Nov. 26, 2008
Contact: John Masson, 734.647.7352, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Michigan’s branch of the American Civil Liberties Union feted Michigan Law professor and ACLU Cooperating Attorney David Moran this month as its Annual Dinner Honoree in a gathering at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn.
The Nov. 22 dinner featured a keynote speech from noted actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte.
Prof. Moran received the award because of his outstanding work for the ACLU, which included representation in the U.S. Supreme Court on four cases. Key issues in the cases included the right of indigent criminal defendants to attorneys on their appeals and whether police could use evidence they found inside a house, even though they entered the house unlawfully.
Prof. Moran worked as a criminal appellate defense attorney at the State Appellate Defenders Office for over ten years. He taught law at Wayne State University until this year, when he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Law School as a founder of the school’s new Innocence Clinic. While he was a professor at Wayne State University Law School, the students voted him Upperclass Professor of the Year nine times.
Each year the ACLU of Michigan recognizes at least one attorney or law firm who has made an outstanding contribution to the organization and its mission. Cooperating attorneys donate, on average, about $2.5 million worth of their time each year to work on ACLU cases. More information about the ACLU of Michigan is available at www.aclumich.org.
Nov. 17, 2008
Contact John Masson, 734.647.7352, email@example.com
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—With three Michigan Law graduates serving as stagiaires at the European Court of Justice this academic year – and several more having served in the recent past – the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is beginning to take on a distinct Ann Arbor flavor.
The three alumni – Dana Kaersvang ‘06, Antonia Eliason ’07, and Tina Orsolic ’08 (LL.M) – are among a limited number of graduates from top American law schools with the opportunity to work in the chambers of an ECJ judge or advocate general.
Eliason is participating in the Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program, which is designed to foster mutual understanding between the legal communities in the U.S. and the E.U. Organized with the help of the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg, the program puts recent American law school graduates to work in the Chambers of a Judge or Advocate General at the European Court of Justice or the European Court of First Instance. Candidates are nominated by their schools, but the individual members of the two courts themselves make the final selections.
Stagiaires learn about the inner workings of the Court in a collegial setting and work closely with their fellow stagiaires and referendaires, or law clerks. Eliason, currently finishing up a stint at the World Trade Organization, is looking forward to January, when she reports for her stage in the chambers of Judge Koen Lenaerts of Belgium.
“Once I found out about the program, it immediately became something I really wanted to pursue,” Eliason said. “I spent considerable time focusing on EU law while at the Law School.”
Eliason considers herself an international trade law specialist, but also welcomes the opportunity to broaden her understanding of EU law, another field of great interest to her. She looks forward to participating in the ECJ’s shaping of “a new legal order in Europe that mirrors some aspects of U.S. federalism, attempting to forge a balance between national laws and the supra-national EU-wide legal structure.”
Orsolic, from Croatia, follows in the footsteps of fellow stagiaire Jan Semanek, a Czech who earned his LL.M at Michigan Law in 2004. Orsolic actually served in the offices of two separate Advocate Generals – Miguel Poiares Maduro and Eleanor Sharpston – and she said the experience was invaluable, especially in light of the LL.M work she completed last year at Michigan Law.
“Prof. Daniel Halberstam’s European Legal Order course gave me insight into how common law lawyers perceive EU law,” Orsolic said. “And learning about U.S. Constitutional Law in Prof. Donald Regan’s course was very important as well, because it gave me a needed backup for understanding similarities between the EU legal order and the U.S. federal constitutional order.”
Kaersvang will begin work at the ECJ in May, also in the Chambers of Premiere Advocate General Miguel Poiares Maduro. She said working at the ECJ had been a long-term goal.
“I’m very excited about it,” Kaersvang said. “Obviously, EU law is going to have an increasing impact on anyone doing international law work. Also, I’m interested in the development of effective international institutions.”
Many view the ECJ as just that sort of institution, Kaersvang said, noting parallels to the consolidation of authority of the U.S. Supreme Court during the early 19th Century.
“It’s my understanding that Michigan has a high success rate in terms of placing people with the court,” Kaersvang said. “And it’s thanks to Professor Halberstam’s class that I learned about EU case law. … Michigan has, of course, made all this possible.”
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A visit to U-M by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu led to the chance of a lifetime for a dozen Michigan Law students Oct. 30: a private lunch with a Nobel laureate.
It was a joyous, informal brown-bag affair, with water bottles and sandwiches set out on a square table in a conference room at the Rackham Building.
Not much actual eating went on.
Third-year law student Shekar Krishnan helped organize the visit along with the Michigan Immigration and Labor Law Association, a Law School student group. He worked hard to find the words to introduce Tutu to the group.
“In the confines of our classrooms and our casebooks, we learn about justice, equality, and freedom,” Krishnan said, addressing the Archbishop directly. “But you have shown us how it is possible to achieve justice, equality, and freedom.”
Tutu, who was in Ann Arbor to accept a Wallenberg Medal from the University, opened the visit by asking the students to introduce themselves and share a bit about their backgrounds and interests in the law.
“I’d like to hear from you what you want to do with yourselves,” Tutu asked.
“Pass final exams?” one student cracked. The introductions and specialties – criminal justice, international human rights, politics, the academy – made a slow circle around the table.
||“When I grow up,” joked 3L Debu Gandhi, “I want to have my own talk show … where I can have people on who will speak truth to power.” He followed that up by inviting the archbishop to be his first guest; Tutu laughed harder than anybody else even as he demurred. |
By the time the introductions had returned to Tutu, he was able to make an observation about the group:
“You have all spoken about yourselves in relation to others,” he said, noting the group’s interest in public service. “Did you notice that?”
While Tutu’s tone was often jocular, his tenor was serious.
“It may not look like it, but as I look at you I’m looking at future chief justices,” he said, adding that he spent time on a recent visit to Harvard Law School with law professors who remembered Barack and Michelle Obama as law students there. “Some of the things that today look totally unattainable are in fact attainable because of people like you. So I would start off by doffing my cap at you.”
As the time came for Tutu to go, he adjured his listeners to ask “Why not? Why not? Why not? … You should dream. You should follow your dreams. Be idealistic and believe that you can help.”
The last question for the archbishop came from self-described “lowly 1L” Matthew Budow. After years of witnessing just how depraved and wicked human beings can be to each other – and in some cases, to Tutu personally -- Budow asked the clergyman “Where do you put your rage … so you can forgive?”
As is his custom, Tutu produced a story to answer the question.
“You could be like a vacuum cleaner, or you could be like a dishwasher,” he said, as if preaching to the parishioners of a small Anglican church back home. You can suck up all the hatred and evil you see and store it in a filthy bag, like a vacuum cleaner, he said – or you can rinse away the vile acts of the wicked and watch as they swirl harmlessly down the drain.
“That’s the reason why Jesus was able to deal with human suffering,” Tutu said. It’s not always easy, he added.
“I get angry with God. I rail at God when I’m upset. ‘How the hell do you let such and such happen?’ ” Tutu paused for a moment. “God is used to it. God gets it from all sides.”