University of Louisville Law Faculty Blog

What the Awards Tell Us about Labor Arbitration of Employment Discrimination Claims

I had the pleasure of presenting my work in progress regarding "What the Awards Tell Us about Labor Arbitration of Employment Discrimination Claims" at the Sixth Annual Labor and Employment Law Colloquium at Southwestern Law School on Friday, September 16, and then, again yesterday at a University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law facutly workshop.  I received helpful comments and will post again when the manuscript is ready for public circulation.  For now, I am attaching my slides.

Recent Developments


I have been named to the Board of Advisors of the newly created Mental Health Law & Policy Journal.

To date in 2011 I have spoken about "Severe Mental Illness, Stigma, and the Value of Treatment" to nine groups.  They include nursing, social work, psychology, and occupational therapy students.

Chilling Trademark Dispute

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today about a trademark dispute in Louisiana. Apparently a group of snowball vendors have taken issue with another vendor's attempt to claim trademark rights in certain snowball flavors (a snowball is a shave ice treat). A perfect dispute on a hot summer day!

U of L land use planning & law students' urban tree plan basis for Louisville's Urban Forest Action Plan


Law & urban planning students in my Spring 2011 Land Use & Planning Law course prepared an Urban Tree Canopy Plan as a service learning project for the Partnership for a Green City, the Louisville Metro Parks Department, and Community of Trees, an association of government agencies, organizations, and individuals.  This plan and its recommendations will be a base from which Community of Trees develops an "Action Plan for Louisville's Urban Forest."  A meeting to consider my students' recommendations and to select recommendations for near-future action will be held Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at 415 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard, Louisville, KY.  The students' Urban Tree Canopy plan can be downloaded at: 

This was one of 3 service learning projects prepared in the Spring 2011 offering of the innovative and interdisciplinary Land Use & Planning Law course at the University of Louisville.

Kissinger on China

There is an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about his secret trip to China in 1971, and the challenges of US-China relations today.

Librarians are REAL Faculty

At a recent conference that I attended, Jennifer Bartlett presented “You’re Not REAL Faculty! The Issue of Librarian Image on the College Campus”. Unfortunately, the relevance of her presentation was made all too apparent at our recent faculty meeting. On the agenda, were proposed changes to the faculty’s governance documents. Section 5 of the bylaws details the voting rights of the various faculty groups. Full-time permanent tenured or tenure-track librarians essentially receive the same voting rights as Visiting Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, Term Faculty and the Student Bar Association representative. The debate that ensued after one of my law library colleagues proposed a discussion was divisive and derisive. The strongest opponent wasn’t even aware that half of the law librarians teach credit-based, ABA-required courses at the law school.

Librarians have always had to advocate for recognition of their education, skills and services, especially during today’s tough economic climate. According to Ms. Bartlett’s research, the library profession’s push towards attaining a higher status began in the 1930’s. Today, most colleges and universities provide faculty status for their librarians and require that they possess a MLS or MLIS, which is the terminal degree in library science, from an accredited institution. I’m no exception. I received my Masters in Library Information Science from the University of Hawaii, which is accredited by the American Library Association.

At the University of Louisville, where I’m employed, librarians have faculty status and though we do have a separate governing document, we are held to similar rigorous standards pertaining to our tenure. Those include: 1) teaching, 2) research and publication, and 3) professional development. Each of the law library’s six faculty members possess a MLS or MLIS, half have a second Masters degree in another subject, and three have JDs.  Fifty-percent of the law library’s faculty teaches courses at the law school including all of the Basic Legal Research classes, as well as Advanced Legal Research, Legal History, Computers and the Law, Copyright, and even Domestic Relations. For the three of us that don’t possess the Juris Doctorate, our teaching comes in the form of reference and bibliographic instruction. For the purposes of attaining tenure, we too are required to publish our research in peer-reviewed journals. One of my colleagues has had his research published in journals outside of the legal and library professions. Another maintains a blog that’s considered one of the premier resources for Brandeis scholars. And yet another is the editor of the state library association's quarterly publication. Lastly, we must engage in professional development. We attend conferences, enroll in webinars, teach continuing education courses and hold board positions in our professional organizations.

There are of course fundamental, educational, and administrative differences between the teaching faculty and library faculty. For example, the teaching faculty receives 10-month appointments, while the librarians work year round. The teaching faculty is required to have a JD, which is reflected in their compensation. The salaries of permanent teaching faculty range from $65,000-$260,000, while librarians’ salaries range from $38,000-$151,000. Despite my substantially smaller salary and lack of a JD, I find it offensive to be considered “second class faculty”, as was the sentiment that was expressed at our meeting. Therefore, I wonder if this isn’t really a debate about professionalism, but instead one of classism.

In her presentation, Bartlett advocated that librarians and teaching faculty be “integral partners in the education process”. I also assert that an environment that fosters collegiality and one that is built upon mutual respect better serves the entire community. By working together collaboratively and cooperatively, we can supply our student body with the education, skills and experience that they need to be successful in their chosen careers and as leaders in their communities, which is a common thread that unites us all in academia.

Workplace Privacy and Monitoring

I recently posted the materials from my lecture "Workplace Privacy and Monitoring:  The Quest for Balanced Interests."  You can now watch the video of the lecture in synch with the slides here!

Rolling Stone Takes on Billion Dollar Bailouts, Risk-Free Loans and Subsidized Tax Evasion by Uber-Wealthy


"Perhaps the most irritating facet of all of these transactions is the fact that hundreds of millions of Fed dollars were given out to hedge funds and other investors with addresses in the Cayman Islands. . . . It's one thing for the federal government to look the other way when Wall Street hotshots evade U.S. taxes by registering their investment companies in the Cayman Islands. But subsidizing tax evasion? Giving it a federal bailout?"

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Vanity Fair: Nobel in Economics Winner, Stiglitz, Decries Growing Income Inequality


Is it ironic or perfect that this article was published in "Vanity Fair"?

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

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