News - April 2006
Two Michigan Law Alumni -- Portman and Joel -- Named to Key U.S. Government Posts
April 24, 2006
Recent senior level appointments of two distinguished alumni catapulted Michigan Law into the news. On April 18th, President Bush nominated Rob Portman, U.S. trade representative, to become the next head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), following the appointment of former OMB head Joshua Bolton to the role of White House Chief of Staff. Portman, 51, a Dartmouth graduate and 1984 Michigan Law J.D., also served as a 7-term congressman from Ohio and associate White House counsel.
In the same time frame, Alex Joel was named as the first civil liberties protection officer for the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In that role, Joel will report directly to John Negroponte, director of National Intelligence. Following an undergraduate career at Princeton, Joel received his Michigan Law J.D. magna cum laude
in 1987 and was a captain in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He spent three years at the Washington law firm of Shaw Pittman and more recently served as the Marriott Corporation’s information technology and e-business attorney, where his portfolio included privacy, security, and e-commerce.
Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, to Speak at Michigan Law Commencement
April 17, 2006
Evan Caminker, Dean of the University of Michigan Law School, today announced that noted Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi will deliver the invitational address for the School’s May 8th Commencement ceremonies, known as Senior Day.
A 1965 graduate of Tehran University who earned her doctorate from that same institution in 1971, Ebadi was Iran's first female judge and served as a president of the Tehran city court. When an Islamic republic was declared in 1979, and clerics subsequently ruled that Islam didn’t permit female judges, Ms. Ebadi and other female judges were forced to resign and given clerical duties hers in the same court over which she formerly presided. After protests, these individuals were promoted to the position of "experts" in the Department of Justice, but this subordinate role was unsatisfactory and Ms. Ebadi instead requested early retirement.
During the ensuing years while her applications to practice law were repeatedly denied, she published numerous books and articles. When the license to practice was finally granted, Ebadi took on cases involving women’s rights, child abuse, and media rights. Today she teaches, trains students in human rights, conducts research for UNICEF, is cofounder of the Human Rights Defense Centre, and continues to write and lecture extensively.
In its award statement on Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Peace Prize committee noted that "As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, and far beyond.” She has, moreover, “never heeded the threat to her own safety."
Michigan Law Dean Caminker added that "Shirin Ebadi represents not only the best of the legal profession but the best of humanity. In a multitude of ways she embodies the public spiritedness of this University and the public service commitment that virtually all of our students manifest not just here on campus but in their careers and lives. It gives all of us great pleasure to welcome a jurist of such stature as Ms. Ebadi."
Senior Day is the graduation or commencement ceremony for this year's group of 336 J.D. candidates, 34 LL.M. candidates, 5 LL.M. International Tax candidates, and 1 S.J.D. candidate. The event - open only to members of the Law School community and their families - will be held on Saturday, May 6th.
Michigan Law Student Named One of 18 U.S. Luce Scholars
April 17, 2006
Third year University of Michigan Law School student Brandon E. Reavis has recently been selected as a 2006-2007 Henry Luce Foundation Scholar. One of only 18 U.S. college and university students so honored, Reavis will spend the award year teaching international law at a Chinese university shortly following his May 2006 graduation as a Michigan Law J.D.
Reavis, from Round Rock, Texas, is a Stanford University graduate well-credentialed in international law. He served as editor in chief of the Michigan Journal of International Law and has taken undergraduate and law school classes in topics including International Security, International Conflict Management, Terrorism, Foreign Affairs, and Advanced Transnational Law. His term as a Luce Scholar begins in August following intensive Chinese language instruction at Middlebury College in Vermont. Although the linguistic and cultural challenges are certainly significant, Reavis believes his academic background at Michigan Law has served him well: "The University of Michigan international law program is so strong. Without the Law School and the resources here, I wouldn’t be prepared for this experience."
The Luce Scholars Program provides young Americans the opportunity to work and study in Asia for one year. In a highly competitive selection process, candidates are nominated by 67 colleges and universities and finalists are interviewed by Luce Foundation staff and selection panels. This year’s class of Luce Scholars also includes students from Barnard, Vassar, the University of North Carolina, Princeton, the University of Texas, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Wesleyan, Davidson, Georgetown, the University of Southern California, New York University, Northwestern, Colorado College, Amherst, and the University of Minnesota.
