Faculty News

Professor Abramson appointed to Center of Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee

Professor Les Abramson has been appointed to be on the advisory committee for the Center of Judicial Ethics. The Center is part of the National Center of State Courts in Arlington, Virginia.

The Center for Judicial Ethics is a clearinghouse for information about judicial ethics and discipline. It provides research support for the conduct commissions that investigate complaints of judicial misconduct and tracks opinions issued by ethics advisory committees.  

According to its website, the CJE responds to hundreds of requests for information from reporters, judges, lawyers and others each year.  The CJE publishes the Judicial Conduct Reporter and other resources on judicial ethics.  Every two years, the CJE presents the National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics.  As a private organization, the CJE does not have the authority to discipline or investigate judges. The CJE became part of the NCSC in 2014, following the dissolution of the American Judicature Society.

Professor Abramson’s primary teaching areas are criminal procedure and civil procedure.

Professor Weaver chosen as panelist for 'Cybersurveillance in the Post-Snowden Age' event

Brandeis Professor Russell Weaver is serving as a Scholar in Residence today and Friday at Washington and Lee University's School of Law.

He will also speak at Washington and Lee University's 2015 Lara D. Gass Symposium, Jan. 23 and 24 in Lexington, Virginia. This year's symposium topic is "Cybersurveillance in the Post-Snowden Age."

According to the Washington and Lee University website, the speakers will address the architecture of cybersurveillance tools at the disposal of the NSA and other agencies in the midst of a big data revolution. The participants will examine various policy and legislative proposals that have been recommended in the aftermath of these leaks. Particular attention will be paid to the constitutional interests at stake, as well as the balancing of secrecy and national security objectives with transparency interests and privacy protections.

The event will also consider the potential impact of government and corporate responses to the Snowden disclosures: current litigation, legislative reform efforts, executive action and compliance approaches, corporate and technological adaptations and other responses.

Professor Weaver will be a panelist during the Saturday morning session titled "Interpreting the Fourth Amendment after Snowden."

More information about the event is available on the Washington and Lee University's Frances Lewis Law Center website.



Please Join Us for "From Brown to the Present: The Road Beyond Michael Brown’s Ferguson and Eric Garner’s Staten Island"

Please join us for the first Diversity Program of the Spring 2015 semester, From Brown to the Present: The Road Beyond Michael Brown’s Ferguson and Eric Garner’s Staten Island: A Conversation about ‘What it Means to be ColorBrave”, Tuesday, January 27.

Click here for complete information and details.

Sayed Kashua Lecture and Discussion

The University of Louisville Jewish Studies Program warmly invites you to hear novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Sayed Kashua on "The Foreign Mother Tongue: Living and Writing as a Palestinian in Israel" at 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 12, 2015, in the Chao Auditorium of Ekstrom Library.  For reservations: https://sayed-kashua.eventbrite.com

SSRN Legal Studies Research Paper Series, Vol 9, No 1

The year's first issue of our SSRN Research Paper series features publications from Professors Jordan, Powell, Rothstein, and Warren.

More information about the RPS:

Professor McNeal chosen as panelist for National Center for Civil and Human Rights event

Brandeis School of Law Professor Laura McNeal has been selected to be a panelist at the "Where Do We Go From Here?" event Jan. 20 at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.

"Where Do We Go From Here" is the title of Dr. Martin Luther King's last presentation and frames the discussion that will take place Jan. 20. The program will mark the rotation of a special collection of Dr. Martin Luther King's papers. This exhibition, titled "Strategies of the Civil Rights Movement," has been on display since Jan. 12 and will continue through May 3.

In addition to McNeal, panelists include youth, educators, community activists and religious leaders. They will examine the relevance and efficacy of lessons, strategies and tools from the Civil Rights era to today's issues of inequality and injustice. McNeal will specifically focus on:

  • How to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline;
  • Effective legal strategies and tools from the Civil Rights era that can be used as a framework for promoting equal educational opportunity in K-12 schools.

McNeal said she accepted the invitation to participate on the panel because of her passion and commitment to equal education opportunity.

"At a very early age my grandmother and namesake, Laura B. McNeal, taught me the power of education. She stressed that education was the great equalizer, a gateway to a future with endless possibilities. My participation in this event allows me to help further the legacy of both Dr. Martin Luther King and my grandmother -- two individuals committed to equality for all," McNeal said.

The event is being co-hosted by The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Hunton & Williams LLP and the Georgia State College of Law.

Law Library spotlights Louisville's role in civil rights trial



In October, the Brandeis School of Law’s Allen Court Room hosted a reenactment of the sensationalized Carl Braden trial of 1954, in which Braden was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sedition after he and his wife Anne purchased a home for an African American family in the Louisville area that is now Shively. The reenactment was part of a series of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the Wade/Braden story, which quickly became a formative event for Louisville and the nation as citizens grappled with a fledgling Civil Rights movement. 

To commemorate the trial – and the events leading up to it – UL’s Law Library is featuring the exhibit, “Black Freedom, White Allies & Red Scare: Louisville, 1954.” The closing date is set for Jan. 30. 

