowns, preventing homeless people from visiting some public buildings such as libraries, and prohibiting access to public parks and other spaces after dark.

He added that most homeless people have below-average cided it’s a right but just ignored it.” levels of education, no access to lawyers and often think Contributions to ending homelessness go beyond represent“nobody like them” can be successful in being empowered and ing an individual, Saphire told the students. Lawyers have the fighting the system. opportunity to make social, economic and legal institutions Keeney suggested lawyers could help by focusing on basic humore sensitive to systemic failures that allow homelessness to man rights and changing the way the legal system treats homeexist in a wealthy society, he said, creating a community more less people. She also suggested that the U.S. Equal Employment responsive to the needs and concerns of “folks just like us.” Opportunity Commission add homelessness to the list of protected groups. Finding Home The American Bar Association’s committee on pro It is the face of homelessness that drives Will Merrifield ’04, an AmeriCorps bono and public service says every lawyer has a profesattorney for homeless prevention of Legal Aid of Western Ohio. sional responsibility to provide legal services to those “There are not enough people to advocate for low-income people,” said unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least Merrifield, who serves the counties of Darke, Greene 50 hours of pro bono legal services per year to persons of and Montgomery. “They are not popular issues that a limited means. Keeney said she hasn’t met such a lawyer. lot of people want to take on.” “A public defender says, ‘How fast can I get you out Landlords are a part in the problem, according the door?’ They don’t want to fight for you. Legal Aid, I to Merrifield. “People just can’t afford market rent understand, is so overwhelmed,” Keeney said. “Look at so they are forced to rent from slumlords,” he said. the difference in legal representation between people who “As an eviction attorney, we see a lot of conditional have money and people who are poor. We’re told to take issues in homes.” Merrifield said that landlords can a plea agreement or we get more jail time.” UD encourages its incoming law students to sign a pro abuse their tenants, refusing to fix necessities within bono pledge that states they will complete 50 hours of the home such as the plumbing, heating or cenpro bono or community service before they graduate. tral air. Other landlords accuse tenants of criminal “Lawyers have an insight into the law. There is an activity without basis and have them evicted. Such obligation to exercise those skills as a citizen,” Brother circumstances, he said, create a continuous cycle of Raymond Fitz, S.M., past UD president and a member homelessness. of the areawide Homeless Solutions Taskforce, told the Merrifield That is where Merrifield comes in. A hands-on students during a panel discussion about how the law attorney, he said just seeing the faces in need at area factors into homelessness to kick off the week. “If you see shelters drives him. “When you go to the homeless shelter, the issues are so a moral issue and have the skills to address it, then you diverse. The biggest theme is these people just can’t get help,” said Merrifield, should address it.” who told UD law students of his experience during a spring intrassession on Students visited with homeless people in the middle homelessness. of the week and presented their findings and possible “I probably went into law school with more of an eye to prosecution,” Mersolutions to the lack of adequate and affordable housing rifield said. Yet, memories of the decline in the steel industry in his hometown at the end of the week. of Youngstown, Ohio, which left some families homeless, sparked an interest in Robert Ernst, a second-year law student, said the law to help the homeless. course is a good real-world opportunity that beats learnOne such case was that of a single woman and her four children threatened ing from a classroom chair. Third-year student Elise by eviction. “We were able to convince the housing authority that she was not Brown took the course to gain a better understanding of involved in the criminal activity that she was being accused of,” Merrifield said, the system and find a way to possibly improve life for the who added that the family continues to call the same property home. homeless. —Johnnie C. Kling ’09 The student groups varied in their findings. Two groups determined there is nothing in Ohio’s constitution and laws that guarantees a right to housing. However, there are statutes and police powers that give Ohio some leeway to help. There would be enough to make a case, but as one During the spring weeklong intrasession, students chose from five topics for focused learning: group said, it would be an uphill battle tantamount to pushing “a • Homelessness, by professor Richard Saphire huge boulder up a huge hill.” • Bankruptcy, by professor Jeff Morris and assistant professor Another group proposed creating a state ballot initiative to let Ohioans determine whether homeless people should have a right Victoria VanZandt to housing. Saphire cautioned the group that it could be a costly • Human Trafficking, by assistant professor Shelia Miller undertaking. • Skills Application Experience, by professors Dennis Turner A fourth group decided Ohioans do have a right to housing, and Harry Gerla based on a 1990 Ohio amendment that gives inalienable rights to • Conflicts of Law, by assistant professor Maureen Anderson property and safety. “Looking at everything together,” Brown said. “Ohio has deSUMMER 2007