University of Michigan Law Students File Class Action Suit Seeking Healthcare for Metro Detroit American Indians
April 10, 2006
Second- and third-year students working in Michigan Law’s Clinical Law Program under the supervision of Professor David Santacroce assisted plaintiffs in filing an April 6th class action lawsuit in the federal court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The suit seeks healthcare for the approximately 40,000 American Indians living in the metropolitan Detroit area.
Named as defendants are the United States Department of Health and Human Services, its Secretary, Michael O. Levitt, the federal Indian Health Service, and its director, Charles W. Grim.
As researched and filed by Santacroce and his students, the suit contends that explicit obligations of the federal government to provide healthcare to American Indian populations have not been met, and that the problem is particularly serious for Indians in urban settings such as Detroit where as many as 27,000 go without health insurance. Such lapses, the suit argues, help account for unsettling statistics: American Indians are 650 percent more likely to die from tuberculosis, 420 percent more likely to die from diabetes, and 71 percent more likely to die from pneumonia or influenza than is the rest of the population. Similar outcomes also apply to heart disease and cancer.
For 30 years, clinical law experience at the University of Michigan Law School has been a major, longstanding, and nationally recognized component of its educational program. In essence, Michigan Law clinical programs provide actual practice opportunities with course credit, allowing second- and third-year students to move from theory directly into practice. Specific clinical opportunities at Michigan Law include housing, child welfare, environmental protection, criminal defense, domestic violence, and poverty law.
Clinical Assistant Professor David A. Santacroce, whose previous clinic work includes prisoners’ civil rights and healthcare issues, supervised the Michigan Law students during the nearly 20-month course preceding the filing of this action. He serves as an executive board member of the Association of American Law Schools Clinical Section and the Clinical Legal Education Association, and is a former Senior Staff Attorney for the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice in Detroit. He received an LL.M. from the Columbia University School of Law and a J.D. cum laude from Pace University School of Law.
Michigan Law Team Places 3rd Among US Law Schools, 12th Overall,
in Jessup International Moot Court Competition
April 4, 2006
After victories in their regional rounds, a team of law students from the University of Michigan Law School advanced to the international rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC. During that March 26th to April 1st event --- which featured 104 teams from 81 countries --- the Michigan law team of Sarah Bender-Nash, Joshua Deahl, Scott Risner, and Jackie Roeder ultimately reached the 6th round, was ranked 12th overall in the final international rankings, came in 3rd among US teams, and was awarded the prestigious Alona E. Evans Award for the best memorials of the international round.
The Jessup Competition was begun in 1960 and brings together student teams from all over the world to compete in moot court arguments on international law issues. To reach the final round, each team must have previously won its regional rounds. This year, the Michigan Law team defeated competitors from the Ohio State, Dayton, Toledo, Thomas M. Cooley, Case Western Reserve, and Michigan State law schools.
Team alternates and coaches include Ted Kill, Lubna Alam, Joseph Ashby, and Jackie Kahng.
Michigan Law Announces Major New Faculty Appointments
April 3, 2006
Evan Caminker, Dean of the University of Michigan Law School, recently announced the appointment of seven highly regarded scholar-teachers to the Law School’s faculty James Hines, Douglas Laycock, Jessica Litman, Margaret Jane Radin, Eve Brensike, J.J. Prescott, and Scott Hershovitz.
Professor James Hines is a leading scholar on international taxation, particularly the taxation of multinational corporations involving transfer pricing, the financing of foreign direct investment, tax treaty policy, and tax policy as an influence on the behavior of multinationals. Additionally, his research examines the impact of domestic tax incentives on investment, tax compliance, and the impact of tax exemption for nonprofits. Hines has taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Princeton and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and Columbia, and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Harvard.
Professor Douglas Laycock is a national authority on the law of remedies and law of religious liberty, frequently testifies before Congress, and has argued numerous cases in courts including the Supreme Court. He is the author of the leading casebook in remedies as well as numerous other publications and articles, a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Laycock earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law. He comes to Michigan Law from the position of Assistant Dean for Research and holder of the Alice McKean Young Regents Chair at the University of Texas Law School.
