Becker and Green Speak on LGBT Rights in Ohio

On May 16, 2014, C|M|LAW Professors Susan Becker and Matthew Green spoke at a free CLE program entitled “A Legal Overview of LGBT Rights in Ohio.”  This program was presented in conjunction with a free legal clinic set up to assist members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgendered (“LGBT”) community with issues such as discrimination, name changes, family law, and immigration. It was sponsored by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Equality Ohio, the Spanish-American Committee, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center.

Professor Susan J. Becker

Professor Susan J. Becker

Professor Becker spoke on the status of same-sex marriage, gave a brief overview of the history of the issue from the 1971 Baker v. Nelson case in Minnesota through the Windsor v. U.S. case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer. Most of her talk focused on the significant changes to federal law (Social Security, taxes, Medicare, Family Leave Act, etc.) since Windsor which extend benefits to same-sex marriage couples.  She also focused on the status of the 49 cases now pending in federal courts that will likely lead to a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of states denying marriage to same sex couples. Finally, she spoke about the status of the law in Ohio for LGBT families.


Professor Matthew Green

Professor Matthew Green

Professor Green explained that despite decades of repeated attempts, Congress has yet to enact federal legislation to ensure equality in employment for LGBT employees. Although protections under some state and local laws exist, a significant number of LGBT workers are without legal protection.  Despite these truths, the legal landscape is complex and warrants study, considering LGBT workers face stubbornly persistent and widespread workplace discrimination.  To that end, it is imperative that LGBT workers, allies and advocates understand the current legal landscape as well as potential hurdles to protection.  Despite the dearth of legislation directly protecting LGBT workers, courts have used stereotyping theory and changing understandings of the concept of “gender” to protect LGBT workers under extant discrimination law.  Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent, plaintiff-friendly retaliation decisions may further serve as a vehicle in some instances to protect LGBT workers from discrimination, albeit indirectly.  In addition to this complex legal landscape, emerging issues with respect to religion and the workplace may well present new challenges for LGBT workers in their quest for equality in employment.

Lewis Speaks at Michigan State about Terminally Ill Minors and Physician-Monitored Suicide

On Friday, Browne Lewis, C|M|LAW’s Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Health Law and Policy spoke at Michigan State University School of Law at a symposium entitled “Living With Terminal Illness: Should Adolescent Minors Make Decisions at the End of Their Lives?.”  The title of her talk was “Pain Matures: Terminally Ill Minors and Physician-Monitored Suicide”  and it focused upon the recent decision by the Belgium Senate to expand the availability of euthanasia to minors suffering from incurable physical and mental diseases. She discussed the ethical issues that would arise if, in the United States, we permitted terminally ill minors to select physician-assisted suicide.  In addition, she emphasized that the current legal regime contains inadequate safeguards to protect minors.  Lewis opined that if we allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication to be used by terminally ill minors to end their lives we need to ensure that the process is monitored by an independent third-party.  In addition, the law should be amended to include a mandatory reporting requirement for physicians and other health care providers who suspected that the minor was being pressured into taking the medication.

Kalir Speaks to CMBA International Law Section on U.S./Israeli Comparative Law

On February 2, 2014, C|M|LAW Clinical Professor Doron Kalir presented “The U.S. & Israeli Legal Systems: How Similar Are We?” to the International Law Section of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. (The section is Chaired by Associate Dean Mark Sundahl). The lecture examined the similar common-law backgrounds shared by the two legal systems, as well as some more current differences in constitutional and Supreme Court practice.  Kalir has argued successfully several times before the Israeli Supreme Court and is currently a member of the United States Supreme Court bar.

Ray Helps Launch SSRN eJournal on African Law

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is co-sponsoring a new SSRN Legal Scholarship Subject Matter ejournal — African Law eJournal.  The journal, which will begin distribution this month, includes working and accepted paper abstracts related to African law and legal issues affecting Africa, as well as legal scholarship by scholars at African academic institutions.  C|M|LAW’s Joseph C. Hostetler- Baker & Hosteler Professor of Law Brian Ray organized the new eJournal and will serve as one of the editors.


Brian Ray, C|M|Law Fulbright Scholar in South Africa, is Named the Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law

Professor Brian E. Ray

Professor Brian E. Ray

Congratulations to Brian Ray, currently serving as a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa, who was recently named by C|M|LAW Dean Craig M. Boise to serve as the Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law.

Ray has recently published a book review of Sandra Liebenberg’s Socio-Economic Rights. Adjudication under a Transformative Constitution in the European Journal of International Law 2013 24: 739-744.  It’s available here:

Ray also recently helped organize a half-day conference “Meaningful Engagement as a Political Process: Understanding the Roles of Government, Communities, Civil Society and Courts.”  The Community Law Centre’s Socio-Economic Rights Project hosted the event on May 30 at the University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University’s Socio-Economic Rights and Administrative Justice Project co-sponsored.  The roundtable discussion brought together government officials, civil society groups active in socio-economic rights and citizen leaders to discuss ways to implement the constitutional requirement that government  “meaningfully engage” with people and civil society when developing social welfare policies.