Also on that day, Professors Laura Rothstein and Jamie Abrams will host their classes in the library where Cate Fosl, director of the UofL Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, will provide an overview of the exhibit and historical context about the Braden/Wade story. Fosl is also Anne Braden’s biographer and her book, “Subversive Southerner” was a co-winner of the Oral History Association’s Book Award in 2003.

Sedition charges

The historical context essentially begins in March of 1954 when Andrew and Charlotte Wade ask whites Carl and Anne Braden to help purchase a home after realtors repeatedly refused to sell to the African American family. The Bradens closed on a home in what is now Shively in May and hand the keys over to the Wades who were the only African Americans in the neighborhood. 

Shortly after their move-in date, the Wade house was bombed and crosses were burned on the lawn. 

Carl and Anne Braden were subsequently accused of staging the purchase and bombing as part of a communist plot to take over the state government.

The case went to trial and Carl Braden was charged with sedition. At the time, working for racial integration was interpreted by many Southern whites to be an embrace of communism.  Braden was sentenced to 15 years and served eight months.

Unable to live in the damaged house and still facing harassment, the Wades, who had a toddler and a newborn at the time, moved out of their house.  

Following the trial, the Bradens continued to fight for social justice, supporting civil rights, desegregation and labor issues, among other efforts. They were both arrested numerous times while protesting and landed on the FBI investigation list because of their alleged ties to the Communist party. 

Carl Braden died in 1975. Prior to her death in 2006, Anne Braden was the University of Louisville’s first visiting scholar in Race and Gender Studies. 

The exhibit and its significance

The exhibit itself features photos and archival materials from the home purchase, the trial Carl Braden’s imprisonment, the years following the case and the events of the era that strongly influenced the case. The exhibit is the result of a collaboration between the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, the University of Louisville Archives & Special Collections, Louisville Free Public Library and Courier-Journal Media.

Robin Harris, public services librarian and professor of legal bibliography, said the exhibit is a good example of UL’s commitment to diversity. 

“Well before the topic of diversity became mainstream, the university was working on it and the law school in particular has been a leader in diversity efforts for more than 20 years. All of the deans have been committed,” Harris said. “This exhibit is not only a good example of that, but also a good example of its commitment to interdisciplinary studies.” 

The interdisciplinary angle comes from Fosl, who is a faculty member in the women’s and gender studies program within the College of Arts and Science. 

Harris adds that, from a historical perspective, the exhibit also provides a powerful narrative about a “seminal event” in Louisville and US history. 

“It’s been 60 years since this happened and it’s really important for people of all ages to know about this trial, from the purchase to the bombing to the trial, particularly from a law perspective,” Harris said. “We’re fortunate to have it here on display. It’s a fitting tribute to the role that Louisville had in the Civil Rights movement.” 

More information about the story is available on NPR’s “Here and Now,” available online.

The exhibit will next appear at the White Privilege Conference, March 11-15 at Louisville’s Galt House. 

Brandeis professor participating in Rutgers event

Brandeis Professor Ariana Levinson will participate in the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations Mid-Year Fellows Workshop in Honor of Louis O. Kelso in New Brunswick, New Jersey, from Jan. 11-13.

Additionally, on Jan. 11, Professor Levinson will be a panelist for the session: "What Would It Take for Worker Cooperatives to Rapidly Develop in the United States and Are These Conditions Realistic."

On Jan. 13, Professor Levinson will be a discussant on a "Body of Work Presentation: A Jeffersonian Society by Hamiltonian Means: A Blueprint for American Revival" by Professor Robert Hockett of Cornell University School of Law.



Kentucky ACLU's 60th anniversary exhibit kicks off

The "60 Faces of Liberty" exhibit begins today at the Ekstrom Library, and runs through March 31. The exhibit celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Kentucky ACLU and includes portraits, oral histories, narratives and artifacts to tell the story of the local ACLU affiliate.

"60 Faces of Liberty" is part of a series of public events that are scheduled for this semester that focus on civil rights and first amendment issues defended by the ACLU.

The University of Louisville is sponsoring this event through several departments and programs, including the Brandeis School of Law Partnership with the Central High School Law and Government Magnet program. The partnership with the Kentucky ACLU began in 2007, when the program adopted the Marshall-Brennan Civil Liberties curriculum to be taught by law students to law magnet seniors. The ACLU has provided contributions and other support to the law school's partnership since that time.



Black Freedom, White Allies & Red Scare: Louisville, 1954

The Law Library is proud to be hosting the exhibit, “Black Freedom, White Allies & Red Scare: Louisville, 1954,” thanks to the generosity of the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research. This fascinating and moving chronicle of events leading up to and including Carl and Anne Braden’s sedition trial will be open to everyone through January 23, 2015.

If you did not see the exhibit when it was housed at the Louisville Free Public Library during the fall of 2014, you have another chance! Please stop by the Reading Room during any of the library’s operating hours.  And if you want to know more about the Braden’s story, the NPR show “Here and Now” recently ran a detailed story on the 60th anniversary of the case. 

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