Assistant Professor of Law
- Phone: 502-852-6375
- Fax: 502-852-0862 (Law School Main)
- Office: 256
Professor Sweeny's research interests are wide-ranging but focus mainly on the problem of how law cannot keep up with technology or changing historical circumstances. Her current scholarly pursuits include international constitutional law, criminal law and legal history. Professor Sweeny's most recent criminal law research has focused on potential constitutional challenges to the prosecution of teenagers under child pornography laws because they have "sexted" each other nude or erotic photos of themselves. Her most recently published comparative law article, "The United Kingdom's Human Rights Act: Using its Past to Predict its Future" uses legal history techniques and social science theories such as Rational Choice Theory and Social Movement Theory to analyze the factors that led to the creation of the Human Rights Act in the UK and may also lead to its repeal in the near future. Her past articles have focused on emerging wage and hour problems that result from the practical problems of modern working situations, as well as the civil procedure issues inherent in the imposition of appellate sanctions for frivolous appeals. Another comparative law article, "How the UK Human Rights Act Created a More Dangerous Branch," focuses on the impact the Human Rights Act has had on the British government branches and how they interact to create laws that impact human rights.
Basic Legal Skills
Writing for Practice
How the UK Human Rights Act Created a More Dangerous Branch, Mich. St. Int'l L. Rev. (forthcoming Winter 2013).
Do Sexting Prosecutions Violate Teenagers' Constitutional Rights? 43 San Diego L. Rev. 951 (2011).
The United Kingdom's Human Rights Act: Using its Past to Predict its Future, 12 Loy. J. Pub. Int. L. 39 (2010).
The FLSA in the Virtual Office: How to Employers Can Ensure They Have Fully Compensated Their Non-exempt Employees in the Age of the Blackberry, (with Jessica Linehan) XXVII Corporate Counsel R. 2 (2008).
Judicial Reasoning under the UK Human Rights Act, (publication review)  Public Law 406.
The Price of Frivolity: A Longitudinal Study of California Appellate Sanctions, (with Benjamin Shatz) 28 Whittier L.R. 1087 (2007).
Filling in the Gaps: The Scope of Administrative Agencies' Power to Enact Regulations, 27 Whittier L. R. 621 (2006).
The Impact of Individualism and Collectivism on Shoplifting Attitudes and Behavior, 2 Univ. OF Cal., Irvine Research J. 8 (1999).
"The Unexpected Impact of Criminal Fornication Laws in the Modern Age," Central States Law Schools Association Annual Scholarship Conference (October 20, 2012).
"Measuring the Effectiveness of the United Kingdom's Joint Committee on Human Rights," Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting (August 3, 2012).
"Fun with(out) BIG Words," Empire States Legal Writing Conference (June 23, 2012).
"Technology Matters: Child Pornography, Sexting and Freedom of Expression in the United States and United Kingdom," First Amendment Discussion Forum (June 13-14, 2012).
"Editing for an Audience," Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop in Columbus, Ohio (December 2, 2011).
"Do Sexting Prosecutions Violate Teenagers'Constitutional Rights?" Emerging Legal Scholarship: The Teaching Fellows Inaugural Conference (March 25, 2011).
"The Blueprint of a Successful Human Rights Movement," Emerging Legal Scholarship: The Westerfield Fellows Inaugural Workshops (March 23, 2010).
"The Creation of the Human Rights Act 1998: How ‘Rational Choices' are Affected by Culture," Annual Conference for the Association for Law, Culture and Humanities (April 4, 2009).
"The History of the Human Rights Act, 1998, "Queen Mary Department of Law PhD Workshop (March 20, 2009).
"Using Practice to Research Legal Academia," Spectators or Players? Examining the Role of Legal Academics in the Practice of Law (September 21, 2007).
University and Community Service
• Assistant Editor for Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute
• SEALS New Scholars Committee member
• Deputy editor for American Bar Association Section of International Law's Year in Review
• Contributor to SALT blog
• Created weekly blog with practical legal research and writing tips: legalresearchshortcuts.blogspot.com