Alumni News

Lawlapalooza 2007 Is a Success

On Thursday evening, Lawlapalooza 2007 was held at Phoenix Hill to benefit the Judge Ellen B. Ewing Foundation. The event brought six talented bands together to compete for recognition and a year's bragging rights. As in years past, the winning group was selected based on the amount of money each band was able to raise. This year's event collected more than $5,000 in donations.

Our thanks to the tour's sponsors: Marshall P. Eldred, Jr., Woodward, Hobson & Fulton, and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs.

Louisville Law School Dean Jim Chen acted as master of ceremonies, introducing each band and urging the crowd to support their favorite bands (and the foundation).  

(Left) Dean Chen introduces The Velvet Kings, with John Sheryak*, Ed Skees*, Greg Curry and Mike Pantoja.


The Tortfeasors (the evening's winning band) includes Steve Frederick*, Carl Frederick*, Laura Landenwich*, Matt Frederick, Dan Chaffin and Joann Pope.


Two-time champs 100% Legal are, in fact, all attorneys: Mark Grundy*, Mark Riddle*, and Ed Skees*, all from Greenebaum Doll & McDonald.

  Shine-Ola, with Dan Canon*, Laura Ellis, and Jim Wheatley
  Cambia, with Justin Clark* and Justin Hersh
  My Darling Asleep, a Celtic band, includes Laurel Fuson*, Marion Halliday*, Henry Austin, Sean Mulhall and Rachel Blanton.

Public Service Program Announcement: Albanian Delegates to Visit Louisville

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,, in the Public Service Office.

Louisville AIDS Walk

Last year our Brandeis School of Law AIDS Walk team did an amazing job of raising money and standing out in the community.   Let's do it again!!  This year the Louisville AIDS Walk is on Sunday, Sept. 30.  A special guest will be John Yarmuth.  Please register and join our team (Brandeis School of Law) by going to and "join an existing team."  Start collecting donations from anyone you think would like to give.  Also, be on the lookout for the next few weeks if you would like to donate at our table in the lobby.  If you have any questions, contact Candace Kenyon at


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.

Pirtle-Washer Moot Court

Preliminary rounds of the Pirtle-Washer Moot Court competition are the morning of September 29 at the Hall of Justice and the semi-final and final rounds are on October 5 in the Allen Courtroom.  First-year students can serve as bailiffs on September 29 and thus see the same type of oral arguments they will be doing next spring in Basic Legal Skills.

Softball Results

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.

Abramson Chosen for Kentucky Supreme Court

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.

Announcing the Dean's Athletic Circle

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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, an Essay

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.

Langston Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers"

Langston HughesHughes album

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.


Legal education is a metaphorical river crossing in its own right. The decision to attend law school, irrespective of age or personal circumstances, defines a crucial point of transition in the life and career of any student. For younger students, only recently graduated from college, coming to law school at the University of Louisville represents a commitment to a profession, to an electrifying way of thinking and of doing that distinguishes those of us privileged to have been trained in the law. Likewise, students seeking a change in their career trajectories will find in law school the opportunity to revitalize their professional lives.


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.


Jim Chen

Introducing the Docket Passer

Law School Dean Jim Chen, a devoted football fan, has launched "The Docket Passer," a blog dedicated to football, Louisville and the study of law. The first installment of this multi-media blog can be viewed here: