Mika Edits Articles for ABA International Law Section Publication

C|M|LAW Legal Writing Professor Karin Mika was appointed a Deputy Editor for the ABA Section of International Law’s “Year in Review.”   The Year in Review is the summer issue of “The International Lawyer,” the quarterly journal of the ABA’s International Law Section. 

Steinglass Speaks on Ohio Constitutional History and Modern Revision

Steven H. Steinglass, C|M|LAW’s Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus, made several presentations this fall on Ohio constitutional history and revision.

On September 23, 2014, he made a presentation to Ohio teachers at the Law and Citizenship Conference sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education.  The presentation was on What Every Ohio Teacher Should Know about the Ohio Constitution.

On October 11, 2014, he presented Constitutional Revision–Ohio Style at a Symposium at Wayne State University Law School Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Michigan Constitution and the Evolution of State Constitutionalism.

On October 18, 2014, he delivered comments at a program at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia recognizing the 25th anniversary of the Rutgers University Center on State Constitutional Law.  The principal lecture was delivered by Professor Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas Law School, whose book Framed addresses issues of constitutional structure and constitutional change in the US Constitution and the constitutions of the states.  Dean Steinglass’s comments were in reaction to Professor Levinson’s lecture.

Mika Advocates for Including Drafting and Transactional Classes in Legal Writing Programs

C|M|LAW Legal Writing Professor Karin Mika has published, in the Fall/Winter Edition of The Second Draft (a newsletter published by the Legal Writing Institute): A Third Semester of LRW: Why Teaching Transactional Skills and  Problems is Now Essential to the Legal Writing Curriculum.  The article advocates including drafting and transactional courses in Legal Writing programs to better prepare students for practice.  The article also advocates teaching various upper level skills courses so that students learn “soft skills,” such as dealing with clients and understanding their personal legal needs.

Sterio to Edit Cambridge Piracy Volume and Piracy Blog

Professor Milena Sterio

Professor Milena Sterio

Cambridge University Press has agreed to publish an edited piracy volume, for which C|M|LAW’s Charles R. Emrick Jr. – Calfee Halter & Griswold Professor of Law Milena Sterioshe will serve as one of three main editors. The other two editors are Professor Michael Scharf  (Case) and Professor Michael Newton (Vanderbilt).  Sterio will also write two chapters for the volume.  

In addition, Sterio and Scharf have become editors-in-chief of www.piracy-law.com, a blog dedicated to maritime piracy.  

Finally, Sterio was elected Secretary of the International Human Rights section of the AALS, as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the International Law section of the AALS.

Lewis Writes about the Certainty of Death and Taxes

C|M|LAW’s Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor Law and Director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Browne Lewis published Linking the Certainty of Death and Taxes in the Trusts and Estates edition of Jotwell on January 13, 2014.  In this article commentary, Lewis reviews Reid Kress Weisbord’s article, Wills For Everyone: Helping Individuals Opt Out of Intestacy, which was published earlier this year in the Boston College Law Review (53 B.C.L. Rev. 877 (2012)).  Lewis praises Weisbord’s attempt to simplify the testamentary process.  She agrees with his assertion that in failing to execute a will, most people are not fearing their own mortality and instead are just not willing or able to navigate a complicated testamentary process.  She supports his suggestion to make executing a will more like filing a simple tax return, when possible.  In sum, she praises his efforts to reduce the rate of intestacy by simplifying the testamentary process.

To see Lewis’ article, click here: http://trustest.jotwell.com/

Sundahl Appointed Chair of FAA International Space Policy Working Group

C|M|LAW Associate Dean Mark Sundahl has been appointed the Chair of the International Space Policy Working Group (ISPWG) of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee.  The ISPWG will monitor international developments in the regulatory landscape of commercial spaceflight and provide recommendations to the FAA to help ensure the continued international competitiveness of the U.S. space industry.

O’Neill Comments on California Decision Upholding the State’s Ban on Psychiatric Counseling to Dissuade Homosexual Conduct

Professor Kevin F. O'Neill

Professor Kevin F. O’Neill

C|M|LAW Professor Kevin O’Neill was quoted at length in an article,1st Amendment at issue in ban on gay-conversion therapy for minors, by David L. Hudson Jr., in
the January 2014 issue of the ABA Journal, on page 18.   The article deals with a recent Ninth Circuit decision upholding a California statute that bans a type of psychiatric therapy designed to dissuade gay and lesbian minors from homosexual conduct.  Professor O’Neill was asked to comment on the court’s First Amendment analysis.

According to O’Neill, “[p]laying the old ‘conduct-not-speech’ card is something that judges do when faced with particularly thorny speech issues . . .” He adds, “I don’t find it persuasive here, but it gave the 9th Circuit a convenient basis for applying rational-basis review.”

O’Neill says “[t]he statute singles out a particularly ludicrous treatment—a ‘medical’ treatment that is grounded upon ignorance and hostility toward gays and lesbians—and simply bans it. but the ugliness of the treatment doesn’t provide a constitutional basis for banning it.”

O’Neill notes that the Supreme Court invalidated “efforts to ban some of the ugliest speech ever” in the prohibition of images of animal cruelty in U.S. v. Stevens (2010) and violent video games in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2011).

“If you’re going to uphold this statute, you have to focus on the government’s legitimate power to protect children from medical quackery,” O’Neill says. “But that doesn’t fit too easily into any of the unprotected categories of speech, such as obscenity, child porn, true threats or advocacy of imminent lawless action. The absence of clear guidance in First Amendment law may be a strong reason for granting cert in this case.”

Here is a link to the article:


Professor O’Neill’s comments appear toward the end of the article, in a section entitled, “Beyond Ugliness.”



Engel Notes that Cleveland was Ahead of its Time on Subprime Lawsuits

Former C|M|LAW Professor Kathleen Engel published an Opinion piece in the Plain Dealer on December 23, 2013.  In the piece, Cleveland ahead of its time on subprime lawsuits, Engel notes that “Cleveland was the one of the first cities to cry foul when subprime lenders targeted people with complex and unaffordable loan products.” She explains that although Cleveland’s early efforts against the banks’ practices were ahead of their time and ultimately unsuccessful, they lit the way for those that followed.

To read Professor Engel’s piece, click here:


Plecnik to Serve as Willoughby Hills Council Representative to the Willoughby Hills Income Tax Board of Review

On Monday, January 6, 2014, the Willoughby Hills City Council held its organizational meeting for calendar years 2014 and 2015.  During that meeting, Council unanimously voted to elect C|M|LAW Professor John Plecnik the Council Representative to the Willoughby Hills Income Tax Board of Review, a three member body which consists of the Council Representative, City Law Director, and City Finance Director.  The Income Tax Board of Review is tasked with approving local income tax regulations as well as hearing and deciding taxpayer appeals.

Daiker-Middaugh Praises Jack Liber’s Kindness, Generosity and Work on CMBA’s Education Initiative

In an article in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Bar Journal, C|M|LAW Clinical Professor Pamela Daiker-Middaugh is quoted in a tribute to Jack Liber.  Liber was known for the hard work and energy he devoted to the launch of the CMBA’s Education Initiative, which led to the launch of the Street Law program, the Cleveland Mock Trial Competition, and scholarships to summer civics programs.  According to Daiker-Middaugh, not only was he “a gifted lawyer, . . . in all the years I knew him, I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone.”  Daiker-Middaugh praised his work on law-related education in city classrooms and said that his “legacy lives on in  . . . all the children helped by these wonderful education programs.”