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2015 Donald C. Alexander Writing Competition

Requirements are as follows:

  • Full and part-time J.D. and LL.M. students are eligible.
  • Any original paper concerning federal taxation between 20-50 double spaced pages is welcome.
  • Seminar papers and articles submitted (but not yet selected for publication) to law reviews, journals, or other competitions are eligible.

Winning authors receive $2000 (first place) or $1000 (second lace) and a trip to the FBA’s Annual Tax Law Conference in ashington, D.C. The winning entries may be published in the ax Section newsletter the Report or in The Federal Lawyer.  Deadline is January 5, 2015.  Entries may be submitted by email to Marcellus Howard at

Exhibit: Campaigning against The Court: The Supreme Court and Popular Politics, 1916-2014

In recent years it seems that every nomination to the U. S. Supreme Court leads to partisan controversy. This exhibit displays political memorabilia from the collection of Professor Kurt Metzmeier that documents some of the most recent controversies.  Also included are some buttons from the pre-Court political careers of justices, a button urging the election of a sitting justice as president, and humorous objects gently mocking the dignity of the Supreme Court.

While appointments to the Court had always stirred interest in legal circles, it wasn’t until the nomination of “the people’s lawyer” Louis D. Brandeis to the court that the nation saw an active campaign against a justice. Still, that nomination was somewhat of a special case, as Brandeis had stirred up unusual distaste among the banking and railroad trusts. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s frequent battles with the Supreme Court did not lead to organized campaigns against his nominees.  This is surprising since most early justices were drawn from political life and many had served as governors, senators, and even, in the case of William Howard Taft, president. Indeed, the only political activity involving Supreme Court justices until the late 20th century was an occasional convention boomlet to draft one of justices to run for the presidency. (William O. Douglas perhaps was the last sitting justice to entertain such dreams).

 The first attempt by an organized political group to set its sights on a member of the Supreme Court was the conservative John Birch Society’s billboard campaign to impeach sitting Chief Justice Earl Warren for the perceived liberalism of his court. However, it was President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of conservative scholar Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1986 that set off the first full-scale campaign against a nominee; one that would lead to the word “Borking” being entered in the dictionary as a term for the process of defeating a judicial nomination. Metzmeier’s collection has no fewer than four different buttons involving this effort.

After the Bork nomination, things would never be the same. Buttons and bumper stickers would be employed to both support and oppose controversial nominations.  In addition, the ability to possibly choose members of the Supreme Court would be noted in every presidential campaign. A classic 1996 campaign button features a free-spinning arrow pointing to the names of existing justices who (the button implies) could die or resign at any time and asks “Who do you want to choose the next Justice?” The Supreme Court now plays more prominent role in popular political culture than at any time. Its secret service nickname SCOTUS is well-known and forms part of a popular legal blog. And it hard to imagine any prior justice being so lovingly re-imaged as Justice Ginsburg has been as “The Notorious RGB.”

The exhibit is in the Law Library reading room through the end of 2014.

KBA Criminal Law Reform - Third Annual Forum, November 7, Allen Courtroom

International Law Society "Late Night Hour", Friday, November 7, 8:00 p.m.

Grab your friends and join the International Law Society for a "Late NIght Hour" on Friday, November 7, at J. Gumbo's (1923 S. 4th St.) starting at 8:00 p.m.  With your help, 10% of the proceeds purchased by UofL students between 8:00-10:00 p.m. will go toward funding awesome future ILS events.

KBA Criminal Law Reform - Third Annual Forum, November 7, Allen Courtroom

CALI Lessons

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction's (CALI) Library of Lessons contains over 900 interactive, computer-based legal tutorials covering more than three dozen legal education subject areas. The lessons are designed to augment traditional law school instruction. Many of your classmates have found them helpful in preparing for their exams.

Free copies of the DVD are available at the library's Circulation Desk. You may also view the lessons online. The student authorization code and instructions are available at the library's website. You must register with your "" email address.

KBA Criminal Law Reform - Third Annual Forum, November 7, Allen Courtroom


Thursday, November 6 at 3:00 p.m. is the deadline for submitting your employment card and all registration forms.

Be sure to go to Current Students  Registration and read the registration instructions.  The registration times are listed on the first page of the registration instructions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dean DiSanza or Barbara Thompson.

Dean DiSanza Leads Session Focused on Women in the Workplace at UMLaw

Since 2003, Dean DiSanza has been teaching at the University of Maryland School of Law (where she worked as Director of Student Affairs for six years and received her J.D.) in their “Women, Leadership, and Equality Program.” Based on concepts and theories she learned in her Master program at Johns Hopkins University, Dean DiSanza developed a three session program (later condensed to one session, once she had left UMLaw) that focused on the unique qualities women should consider when entering the workplace. She empowers the students with information about leadership theory, group theory and organizational behavior. She then weaves the issues of gender and equality into the mix. The purpose of this session is so students can assess current and future workplaces for cultures and norms. They are also given several self-evaluations to gauge their understanding of their own leadership and conflict resolution styles.

Elder Law Spring 2015 Course

Elder Law, a practical course dealing wth the field of elder care law in Kentucky, will be offered in spring 2015. Some of the topics covered are: legal documents for older folks, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans' Benefits, and health care decision making. The course will also cover how to interview prospective clients and how to run a law practice. The instructors are Bernard Faller, Misty Clark Vantrease, and Kelly Gannott, owners of Kentucky Elder Care PLLC. Contact Bernard Faller at for information or to obtain a syllabus.