Laurence Wohl

ically for the first time in their lives. “When they get out there, they’re not just plying a trade. They have people’s lives in their hands,” he said. “You help them realize they’re not as stupid as they think they are and help them maintain their self-confidence until they pull it together, and they do.” As he retires to California, he says he will miss the students and the University, “a wonderful home for many years.” He’ll still be teaching. The professor emeritus has begun work on a curriculum designed to teach tax policy to high school students. It’s a gap in current civics curricula, he said. “The tax system is a fundamental, if not the primary, method by which society decides who to spend money on and who contributes that money.” As for his own contributions to the tax base, he leaves that in the hands of an expert. This year, as he has for many years, he prepared his own income tax return. —Matthew Dewald

Declawing tax law


etiring professor Laurence Wohl liked to begin his taxation class each semester with a dilemma: Do you spend limited tax dollars to invest in education or to improve ambulance response times? “Who do you love more — your grandmother who will need the ambulance or your child who will need the education? That discussion gets students interested in the implications for society of our tax policy,” he said. Wohl’s experience in tax policy includes Congressional investigations of the Internal Revenue Service in the wake of the Nixon-era scandals that included politicization of the IRS. As assistant to the director of the Administrative Conference of the United States and U.S. Senate Joint Study of the Internal Revenue Service, Wohl studied the processes and procedures of the IRS, and his findings were presented to Congress. He was also official reporter for the Uniform Law Commission’s study and recommendations on simplification and conformance of state and federal tax payments. Teaching grew out of a longtime interest in education. He tested the waters as an adjunct at a small school in the Los Angeles area, where he was in private practice after graduating from the University of California at Davis in 1972. He came to UD’s law school in 1983. In his 25 years in Dayton, he has taught and served as assistant dean and as adviser to the law review, which he likened to running a law firm. “The senior partner assumes everyone there can practice their profession. I’m there to aid and encourage them as a mentor does.” His areas, tax and business law, can be particularly intimidating for students, he admits. His classroom style was deliberately more discussion-oriented than a scene from The Paper Chase. “Students are so flummoxed by tax at the beginning. There’s no reason to make it worse with an intimidating teaching style,” he said. “First, you have to convince students not to be afraid of taxation and business law, so I taught from more of a political science view — how society allocates its resources, not so much about how it collects them.” Breeding confidence in students is especially important during law school, he said, particularly for those struggling academ16


Selected publications & presentations Susan Brenner, NCR Distinguished Professor of Law and Technology, was among the international speakers invited to the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Cyberterrorism, held Oct. 27-28 in Sofia, Bulgaria, co-sponsored by a Bulgarian institute and the Ukraine’s Cyber Crime Research Center. She published the chapters “Should Commercial Misuse of Private Data Be a Crime?” with coauthor Leo Clarke in Handbook of Information Systems and “The Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime” in Cybercrime: Digital Cops in a Networked Environment and the articles “Should Online Defamation Be Criminalized?” in Mississippi Law Journal and “Fourth Amendment Protection for Shared Privacy Rights in Stored Transactional Data” in West Search and Seizure

Law Report with co-author Clarke. Brenner edited Cybercrime and Jurisdiction: A Global Survey with Bert-Jaap Koops, which is being published by Asser Press as part of its information technology and law series. Professor Fran Conte published “Sink or Swim Together: Citizenship, Sovereignty, and Free Movement in the European Union and the United States” in the University of Miami Law Review. Professor James Geoffrey Durham and co-author Robert Curry revised the annual edition of Ohio Real Property Law and Practice. Professor Thomas Hagel updated annual editions of Ohio Criminal Practice and Procedure, Ohio Manual of Criminal

Kelvin Dickinson

were two stints working for the Renegotiation Board, a federal agency charged with eliminating excessive profits on national defense and space contracts. “It was a left-winger’s dream to take the profit out of war,” Dickinson said. “I felt good about it.” When Congress allowed the Renegotiation Board to expire, Dickinson decided he wanted to teach and came to Dayton. Initially scripting lengthy notes with questions and desired answers, Dickinson learned to be flexible in the classroom. Six or seven words, signifying key themes and concepts he wanted students to grasp, jotted on a half-sheet of paper, soon sufficed. By his second year, Dickinson was serving as acting associate dean. “Among the school’s 13 faculty members, there was a real ferment. We were thinking through the curriculum and discussing what our goals and methods should be,” he said. Dickinson, who served three terms as associate dean and helped to develop the legal profession program and Lawyer as Problem Solver curriculum, never lost touch with students. “I firmly believe academic administrators need to be in the classroom. I think they need to be teaching first-year students, so they get to know you and you get to know them.” Through courses in contracts, corporate law, remedies and equities, Dickinson stayed in the classroom. Freed from the stricter dress code observed at the Renegotiation Board, he let his hair grow into the signature rubber-banded ponytail he has sported since a 1992 sabbatical. “Students,” he said, “have pointed out the similarity to Ben Franklin.” He shares some of Franklin’s spirit of invention. Dickinson had a big hand in describing the spaces the law school needed for classrooms, offices and technology in Keller Hall, which opened in 1997. “It’s a dream to be part of a team designing a new law school building,” he said. “It’s an opportunity few schools experience.” His third-floor office in Keller Hall faces campus, giving him views of the trees that line Stewart Street and the fiber-optic Madonna and Child sculpture on Miriam Hall. A cast of the head of Mary from the Pieta, made from resin and dust from the quarry where Michelangelo got the stone, hangs on his office wall. “I thought if faculty and students were sitting in the presence of the Blessed Mother, perhaps they’d be a little calmer,” he said. Dickinson credits the Marianists with creating an atmosphere that helped keep him at Dayton for nearly three decades. “We have done many things well, and I’m proud of it,” he said. In retirement, he plans to spend time with his first grandchild, tour southern Italy and pursue his love of photography and oil painting. “I love law, but I’ve done it for 40 years,” he said. “I want to do something else.” —Deborah McCarty Smith

Witnessing student awakenings for 28 years


elvin Dickinson had met only one lawyer in his life before he entered Harvard Law School. “I didn’t have much idea what law was about. The miraculous thing is I discovered I loved it,” said the professor emeritus who is retiring after 28 years at the UD School of Law. “Law school was a wonderful awakening. I was scared to death and worked incredible hours, and I loved it.” He has enjoyed guiding students to similar awakenings. “In class, students frequently feel a little at sea for a couple of months. Students think they know how to read; they don’t. They have to learn to read every word. To understand a contract, they have to understand the transaction first. They have to come to realize that all things are important. That’s a wonderful thing to witness.” Dickinson came to teaching after serving in the Army and launching a law career that included several years in private practice in Michigan, “which was immensely rewarding psychologically, if not financially.” Book-ending his private practice

Complaints and Indictments and Ohio Forms of Pleading and Practice. In January, professor Vernellia Randall spoke on “Dying While Black in America” as distinguished scholar in residence at the University of Tulsa. She did a tour for her book Dying While Black including a stop at Lewis & Clark Law School in Oregon. Professor Richard Saphire and co-author Paul Moke spoke on “Voting Administration and the Constitution After Bush v. Gore” at Ohio Northern

University Petit School of Law in February. Dean of students Lori Shaw presented the findings of her survey on cheating among undergraduate and law students to the ABA’s midyear meeting in February in Miami. She found that while 40 percent of undergraduates admit to having cheated on an exam, only 2.3 percent of law students claim the same. Among the factors is the emphasis law students place on their ethics-based training, she reported. The talk was based on her February column on cheating in Student Lawyer.




