In 2009, Robert L. Ackerson ('58) was posthumously presented the Lawrence Grauman Award.
Ackerson began practicing law in 1958 and founded the firm which is now Ackerson & Yann. His practice focused on business, tax and personal and estate planning. He was a member of the Regional Counsel and Internal Revenue Service from 1959-1963. In 2008 the Kentucky Bar Association recognized Ackerson as a Senior Counselor for fifty years of service to the Kentucky bar.
He was a strong supporter of the university's athletic program, and the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, a past member of the American Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association, Delta Theta Pi and a director of Family Place. He was regarded by members of his firm as a friend, mentor and esteemed colleague-the tribute to him on the firm's website states the following: "We are all saddened and diminished by the loss of Bob. We are grateful for his legacy at our firm and intend to carry on with the highest level of professionalism and competence that Bob provided throughout his distinguished career.
Justice Abramson serves on the Kentucky Supreme Court. She has served on the courts of Kentucky since 1997. Before serving as a judge, she practiced law for 15 years, concentrating on business and commercial litigation.
Justice Abramson is both an alumna and a staunch supporter of the University of Louisville. She earned a bachelor's degree from UofL in 1977, graduating with highest honors. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1980 and was named the Outstanding Graduate of her law school class.
Justice Abramson is a past president of the University of Louisville School of Law Alumni Council and is a Master of the Louis D. Brandeis Inn of Court. She also serves as a trustee for the Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement System Board, and is the Supreme Court representative on the Kentucky IOLTA Board and the KBA Continuing Legal Education Commission. She is a frequent lecturer for the Kentucky Circuit Judges College and a 2007 graduate of Leadership Louisville.
Justice Abramson is a native of Princeton, Ky. She and her husband, Professor Leslie W. Abramson, have three sons.
The success of the day was due to many at the law school. Appreciation goes to:
Les Abramson, Jim Becker, Peggy Bratcher, Scott Campbell, Dean Chen, Joe Leitsch, Kurt Metzmeier, Marilyn Peters, Virginia Smith, Vickie Tencer, Becky Wenning, Becky Wimberg and students Jenna diFrancisco, Lauren Bean, and Jessica Campbell and also to the students in the Animal Law Organization for selling doughnuts and coffee.
~Professor Laura Rothstein
Scott Campbell is the curator of the Louis D. Brandeis Special Collection, which has been visited by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and biographer Melvin Urofsky. The law library hopes to digitize the microfilm and printed materials some day to add to its digital collection.
The law library also contains several books about Justice Brandeis, including the recently published biography Louis D. Brandeis: A Life (KF8745.B67 U749 2009) and Biographical Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court: The Lives and Legal Philosophies of the Justices (KF 8744 .B56 2006), both by Melvin I. Urofsky. Copies of Brandeis at 150: the Louisville Perspective (KF8745 .B67 B671 2006) are available for purchase in the Resource Center across from room 275. These are just a few of the many items that can be found by searching our online catalog, Minerva.
The U.S. Postal Service and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law will honor the city’s native son, Louis D. Brandeis, on what would have been his 153rd birthday.
Brandeis is featured on a new set of commemorative stamps, which also includes U.S. Supreme Court associate justices Joseph Story, Felix Frankfurter and William J. Brennan Jr. Nationally-known graphic designer Ethel Kessler worked with Lisa Catalone-Castro and Rodolfo Castro on the inspired design of the souvenir sheet that incorporates images of the Supreme Court building and a detail from the first page of the United States Constitution.
The presentation will be held at 10 AM on Friday, November 13. Prior to the event, Professor and Distinguished University Scholar Laura Rothstein will be giving an overview of Brandeis with an emphasis on property issues, his distinguished career and his connection to Louisville. The lecture begins at 9 AM and the public is welcome. In addition to Rothstein, Congressman John Yarmuth, Louisville Postmaster Richard Curtsinger, and Dean Chen will present.
“It is an honor to remember such a prominent member of the Louisville community and to celebrate the many contributions he made for our nation,” said Curtsinger.Louis Brandeis was the associate justice most responsible for helping the Supreme Court shape the tools it needed to interpret the Constitution in light of the sociological and economic conditions of the 20th century. “If we would guide by the light of reason,” he once exhorted his colleagues, “we must let our minds be bold.” A progressive, and champion of reform, Brandeis devoted his life to social justice.
“Louisville can be proud that Justice Brandeis is so connected to our community and that the values he is known for had their roots here,” said Rothstein.
“The principles and philosophies Brandeis is known for – including rights to privacy, free speech, curtailing big government and big business, balancing regulation with free enterprise – are timely today,” she added. “It is appropriate that his enormous contributions are recognized on this set of commemorative stamps.”
To mark the event, 153 commemorative envelopes with a special postmark — both designed by artist Leslie Friesen — will be available for sale. The envelope features a photo of the Brandeis School of Law as well as one of Brandeis’ famous quotes, “Knowledge is essential to understanding & understanding should precede judging.” The cancellation features a Corinthian capital and the numerals 153 to mark his 153rd birthday. It also features the Louis D. Brandeis commemorative stamp. Each envelope is numbered by the artist. The artist will also be on hand to sign the limited edition artwork. The envelopes are $5.
Professor Laura Rothstein's review of the latest Brandeis biography, Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin I. Urofsky was featured in the Courier-Journal this past Sunday. Urofksy is a Brandeis scholar and a professor of law and public policy at Virginia Commonwealth University. Urofsky's Brandeis biography was listed among the New York Times "100 Notable Books of 2009".
