Student News

From Error Toward Quality: A Federal Role in Support of Criminal Process

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy invites you to read:

From Error Toward Quality: A Federal Role in Support of Criminal Process
An Issue Brief by: James M. Doyle
 
ACS is pleased to distribute "From Error Toward Quality: A Federal Role in Support of Criminal Process," an Issue Brief by James M. Doyle. Mr. Doyle is a lawyer in private practice with the Boston law firm of Carney & Bassil and the former head of the Public Defender Division of the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, which is the statewide public defender agency.

Mr. Doyle begins his Issue Brief by observing that "[c]ontemporary medicine is experiencing a vibrant quality reform movement born in the aftermath of horrific reports of fatal medical errors." Based on the reform experience in medicine, which is a team-oriented effort built on learning from routine human errors to improve practices and "prevent those inevitable errors from ripening into tragedies," he sees an opportunity for the federal government to "catalyze the willingness of criminal justice practitioners and stakeholders to learn from their own mistakes . . . and lay the groundwork for a continuous quality improvement initiative in America's criminal justice systems." With the federal government's help in designing a common template for assessing errors in the system, serving as a clearinghouse for collecting and sharing the analyses of errors performed at the local level, and providing other modest technical and financial support, Mr. Doyle believes that this effort could "set in motion a cultural shift that improves criminal justice, not by imposing top-down federal micro-management, but by exploiting the talents and insights of local systems' frontline practitioners." He also believes that it could "change a culture to one that routinely, every day, concentrates on improving the reliability of the criminal process for the victims, the accused, and the public."

Mr. Doyle's Issue Brief is the second in a series that ACS will be publishing focused on ideas about a possible role that the federal government can play in improving indigent defense systems in states around the country. Attorney General Eric Holder, Congress, and many other federal policymakers have taken notice of the crisis in indigent defense that has existed since 1963 when the U.S. Supreme Court held in Gideon v. Wainwright that each state has an obligation under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to provide a criminal defendant with an attorney when he or she cannot afford one, and they have specifically identified reform of the system as a priority. Mr. Doyle's systemic approach to criminal justice reform, which he believes will help identify problems that undermine compliance with the Sixth Amendment, offers another recommendation as to what the U.S. Department of Justice, Congress, and other parts of the federal government do to help bring about reform.

Summer 2010 Exam Schedule

Summer 2010 Exams: 

Estate and Gift Taxation - Professor Blackburn - Wednesday, June 30, 6:00 p.m. - Room 175

Basic Federal Income Tax - Professor Lewis - Thursday, July 1, 6:00 p.m. - Room 175 - (Writing Room - 060)

 

August MPRE - Registration Deadline TODAY

The MPRE, the required ethics portion of the bar exam, will be offered on August 6, 2010.  The exam registration deadline is June 29, 2010.  The fee is $63.  The late deadline is July 15, with a fee of $123.  Additional exam info and the online exam application can be found at the ncbex.org website.

Kaplan PMBR offers a comprehensive online course for the MPRE.  Course features are listed below.  It is free to August 2010 MPRE examinees (retail $199).  Learn more about and register for the course at http://www.kaptest.com/Bar-Exam/Law-School-Success/Professional-Responsibility/MPRE-online-course.html?cid=707448 or by calling 800.523.0777.

MPRE Course Features:

  • Free for August MPRE Examinees - $199 retail value.
  • Online Course Flexibility – practice your questions or watch the lecture when you want, where you want.
  • Full-length Practice Exam – experience the actual exam time constraints and test your knowledge.
  • Two online workshops - question-by-question review of core concepts and how they are tested.
  • Substantive Outline Book – hard copy or online version with the most recent revisions to the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) and Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC).
  • Online MPRE Qbank (quiz bank) - create customized tests, review detailed answers and analyze your strengths and weaknesses.

ACADEMIC FELLOW INTERVIEWS

Second-year law students:  If you submitted an application for an Academic Fellow position and have not yet scheduled an interview, please contact Ms. Kimberly Ballard, Director of Academic Success, immediately.

Eastern Pkwy Reopens

Kentucky's Transportation Cabinet will embark upon a three-phase construction project to some of the main thoroughfares on the eastern and southern borders of Belknap Campus. Construction will begin in late August and is expected to be completed by the end of December. Enhancements to the area will include bike lanes, structurally enhanced bridges, increased safety, better signage, and a landscaped median. 

The law school will be most impacted by Phase II that involves a major redesign of the portion of Eastern Parkway nearest Third Street. During that period, access along Eastern Parkway will be restricted. Visitors are encouraged to approach from either Third Street (west) or Cardinal Boulevard (north). Some of the spaces in the red, green, and blue parking lots will be temporarily relocated. TARC bus #29 will be rerouted at Crittenden Drive. The Black Loop will not be impacted.

Update, 6/21: Eastern Parkway between Third Street and the entrance to the Speed School of Engineering parking lot will be blocked off Tuesday morning, June 22, from about 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for the dedication and opening of the renovated Eastern Parkway bridge. The lot is accessible via Brook and Warnock streets during the ceremony. Gov. Steve Beshear, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, Metro Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and other state and local officials will join UofL President James Ramsey for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. UofL Provost Shirley Willihnganz and student Preston Bates also will represent the university at the event. Eastern Parkway will be opened for traffic immediately following the ceremony. Old Eastern Parkway, which runs under the bridge, will remain closed until about July 1.