Beltway experience for Chicago clients In the minds of many Americans, politics is a dirty business. Richard Boykin ’94 doesn’t see it that way. He sees politics as a way to get things done. “I went into politics because that’s where you have the ability to change things,” said Boykin, the former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill. “I’ve always had this desire inside of me to get things done.” That desire hasn’t faded since he left congressional work to join Barnes & Thornburg LLP, a 450member law firm with offices in seven cities. Thanks to his experience in Congress, he brings two critical ingredients to the task. He knows the federal government, and he has ties to a lot of people — including the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, whose 43 members include his old boss as well as presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. Those assets are quite useful in his new post. For instance, a Barnes & Thornburg client mistakenly wired $100,000 to the wrong account in China. The recipient only returned $80,000. The client planned to sue, but the cost of the lawsuit would likely have exceeded anything he won. Boykin intervened. “I got my friends in the Council General’s office involved. Several weeks later, the money was returned in full, without the need to litigate.” Because of his expertise, Boykin is bringing new business to Barnes & Thornburg. For instance, he landed Cook County, Ill., the nation’s second largest county. He also landed a Chicago hospital. His success may have seemed in doubt his first few months at UD’s law school. “After the first semester, I was on academic probation.” Two things saved him. One was the help received from a fellow law student, Bill Rempel ’94, and three of his professors — Susan Brenner, Allen Sultan and Martha Good. The other was a lesson learned from athletics. He had played defensive end and linebacker on Central State University’s football team. “Football teaches you a lot about life,” he said. “When you get knocked down, you can stay down — or you can get up and get ready for the next play. That’s what I did in law school. I got up and got ready for the next exam.” —Doug McInnis

Richard Boykin ’94



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30 years,

105 graduates, countless


Those to become the Class of 1977 bonded in the basement classrooms in Albert Emanuel Hall of the newly reopened UD School of Law. At the 30th anniversary of their graduation, we invite them to share their stories of professional practice and personal life. E-mail your thoughts to or fax to 937-229-3063.

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Practicing law is a lot like nursing: long hours, adrenaline rushes, a fast-paced working environment and clients who need your constant attention. Patricia Reedy ’87 has done both. Raised in a medically oriented family, Reedy began her career as a registered nurse working in the surgical intensive care and recovery unit at University Hospital in Cincinnati. Her decision to attend law school was based “more on a whim,” she said, and her thirst for knowledge rather than a passion for law. “I wanted to be able to do something where I could combine my background in nursing with the practice of law,” she said. “I enjoyed the academic environment, but I don’t know that my focus was the law. I think I was more interested in school.” She began working as a trial attorney in the torts branch of the civil division of the U.S. Department of Justice after graduating, where she defended military hospitals and federal health agencies against claims of negligence and medical malpractice. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Reedy and another attorney successfully defended the United States against a class action lawsuit brought by hemophiliacs infected with HIV and AIDS. In 1997, Reedy traded in her litigation duties to join the Department of Justice’s criminal division — office of international affairs. In 2004, she became the associate director of the Western European team. Today, she supervises a team of attorneys and paralegals and manages relationships with 23 countries. Her team is responsible for facilitating bilateral and multilateral relationships with Western European countries and their law enforcement and governmental officials, involving issues such as terrorism, child exploitation, drug trafficking, fraud and money laundering. “I’ve always been honored to stand up in a courtroom and say ‘My name is Patricia Reedy, and I represent the United States of America,’” she said. “If you truly want experience as a lawyer, there is no better place than the Department of Justice. You don’t make the money, but you also don’t carry the suitcase for someone.” —Anna Sexton ’07

