An end-of-semester benediction

As exams continue at the Law School, I offer the following benediction, with apologies to pop singer Jewel:

JewelIf I could tell the class just one thing
It would be that you're all okay
And not to worry because worry is wasteful
and useless in times like these
You won't be made useless
Don't be idled with despair
You should gather yourself around your mind
for light does the darkness most fear

Editor's note: This post is adapted from MoneyLaw. You may render Jewel's video in a separate browser window.

The legal needs of older Kentuckians

The following letter and report on the legal needs of older Kentuckians came to me via David Godfrey, a Louisville Law graduate who is now working as managing attorney at the Access to Justice Foundation in Lexington:

Louisville Bar Association events

Louisville Bar AssociationThe Louisville Bar Association is a very close friend and partner of the Law School. The LBA won the Dean's Service Award in 2005 and has worked tirelessly with the Law School to promote the well-being of lawyers and the greater public's interest in law and the administration of justice.

I am therefore pleased to promote two upcoming LBA events and to commend them to the attention of the Law School community:

The 2007 Pirtle-Washer Moot Court competition

The 2007 Pirtle-Washer Moot Court Competition

Joe Stennis, Jr., and Justice Lisabeth Abramson

Of late we've had ample occasion to celebrate the University of Louisville's moot court successes, over and over and over. Those earlier stories have documented our teams' success in intercollegiate competitions. But I hasten, quite happily, to add a recap of the 2007 Pirtle-Washer Moot Court, the Law School's oldest and most prestigious intramural moot court tournament.

The Pirtle-Washer finals took place just before launched The Cardinal Lawyer. I am very pleased, even if I am a bit tardy, to post this recap, in words and images, of this year's Pirtle-Washer competition. We celebrate all of the participants in the competition and congratulate them on their successes.

A lesson learned from Louis D. Brandeis

The ten days that have passed since the Law School hosted the Louisville premiere of the documentary, Louis Brandeis: The People's Attorney — a festive event noted on the Law School's news ticker and here at The Cardinal Lawyer — provide ample time for reflection on the Law School's annual commemoration of Justice Brandeis's birthday. I very much wish to express the Law School's gratitude to Professor Laura Rothstein, Joe Ardery, Rabbi Joseph Rapport, and producer Charles Stuart for their roles in enabling the Law School to show this film to its first audience in this market.

Happy Thanksgiving


On Thankgiving eve, I think it appropriate to revisit the 1863 proclamation by which President Abraham Lincoln transformed the Thanksgiving tradition into a legal holiday:

Basking in more competitive success

Stories of our Law School's success in moot court, mock trial, and negotiation competitions are piling up faster than I can report them. Success in those realms, and in other activities where our students interact with students from other law schools (particularly in connection with student-edited law journals and at regional or national conventions), is the law school equivalent of varsity athletics. Indeed, insofar as our university's undergraduate athletes overwhelmingly go pro in something besides sports, whereas law students almost invariably go pro in law, intercollegiate competitions in law bear even more directly on the future success of those students who are fortunate enough to take part.

In short, we simply can't get enough good news about the success of our moot court, mock trial, and negotiation teams. Though the Law School's news ticker reported the latest good news several days ago, I consider the accomplishment of our negotiation teams worthy of further publicity, here at The Cardinal Lawyer.

More moot court success

Sam Marcosson

Building on moot court and mock trial successes previously reported by The Cardinal Lawyer, University of Louisville teams enjoyed fantastic success this past weekend at the National Moot Court regional competition. Herewith a report from Professor Sam Marcosson, who has coached this team for a dozen years:

Richmond at nightTwo University of Louisville teams enjoyed terrific success at the regional competition of the National Moot Court Competition November 16-17 in Richmond, Va. A team made up of third-year students Robyn Lurding and Claire Parsons, and a team comprised of third-year Jeff Nicoson and second-year Steve Mattingly, both compiled undefeated records in the Friday preliminary rounds to advance to the Saturday quarter-finals. Along the way, they knocked off teams from UNC, George Mason, William & Mary, and Kentucky. Only six teams of the 20 in the field made it through to the quarters, and U of L had two of them. Congratulations to the two teams for their tremendous performances, both in the prelims and in two close quarter-finals against outstanding teams from Duke. I could not have been any prouder of them; they were truly brilliant and they represented the school wonderfully.

The Most Dangerous Justice Rides into the Sunset

Freshly available on SSRN:

Paul H. Edelman & Jim Chen, The Most Dangerous Justice Rides into the Sunset, 24 Constitutional Commentary 299 (2007):

Sunset ... at the North PoleIn this essay, our third and last in a series, we employ our previously developed techniques to measure the power of the Justices in the Rehnquist Court over its full 11 year run. Once again, Justice Kennedy rises to the top of our rankings, as he had done earlier. Our methods identify Justices Souter, Breyer and Ginsburg as being notable either for their influence or lack thereof. In addition, we rejoin the debate on the connection between being the median justice and being the most powerful one. We question whether even the most sophisticated methods of finding the median justice are adequate to the task of assessing power on the Court.

Update, November 20, 2007: I thank Larry Solum's Legal Theory Blog for a link to this paper and some flattering words about it.

One voice. One vision. One team.

Hart book

UofL Provost Shirley Willihnganz has just posted an essay, Great universities engage the community through the arts, that reinforces a podcast I made some months ago. I will reprint Provost Willihnganz's essay in part as prelude to providing a new home, here at The Cardinal Lawyer, for my own essay on the University of Louisville's Frederick Hart exhibit.