Professor May to Present on Drafting Wills and Trusts

Senior Legal Writing Professor Claire C. Robinson May will present alongside judges and practitioners as part of the 41st Annual Trumbull County Probate Practice Seminar on October 7, 2022, at the historic Robins Theatre in Warren, Ohio. Professor May’s session will focus on drafting wills and trusts. CLE credit is available.

Professor May’s Book Chapter Highlighted in the Journal of Legal Education

Senior Legal Writing Professor Claire C. Robinson May is quoted in the Journal of Legal Education’s recent book review of Lawyering Skills in the Doctrinal Classroom: Using Legal Writing Pedagogy to Enhance Teaching Across the Law School Curriculum, edited by Tammy Pettinato Oltz. Professor May’s chapter in the book focuses on pedagogical lessons from the Estates and Trusts: Doctrine and Drafting course she developed and taught at the College of Law with Professor April Cherry. The review’s author, Professor O.J. Salinas, concludes that Lawyering Skills in the Doctrinal Classroom is “an instructive read for professors teaching doctrinal classes who want not only to further engage their students in the substantive law that they are teaching in their courses, but also to engage their students in the type of skills that lawyers do in practice.”

Professor Plecnik Interviewed About Lake County Opioid Lawsuit

Professor Plecnik does not just write about changing the law. Through his public service as Lake County Commissioner, Professor Plecnik is working with his colleagues in Lake and Trumbull to set national precedent in federal court to help end the Opioid epidemic. Lake and Trumbull counties are the plaintiffs in a bellwether case to hold Big Pharma responsible for its role in flooding their local communities with pain pills.

On August 17, 2022, Judge Dan Polster of United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio issued the Abatement Order in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation, which awards Lake and Trumbull Counties a combined $650.6 million. Walmart, CVS and Walgreens must pay Lake County $306.2 million and Trumbull County $344.4 million over the next 15 years for their role in the Opioid epidemic. In their complaint, the two counties alleged the three national pharmacies “abused their position of special trust and responsibility” as registered dispensers of prescription drugs, and in so doing “fostered a black market for prescription opioids.”

The day of the ruling, CNN reported:

Lake County Commissioner John Plecnik said his county is investing the $306.2 million awarded to them into tackling the impacts of the opioid crisis in their communities.

“I am grateful to the Court for recognizing the Opioid Epidemic as a public health crisis. This decision holds Big Pharma accountable for the great harm and lives lost due to the overselling of Opioids,” Plecnik said “We hope the legal precedent that Lake and Trumbull Counties have won together will set the stage for the rest of the nation and help end the Opioid epidemic.”

Professor Plecnik’s interview with Fox 8 is available here:

You can watch Professor Plecnik’s interview with Fox 8 News here:

Professor Plecnik’s interview with News 5 Cleveland is here:

Professor Plecnik was also interviewed by CBS Chicago, available here.

Appellate Practice Clinic Wins Sixth Circuit Immigration Case

The Cleveland-Marshall Appellate Practice Clinic has secured a victory in the Sixth Circuit in an immigration case, Ramirez-Lopez v. Garland, No. 21-3794.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is not known for granting petitions filed by non-citizens. In fact, the vast majority of those petitions, many of which filed by immigrants who speak English as a second or third language, are summarily rejected. To be sure, these rejections may be understood in light of the fact that they come before the Court after two reviews — first by an Immigration Judge and then by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). 

Mr. Ramirez-Lopez’s Petition did not seem different at first. Filed pro-se, it was summarily rejected by the Court after short review. But then the unexpected happened: the Biden Administration changed its policy regarding U-Visa petitions, which was at issue in Mr. Ramirez-Lopez’s petition. The Sixth Circuit, on its own accord, issued a new decision inviting supplemental briefs on the application of the new policy, as well as ordering that Petitioner would be represented by Counsel.

The Court then appointed the Cleveland-Marshall Appellate Practice Clinic to represent Ramirez-Lopez. The Clinic argued first that the new policy applied in this case and therefore it was justified to remand the matter to the BIA for further consideration. The Government, in response, agreed that the new policy applied, but claimed that in light of the Court’s first opinion the matter was moot, and that the issue could no longer be returned to the BIA. The Clinic, in response, argued that the Court’s New Order superseded the first, and therefore that the matter could — and should — be remanded. The Court, weighing these two arguments, held that “we think that Ramirez Lopez has the better argument,” and therefore remanded the case. 

This was an incredible win for the Client, and a great achievement for the Clinic. Students Katrice Williams, Victoria Kekkel, and Nicole Johnson worked tirelessly to ensure a timely submission of the briefs, and constant review of the expanded record in this case. Adjunct Professor, proud alum, and immigration Super-Lawyer Tanya Linetsky provided valuable advice and guidance. Professor Doron Kalir served as the attorney of record and supervised the work. 

Professor Ray Presents at Cybersecurity Conference on Incentive-Based Cybersecurity

Government Computer News published an article titled “States try incentive-based cybersecurity,” covering a recent panel organized by Professor Brian Ray with adjunct Professor and Ohio Cybersecurity Strategic Advisor Kirk Herath. The panelists discussed Ohio’s incentive-based cybersecurity law in June at the RSA Conference, the world’s largest cybersecurity conference.

Professor Mika Serves on Panel About Legal Writing Hiring

On August 11, Professor Karin Mika served as a panelist on the the AALS Legal Writing Section’s “Faculty Appointment Q&A.”  The presentation was sponsored by the AALS in order to help prospective applicants navigate the interview and selection process for those who intend to apply for positions teaching Legal Writing. 

Professor Laser Presents on IP Law at Conferences

Professor Christa Laser presented her upcoming book project at the Junior Intellectual Property Scholars conference at Berkeley on August 10, and at the Intellectual Property Scholars conference at Stanford on August 12. The book is titled, “Intangible: How Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks Shape Our Lives, from Startups to Drugs to Taylor Swift and Why Recipe Blogs Are So Darn Long.”

Professor Laser also presented her article, “Legal Issues in Blockchain, NFTs, and Web3,” at the SEALS conference on August 2, on a panel titled “Intellectual Property, NFTs, and Collective Creation.”

Professor Laser Speaks on IP for Artists

On August 7, Professor Christa Laser spoke at a fundraiser for nonprofit Steel City Arts Foundation, a safe haven for comedians and artists founded by comedian Steve Hofstetter.  At the event, Professor Laser taught a class about Intellectual Property for Artists, especially focused for comedians.

Professor Karin Mika Publishes on Ukrainian Refugees

Professor Karin Mika’s article, “Lessons of the Past and the Humanitarian Outreach of Poland to Ukrainian Refugees,” was selected to be part of the inaugural edition of the AALS International Law Section newsletter.  The article discusses Poland’s efforts to streamline the process for Ukraine’s refugees entering Poland, as well as the contentious historical relationship between the two countries and why this legislation is different from what one might have expected from Poland.