Nine Albanian delegates who are participating in the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' International Visitors Leadership Program will be meeting with members of the law school community to discuss our public service program and the potential for such a program in Albania. These individuals are traveling the US for approximately 3 weeks discussing "Law Enforcement in the US." They arrive in Louisville on September 30th and depart on October 3rd, 2007. The purpose of the visit is learn about "Law Enforcement in the US," and in addition to a visit to the law school, they will have meetings at Circuit and District Courts, Louisville and Metro Police Department, the Kentucky State Reformatory and Metro Safe.
If anyone has an interest in participating in this event, please contact
Mary Jo Gleason, email@example.com,
in the Public Service Office.
Jim Chen, Will Hilyerd, and Virginia Smith each published short articles in the July 2007 edition of the Bench & Bar. That issue was dedicated to Legal Education. "Serving all Kentuckians: Making Legal Education Available to our Rural and Minority Communities" by Dean James M. Chen, Dean Dennis R. Honabach and Dean Allan W. Vestal. "Legal Education and the Building of a Better Commonwealth" by Dean James M. Chen. "IT and Legal Education" by Will Hilyerd, Thomas Hughes, Michael Losavio, and Virginia M. Smith.
Susan Kosse was recently reappointed to the Commission on the Status of Women by President Ramsey. She also was elected vice-chair for the next two years.
David Leibson put on a program for Dr. Jeff Callen, Head of Dermatology at the U of L Med School, some residents and med students which would introduce them to some of the basic concepts of tort law. He prepared problems dealing with duty in general, informed consent, medical battery, duty to warn or help, etc.
Grace Giesel took part in a CLE presentation sponsored by the LBA Solo/Small Firm Practice Section. She presented "Professional Responsibility Issues for Small Firm Practice."
Jim Jones' review of Professor Elyn R. Saks's book "The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness," appeared on page A9 of the September 15 Courier-Journal.
As Tom Hanks pointed out, "There's no crying in baseball." The "Rookies" 1L team managed to pull out a slim 19-11 victory over the Veterans last Saturday at Churchill Park before a near-sellout crowd of faculty, staff, significant others, two Dachshunds, a Boxer, and a Border Collie. The Veterans succumbed to their more youthful opponents despite near-error-free fielding and the help of a "ringer" Chris Thompson, son of Registrar Barbara Thompson. Watch the Daily Docket for news of future softball and other sporting events.
Kentucky Appellate Court Judge Lisabeth Hughes Abramson has been selected by Governor Ernie Fletcher to take the place of the late Justice William McAnulty on the state's Supreme Court. Abramson will be sworn in on Monday, September 10, 2007.
Abramson earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville, graduating in 1977 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. Before serving as a judge, she practiced law for 15 years, concentrating on business and commercial litigation.
The University of Louisville School of Law hereby announces the Dean's Athletic Circle. The DAC will endeavor to stage events that unite the Law School and the rest of the Cardinal Nation behind our mutual love of sports in general and UofL athletics in particular.
In a very real sense, two exciting events will kick off the Dean's Athletic Circle this weekend:
- Law School softball: Saturday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m. A team of wily "veterans" -- featuring upper-division students, the Dean, faculty, and staff -- will take on a "rookie" team of first-year law students at Churchill Park Softball Field. Spectators are welcome.
- UofL Women's Soccer vs. Butler University: Sunday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m. This Sunday's match against Butler is the Law School's special day with the University of Louisville's women's soccer team. The match will take place at Cardinal Park. Dean Jim Chen will perform the ceremonial first kick. Students, graduates, and friends of the Law School are encouraged to support our Cardinals in force. Special thanks to Coach Karen Ferguson for this opportunity to unite the Law School community in support of UofL women's soccer.
Students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited to attend the game for free. Please print out the coupon below and present it at the gate:
Crossing the River
I've known rivers
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
When I left the University of Minnesota in January to join the University of Louisville as the dean of its law school, I crossed two rivers. To be precise, I crossed two branches of the mightiest river system in North America: the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and Saint Paul and the Ohio River from Indiana into Kentucky.
These cities exist because they lie at the fall lines of the Mississippi and the Ohio. As a native of our larger region, I am at once blessed and haunted by the geographic awareness that comes with the sense of place unique to the American South. For generations the Falls of the Ohio dictated Louisville's destiny. To this day, high ground and flood plain define neighborhoods in our community. Lewis and Clark understood the Falls as the gateway to the west. The industries that built Louisville and Kentucky in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries exploited the power of falling water.
The University of Louisville proudly provides all of its students with the training and the opportunity to transform themselves. We at the law school, like all of our colleagues throughout this university, are dedicated to the higher training and useful education of our aspiriing youth. The diverse experiences that our students bring to law school matters enormously. Their hopes, their futures, their destinies matter even more.
Our law school, like the community that sustains it and the students and constituents it serves, has grown deep like the rivers. It is the calling of a lifetime to serve this school, this university, and this community. I am profoundly honored to serve as the dean of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.
In June 2007, Louisville Law student Becca O'Neill traveled to Rwanda to serve as an intern for the National Service of Gacaca Courts in Kigali, Rwanda. Her internship was funded in part by a grant from the Student Bar Foundation.
Rwanda's Gacaca court system was launched in 2001 to expedite the trials of over 100,000 genocide suspects in the country's prisons at that time. This court system was named after and based on a traditional practice of community hearings used to resolve local disputes. However, the new process merges the customary system with a more formal--Western--court structure. The Gacaca tribunals are legally established judicial bodies, and judges of these courts can impose sentences as high as life imprisonment.
O'Neill had worked as a grant writer for human rights organization in Rwanda following completion of her undergraduate studies in social work. Following this experience, O'Neill began her career in social work in earnest, working in the legal arena as a social worker in Brooklyn, N.Y. O'Neill's experiences in both Rwanda and in Brooklyn pulled her inexorably toward a degree in law as she realized that her dedication to social justice could best be realized through a legal education.
O'Neill entered the University of Louisville's Law School in 2006. The law school's emphasis on and support of public service allowed O'Neill to propose an internship in Rwanda's Gacaca courts as a means of meeting the service requirement. In June 2006, she began her work at the National Service of Gacaca Courts in Kigali, Rwanda--one of two interns, the other also an American law student. She and O'Neill were the first U.S. interns permitted to work in the Gacaca system.
O'Neill served in Gacaca's Legal Support Unit, which responds to any complaints and concerns that Gacaca is not functioning properly. Complaints come from both Rwandese civilians and international organizations. The organization works with both prisons and survivor organizations to oversee and improve Gacaca.
As an intern, O'Neill was charged with three key tasks:
- First, O'Neill learned as much as possible about Gacaca and, she explains, "acted as an ‘ambassador' for Gacaca--someone from the outside who could learn first hand how the system functioned and spread that information to legal communities in the US."
- Second, O'Neill read and reviewed a series of reports that came from different international organizations and evaluated various phases of Gacaca. O'Neill explained, "I was given several reports each week to read and assess. I then presented my assessments to my supervisors, who in turn decided which aspects of the reports to address with international donors and aid organizations."
- Finally, O'Neill wrote a series of reports that focused on the successes and failures of Gacaca. O'Neill explains that she was asked to "view Gacaca through the lens of international standards of fair trial. I was also encouraged to speak to survivors and perpetrators alike in an effort to understand the unique situation Rwanda faces."