Professor Jessica Litman returns to Michigan Law, where she previously taught as an associate professor, from the Wayne State University School of Law. Jessica is an established scholar of copyright, trademark, unfair competition, and Internet law, and the author of Digital Copyright (2001) and, with two coauthors, Trademarks and Unfair Competition Law (2001). In addition to her extensive publications, Litman has testified before Congress and the White House Information and Infrastructure Task Force’s Working Group on Intellectual Property. Among numerous other committees and affiliations, she is a past trustee of the Copyright Society and past chair of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Intellectual Property. Professor Litman holds a B.A. from Reed College, an M.F.A. from Southern Methodist University, and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.
Professor Margaret Jane Radin will join the Michigan Law faculty in 2007 from Stanford University -- where she’s the William Benjamin Scott and Luna M. Scott Professor of Law and Director of the Law School’s Program in Law, Science, and Technology. A leading property theorist, Radin is the author of Reinterpreting Property and Contested Commodities and co-author of Internet Commerce: The Emerging Legal Framework. In 2002 she founded Stanford’s Center for E-Commerce; and has pioneered courses such as Legal Issues in Cyberspace, Electronic Commerce, and Intellectual Property in Cyberspace. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University and received her J.D. from the University of Southern California, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. Professor Radin’s additional degrees include an M.F.A. from Brandeis and an honorary LL.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago Kent School of Law.
Assistant Professor Eve Brensike is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, clerked for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked in trial and appellate divisions of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University and will be teaching courses in, among other topics, criminal law and procedure.
J.J. Prescott joins the Law School as an Assistant Professor. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 2002 from Harvard Law School where he was the Treasurer (Vol. 115) and an Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Prescott clerked for Judge Merrick B. Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and he was a Research Fellow at Harvard Law School in 2003-04, a Special Guest at the Brookings Institution (Economic Studies) in Washington, D.C., in 2004-05, and a Research Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center from 2004 to 2006. Prescott’s research and teaching interests include criminal law, sentencing law and reform, employment law, and torts. Much of his work is empirical in focus. He has taught at Stanford University, Harvard Law School, and Harvard’s Economics Department. He was awarded a double B.A. with honors and distinction in Economics and Public Policy from Stanford University in 1996, and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Scott Hershovitz, who will join Michigan Law as an assistant professor in 2007, is a member of the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice. He graduated summa cum laude form the University of Georgia with an A.B. and M.A., and also holds a D. Phil. from the University of Oxford where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. After his J.D. from Yale, Professor Hershovitz clerked for Judge William A. Fletcher of the US Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit. Prior to his arrival at Michigan, he will be clerking for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court. His teaching and research focus is jurisprudence, tort law, and political law.
According to Dean Caminker "These extraordinarily impressive new faculty members join an already distinguished body of scholars whose commitment to teaching and intellectual engagement with students, colleagues, and public issues is not only a hallmark of the Michigan Law experience, but an example of this flagship university’s commitment to leadership and excellence. We’re delighted to welcome them and we look forward to benefiting from their perspectives, their scholarship, and their presence as colleagues, teachers, and friends."
Congressional Record includes U-M Law School voting discrimination study
April 3, 2006
The University of Michigan Law School’s Voting Rights Initiative (VRI) has demonstrated that the Voting Rights Act has provided relief from state and local laws and practices that have resulted in the denial or abridgement of the voting rights of racial and language minorities since 1982. Now the report, titled “Documenting Discrimination in Voting: Judicial Findings Under the Voting Rights Act Since 1982,” has become part of the Official Congressional Record of the House Hearings on the Voting Rights Act, at the request of Congressman Mel Watt. The record is available at the House Judiciary Committee’s Web site.
The project represents a collaboration between Professor Ellen Katz and more than 100 dedicated law students. It has resulted in a comprehensive, searchable Web site, data analysis, and a final report that catalogs findings by federal judges of voting discrimination since 1982. Students identified 322 Section 2 lawsuits and entered the appropriate court findings of discrimination into a database, which is accessible to the public. Participants believe that their work will be useful to Congress, practitioners, and the interested public.
For more information about the VRI and the findings, please visit www.votingreport.org or contact VRI at firstname.lastname@example.org.