University of Louisville Law Faculty Blog

The Art of ADR Advocacy


I had the pleasure of serving as the moderator for a panel last week, at the Fourth Annual ABA LEL Section Conference, entitled "The Art of ADR Advocacy and When to Ignore Your Basic Instincts."  On the panel were four highly experienced and knowledgeable neutrals, Vivian Berger, Susan Grody-Ruben, Mark Irvings, and David Weisenfeld, whose bios are attached.  Also attached are the questions addressed and the outline for the presentation (which includes some of Vivian's insightful thoughts) as well as the papers or outlines submitted by me and the other panelists.

MHAKY Beers Award


On October 29, 2010, Mental Health America of Kentucky, a/k/a the Mental Health Association of Kentucky, Kentucky’s oldest mental health education and advocacy organization, presented me with the Clifford W. Beers Mental Health Consumer Award for 2010.  The award recognizes my mental health advocacy work through my numerous speeches regarding the wrongfulness of the stigma against those with mental illnesses and the ability of some with severe mental illness who have proper treatment to be successful professionals.  These especially include my talks to nursing, social work, psychology, and law students.  The award is in the shape of a bell and is a facsimile of the 300 pound Mental Health America bell that was forged of melted chains and shackles that once restrained those confined in asylums because they had mental illnesses.  The MHA bell is a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses.  Today it rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.

In 1900 young Yale-educated businessman Clifford W. Beers, born in 1876, was first confined to a private mental institution.  He would later be confined to another private hospital as well as a state institution. During these periods he experienced and witnessed serious maltreatment at the hands of hospital staff. After the publication of A Mind That Found Itself (1908), an autobiographical account of his hospitalizations and the abuses he suffered and saw during them, he gained the support of the medical profession and other prominent national leaders of the time, including the philosopher William James and the Rockefeller family, in the work to reform the treatment of those with mental illnesses.  In 1909 Beers founded the "National Committee for Mental Hygiene," now named Mental Health America, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization that addresses all aspects of mental health and mental illness through advocacy, education, research, and service.  He did so in order to continue the reform of the treatment of those with psychiatric diseases by promoting mental health and improving conditions for children and adults living with these health problems.  Beers was a leader in the mental health field until his 1939 retirement.  He died in 1943.

Union Waivers of Court Forum for Statutory Claims


I spent Friday and Saturday at the Fifth Annual Labor and Employment Law Colloquium.  I attended many presentations, all of which were extremely engaging and informative.  I presented Friday afternoon at Washington University School of Law on a panel with Thomas Burch (Florida State) and Zev Eigen (Northwestern). 

 I am starting research on a project that will look at arbitration decisions in the union sector to inform the debate over the adquacy of labor arbitration for deciding statutory employment disputes.  The slides of my presentation and accompanying handout are attached to this post.

 Thomas proposed regulation of mandatory arbitration of consumer, employment, and other disputes to make it more fair.  My understanding is that his paper is still in draft form, but I will post a link to it once it is publicly available. 

Zev proposed changes to the procedures used for mandatory arbitration of employment disputes, including updating the Due Process Protocol, to make it a more optimal way to structure rights disputes.  His co-authored article is available here

Warns Institute Papers

The papers from the Warns Institute are now available.

Sharing What Works: Enhancing Our Teaching through Technology

Thank you to everyone who attended this session at the LWI Biennial Conference.  We have now finished compiling the master list of all the great suggestions reported out to the group, which is attached.  The slides and handouts are also attached.  And at one participant's suggestion, we have attached a sample PowerPoint of possible ways to use "clicker" exercises.

Using Visual Aids to Enhance Your Case

I had the pleasure of presenting with Luke Morgan and Lars Smith at the KBA Convention today.  Attached are the materials, the slides, and my notes for our presentation, "Using Visual Aids to Enhance Your Case."  You can find the video of Professor Smith's "how to" segment here

Recent Mental Health Talks

In addition to those speeches already mentioned in this blog, in 2010 I have addressed 6 other groups.  I spoke to the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Kentuckiana about "Intelligence and Insanity:  Phi Beta Kappas With Madness in the Academy."  I spoke about "Severe Mental Illness, Stigma, and the Value of Treatment" to the Mental Health Nursing class of the University of Louisville School of Nursing, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing class of the Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences of Bellarmine University, the Primary Care of the Adolescent graduate nurse practitioner class of the Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences of Bellarmine University, the Psychology Club of Indiana University Southeast, the Socrates Club, and the Psychopathology class of the Kent School of Social Work of the University of Louisville.  Since 2008 I have spoken to groups about mental health issues a total of 33 times.  I very much enjoy delivering these addresses as they get out the message both that severe mental illness can be successfully treated so that those who suffer with it can have rewarding professional careers and personal lives and that the stigma against those with mental illness is wrong and should be eradicated  by contemporary society.  I hope to speak to many more groups in the coming years to further the battle against stigma.

Register for Warns Institute

Remember, it's not too late to register for the Warns Institute on June 24 & 25.  We have a great line-up of speakers this year.

Recent Events


I am featured in the latest issue of Duke magazine, which goes to all Duke University alumni and friends (the magazine features 3 University alumni per issue, or 18 per year).  The article is at .

 Also, I'm now on the Board of Directors of a new national mental health institute, the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics.  Others with the Board include Dr. Oliver Sacks, noted psychiatrist and author of Awakenings;  Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MacArthur Foundation "genius award" winner, and author of a number of books including An Unquiet Mind;  Nobel prize in Medicine laureate Dr. Eric Kandel; and Mrs. Michael "Kitty" Dukakis.  I'm very honored to be on the Board with so distinguished a group.

Celebrate National Library Week


Each year, the American Library Association celebrates of the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians. This year's theme is "Communities Thrive @ your Library". On April 13, the House of Representatives passed H.RES.1222, a resolution to support the goals and ideals of National Library Week. This Saturday, ABC World News will air an interview about Twitter with Roberta Shaffer, Law Librarian of Congress. Next week, the law library's staff and faculty will celebrate the contributions and graduation of our library's student workers.

The March 2010 issue of the LBA's Bar Briefs includes an article by Charles E. Ricketts Jr., '68 entitled "Louisville's Public Law Library" (p. 6). The Jefferson County Public Law Library is a non-profit organization supported solely by private donations and fees allocated under KRS 172.180 and KRS 453.060. It's currently located in the Old Jail Building at 514 W. Liberty. In his article, Mr. Ricketts' provides a timeline of important events in the library's history since its inception in 1819. He also interviews Linda Robbins, the library's executive director, who reports that the fate of her library and many of Kentucky's county law libraries are at risk because of budgetary constraints.