Milena Sterio, C|M|LAW Fulbright Scholar in Azerbaijan, is Named The Charles R. Emrick Jr. – Calfee Halter & Griswold Professor of Law

Professor Milena Sterio

Professor Milena Sterio

Congratulations to Milena Sterio, named recently by C|M|LAW Dean Craig M. Boise to serve as The Charles R. Emrick Jr. – Calfee Halter & Griswold Professor of Law.  Professor Sterio is currently serving as a Fulbright Scholar in Baku, Azerbaijan.   You can read her first-hand account of her experience here:

Plecnik Participates in Young Cleveland Running Panel Presentation

On Thursday, June 13th, at the Nighttown restaurant in Cleveland Heights, C|M|LAW Professor John Plecnik participated in a panel discussion hosted by Young Cleveland Running.  Along with other young political candidates, Plecnik answered questions from the mediator, and then the attendees, about the importance of getting more young people involved in local politics.  The panelists included Professor Plecnik, who is running for Willoughby Hills City Council, Cuyahoga County Councilman Julian Rogers, Euclid City Councilman Scott Lynch (a current C|M|LAW student), and Cleveland City Council candidates Jonathan Simon and Basheer Jones.

Inniss to Speak at Princeton re the Princeton Fugitive Slave

C|M|LAW’s Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law, Lolita K. Buckner Inniss will speak at Princeton University on February 25, 2013.  Her lecture, James C. Johnson and the Princeton Fugitive Slave Case, will be presented through the History Department and will focus on Professor Inniss’ research on the history of slavery in the Princeton area.

Details about the presentation are available here:

More information, and many photos and facts are available at the Facebook page Professor Inniss created: The Princeton Fugitive Slave: James Collins Johnson, accessible here:

Steinglass Speaks at Ohio Constitutional Law Seminar at the Ohio Historical Society

Professor and Dean Emeritus Steven H. Steinglass

On September 12, 2012, C|M|LAW Professor and Dean Emeritus Steven H. Steinglass participated on a panel at the Ohio Constitutional Law Seminar, sponsored by the law firm of Vorys, Sater, and presented at the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus.  The seminar, titled Should there be a Convention to Revise, Alter, or Amend the Ohio Constitution, included Steinglass’ presentation The History and Future of Constitutional Revision in Ohio.  In particular, Steinglass discussed the following questions: What is the history of changes to the Ohio Constitution?  How have constitutional conventions and the initiative provision been used to amend the Ohio Constitution?  Should there be a constitutional convention? What are the pros and cons of a convention versus a commission?   In addition to several other academics and lawyers from around the state, seminar participants included, The Hon. Ted Strickland, 68th Governor of the State of Ohio, The Hon. Peggy L. Bryant, Judge, Tenth District Court of Appeals, The Hon. William G. Batchelder, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, The Hon. Nancy H. Rogers, Professor of Law Emeritus, The Ohio State University and Former Attorney General of the State of Ohio.

Robertson Organizes and Speaks at C|M|LAW Utica Shale Conference

C|M|LAW Professor and Associate Dean Heidi Gorovitz Robertson served on the organizing committee for a jointly-sponsored conference on the development of shale oil and gas in Ohio.  The conference, Utica Shale:  Issues in Law, Practice and Policy, took place at C|M|LAW  on September 13 and 14, 2012.  It was co-sponsored by CSU’s Levin College of Urban Affairs, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Crain’s Cleveland Business, Bricker & Eckler, LLP, Hull & Associates, Inc., Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, Tucker Ellis LLP, and the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio.  Other members of the planning committee were Andrew Thomas (Levin College), Matthew Warnock (Bricker & Eckler) and Glenn Morrical (Tucker Ellis).

The conference brought together many of the major players in the quickly emerging field of shale oil and gas development.  Included on the panels were representatives from JobsOhio, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy, economists, lawyers, geologists, engineers, and academics from a number of fields.  Panel  topics included economic development, environmental and policy concerns, legal issues such as leasing, litigation, new and recent regulations, and tax and accounting considerations.

Associate Dean Robertson spoke on two panels at the Utica Shale conference.  As part of the Legislative and Regulatory Update, she spoke on the future viability of local ordinances that purport to control or ban drilling within a locality when state legislation clearly seeks to preempt them.  In addition, she spoke on a panel on Lessons Learned from the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill.  Along with Baker Hostetler attorney and C|M|LAW Adjunct Professor Maureen Brennan, she spoke about those lessons and how they might apply as Ohio moves quickly to develop and regulate the shale oil and gas industry.

For more information about the Utica Shale conference, click here: