TU Law Blog

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

TU Law Celebrates December Birthdays with Murock Villa Residents

Murdock Villa Dec 2011Recently, TU College of Law faculty and staff hosted a party to celebrate the December birthdays for residents of Murdock Villa, Tulsa Housing Authority’s home for disabled adults. TU Law Alumna Jessica Hunt (JD '10) of Strecker & Associates provided the entertainment by singing holiday carols while staff served cake, snacks and refreshments. Thank you to Jessica and our TU Law faculty and staff for your donations and service our TU True Blue Neighbor!

- Christy Caves, TU Law Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Angel Tree: Help a Deserving Child

The Native American Law Student Association and the Student Bar Association are teaming up to sponsor the 2012 Angel Tree benefiting the orphans of the Murrow Indian Children Home and the Sac & Fox Nation Children Home in order to ensure that at least 60 children have a great Christmas.

Please join us and help bring Christmas cheer to a deserving orphan child by adopting an Angel from the NALSA & SBA Angel Tree located in the Pit in John Rogers Hall. Each Angel ornament has the name and age of a child. Unfortunately, due to the lack of space on the ornament, we were unable to provide the child's wish list; however, you can receive this list by e-mailing Lindsey Earls at lindsay-earls@utulsa.edu.

Once you adopt an Angel from the Tree, please buy him or her a $10 - $15 gift, wrap it and place it in one of the marked blue & gold drop boxes (located by the Angel Tree in the Pit or by the front doors on the north side of the building). We ask that you drop off your gift by December 18, 2011. Also, remember to attach the Angel ornament, along with your name, to the gift so that we know who is to receive the gift and whom we should thank for giving it.

- Kyle Counts, Chair of the Community Affairs Committee of the Student Bar Association

 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

UFC Shoots for Legal Takedown of New York Officials

It’s about time! Last week, Zuffa Inc. (who owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship) filed a federal law suit against New York state officials. Their complaint alleges that New York’s ban of live professional mixed martial arts (MMA) events is both irrational and unconstitutional.

I've been fighting for about ten years now and have been actively involved in MMA for about five. Living in Staten Island, New York, I’ve endured the harsh effects of this preposterous ban with my fellow fighters. We could train and watch televised events in New York but had to cross a bridge (or two) to compete or watch live fights.

Dom Leon (former wrestling champion of Puerto Rico, and former professional fighter) currently trains several professionals in New York. He makes no attempts to keep his frustrations a secret.

"For these kids, there's nothing better than the opportunity to fight in front of their home crowd," Leon said. "This is taken away from them because these politicians don't understand it and think it's barbaric. Schools that teach it are based around discipline, loyalty, and sportsmanship. It’s become highly developed … it's not street fighting … these are grown men choosing to fight in a setting controlled by regulatory bodies. Who are these politicians to tell them they can’t do so?"

Generally, people tend to smile and nod at the 6'3", tattooed, former Army Ranger when he comments. On the other hand, when it comes to sports law extraordinaire, TU Law Professor Ray Yasser, he pulls no punches.

"I think it’s a loser," said Yasser. "MMA fighters are not a historically discriminated-against group, and therefore the New York ban would likely be evaluated by the so-called 'minimum rationality' test. This means that New York simply has to show legitimate state ends (safety for example) that are rationally served by the ban. Under this analysis, it doesn't matter all that much that other even more dangerous sporting activities are not also banned."

He went on to add that "my intuitive response is that fighting is not essentially communicative, so while it's a 'good try,' I don't think a court will give fighting First Amendment protection. So for what it's worth, I think the MMA attack on the ban will 'tap out.'"

Ultimately, Yasser did seem disheartened to burst the MMA bubble. In the end, the law will be applied to the facts, and we'll have an outcome. For now, all we can do is something fighters never want to do, "leave it up to the judges."

Perhaps the Sports/Entertainment Law Society can host a pool (for charitable purposes, tendering gifts as prizes) where students can bet on the result.

Recently, Damario Solomon-Simmons (NFL running back Felix Jones’s agent) joined us to talk about how being an attorney has helped him be a successful agent. I invite you to learn more about the Sports/Entertainment Law Society and join us for future events. Contact me at mikegiaramita@gmail.com.

- Mike Giaramita, President, Sports/Entertainment Law Society 

 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Law Society Active in Community

The Family Law Society is a relatively new organization in that it’s only in its third year of existence, but we have a lot going on. We recently hosted a Judicial Panel, which was a great success. Our panel consisted of seven Tulsa County Family Court judges and two additional court staff who came to our campus and spoke to our students about professionalism, judicial internship opportunities, and gave tips for entering the legal profession. We even had a student secure an internship while visiting with one of our judges at the end of our meeting. I would definitely call that a success! I spoke with a couple of judges later that day while I was at the courthouse and they both conveyed how pleased they were with the amount of student interest and turnout in our event and are looking forward to continuing our tradition.

