Professor Lori Roberts’ students, Robert Dagmy, 2L and Perla Huizar, 3L, participated in the regional Judge Lloyd George Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, winning “Runner Up.” The only awards for this competition, held the weekend of February 21, were “first place,” “runner up,” and “best oralist.” The students researched and prepared for this competition with coach Pamela Zylstra, a local practicing bankruptcy lawyer.
Professor Robert Molko’s article, “The Drones are Coming! Will the Fourth Amendment Stop Their Threat to Our Privacy?”, 78 Brook. Law Rev. 1279 (2013) , was cited by the New Mexico Attorney General in her July 31, 2014 Appellate Brief to the New Mexico Supreme Court in the case of State v. Norman Davis. Argued before that court in January, the central issue of the case is whether aerial surveillance by police constitutes a search requiring a warrant.
Thompson Reuters has published its list of Super Lawyers for 2015. Adjunct Professors Neil Pedersen, Doug Schroeder and Bill Shapiro have all been named Southern California Super Lawyers. This distinction is conferred on select attorneys based on a process that involves peer nomination, independent research and evaluation by the publisher, resulting in only about 5% of all attorneys in the state being named to the list. The full list of Super Lawyers can be found at here.
In an online symposium hosted by a leading blog on criminal and immigration law, CrImmigration.com, Professor Jennifer Koh has weighed in with her thoughts on Mellouli v. Holder, a case currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. In her entry, Rethinking Removability for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (aka a Sock), Professor Koh discusses the application of the categorical approach – the methodology used by the courts to determine the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. She urges the Supreme Court to find that the noncitizen’s one-time conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia (in this case, a sock) should not have formed the basis of a removability finding. In law review articles published in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal and Florida Law Review, Professor Koh has written extensively regarding the categorical approach and on the intersection of criminal and immigration law.
The field trip to the U.S.-Mexico border taken last year by students in Professor Jennifer Koh’s Immigration Law class was described in the January 2015 issue of the ABA publication The Student Lawyer. Students participating in the day-long trip visited first with Customs and Border Patrol officials, and then with volunteers from a humanitarian organization that works with migrants. The trip formed the basis of an experience-based memo assignment. Professor Koh was quoted on her observation that the experience caused students to question their assumptions, gave students a much broader sense of possible immigration law career paths, and that students were “exposed to the legal system in a new way, and . . . able to see how the law has a deep influence in our country and on people’s individual lives.”
On December 13, Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen presented a half-day seminar to young lawyers from all the Orange County law schools entitled “Hit the Floor Running: Practical Advice for New Attorneys.” Organized by Student Services’ Pam Davidson and held on the Western State campus, Professor Pedersen provided 75 “nuggets” of wisdom for young lawyers on topics that included time management, the written and spoken word, building competence, professional conduct, problem identification and problem solving, client handling, business development, and surviving and thriving in the practice of law. It was well received and is now being planned as a recurring program.
Professor Stephen Chavez presented at the Legal Writing Institute’s (LWI) one day seminar which took place at Southern Illinois University Law School, in Carbondale, Illinois, on December 12. The theme of the seminar was “Preparing Practice Ready Students.” Professor Chavez’s presentation, “Starting From Scratch: Developing Scratcher Exercises for Student Motivation and Engagement,” was designed to help both new and veteran instructors motivate students to participate in class discussions and group activities through the use of “scratcher” cards. Unlike traditional multiple choice exercises, scratcher cards provide immediate feedback to students and instantaneous information to professors to measure success in meeting teaching goals. Professor Chavez’s presentation provided exercises for both individual and group exercises.