Patricia Reedy ’87


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Standing up for justice




Representing community Growing up under communist rule in Lithuania, Danas Lapkus ’05 was shielded from all kinds of information. The government didn’t even tell Lapkus’ family that his paternal grandmother, a World War II refugee who moved to Chicago in 1945, was still alive. In 1988 as communism unraveled in Eastern Europe, she was finally able to contact her son. “She said, ‘Hi, I’m your mom,’” Lapkus says about what his father heard when he picked up the phone. “That was a big shock after 40 years to hear those words.” Lapkus moved to Chicago three years later and started learning English and adjusting to a new culture. He became curator of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Cultures — he earned a master’s degree in art history and museum studies in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital — and in 1999 earned a Ph.D. in Slavic and Baltic literature and language from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Though he regularly played tennis with a couple of lawyers who encouraged him to join the profession, his interest in law grew after his wife started a medical residency in Muncie, Ind. “I found myself wandering around the house with not much to do — no job, no prospects of continuing a career in museums,” he says. “So I watched all the movies I could find about law school and all the books I could read, and it seemed interesting.” He applied to the University of Dayton School of Law — at a one-and-a-half hour commute, it’s the closest law school to Muncie — and says it’s “one of the best experiences I’ve had.” Lapkus and his family moved back to the Chicago area shortly after he graduated, and he advertised his legal services in a local Lithuanian newspaper. In the Chicago area there are fewer than 10 attorneys who speak Lithuanian in an ethnic community of more than 200,000, he says. He represents mostly immigrants who feel more comfortable speaking in their native language than in English. Lapkus himself speaks Lithuanian and Russian fluently and can also communicate in Polish and Ukrainian. Now that his small Willow Springs, Ill., firm — he’s the sole lawyer and has just one part-time secretary — is established and has started to specialize in family law, Lapkus says he feels comfortable in his discovered niche. —Lauren Pauer

Danas Lapkus ’05




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Miles may separate you; the new alumni directory keeps your friends as close as your keyboard. When you register, you can: • Connect with fellow alumni through the alumni directory (registered alumni only). • Stay current with the latest news from campus. • Sign up to receive “New from UDQ” and news about alumni gatherings in your area by e-mail.

Register now. It’s easy. Here’s how: 1. Go to 2. Click “My UD” on the right. 3. Click the links to create your new account. 4. On the New User Registration screen, fill out your information and create your unique user ID and password. 5. Click Submit. You’ll get an e-mail confirmation verifying that you signed up. Your account will be fully activated once we’ve verified your status, usually within 2 to 3 business days.

Sanford Casper ’81 fought the law, and the law won.

The son, nephew, cousin and grandson of lawyers studied writing at Miami University and then moved to Denver, starting the Rolling Stone parody magazine, the Rolling Drone.

He returned to Dayton and enrolled in UD’s School of Law, not sure if he really belonged there. As a back-up plan, he opened Second Time Around, a Brown Street music store that also provided the funding for his schooling down the street. “I did everything I could to avoid being a lawyer,” he says, “but I came back to it.” At Casper & Casper, he represents injured workers, a David-and-Goliath role he relishes. “You’re always helping the underdog when you help the individual,” he says. Of the 16 lawyers in the Dayton office, seven have UD ties. And a new Casper is about to join them; son Steven just finished his first year of UD law classes and is one of the firm’s summer law clerks. Without UD, there would be no Dayton office of Casper & Casper — which has three offices run by three Casper brothers — and no personal destiny fulfilled, Sanford says. That’s why he began giving to the School of Law his first year out. That’s why he continues his gifts today to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence. Join him today. Call 888-253-2383

or log on to Or send a check to:


Dean’s Fund for Excellence University of Dayton School of Law 300 College Park Dayton, OH 45469-2710

Under the watchful eye of the Joseph Keller sculpture,

41 new students started classes in May, the second summer start class under the new Lawyer as Problem Solver curriculum. Like their second-year classmates, these students will be required to complete externships, giving them insight into their careers while sharing their skills in offices of alumni and friends around the world. Read more on Page 4.

University of Dayton 300 College Park Dayton, OH 45469-1681

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Dayton, OH Permit No. 71

Dayton Lawyer - Summer 2007  

Dayton Lawyer - Summer 2007

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