Professor Stacey Sobel’s article, “When Windsor Isn’t Enough: Why the Court Must Clarify Equal Protection Analysis for Sexual Orientation Classifications,” has been published in the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. This article explores why the Supreme Court needs to provide guidance for courts hearing sexual orientation discrimination claims under the federal Equal Protection Clause and the differing standards of review applied by courts in sexual orientation-related cases in the past. Professor Sobel’s article concludes that sexual orientation classifications merit heightened scrutiny analysis which would provide fairness, predictability and protection for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Professor Philip L. Merkel served as judge for this year’s Jerome I. Braun Prize in Western Legal History competition. The Braun Prize is awarded annually for the best unpublished manuscript on the history of the North American West. As judge, Professor Merkel read and evaluated manuscripts submitted by historians and legal scholars. The winning submission will be published in a future issue of Western Legal History, a publication of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society.
Professor Kevin Mohr participated on a panel at the State Bar of California Ethics Symposium in San Diego on April 25 that discussed the current project to revise the California Rules of Professional Conduct, which are the principal source of lawyer regulation in California. Professor Mohr serves as the Reporter for the current Rules Revision Commission that has been tasked with reviewing and revising the Rules. It is a position he also held with the previous Commission.
Immigrants’ Rights Fellow Sabrina Rivera spoke at an Immigration Forum sponsored by the UC Irvine Dreamer Center and UCI School of Law on April 27. During her remarks, she described the current state of litigation regarding President Obama’s immigration initiative involving Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and also described the Western State College of Law Immigration Clinic’s community outreach and education work in Orange County related to DAPA. She spoke also about U visas for immigrant victims of crime. Her co-panelists were Eric Dominguez, Esq., associate at the immigration law firm Hirson & Partners, and Jacqueline Dan, staff attorney at Advancing Justice.
Professor Elizabeth N. Jones was invited to write for the New Mexico Law Review’s special issue dedicated to the critically acclaimed television show, Breaking Bad. Her article, “The Good and (Breaking) Bad of Deceptive Police Practices,” explores a potential association between Breaking Bad’s depiction of investigative strategic police deception and the Department of Justice’s recent finding of a “pattern or practice of excessive force” by the Albuquerque Police Department.
Professor Eunice Park’s article on legal writing courses as a bridge between doctrine and skill has been published in The Second Draft, the official publication of The Legal Writing Institute. In the Spring 2015 issue, Professor Park discusses ways in which the substance and pedagogy of legal writing courses, in this era of legal education reform, merge the analytical and practical.
Adjunct Professor William D. Shapiro, a ’78 graduate of Western State, recently received the 2015 CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, by many accounts the highest honor a California trial lawyer can receive. The California Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates awards it annually to the attorney who most exhibits excellence in advocacy, a distinguished career, and a reputation for civility, ethics, and fair play.