Additional Resources:

 

 

Spring 2010 Class Ranks

Class ranks are now available and you can receive your class rank either by coming to Student Records (Rm. 217), sending your request to Barbara Thompson at bthompson@louisville.edu or send a written request.  You must use your louisville.edu adress to request your class rank.

2010-2011 Academic Calendar Revised

The 2010-2011 Academic Calendar has been revised for spring 2011 to add one reading day and to lengthen the period for final exams.  A copy of the revised calendar is posted to the Students Records Internet site or you can get a copy from the Student Records office. 

Disorderly (mis)Conduct: The Problem with "Contempt of Cop" Arrests

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy invites you to read:

Disorderly (mis)Conduct: The Problem with "Contempt of Cop" Arrests
An Issue Brief by Christy E. Lopez
 
ACS is pleased to distribute "Disorderly (mis)Conduct: The Problem with 'Contempt of Cop' Arrests," an Issue Brief by Christy E. Lopez, a civil rights attorney with a practice focusing on police and criminal justice reform. Almost a year ago, the issue of "contempt of cop" arrests was thrust into the national news when Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested by Cambridge Police Department Sergeant James Crowley. Sergeant Crowley was responding to a 911 caller who had reported a burglary in progress at Professor Gates's home, which is where the two encountered each other. As the events unfolded - Crowley's investigation of the burglary call and Gates's response to the Crowley's questions and actions - the situation escalated, and led to Sergeant Crowley arresting Professor Gates for disorderly conduct in the middle of the day just outside the front door to his house. The charges were later dropped, and after President Obama waded into the whole affair by saying that he thought the police acted "stupidly," the President later hosted a "beer summit" with both Gates and Crowley at the White House to help resolve the situation.

Ms. Lopez argues that "Sergeant Crowley's decision to arrest Professor Gates may or may not have been stupid. It may or may not have been consistent with Cambridge Police Department policy. But, if the facts are as Crowley asserted in his arrest report, the arrest was unlawful." She describes the law, and contends that, however loud, rude, or obnoxious Gates was, his behavior "falls squarely in the realm of speech protected by the First Amendment," and he should not have been arrested. Ms. Lopez continues that, "[d]espite its illegality, the arrest of Professor Gates was not unusual. This scenario - an individual being arrested after responding obstreperously to perceived police misconduct - is one that plays out routinely across the United States, albeit without the Ivy League backdrop or culminating in conflict-resolution-through-beer."

In this Issue Brief, Ms. Lopez asserts that there is "widespread misunderstanding of police authority to arrest individuals who passively or verbally defy them" and that there is "abundant evidence that police overuse disorderly conduct and similar statutes to arrest people who 'disrespect' them or express disagreement with their actions." She believes that "abusive arrests cause direct and significant harm to those arrested and, more generally, undermine the appropriate balance between police authority and individual prerogative to question the exercise of that authority." To fully explore this issue, Ms. Lopez discusses the relevant law governing these types of arrests, and several investigations of problems in police departments around the country. She then details her reasons for asserting that "the harm caused by improper arrests and threats of arrest for disorderly conduct far outweighs the justification given by some police and pundits for the aggressive (overly-aggressive, some would say) use of these statutes," and concludes by proposing "a roadmap for legislators, advocates, law enforcement officials, and others seeking to address this problem."

2009-10 Alumni Magazine

The 2009-10 edition of the University of Louisville Law Alumni Magazine is now available.

Features include:

  • Entering Class and Career Statistics
  • Dean's Reflections
  • Student News
  • Faculty and Administrative News
  • Faculty Scholarship
  • Honored Alumni
  • Alumni Council Report
  • Class Notes
  • May 2010 Graduate Profiles
  • Development News

Please send your news to Becky Wimberg for inclusion in our Class Notes and future alumni magazines.

Karaoke With PALS!

Come karaoke with PALS!! We need votes for our Pepsi Grant, and what better way to get them than a karaoke party! Everyone is welcome! Invite all your friends! 

When: Friday, June 11th from 5:30pm to 9:30pm

Where: Akiko's, 1123 Bardstown Rd Louisville, KY

Who is PALS? Rexéna Napier, Lauren Bean, Victoria Steinbach and Melissa McHendrix, four May graduates of the University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law, have created Partnership for Animal Law Services (PALS). PALS plans to provide legal services and education to people in rural and urban areas of Kentucky focusing on the intervention and prevention of animal abuse and neglect. These services will empower clients and the public to build a compassionate community for all. PALS will take a grassroots approach by providing three main programs: general legal services, prosecution support, and education.

Why are we having a karaoke party? PALS is currently a candidate for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh project grant. Pepsi is giving away over 1 million dollars each month to individuals striving to bring about social change. The public votes for the ideas they want to see happen, and those ideas get funded. Please help PALS by voting for us every day in June! You can vote at www.refresheverything.com/pals. If you want more information about PALS you can visit our website at www.animallawservices.org, or search for us on Facebook: Partnership for Animal Law Services.