The Burton Awards Program, held in association with the Library of Congress, and Co-Sponsored by the American Bar Association, announced its "Legends in Law" winners for 2016. The program named ten general counsels as "Legends in Law." The winners were selected based upon the following criteria: reputation in the legal profession; demonstrated competence in a specialized area of law; extensive background and experience; complexity and scope of matters handled; success in global or national issues; and exemplary leadership in law. The award winners were chosen from nominations received from managing partners of the nation's 1,000 largest law firms. This year marks the seventeenth anniversary of the Burton Awards program, which will be held on May 23, 2016 at the Library of Congress.
Thomas L. Sager, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP, and Les Parrette, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Compliance Officer at Novelis Inc., co-chairs of the Legends in Law Committee, stated, "We are fortunate to have selected such outstanding leaders in the legal community. These prominent general counsel are truly worthy of this special recognition." Lisa Rickard, a member of the Honorary Board of Directors for the Burton Awards, and president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform added "Certainly, this is one of the highest honors a general counsel can achieve in a career. Congratulations to these truly exemplary executives who set the highest professional standards for all others to follow."
The Burton Awards program rewards the greatest accomplishments in law, including excellence in writing, teaching, journalism, public service, leadership, and exemplary service in the armed forces by lawyers.
This is not a column about reform. This is not a column bemoaning the corrosive influence of money in politics. This is a column that just looks at the way campaigns have evolved over the past few years and asks a very simple question – is money still really that important in campaigns?
When people talk about the influence of money in politics, they’re specifically talking about a culture that empowers major donors to influence elections through independent expenditures and a culture that encourages pay to play governance by incentivizing politicians to dole out favors to donors in return for campaign contributions. The money mainly goes to one thing – television commercials. When you hear about the millions of dollars raised for congressional campaigns or the two billion dollars that will be spent collectively by the nominees for President, you’re really hearing about the money allocated to the tv buy.
But viewership is rapidly declining and fewer and fewer people are watching live tv (no one pauses the DVR to watch a political ad). Senior citizens (who are prime, coveted voters) are now more and more technically fluent, meaning you can reach them through ways other than tv spots. And as more and more people watch Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and fewer watch CBS, TNT or even ESPN, the efficacy of tv ads in campaigns is becoming questionable at best.
Donald Trump on Wednesday disclosed the names of 11 candidates he would consider to fill the current vacancy at the U.S. Supreme Court. The list includes six federal appeals court judges appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush, as well as five state Supreme Court justices with conservative credentials.
Here’s a quick look at the Trump 11:
• Allison Eid
Allison Eid, 51, has been an associate justice on the Colorado Supreme Court, the state’s highest, since 2006, appointed by former Republican Colorado Gov. Bill Owens. Before joining the bench, she served as Colorado’s solicitor general representing state officials and agencies in court. She also taught at University of Colorado Law School and worked as a litigator at the Denver office of Arnold & Porter LLP. She received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford and law degree from the University of Chicago.
In 2012, Judge Eid wrote the majority opinion ruling that the University of Colorado’s policy to ban students from carrying handguns on campus was unlawful. She also wrote a decision last year that said companies in Colorado, which has decriminalized most marijuana use, can fire employees for using marijuana outside of work because the activity still violates federal law.
• Thomas R. Lee
Thomas Lee of Utah is an associate justice of the Utah Supreme Court, a position to which he was appointed in 2010 by Gov. Gary Herbert. While on the court, Justice Lee has authored a number of high-profile opinions, including one that overturned a 4-year-old adoption on grounds that a lower court had improperly terminated the birth-father’s parental rights, and a ruling striking down a law that allowed the state to increase a sentence based on an inmate’s behavior at a state hospital.
From 1997 until his appointment to the Utah Supreme Court, Justice Lee served on the faculty of Brigham Young University’s law school with a short stint in Washington, D.C., working as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Civil Division. He got his undergraduate degree from BYU and his law degree in 1991 from the University of Chicago, and he clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas.
Justice Lee, 51, is also the son of former U.S. Solicitor General Rex Lee and the brother of current U.S. Senator Mike Lee. As a boy, according to the Deseret News, Justice Lee “said he assumed he would be a lawyer because his father, the founding dean of the BYU law school who died of cancer in 1996, was a lawyer.” While his thoughts changed in high school, according to the story, “after taking some government classes and participating in moot court, he became hooked on the law.”
If you are like me, your desk drawer is crammed with random office supplies like half-used notepads, loose paper clips and maybe a lonely Post-it note. I didn’t think much about it until someone sent me this brilliant video highlighting 15 different uses for ordinary binder clips. Suddenly, that single binder clip in my drawer was transformed into one of the most useful organizing tools in my office.
What was so interesting about using binder clips to store ear buds or organize cables? It never occurred to me that a simple clip should be used for anything other than collecting paper. I fell prey to functional fixedness, defined as a “mental block against using an object in a new way that is required to solve a problem.” Psychologists refer to the “the candle problem” to highlight a tendency not to see a product beyond its stated function. Since binder clips are presented to consumers for one purpose, it’s difficult to look at their component parts and think about other completely different needs that can be met.
Facebook Hires Judge Paul S. Grewal for Litigation Role
Facebook made an interesting hire this week for its in-house legal department, turning not to a competing tech company or to a big law firm to find its recruit, but to the judiciary.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal, who has overseen a number of big intellectual property cases from his perch in San Jose, Calif., is joining Facebook next month to oversee global litigation for the social media giant.
A graduate of MIT and University of Chicago Law School, Judge Grewal joined the bench in 2010, after time spent clerking for judges and practicing intellectual property law at law firms including Day Casebeer Batchelder & Madrid, which later merged into now-defunct Howrey.
Said Colin Stretch, Facebook’s general counsel, in a statement: “Paul has presided over hundreds of cases as Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California, and has earned a reputation as a thoughtful and knowledgeable jurist with deep expertise in areas that are critically important to our company and our industry. We look forward to having him on our team.”
Professor Ann M. Lousin, '68, of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago was once again honored by the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS) for her writing on Illinois constitutional law. This is the fifth year that Lousin has been honored by ISHS.
This year Lousin received a Certificate of Excellence for two articles she wrote as part of her ongoing column featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The first column, "Dec. 15: A day that changed state history" considered how things might have been different in Illinois had voters rejected the 1970 state constitution. Lousin was a research assistant at the 1969-1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention. She also served as staff assistant to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, including a term as Parliamentarian of the House.
The second column, "A revolutionary proposal for financing education in Illinois" focused on the public education system in Illinois and how new financing structures might be more beneficial. Lousin attended Chicago Public Schools and presented a plan that would eliminate what she feels are foolish education financing formulas.
According to the ISHS, "These columns by Ann Lousin, published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, are full of insightful analysis, and offer a clear and creative approach to her subjects. She writes with a touch of humor, and her work deserves a wider audience."
In previous years, she has been awarded for her writings on a variety of topics, including restorative justice, Illinois amendments and the battle at Fort Dearborn.
Lousin has served on several nonprofit boards and governmental commissions, including a term as chairman of the Illinois State Civil Service Commission. She is active in the commercial law committees of the American and Chicago Bar Associations (CBA) and has been the chair of the CBA Constitutional Law Committee. She has been a leader in other legal organizations, including service as chair of the Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association from 1995 to 1998. She also lectures and consults on the Illinois Constitution, general public law issues and commercial law in the U.S. and abroad. In 2009 she was elected a member of the American Law Institute.
Bijal N. Vira, '02, has joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as a corporate finance partner, based in the firm's New York office. Vira joins from Winston & Strawn.
"Bijal brings important strengths and a strong skill set that complements and further diversifies our existing Private Equity and Finance & Bankruptcy practices," said Guy N. Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin.
Vira's practice is focused on representing investors and committed funds in their equity investment and/or lending activities, and his experience is comprehensive and covers all major investment classes. He advises leveraged buyout (LBO) funds and family wealth offices in platform and add-on acquisitions, senior and subordinate financing, and the subsequent harvesting of such investments; private credit funds, business development companies and small business investment company funds in secured and unsecured debt and debt-equity hybrid investments; credit opportunity funds and hedge funds in special situations, including acquiring and disposing of debt or equity investment positions; venture capital funds, corporate venture capital divisions, insurance companies and non-institutional investment groups and ultra-high-net-worth individuals in minority equity investments, co-investments and joint ventures; and real estate funds in the acquisition, development and sale, and related construction or permanent financing of real property assets either exclusively or in joint ventures.
"Sheppard Mullin's dynamic, competitive and progressive platform offers me a tremendous opportunity to grow my practice. I am excited to join a diverse group of extremely talented, collegial and entrepreneurial attorneys and a firm with an enviable growth trajectory and a lot of momentum," Vira commented.
"Bijal's strength in advising credit and special opportunity investment funds, which is an area that continues to grow, will bolster our leveraged finance practice," said Edward H. Tillinghast, III, partner and co-leader of the firm's Finance & Bankruptcy practice. "Bijal will be a significant asset to our Finance & Bankruptcy practice, here in New York and firmwide."
Vira received a J.D. in 2002 from the University of Chicago Law School, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from the University of Rochester in 1999.
Michele Ruiz, '94 and Jesse Ruiz, '95: Receiving the Cardinal Bernardin Award at the Chicago Legal Clinic’s 35th Anniversary Awards Banquet
The Chicago Legal Clinic will celebrate its 35th Anniversary at its Annual Awards Banquet. The event will be held on Thursday, May 19th, 5:30 p.m. at The Westin Chicago River North. The prestigious Cardinal Bernardin Award will be bestowed upon Jesse Ruiz, '95 and Michele Ruiz, '94. For details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
They are hard workers, relationship builders, optimists and leaders. And yet their passions, backgrounds and practices each tell their own unique story.
In this year’s Chicago Lawyer Diversity Survey, women accounted for about 44 percent of all lawyers among the firms who responded to the survey. But looking strictly at equity and non-equity partners, only 22.4 percent of all partners among responding firms are women.
For its diversity issue, Chicago Lawyer spoke with five women who have made equity partner in Chicago about their path to the top of their profession, including Amy Manning, '92, Lisa Scruggs, '98, Mary WIlson, '92.
Beety, an associate professor of law, won the award for her article “Judicial Dismissal in the Interest of Justice,” published last year in the Missouri Law Review (Volume 80, Issue 3). In the article, Beety examined the capacity of judges to grant clemency, or dismiss cases, in the interest of justice.
According to Beety, most of the country’s 1.6 million inmates are serving sentences for non-violent offenses. She argues that by making judges more accountable, they can dismiss some cases based on overzealous prosecutions, race-based patrolling, and the overuse of “three strikes” laws.
Beety looked at factors such as community impact, prosecutorial misconduct, safety and welfare of the community, and a conviction’s effect on public confidence in the criminal justice system. She proposed reform of the criminal justice system and practical assistance for individual cases and lives.
“This article illustrates the high level of research and scholarship our professors produce on significant issues,” said Gregory W. Bowman, dean of the College of Law. “Valena raises important questions related to fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness in the criminal justice system, and she provides courts an option to begin addressing the need for reform.”
From a labor and employment lawyer in New York, to the White House, to the head of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.
Cheryl Stanton, '97, says despite one’s desires, life can sometimes lead a person along a different path.
“I started getting the recognition that I needed to stop planning my life and recognize opportunities when they come to you and take them when they come to you,” Stanton told about 240 administrative professionals gathered at the Orangeburg Country Club for the 11th Annual Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce’s Administrative Professionals Day Luncheon.
Stanton said as a young girl, she wanted to become an FBI agent after touring the FBI headquarters in Washington.
But finding the law profession attractive, Stanton graduated from the University of Chicago Law School and was intent on working as a labor and employment law lawyer in New York. She had a nice place to live and no desire to leave.
But shortly after graduating from law school, Stanton had an interview with a very “quiet and introverted man” who was serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.
The man is Samuel Alito, now a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Stanton get the job and clerked for Alito in 1997-1998.
“This was not the path I had chosen for myself to go down,” Stanton said.
After Alito’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, Stanton went back to Washington in January 2006 to offer her support during his congressional hearings. She provided him with documentation on his past cases and decisions.
It was then that friends from law school, who were already working for President George W. Bush’s administration, suggested she submit her resume.
But again, Stanton was set on staying in New York.
Eight months later, she had an interview with deputy counsel Bill Kelly and White House counsel Harriet Miers.
Several weeks later, she walked through the gates as an employee, serving as the White House counsel for labor and employment matters.
Stanton worked at the White House for several years, but with her parents retiring to South Carolina and her sister moving to Lake Norman in North Carolina, she had a desire to move closer to family.
Robert J. Martineau is professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He has served as the administrator of a federal court of appeals and a state supreme court.
Here’s a suggestion for Senate Republicans currently holding the line on their refusal to hold hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee: You can find a solid basis for opposing Judge Merrick Garland – while appearing more responsible and less partisan – if you look at his qualifications and what he would bring to the Court.
One little-known aspect of the Supreme Court is the incredibly narrow background the eight members of the Court have (and Antonin Scalia was no different). All of the justices went to either Harvard or Yale law schools. All are Catholic or Jewish. All but two spent all or substantial parts of their careers with the federal government. All but one spent most of their careers in Boston-Washington corridor. All but one never sat on a federal court outside of that same corridor. None has ever held elective office. None has ever sat on a state court. In short, the makeup of the Court is essentially monolithic except as to religion, and even then none is a Protestant, the largest religious group in the country.
Edward Stanley Hintzke,'60, a resident of Winnetka, IL, died on April 17, 2016. He was born in Chicago on August 7, 1937, the son of Stanley and Harriett Hintzke (DDS).
He attended The University of Chicago, graduating with an A.B. in 1958 and a Law JD in 1960. He joined the U.S. Air Force in the Judge Advocate General's office serving two active duty periods. Thereafter, he served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves retiring with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He furthered his government service, joining the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Thereafter, he served in the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board as Assistant General Counsel until his retirement in 1993.
He was a connoisseur of classical music and opera, and cartography (past president of the Chicago Map Society), and a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks. He is survived by his beloved wife Teresa Mikosz Hintzke, children Richard (Ewa) Sobilo and Barbara Sobilo, and grandchildren Alexandra and Maya.
On paper, former Cleveland Heights resident Eric Waldo, 06, might seem like the last person with a message for under-privileged kids insecure about higher education.
Look at Waldo's background:
- Son of a University Hospitals cardiologist (father) and pro-bono immigration lawyer (mother) at the Spanish American Committee.
- Graduate of University School, fan of the Coventry Road scene (he misses Arabica and goes to Tommy's when in town).
- Alum of Brown University, Harvard University (grad school), University of Chicago (law school).
- Former clerk for a federal judge, Ann Aldrich, in Cleveland.
- White House employee
His resume shouts "achievement."
Yet here he is, working for First Lady Michelle Obama as executive director of her "Reach Higher" initiative, which encourages students to apply to college or pursue other educational options after high school, stay enrolled and face down doubts. The social and financial challenges -- the seeming reality of those doubts -- can seem daunting to someone whose family members stopped their schooling after high school.
And so today, Obama will go to New York for what the White House calls "National College Signing Day."
It commemorates the day, usually around May 1, when students tell colleges whether they accept admission offers. If you're the first in your family to apply and be accepted to college, this can be a big deal, and Obama -- whose brother, Craig Robinson, was the first in their family to graduate from college -- wants to make sure that today's high school seniors feel that way, too.
Waldo, 38, has the job of fostering resources to make college dreams real, throughout the year. On behalf of the first lady and President Barack Obama, he works with schools, universities and the government to encourage post-secondary enrollment and promote aid, mentorships and campus programs to keep students going during moments of self-doubt, cultural alienation or financial need.
Antonio Gracias, 98, is the Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of Valor. Antonio founded Valor in 2001. He currently serves as Lead Independent Director at Tesla Motors and is a director of several Valor portfolio companies, including Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Marathon Pharmaceuticals, Solar City, and Porch.com. Antonio is actively involved in philanthropic activities. He is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a member of the board of directors of World Business Chicago, a member of the board of visitors of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a member of the board of visitors of the University of Chicago Law School. Antonio holds a joint B.S. and M.S.F.S. (honors degree) in International Finance and Economics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Antonio is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.
Ryan Walsh, '12: Talks to the Badger Herald on "law school, working for late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia, right-to-work law"
Ryan Walsh, '12, Wisconsin’s new chief deputy solicitor general as of February, wants to uphold the truth of the law in his new role, something he learned from his former boss, the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Walsh said one of the most important things about litigation is that the outcomes of decisions rely on the logic of the law, rather than politics or twisting facts. He said judicial decisions rely on well-argued reasons that can’t simply be dismissed.
“If you think law is all politics or personal preferences, then you’re not listening to the judges — you’re shortsighted to what you think,” Walsh said.
Walsh graduated with high honors from University of Chicago Law School in 2012. While law school was challenging, Walsh said he thought it was fun. Walsh was a law clerk for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and a clerk for the Scalia in the U.S. Supreme Court for the October 2013 term.
The 1960s. An America on edge--the cold war, race riots, Vietnam. A frozen Midwestern Air Force town. A pair of gruesome sex murders. A black airman on trial. Will justice or bigotry prevail? For Tony Jeffries, it’s a double-edged sword: a surprise promotion to captain in his first weeks as an Air Force JAG―and, right on its heels, an appointment as defense counsel in a near-unwinnable case. Two local women have been brutally raped and murdered, and the evidence points squarely at George Torrance, a black airman with a checkered past. The town’s and the base’s bigwigs are determined to make him pay. A slick veteran JAG is heading the prosecution. But is Torrance guilty, or is an innocent man being railroaded? The more Jeffries learns, the less certain he becomes. So does the reader, riding the twists and turns of the court-martial and its aftermath until the shocking final pages. Based on his own experiences as a young JAG, Russell Pelton’s, '63, The Sting of the Blue Scorpion―an edge-of-your-seat follow-up to his acclaimed The Dance of the Sharks―upholds the verdict: here’s an authoritative, highly entertaining legal storyteller.
Recognized as an innovator in legal education, Craig M. Boise, '94, has been named dean of Syracuse University’s College of Law. Boise comes to Syracuse University from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, which under his deanship made significant gains in academic programs, national rankings and fundraising. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees approved his appointment earlier today. Boise will assume his new role on July 1, 2016.
“Craig Boise is a dynamic and forward-thinking leader who is equally passionate about quality, access and enhancing the student experience,” says Michele G. Wheatly, vice chancellor and provost-designate. “I am impressed by his record of achievements and know the College of Law will make great strides under his leadership.”
Chancellor Kent Syverud echoed Wheatly’s sentiment, saying Boise will achieve great things as dean of the College of Law.
Veteran LGBT rights activist Jerry Clark, '66, dies at 74. Jerry N. Clark, an attorney, union health and pension fund director, and health care benefits consultant in Washington who for years served as an advocate for the cause of LGBT rights and D.C. statehood died April 9 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington.
His sister, Melinda Rider, said the cause of death was complications associated with a severe head injury sustained from a fall in January at his home of 40 years in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.
“Jerry was a progressive with an unwavering vision of equality for all people,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, for which Clark has served as a member and co-chair of its board of directors.
“He will be remembered for his leadership, but also for his kindness and compassion,” Carey said in a statement. “Surely the world is a better place having had his talents, and we are beholden to all that Jerry contributed to the movement.”
Esther F. Lardent, '71, will be remembered as a tireless champion for equal access to justice, Legal Services Corporation President James J. Sandman said today.
“Esther did more to increase pro bono work by big law firms and corporate legal department than any other person in the history of American law,” Sandman stated. “She helped transform the pro bono sector and inspired countless lawyers and law firms to take an active role in expanding legal services to disadvantaged groups.”
Lardent founded the Pro Bono Institute (PBI) in 1996, leading the organization for 19 years until transitioning to a strategic advisory role last summer. Under her leadership, PBI became a powerful force for change, expanding and deepening the pro bono engagement of law firms and corporate legal departments. Lardent believed that leveraging the talents and resources of these organizations could have an enormous impact on improving access to justice for low-income Americans.
Lardent’s commitment to expanding access to justice was long standing. She served as an independent legal and policy consultant for the Ford Foundation, the American Bar Association, state and local bar associations, and public interest and legal services programs. She was the founder and initial director of one of the nation's first organized bar pro bono programs, the Boston Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project. During that time, she also administered a nationwide pro bono technical assistance effort. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.