We are also very excited about our upcoming community service project that our Vice President, Kensey Ruybalid, is heading up. While it is still in the planning stages, we are working with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, as well as other organizations, to host an informational event for the Tulsa community about the need for foster families, including what it takes to become a foster parent. There is an incredible need for foster families for those children placed in DHS custody. While we are fortunate here in Tulsa to have an incredible new children’s shelter, living in a shelter is obviously not an ideal situation for any child. Further, our shelter is quickly becoming overcrowded. Our goal is to provide the necessary information to those who are interested in providing foster care while connecting them with the organizations that can assist them with the approval process. We want to create a one-stop-shop for the foster family process. Keep your eyes and ears open in January for when the date is finalized! Check with Kensey kensey-ruybalid@utulsa.edu or me rachel-massingill@utulsa.edu on how you can help! 

- Rachel Massingill, President, Family Law Society

 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Energy Law Journal an Integral Part of SERL Program

As the past oil capital of the world, it is only fitting that the TU College of Law continues Tulsa’s relationship with resources and energy through publication of the Energy Law Journal as an integral part of the Sustainable Energy and Resources Law (SERL) Program, one of the premier energy law programs in the United States. The Energy Law Journal is the premier professional journal covering energy law and regulation and has an international subscriber base. Student members of the Energy Law Journal also publish the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources The Year in Review.

The Energy Law Journal provides law students interested in energy, resource, and environmental law the opportunity to work on peer-reviewed articles by leaders in energy law. Recent topics have included both the national and international aspects of subjects from the use of social media by public utilities to the development of shale gas in Poland.

Through partnerships with the Energy Bar Association; the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; and The National Energy-Environment Law & Policy Institute; Energy Law Journal members have a direct link to multiple networking and job opportunities. In the summer of 2011, Notes and Comments Editor Colin Hughes interned with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Managing Editor Stephen Baldridge interned with the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, an internship exclusive to members of the Energy Law Journal.

These partnerships have also recently led to visits by Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Commissioner Dana Murphy of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Each Commissioner spoke to the idea that applicants for energy law positions at the state and federal level lack significant experience in the field, giving members of the Energy Law Journal a significant advantage when seeking these jobs.

- Russell C. Ramzel, Editor in Chief, Energy Law Journal

 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Practicing Law with the Board of Advocates

The Board of Advocates is a student-run organization at The University of Tulsa College of Law. We host competitions during the school year that aim to promote and hone trial and appellate advocacy skills for our fellow law students. Recently, two of the Board of Advocates’ traveling teams competed against other law schools. Both teams prepared for their competitions with practicing professionals in the legal community. The teams put in countless hours of practice and behind-the-scenes work to be competition ready.

The Negotiation Team, coached by TU Law Adjunct Professor Kent Francy and Stephanie Milburn, a prosecutor for the Wagoner County District Attorney's Office, traveled to Dallas, Texas, for the American Bar Association Region 8 Negotiation Competition hosted by Southern Methodist University School of Law. The team members are Jackie Acker, Nolan Fields, Howard Berkson, and Todd Newcomb, with Trey Brantley and Elizabeth Hutto as alternates. The negotiations focused on a residential home sale, a neighborhood association, a complaining neighbor, and premises liability. The rounds lasted 50 minutes. We are pleased to announce that Jackie Acker and Nolan Fields placed third overall out of 24 teams!

The Health Law Team - coached by TU Law Professor Marguerite Chapman; Bryan Harrington, attorney with Kivell, Rayment & Francis; and U.S. Administrative Law Judge Jeff Wolfe - traveled to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, for the National Health Law Moot Court Competition. The Health Law team members are Rebecca Hill, Nicholaus Hancock, Isaac Shields, and Casper den Harder, with Brian Shepherd serving as alternate and student coach. The Health Law competition consists of 30-minute rounds of appellate advocacy. Each team of two is required to submit a brief that is equivalent to a brief that would be submitted to the United States Supreme Court. We are pleased to announce that Rebecca Hill and Nicholaus Hancock advanced to the top 16!

The Board and the College of Law are extremely proud of our traveling advocates and are always impressed by how well they represent The University of Tulsa!

Now it’s your turn! You are in law school to learn how to practice law. The best way to learn how to practice law is to start. The best way to start practicing law is to join the Board of Advocates. We look forward to bringing the students a competition-packed semester in the spring along with networking opportunities with local practitioners and judges.

Best of luck as we all gear up for finals! And as always, happy competing!

- Ashley Hodges, President, Board of Advocates

 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Black Law Students Association: A Tireless Engine of Change

I am extremely honored and privileged to serve as President of TU's Black Law Students Association (BLSA) for the 2011-2012 year. This is a position that I hold with the utmost affection. Our beloved BLSA at TU is a branch of an expansive network of African-American law students across the country who are preparing to serve as leaders of the legal profession. We stride in the trails of African-American legal pioneers who have altered the dynamic of this profession, and our intention is to continue down this path. This is accomplished by becoming social engineers in our respective communities and developing the academic and professional skills of our members.

Here at TU BLSA, we are dedicated to these goals. So far this semester, we have served at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and are currently hosting an International Book Drive where our goal is to promote literacy around the globe by assisting in building an English library in Rwanda. We were recently honored by the Professional Development Office (PDO) during National Pro Bono Week for this initiative. Furthermore, we will be sending two teams to the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Regional Competition, which will be held in February 2012 in Oklahoma City. The members of our Mock Trial Team are diligently preparing to meet the high standards set by previous TU BLSA teams.

Our accomplishments as an organization would not be possible without the great support of our administration, faculty, and student body. TU BLSA is an additional beam to this shining star that is The University of Tulsa College of Law! For more information about BLSA, contact benoni-parsons@utulsa.edu

- Benoni Ansumana Parsons, President, Black Law Students Association

 

 

Friday, November 11, 2011

2011 / 2012 RECRUTING SEASON KICKS INTO HIGH GEAR
After traveling coast to coast and participating in over 50 law forums, fairs & recruiting events, TU Law’s Office of Admissions has enjoyed a very busy fall recruiting season. Next stop? The Houston Law Forum on Saturday, November 19! In addition to attendance at numerous off -campus events, Admissions has also hosted several on-campus open houses for visiting undergraduate pre-law groups and an increased number of individual visits for prospective applicants and students. Setting up a law campus tour is easy. Simply contact the Office of Admissions at lawadmissions@utulsa.edu.

FEE WAIVER APPLICATION
Looking to save a few extra dollars in law school application fees? Please go to https://secureweb.utulsa.edu/law/application/ to fill out a short fee waiver application form. Upon receipt of your fee waiver request, the Office of Admissions will email you a code that enables you to apply to TU Law for FREE via www.LSAC.org.

SPRING APPLICATION DEADLINE - IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO APPLY!
TU Law is still accepting applications for spring 2012. The deadline to apply is December 5, 2011. Scores from December 2011 or earlier LSAT exams welcome.

- April Fox, Assistant Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid

 

 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oklahoma Bar Association: Welcome to Tulsa

Levit 2011I am happy to see the Oklahoma Bar Association Annual Meeting come to Tulsa again this year from November 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The OBA is such an integral part of the legal community in the state. The OBA is so critical, as it advances education, access to justice, collegiality, and public service. It is hard to imagine the Oklahoma legal community without the hard work of OBA members.

The Annual Meeting serves as a great opportunity for practicing attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students to expand their networks, and I hope as many as possible will seize this opportunity. Getting to know fellow legal professionals certainly can help with career advancement, but it also creates better working relationships among lawyers, and simply makes law practice more fun.

The TU College of Law has been and continues to be well represented in OBA leadership. Of course, this year's OBA president, Deborah Reheard, is a 1987 graduate of TU Law. Last year's OBA president was 1974 graduate Allen Smallwood. We have two alums on this year's OBA Board of Governors: District 9 Representative Chris Meyers, a 1982 graduate; and Young Lawyers Division Chair Roy Tucker, a 2003 graduate. They are all outstanding representatives of the TU College of Law and the OBA.

Today at noon the TU Law community will meet at our annual luncheon at the Hyatt Regency. In addition to hearing what will be a fascinating lecture, "The Law and Politics of Recognizing the New Libyan Government," by TU Law Assistant Professor Sam Halabi, we will be honoring some of our alumni and students. Let me say congratulations ahead of time to Outstanding Senior Alumnus Peter Bradford (JD '61), Outstanding Junior Alumna Becki Murphy (JD '03), OBA Outstanding Student Russell Ramzel, Oklahoma Bar Foundation Fellows Scholarship recipient Brad Brown, and OBF Chapman-Rogers Scholarship recipient Ryan Childress.

Tomorrow, TU Law students Rachel Massingill and Michael Nomura will be honored with this year's OBA Outstanding Family Law Award for their work both in and out of school in the family law field.

It's great to see our alumni come together to celebrate the law school's successes and recognize the accomplishments of our students and alumni. See you at the OBA Annual Meeting!

- Janet Levit, Dean & Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair, TU College of Law

 

Friday, October 28, 2011

National Pro Bono Week: Black Law Students Association

Continuing our celebration of National Pro Bono week, today's honoree student organization is the Black Law Students Association, who volunteered at the Community Food Bank of Northeastern Oklahoma on September 17, 2011. Additionally, future efforts include launching the BLSA Book Drive this week, in collaboration with National BLSA. This is a national project and is geared towards promoting literacy around the globe by sponsoring the building of an English library in Rwanda through the donation of books and funds. The project will send over 1,000 books to a school or library, and the goal is to raise $1,000. Thank you BLSA members for all of your public service efforts!

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

National Pro Bono Week: Christian Legal Society & Native American Law Student Association

Continuing our celebration of National Pro Bono week, today's honoree student organizations are the Christian Legal Society (CLS) and the Native American Law Student Association (NALSA). CLS is sponsoring "Cans for Candy" to help families in need. In return for a canned food item or basic toiletry donation, the giver will receive a sweet candy treat. All items will go to the Help-In-Crisis Shelter in Tahlequah, OK. NALSA will be conducting their annual "Angel Tree" gift drive, which will benefit the children of the Osage Nation Orphanage and the Sac and Fox Children’s Home. Thank you for all of the hard work to help benefit those less fortunate.

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

National Pro Bono Week: Hispanic Law Student Association & Phi Delta Phi

Continuing our celebration of National Pro Bono week, today's honoree student organizations are the Hispanic Law Student Association and the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. On September 17th, HLSA members, in conjunction with the American Dream Coalition, helped register voters during the Tulsa Hispanic Festival.

Phi Delta Phi hosted their annual Kendall Court on October 14th with a "Pinocchio" production. This philanthropic event exposes approximately 150 students to the legal system by performing a criminal or civil trial based on a familiar nursery rhyme or fairy tale. The trial takes place in our courtroom with the TU Law students adorned in costumes acting out their roles as attorneys, clients, and witnesses. The 5th graders serve as jurors and decide the case’s verdict, providing students their first positive exposure to the legal world. The Phi Delta Phi members serve lunch to the students and present a motivational speech that urges the importance of education and working hard to reach your goals and dreams.

Kudos to both of these organizations for their public service endeavors.

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

National Pro Bono Week: Paw Law

Continuing our celebration of National Pro Bono week, today’s honoree student organization is Paw Law. Paw Law assists Meals on Wheels for Pets each month. In addition, they dedicate one Saturday every month to Tulsa Animal Welfare, where they play with the animals and help potential adopters bond with the dogs and cats. During the fall semester, they hosted the September Birthday party at Murdock Villa and plan to volunteer with Oklahoma Alliance for Animals for their largest yearly fundraiser, Fur Ball, in December. On behalf of all of the toes, paws and hooves, thank you for your hard work and volunteer efforts.

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Monday, October 24, 2011

National Pro Bono Week: Student Bar Association

To celebrate National Pro Bono week, we are honoring the public service efforts of our student organizations. Today we are honoring the Student Bar Association (SBA) for its hard work in forming a team and raising over $700 for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. In the upcoming months, its public service energies will be focused on a pumpkin-carving contest to raise funds for the Tulsa Food Bank, providing food to the underprivileged for Thanksgiving and participating in the "Angel Tree" program in the Tulsa area. Thank you for all your public service efforts.

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Tulsa Law Review Examines Relationships Between Tribes and States

Earlier today, I shared some of the Tulsa Law Review's adventures from around the world. Now we’ll be staying close to home, to discuss an issue of special importance in the United States. Tribal law is a unique, and weird, aspect of American history. The relationship between federal and state governments should be familiar to most people. But how does the federal government interact with Native American tribes? How do the 50 states?

The answer involves a dizzying system of statutes, regulations, and treaties developed over hundreds of years. Understanding this system requires historical context and constitutional doctrine. This understanding is more important now than ever, as the economic impact of tribes and tribally-owned businesses cannot be ignored.

This year, the Association of American Law Schools section on Indian Nations and Indiginous Peoples is focusing on the political, financial, and practical relationships between tribes and states. The Tulsa Law Review is publishing their findings. The issue will examine the experiments and surprises 21st century Native American law has inspired, and what the future holds for every American.

I hope these brief comments give you some sense of the work we do on the Tulsa Law Review. It’s an intellectually rewarding institution, and the brilliant people I work with have made it fun too. Come check it out at http://www.tulsalawreview.com/

-Jason McVicker, Editor in Chief, Tulsa Law Review

 

Globetrotting with the Tulsa Law Review

This job involves serious globetrotting. As Editor in Chief of the Tulsa Law Review, this week I’m keeping up with bioethics in Israel. We are also monitoring some Canadian constitutional issues, new property legislation in Hawaii, and a case here in Oklahoma that might come before the U.S. Supreme Court soon. That’s just a taste of the wandering we do for the Tulsa Law Review.

It is fitting that the Tulsa Law Review has taken us to distant places this year. Schools first began publishing law reviews over a century ago; they became the voice of the legal academy. That voice was joined by judges, practitioners, and politicians. Now law reviews are a rich conversation, shaping law, politics, and theory across the globe.

The practice of law is increasingly corporate, and globalization is just as powerful here as it is in other industries. TU has long emphasized the growing importance of international law through classes and certifications. This year the Tulsa Law Review is examining a reflection of international law. We are exploring the global influence of Aharon Barak, former President of the Israeli Supreme Court. High Courts from around the world took note of his decisions- whether to agree or criticize- and his career has become a perfect case study of how courts from different countries have begun speaking to one another.

In my next post, I’ll talk about our other issues. The Tulsa Law Review is TU’s flagship publication, and working here has been a tremendous honor. When you come to law school, take advantage of this opportunity to join the conversation. And wear sensible shoes- you never know where we’ll be headed next.

-Jason McVicker, Editor in Chief, Tulsa Law Review

 

 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tulsa Lawyers for Children Training a Great Opportunity to Help Those in Need

Alumni and students - Did you ever think that there might be more to the practice of law than what you’re doing now? Did you start law school thinking you wanted to do something important? Would you like a chance to branch out a bit as a lawyer, but don’t know if you would be competent in other areas of law? Law students, have you considered stepping into the courtroom before you passed the bar? IF SO, TULSA’S ABUSED & NEGLECTED KIDS NEED YOU!

Tulsa Lawyers for Children, Inc. ("TLC") recruits, trains and provides ongoing assistance to volunteer attorneys who represent children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned and who are subjects of "deprived" cases in the Tulsa County Juvenile Court. TLC volunteers include not only litigators and family lawyers, but corporate attorneys, former judges, former general counsels of large public companies, patent and trademark attorneys, law school professors and many others who bring their experience, talent and dedication into a system largely hidden from public scrutiny by the veil of confidentiality that cloaks juvenile proceedings. One of the ways TLC provides ongoing assistance is its TU Law Student Pro Bono Project and its Shelter Visitation & Show Cause Hearing Project. TU Law students attend the same training as attorney volunteers and then act as volunteer legal assistants to volunteer attorneys on their TLC cases. This is particularly helpful when timely visits with the child clients become difficult for the attorney. Law students also interview children coming into the shelter and appear at "show cause" hearings as GALs.

The training programs for TLC volunteer lawyers will be held at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Each of the sessions covers different material:

Friday, October 14 (Basics of deprived case) Room MLIC 3108 - if you missed this, you can obtain the video and watch it and still participate in this program.
Friday, October 21 (Child's attorney's duties; Role of DHS) MLIC 3108
Friday, October 28 (ICWA; Procedures; Jury trials; In need of treatment) MLIC 3108
Friday, November 4 (Communicating with the child client) MLIC 3108

Attendance at the training program does not obligate you to take a case nor to participate in the TLC projects. You have nothing to lose - and Tulsa’s kids have so much to gain. For more information or to sign up, call 425-5858 or email tulsakidlaw@sbcglobal.net. Application for 9 hours of CLE credit (including 1 hour ethics credit) is pending. Students can sign up via Symplicity under Events/Workshops.

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Speed Networking a Great Way to Hone Skills and Build a Network

Speed Networking 23Thank you to the 29 Tulsa legal professionals who donated their time last night to contribute to the professional development of 26 TU Law students at Speed Networking. Presented by the TU Law Professional Development Office and the TU Law Alumni Association, this event, based on the speed dating model, allowed each student to spend a couple of minutes with each legal professional. Students were able to build their professional network, and they learned about different practice areas and how to package themselves in a short time. A very beneficial event, and kudos to the students who utilized this time to further their careers. 

- The University of Tulsa College of Law

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tulsa County Bar Association Helps Students with Mock Interviews

Thank you to the Tulsa County Bar Association Mentoring Committee for volunteering their time to conduct mock interviews for our law students. Not only do mock interviews provide our students with the opportunity to improve their resume and interviewing skills, but it also gives them the chance to network.

We are truly grateful of your continued support of our program! Also, kudos to our law students who attended the TCBA Open House and networked. You did a great job, and your efforts will get you far in your legal career. The attorneys were thrilled with your attendance!

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Monday, October 17, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Case Shows the Challenge of Presenting Case to Highest Court 

The United States Supreme Court’s new term began on Monday, October 3rd. One of the first cases the Court heard was Maples v. Thomas, which was argued before the Court on Tuesday, October 4th. This case involves two issues that seem to turn up on the Court’s docket fairly regularly. These issues are: the scope of federal habeas corpus review and the effectiveness of counsel in capital cases. It will be interesting to see how the Court addresses the problems in Mr. Maples’ case.

Briefly, Cory Maples was convicted and sentenced to death in Alabama. He appealed his conviction and sentence, but lost on direct appeal. He eventually obtained lawyers from Sullivan and Cromwell, a large, prestigious law firm in New York City. These lawyers filed an application for post-conviction relief in the state trial court. One of the key issues raised in the post-conviction application was that Mr. Maples’ trial lawyers provided such poor counsel that their performance amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The lower state court took the post-conviction application under advisement for a number of months, but eventually denied relief to Mr. Maples.

Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Mr. Maples, his New York lawyers had left their law firm. When the clerk of court sent a notice of the lower court’s post-conviction decision to the New York lawyers, the notice was returned marked "Return to Sender-Left Firm." Local counsel, who played a minimal role, also received notice, but did nothing. Apparently no counsel was acting on Mr. Maples’ behalf at this time, and no post-conviction appeal was filed raising the ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Eventually, Alabama notified Mr. Maples that his time to file his post-conviction appeal had lapsed and his state remedies were exhausted. Mr. Maples then filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court again seeking relief, in part, because his trial lawyers rendered constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel. However, the federal courts refused to hear his ineffective assistance of counsel claim because the failure to file a post-conviction appeal barred federal review of that claim unless Mr. Maples could show cause to explain his failure to appeal. The issue before the Supreme Court is whether the federal court erred in refusing to hear Mr. Maples claim.

We will not know for some time how the Court will ultimately resolve the case, but the transcript of the oral argument provides insight into how the justices are reacting to the issues in the case. Several justices seemed deeply troubled that the failures of Mr. Maples’ lawyers should preclude federal court review of what appears to be a significant ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim. Only Justice Scalia seemed untroubled by attributing counsel’s failure to Mr. Maples.

Moreover, the transcript shows you just how tough it is to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices peppered the lawyers with questions. They grilled the lawyers about the law, the record, and the implications of a Court ruling in the case. The oral arguments make clear just how important good preparation is and how sharp lawyers need to be to serve their clients well.

- Professor Lyn Entzeroth, TU College of Law

 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

TU Law Students Appear on C-SPAN

C-SPAN - Oct 2011 - Law StudentsWhat a great, but early, morning at TU's Bayless Plaza, where the C-SPAN bus was parked on its tour around the country. TU Law Students April Moaning, Nichole Saunders, P.J. Petrides, and Isaac Shields were there along with TU undergrads to participate in the "Washington Journal" program on C-SPAN. 

The students asked questions of U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who was appearing on the program from Washington, D.C. The conversation focused on free trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia, and Panama that the House of Representatives passed this week. Kaptur opposes the agreements. Professor Lyn Entzeroth helped the students prepare their questions and assisted at the bus.

What a great experience for the students! A foray into television and politics that is not available everyday. The students were poised and professional and were great representatives of TU Law.

- The University of Tulsa College of Law

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bring Back the Cheerleaders: More Optimism Needed in Legal Education

I became a cheerleader at the age of seven for a "pee wee" football team. I loved team spirit and creating positive energy among the spectators. I remained a cheerleader in a formal capacity through my middle school and high school years. I remember planning the pep rallies, decorating lockers, dropping off good-luck packages to the boys (yes, this was before Title IX), rehearsing school skits, painting reams of butcher paper to serve as banners, riding the bus with the team and coaches, and late arrivals to school because the out-of-town games would bring us home at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning.

It all ended in the eleventh grade at an out-of-town game at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was a "flyer" for the nine-member squad pyramid formation – and yes, this was back in the day when cheerleaders were all girls without gymnastic training! One night, the formation went awry; I climbed up on the backs of seven girls and the shoulders of the eighth. The equilibrium among us was off. I quickly realized that no one was supporting my ankles when I stood up on the peak of girls with my arms stretched high above my head. After the quick two-second finale, I tumbled to the gym floor, breaking both wrists. I never cheered again. I joined the yearbook staff, learned to write, and decided I would be a lawyer. The rest was history.

Every now and then, I realize that I am still a cheerleader at heart. I love the challenge of bringing people together to create enthusiasm, spirit, and love of school. Sometimes I feel that being a cheerleader is a very important element of being a good Dean of Students. In a climate where there are lots of challenges in legal education - students suing law schools, arguments over faculty tenure, questionable admission practices, disenchantment with the power of USNWR, and a weak legal job market - I think it is time to bring back the cheerleaders.

If I still had a megaphone, I would give a big shout out to those administrators and faculty at TU Law that give so selflessly to this legal institution and our students. Every day we read an editorial about what is wrong with legal education, but little about what is good. There are still many of us who are not driven by money, prestige or power as we serve our students. Our goal is to create excellent professionals, respected colleagues, and eager public servants. We honor the profession, and it is in our best interest to preserve and nurture all that is good about it. At the end of the day, legal education is not about rankings or tuition revenue; it is how we prepare the up-and-coming generations to serve their communities with integrity and a skilled legal mind. Seems like a pretty simple concept really.

If I could decorate a team player’s locker today, I would decorate Professor Martin Frey’s locker. Professor Frey is one of our professors emeritus. He keeps trying to retire his jersey, but we keep pulling him back onto the field. He is a master teacher – a pro at connecting with students. Professor Frey has been in legal education for forty years, and he continues to go the extra yard for the team – namely the students. This semester, Professor Frey volunteered his free time to help me run our academic support program. This entails holding classes for 1Ls on how to brief, outline, and prepare for exams, and also, requires working one-on-one with all students having trouble academically. In addition, he presented, unsolicited, a workshop for the 1Ls to prepare them for their 1L Negotiation Competition. I have attended each of his sessions, and I can attest to the fact that he is all about preparing these young students to be practice-ready lawyers – regardless of their class rank and regardless of their capacity to land a job with a top 100 law firm. The undisputable fact is that they will all become lawyers, and he is about giving them a skill set that no one can take away from them – a very empowering set of tools that will launch them into careers well beyond their imaginations as first year law students.

For students who are anxious about their futures or are questioning why they are in law school, they should feel reassured and encouraged by faculty like Professor Frey who create optimism and confidence. We all need more optimism and confidence through these challenging times, so my goal is to exude more team spirit. As we all know, it is hard to win a game without the fans and the cheerleaders. Professor Frey is a very well-respected member of our team. He is also a great cheerleader. Thank you, Professor Frey, and the other wonderful members of our faculty that serve our students. Go TU LAW!

- Martha Cordell, TU Law Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just a Few Spots Left for Speed Networking

There are only 15 2L and 3L spots left for Speed Networking so please RSVP on Symplicity ASAP to reserve your spot! Speed Networking is an opportunity for you to talk one-on-one with 30 local attorneys, judges and other legal professionals to help you improve your ability to make a positive first impression and build your professional networks. This event satisfies a 3L Professionalism Requirement for Professional Development Credit.

Speed Networking is on Tuesday, October 18, in the Gallery Room of TU's Allen Chapman Activity Center. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. The event begins at 6 p.m., and a 7:30 p.m. reception will follow.

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Monday, October 10, 2011

TU Law Students Make an Impact in the Community

Over the summer, our law students collectively volunteered 4,581 HOURS OF PUBLIC SERVICE, which is more than last year’s reported hours in three semesters combined! Our students made such a positive impact at organizations in need, ranging from local animal shelters and the Boys and Girls Club here in Tulsa to the Food and Water Watch in D.C.

You made a difference all across the country, and we are so proud of your honorable efforts. For more information on local public service opportunities available, feel free to drop by my office and please remember to report your service to us. We truly appreciate you!

- Christy Caves, Associate Director of Professional Development

 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Champions of Change

From its many students who work in public interest jobs during their time at TU, to the work of TU Law’s Immigrant Rights Project at the Boesche Legal Clinic, to the alumni who go on to serve the public in a variety of ways, the TU College of Law believes in creating champions of justice.

On Thursday, October 13, from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Pit in John Rogers Hall, all TU law students are encouraged to attend an online video conversation with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and 16 public service "Champions." Students will learn about the Champions’ work, and Attorney General Holder and the Champions will answer questions submitted by students throughout the nation about how to use their legal training to help people obtain equal access to the justice system. This event is a product of the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Access to Justice Initiative at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Among the 16 Champions of Change joining Attorney General Holder are those from law schools, civil legal aid and public defender offices, and major corporations. As stated in a joint letter from the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice, these 16 people "champion change by helping poor people access health care, assisting consumers struggling with foreclosure, representing children in detention, and ensuring that victims of the Gulf Coast oil disaster get their fair share."

It will be an inspiring event to hear their stories and learn how you can follow in their footsteps. Attorneys can do so much in the United States to effect positive change in our legal system. We encourage students to attend and learn about how hard work and creativity in this field can advance justice.

For more information about Champions of Change, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions. For more information about the October 13 event at John Rogers Hall, please contact the TU College of Law Professional Development Office at 918-631-2430. See you there!

- The University of Tulsa College of Law

 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Serving on an Academic Journal: a Rewarding Experience

I had a question when I got to law school: "Why should I work on a law journal? It sounds like a lot of work and not a lot of reward." After going through the journal process, I can testify that working on a law journal is a great experience!

Any academic journal will require some tedious, yet important work. Serving on an academic journal is the functional equivalent of national honors society in law school. Rather than just becoming a member of a national honors society and then not doing anything, journals do require work. On the Tulsa Law Review, candidates do a substantial amount of subciting as second-year law students, and staff members/editors/executive board members run the journal as third-year students. It is a great organization to be involved in!

My role as Managing Editor is functionally the "everything else" editor. I purchase office supplies, handle customer relations, coordinate social events, and anything else the Editor in Chief tells me to do. In short, being part of a journal is a very rewarding experience, and I would strongly recommend doing one, no matter what the focus.

- Ryan Childress, Managing Editor, Tulsa Law Review

 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tulsa Law Review an Important Part of the College of Law

I get asked quite often, "What is TLR? I hear about it, but I don't know what it is." TLR is the three-letter acronym for Tulsa Law Review, the flagship law journal for The University of Tulsa College of Law. Every law school has at least one journal. At the TU College of Law, we have two journals: the Tulsa Law Review and the Energy Law Journal. TLR is a tier-two academic law journal that publishes academic papers from legal practitioners, judges, and law professors from across the country on a variety of diverse and exciting subjects. Last year, we published an issue on the scholarship of Katherine MacKinnon, a Harvard law, women's rights academic who is a global advocate for gender equality. We have a variety of subjects that are published on an annual basis that directly affect current, global issues.

In addition to our current and exciting publication schedule, TLR is one of the most important student organizations at the law school. The reason is simple: TLR is the only organization tied to the law school's rankings. That's right. The quality and reputation of TLR is directly tied to our rankings.

TLR is located in the basement of the Mabee Legal Information Center. If there is anything you want to know, feel free to drop by the office and ask one of our staff members. Take care!

- Ryan Childress, Managing Editor, Tulsa Law Review

 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Handling the Law School Workload

One of the main questions I receive from prospective students is how will I be able to handle the workload of a law student? While this may seem rather broad, I believe the answer is rather simple: treat the workload like a real job. When I first came to law school, I did not know how to brief a case or what to look for when I was analyzing the court’s reasoning. But I made myself a schedule each day on learning as much as I could without burning myself out.

Here was my schedule as a 1L:

Sunday: Do all my reading for the week of class. Make sure I have a solid grasp on what area of law we are going to be discussing in each class. Take notes either in the book when reading cases or type up a brief case review that I can have handy to remind me of what the case’s main issues are. When I am finished, I watch Sunday Night Football or Sunday Night HBO to relax before I begin the week.

Monday-Thursday: Get to school by 8-8:30 a.m. Prep for class and make sure I have an understanding of what I read on Sunday. I do not re-read the material but skim to jog my memory. Attend class and take proper notes in outline form. Your notes are going to be key when you construct your outlines (I’ll blog about this later on) so make sure you’re paying attention in class. Do not play around on the internet by checking gossip blogs or your fantasy football teams. Listen to your professor because you never know what’s going to be on your final exam.

Call it a night around 6-7 p.m. Do not stay at the law school late and try to learn everything within the first two weeks of class. 1L year is a marathon, not a sprint.

Notice that I do not have study times on Friday and Saturday. That’s because I always take at least two days off during my school year. I put in my 50 or so work hours, and I make sure to have enough "me" time. With this schedule, you will not fall behind or burn yourself out. You leave enough room to not forget about such important things as your family, loved ones, your dog, or your beloved college football team.

- Peter J Petrides, TU College of Law Student Bar Association President

 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Student Bar Association Delegates Sworn In

The Student Bar Association at The University of Tulsa College of Law is pleased to announce its newest 1L Delegates. Congratulations to Tahj Walker, Heather Kinsaul, Katherine Armstrong, Danielle Davis, and Zane Muzaffar. SBA is currently conducting a run-off for the final Delegate position between Rachel Dallis and Chynna Smith. SBA President PJ Petrides and Chief Justice Guy Swartz conducted the swearing in ceremony for the new 1L Delegates on October 2 in the Price & Turpen Courtroom.

Thus far, SBA has been extremely active in the TU Law community. We have already put on a Back to School Bash at the law school, co-sponsored a TU Football tailgate, and we are currently making plans for the TU Law Halloween Party, TU Law Golf Tournament, and Barrister's Ball. SBA also participated in the Tulsa Race for the Cure. A big thank you goes out to Kyle Counts, Chairman of the Community Affairs Committee, for coordinating SBA's involvement and raising hundreds of dollars in the process.

SBA's next big event will be the Halloween Party on October 29th. Prizes will be awarded to the law student with the Best Costume and to the law students who coordinate a Best Group Costume.

Thank you for reading, and please "Like" Tulsa Law SBA on Facebook!

- Peter J Petrides, TU College of Law Student Bar Association President

 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Knowing the Appellate Process a Valuable Asset in Obtaining a Job 

Believe it or not, you will soon be graduating, passing the bar exam, and hitting the pavement, fully engaged in job-hunting. Many seasoned practitioners struggle with the appellate process and do not understand how to use it to their clients’ advantage, so a new lawyer who brings to a law firm interview their experience with, and insight into, the appellate process has a valuable asset to offer to a law firm looking to hire a new attorney.

A judicial internship at the Oklahoma Court of Appeals in Tulsa can provide students with the advantage of knowing how to file an appeal, what to include, and what to leave out of an appellate record and the briefs. Students also learn the importance of citing scrupulously to the record, presenting the law accurately in appellate briefs, and how to best present an argument. Students receive valuable coaching and feedback to support their growth and success as future attorneys in a professional work environment. Students interested in learning more about the Judicial Internship program should contact Professor Richard Paschal, Director of the Judicial Internship Program, at richard-paschal@utulsa.edu or 918-631-2439.

- Catherine Cullem, Professor of Legal Writing, TU College of Law