"Urofsky's rich and detailed biography often includes a specific reference to a current issue and analyzes it from a Brandeis perspective. He emphasizes how Brandeis dissents have almost all become the prevailing view of the law today, a testament to his prophetic abilities and his enduring values. Even without the author's highlighting, the reader is frequently reminded in reading the book of how much of Brandeis' life work is relevant today." ~Laura Rothstein
The CJ featured a story by Melvin I. Urofsky himself, Louis Brandeis' Louisville: Justice was always a son of Kentucky that includes a brief overview of Brandeis' life and accomplishments and several photos from the law library's collection.
Sunday's paper also includes an editorial by Sam Upshaw, Jr. that draws comparisons to Brandeis' and Obama's career paths and portrays them both as change agents.
The law school will celebrate Brandeis' birthday and commemorative stamp unveiling on Friday, Nov. 13 at 10 AM. The public is welcome to attend.
- New biography pictures Brandeis as teacher (Courier-Journal, November 8, 2009)
- Louis Brandeis' Louisville (Courier-Journal, November 8, 2009)
- Brandeis and Obama: Similar paths to fame (Courier-Journal, November 8, 2009)
Christie Floyd, formerly our Academic Success Director, passed away Wednesday October 21, after an illness. Grief counseling is available at the Counseling Center. Their number is (502) 852-6585. Christie will be missed by all of us.
Those wishing to celebrate Christie's life and work are invited to attend an open visitation to be held at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church at 2822 Frankfort Ave. (map) from 4-8 PM on Friday, October 30, 2009. A private ceremony will be held at Cave Hill Cemetery the following morning.
Here is a brief biography:
Christie graduated from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 2001. While there, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Brandeis Law Journal. Her Student Note, "Admissibility of Prior Acts Evidence in Sexual Assault and Child Molestation Cases in Kentucky: A Proposed Solution That Recognizes Cultural Context," 38 Brandeis L.J. 133, was published in 1999. She graduated magna cum laude and was named Oustanding Graduate of 2001 by the National Women Lawyers' Association. She accomplished all of this while working full-time, attending classes in the evening and raising a family.
Prior to joining U of L, Christie practiced as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney and Deputy Division Chief of the Commonwealth Attorney's Office Domestic Violence/Child Abuse Unit. In that capacity, she also served on the Kentucky Sex Offender Risk Assessment Advisory Board and Kentucky Sex Offender Management Task Force. Christie was instrumental in founding Kentucky's first child advocacy center in 1991 and participated in numerous groups targeting legislative and policy changes in areas of domestic violence and child abuse. She also played a significant role in training new prosecutors and police officers.
Source: Law School Academic Support Blog, friends and colleagues
Those wishing to celebrate Christie's life and work are invited to attend an open visitation to be held at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church, 2822 Frankfort Ave., from 4-8 p.m. Friday October 30, 2009. A private ceremony will be held at Cave Hill Cemetery the following morning.
Details and guestbook are available at Courier-Journal.com.
On October 7, 2009, as a part of the University of Louisville's homecoming celebrations, the Brandeis School of Law held its annual alumni banquet. The celebration, which was held at the Seelbach Hotel, provided alumni with an opportunity to reconnect with friends and faculty, and to honor some of their fellow alumni, who were being recognized this year.
Those recognized this year included:
- Alumni Fellow - Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson
- Lawrence Grauman Award - Robert L. Ackerson
- Distinguished Alumni/ae Award - Mary E. Barrazotto, Ronald E. Meisburg, Judge Geoffrey P. Morris, Kathleen Pellegrino, Shelton R. Weber
- Recent Alumnus/a Award - Demetrius "D" Holloway
- Dean's Service Award - Thomas M. Williams
- Excellence in Teaching Award - Kathleen S. Bean
We thank all our alumni who joined in the celebration and hope to see all of you next year.
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More photos are available at Flickr.
Lively Wilson was an admired and respected member of the legal profession who made a significant impact on the judicial system in Southern Indiana and Kentucky. A native of Kentucky and a Harvard Law School graduate, he was a role model and mentor to an entire generation of lawyers in the region.
As a member of the Stites & Harbison firm in Louisville since 1953, Lively Wilson had a national reputation for his commitment to civility and professionalism by both civil and criminal trial lawyers. He spoke about the importance of professionalism when he delivered the law school’s 2005 commencement address.
His reflections about his practice in Kentucky are included in “Kentucky Lawyers Speak: Oral History from Those Who Lived It,” the recently published book of interviews with seventy-four Kentucky lawyers. In 1995, Lively Wilson and Dean Donald Burnett founded the Louis D. Brandeis Inns of Court.
As a tribute to his example, in 2003 Edward H. Stopher, and the firm of Boehl Stopher & Graves and the Stites & Harbison firm, through the leadership of T. Kennedy Helm III, provided support to create the Lively M. Wilson Oral Advocacy Program. The fund provided for furnishing the Moot Court office and establishing an endowment to fund participation in oral advocacy competitions. Other major support came from Ronald E. Christian ’83 and the estate of Arnold Robinson ’61.
On July 22, 2009, Lively Wilson lost his valiant three-year battle with cancer. Kennedy Helm’s email to the community noted that “Lively’s most recent gift to us was the example of optimism, grace and dignity he exhibited every day that he fought his illness.”
Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to the 5th Annual Battle of the Bands! Nearly $4500 was raised for the Judge Ellen B. Ewing Fund.
Congratulations to third-year students Andrew Henson and Forrest Kuhn! Assault with a Deadly Weapon is the first student band ever to win first place in the Lawlapalooza Battle of the Bands. They were followed by 100% Legal in second place and Keltricity in third.
Many thanks to our silent auction bidders! Bekah Soule won a night's accommodation at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Will Nefzger won a night's accommodation at the Seelbach Hilton. Becky Wenning won the original Guitar Player painting by Schuyler Olt and Vicki Senior won his Trumpet Player painting.