Philip Merkel Chosen as “Professor of the Year” for 2014-15

The Western State College of Law Student Bar Association has chosen Professor Philip L. Merkel as “Professor of the Year” for the 2014-2015 academic year. Professor Merkel received the award at the law school’s annual Barrister’s Ball which was held on March 21, 2015, at the Hilton Orange County Hotel in Costa Mesa.

Eunice Park Publishes in California Lawyer Magazine

Professor Eunice Park has contributed to California Lawyer Magazine’s column, LegalEase, with her article on modeling objectivity to make facts advocate most compellingly, in the March 2015 issue.  The article incorporated examples from the appellate briefs filed in New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985).  In an earlier column, published in November 2014, Professor Park spoke to the trend of the increasing prevalence of the e-mail memorandum in this era of mobile communications, noting that protocols for style, substance and structure are continuing to evolve with technology, and offered guidance on how to write an effective e-mail memorandum.

Neil Pedersen Publishes Article on Tracking Billable Time, Presents Webinar on Attorney-Client Contract

Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen has recently published in The Bottom Line, the official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section.  His two-part article, entitled “Time Capture and Recordation: Part 1 – Capturing Your Time,” and “Time Capture and Recordation: Part 2 – Effectively Recording Your Time,” appear in the February and April 2015 editions of the journal.  The articles focus on an attorney’s challenges associated with keeping track of billable time, and methods to most effectively capture and then record that time to assure client satisfaction, ethical compliance and maximized profits.

Professor Pedersen also presented a webinar sponsored by the San Diego County Bar Association entitled “The Attorney-Client Contract: The Intersection of Ethical Obligations, Risk Management and Client Retention Strategies.” The webinar, held February 11, emphasized that the attorney contract is far more than a document required by the Rules of Professional Conduct, and when created and presented properly, is a critical part of an attorney’s risk management and client retention efforts.

Robert Molko Serves as Panelist on Topic of Drone Use by Government Agencies

Robert Molko participated in the Constitutional Rights Foundation 33d Annual Law Day Conference at Whittier Law School on March 6.  Professor Molko was one of two panelists in the workshop, Use of Drones by Government Agencies: “Big Brother Has Arrived”, or 21st Century Crime Fighting Technology Enhancing Public Safety?, which focused on the Fourth Amendment and how the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest interpretations of this amendment would affect public agency drone use.  Over 200 high school students from the Orange County area and their teachers attended the two sessions.

Monica Todd and Eunice Park Present on Cultural Competence at UNM

Professors Monica Todd and Eunice Park presented “Cultural Competence–A Critical Skill for Modern Lawyering,” at the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, held at the University of New Mexico School of Law March 5-6. Cultural competency has been identified by the ABA as a professional skill needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession, and the California Bar counts it among the experiential skills.  The presentation, which included Professor Lori Roberts’ assessment rubric, addressed methods currently being employed for incorporating cultural competency as a learning outcome in Western State’s legal writing program.

Lori Roberts’ Students Place in Regional Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition

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.

Robert Molko’s Article Cited in Appellate Brief to New Mexico Supreme Court

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.