Professor Lewis Selected to Present at Gresham College, London

Professor Browne Lewis

Professor Browne Lewis

Through a competitive process, Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law Browne Lewis has been selected to present a public lecture at Gresham College, the oldest higher education institution in London. Gresham College is an independent institution, governed by the Council and with the Lord Mayor of London as its President.  For over 400 years, Gresham College has hosted free public lectures in the City of London.  The College, named after Sir Thomas Gresham, is one of the most prestigious academic institution in the United Kingdom.

The lecture is scheduled for Monday, January 25, 2016.  The topic is “The Ethics of Physician-Assisted Suicide.” The legalization of assisted suicide in the UK is as controversial as the Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) that led to its decriminalization in Oregon in 1994.  The United States Supreme Court subsequently rejected an attempt to have the law declared unconstitutional but steps seem to be needed to address the ethical concerns raised by members of the academic, political, and religious communities, including safeguards to protect vulnerable people. What can be learned in the UK from the USA experience?

Professor Lewis will spend the spring 2016 semester in the United Kingdom as a Fulbright Scholar.  Her host institution will be King’s College in London.

Professor Mika Coordinates “Legends in the Law” Panel Presentation at Northwest Regional Legal Writing Conference

karin_mika_2014_219Professor Karin Mika coordinated the “Legends in the Law” panel presentation at the Northwest Regional Legal Writing Conference held at the University of Oregon (Eugene) on April 25-26.  The panel included Ralph Brill (Chicago-Kent), Marjorie Rombauer (University of Washington), and Mary Lawrence (University of Oregon), all three of whom are William C. Burton “Legends in the Law” award winners for their contributions to innovation and improving the quality of legal communication in the profession.
The panel discussed the decades-long struggle to give credibility to skills training in law schools, as well as the decades-long struggle to convince the academy that it is not enough for students to be taught to “think like lawyers” but that students must learn how to apply their thinking to legal issues involving real people and to communicate their thinking clearly.  The panel also discussed how the name “Legal Writing” has always suggested the erroneous concept that Legal Writing is a grammar and sentence-writing course as opposed to a course about critical thinking, problem solving, and communicating clearly one’s thinking.  Finally, the panel discussed the future of legal education in terms of the necessity for incorporating experiential learning in a modified law school curriculum.

Professor Weinstein Presents at the American Planning Association National Conference in Seattle

Professor Alan Weinstein

Professor Alan Weinstein

Professor Alan Weinstein presented at the American Planning Association National Conference in Seattle, Washington, on April 20.  Professor Weinstein (and two other speakers) discussed Reed v. Town of Gilbert, in which the Supreme Court this term will resolve a Circuit split on the issue of the appropriate standard for finding that government regulation of signs is content-based.

Several Circuits have adopted an “absolute” view on the question, ruling that any regulation that characterizes a sign by the message it displays is content based and subject to strict scrutiny. Other Circuits have adopted a “purposive” rule that applies only intermediate scrutiny when government regulates a sign depending on the message it displays so long as the purpose of the regulation is unrelated to any attempt to suppress particular messages.
Professor Weinstein argued that the imposition of strict scrutiny in this context in an effort to ensure free speech values will have the perverse effect of lessening speech by leading to more restrictive regulation of signs. If sign regulations that consider a sign’s message are subject to strict scrutiny, government will adopt content neutral regulations that will treat all signs alike. Professor Weinstein predicted this will lead to fewer and smaller signs, thus constricting, rather than supporting, speech values.

Professor Kalir Appointed to Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists

Clinical Professor of Law Doron Kalir was appointed today to the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists. The Commission approves and regulates agencies that certify lawyers practicing in Ohio as specialists in a wide arrays of specialty areas, ranging (in alphabetical order) from Administrative Agency law to Workers’ Compensation. The Commission is comprised of 12 attorneys and three law faculty members, as well as two judges. The appointment is for three years. “I am honored and delighted to be appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court,” said Professor Kalir, a former antitrust attorney of many years. “I hope I can serve the Court and the Ohio Bar to the best of my abilities, as well as represent the law school with honor.”

Professor Falk’s Article Accepted for Publication by Women’s Rights Law Reporter

Professor Patricia Falk’s article, Husbands Who Drug and Rape their Wives:  The Injustice of the Marital Exemption in Ohio’s Sexual Offenses, was accepted for publication by the Women’s Rights Law Reporter (published by the Rutgers-Newark Law School).

Professor Sterio’s Op-Ed Article Published by JURIST

Professor  and Associate Dean Milena Sterio’s op-ed article, “Polish Soldiers Acquitted of War Crimes for Nangar Khel Incident,” was published by JURIST, in its Academic Commentary Section.  JURIST is a web-based legal news and legal research service based at the University of Pittsburgh Law School; its Academic Commentary Section includes op-ed articles contributed by law professor and special contributors.  Professor Sterio was asked by JURIST editors to provide the above-mentioned op-ed article, in light of her expertise in the area of international criminal law.

In her op-ed article, Professor Sterio discusses the recent decision by a Polish military court in Warsaw to acquit a group of Polish soldiers of charges of war crimes (the soldiers were nonetheless convicted of lesser crimes).  The soldiers had been accused of deliberately killing civilians at the Nangar Khel village in Afghanistan back in 2007; the Polish soldiers were fighting in Afghanistan as part of a larger United States-led coalition against the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces.  The soldiers’ prosecution in Poland was particularly significant because it represented the first modern-day prosecution for war crimes charges.

Professor Lewis Presents at DePaul Law School; Has Article Accepted for Publication by the Tennessee Law Review

As a part of the faculty exchange program between Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and DePaul University College of Law, Browne Lewis, Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law, made a presentation entitled, You Belong to Me: Unscrambling the Property Interests in Frozen Eggs. Professor Lewis discussed situations where the availability of assisted reproductive technology has enabled parents to treat babies like basketballs. She also analyzed the options courts have when deciding how to classify a woman’s property interests in her frozen eggs. Professor Lewis concluded her presentation with a discussion of some of the causes of action available to a woman if her eggs are considered to be her personal property.

Professor Lewis’ latest article discussing property law and human oocyte cryopreservation has been accepted for publication by the Tennessee Law Review.

Professor Geier’s Texbook Selected by Unglue.It for Weekly Promotion

Professor Debby Geier’s textbook, “U.S. Federal Income Tax of Individuals 2015,” which is a Creative Commons licensed ebook, was selected by for promotion on April 15. is a website dedicated to the development of sustainable funding and distribution for Creative Commons and other freely licensed books. selects one Creative Commons textbook every week for promotion on its own website, and Professor Geier’s textbook was selected this week.


Professor Mead settles First Amendment litigation over Teacher’s Facebook post

Assistant Professor Joseph Mead settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of school teacher Keith Allison, whose annual teaching contract renewal was cancelled based on his outside-of-work commentary on dairy agriculture.  The settlement resolves a federal lawsuit filed by Professor Mead which contended that the school district’s speech-based retaliation violated Mr. Allison’s First Amendment rights.  In a statement, Professor Mead explained: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement that upholds the First Amendment rights of public school teachers, such as Keith Allison.  The settlement vindicates Keith for his Facebook post and affirms the school district’s obligation to permit its employees to freely express their opinions on community concerns outside of work.”  Professor Mead volunteered to represent Mr. Allison in cooperation with the ACLU of Ohio to ensure that the First Amendment rights of public employees like school teachers are protected.
Additional information about Professor Mead’s representation of Mr. Allison can be found here.

Professor Sterio Elected Chair of ASIL-Midwest Interest Group at ASIL Annual Meeting

Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio attended the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., from April 8-11.  Professor Sterio was elected, at the Meeting, Chair of the ASIL-Midwest Interest Group.  In this capacity, Professor Sterio will manage the work of this Interest Group, including the organization of the annual works-in-progress workshop sponsored by the group.  Professor Sterio was also re-elected member of the Steering Committee of the Women in International Law Interest Group.