College of Law News Stories
Professor Llew Gibbons Elected an ABA Foundation Fellow. Full story.
College of Law co-hosts 2011 Ohio Securities Conference in Columbus. Full story.
Associate Professor Ben Davis speaks at ABA Meeting. Full story.
UT Law Graduate Gets Federal Court of Appeals Clerkship. Full story.
Toledo Law Professor Rapp Testifies in United States Congress on May 11. Full story.
Law Student Wins First Place in Writing Competition. Full story.
Student Delivers Presentation on Social Networking to Conference of Ohio Association of Magistrates. Full story.
Toledo Law and Leadership Students Win in Moot Court Competition. Full story.
Toledo Law Students Spend Spring Break Giving Back. Full story.
Students, Professors, and Staff Join Together for Successful Bowling Fundraiser. Full story.
On December 5, 2011, Associate Professor Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons was elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation “in recognition of outstanding dedication to the welfare of the community, the traditions of the profession, and the advance of the objectives of the American Bar Association.” Membership in The Fellows is limited to one third of one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in the United States. Members are nominated by Fellows in their jurisdiction and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation is an honorary organization of lawyers, judges, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.
In 2010, Toledo Law Professor Susan Martyn was also elected to this honor.
The College of Law co-sponsored the 2011 Ohio Securities Conference in Columbus on October 21, along with the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Securities. The sold-out event featured presentations by Division, DOJ and SEC attorneys, securities lawyers in private practice, professors, and others, including College of Law alumnus Mark Heuerman. The College’s co-sponsorship of the event continues a relationship between UT and the Division established by Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Howard Friedman, former chair of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Corporation Law Committee.
Associate Professor of Law, Benjamin G. Davis, spoke before the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, Annual Meeting on August 9, 2011 in Toronto, Canada presenting two member resolutions on American class actions as a model for collective redress in the 27 member states of the European Union and the role the ABA is playing in the consultation process of the European Commission.
“Brown v/ Board of Education was a class action,” he said, “and many of the people in this room would not be here without class actions.” Having worked for several years in the 1980’s-90’s in Paris with the late Michel Gaudet - the first Legal Advisor of the European Community in 1958 - Davis gained an intimate understanding of the European project from one of the founders. “Having lived in Paris for 17 years and having children who are both American and French, I urged the House of Delegates to make sure the ABA puts its best foot forward in the consultations invited by the European Commission.” Further work is going forward to be presented at the ABA’s Mid-Year meeting in New Orleans next year.
Jessica Vartanian, a 2010 graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, has had an exciting past few weeks. On August 2, 2011, she accepted an offer to clerk for the Honorable Richard Allen Griffin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Griffin’s office is located in Traverse City, MI but the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit encompasses four states (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) and sits in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a very prestigious position as this court is one of only 12 Federal Courts of Appeals across the country, immediately below the United States Supreme Court. The clerkship is set to begin in August of 2012.
Ms. Vartanian also celebrated the publication of an article she co-authored with Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Nicole B. Porter, in Georgetown’s Journal of Gender & the Law. The article, entitled Debunking the Market Myth in Pay Discrimination Cases, challenges employers’ use of prior pay, competing offers, and salary negotiation as a defense to paying men and women unequal pay for performing equal work.
College of Law Professor Geoffrey Rapp was invited to testify on Capitol Hill in hearings of the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. The hearings covered “Legislative Proposals to Address Negative Consequences of the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions.” The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Section 922, included a reward program for whistleblowers who expose violations of the the U.S. securities laws. Professor Rapp published a 2007 article, Beyond Protection: Invigorating Incentives for Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate and Securities Fraud Whistleblowers, which urged the adoption of that policy, and a 2010 article, False Claims, Not Securities Fraud: Toward Corporate Governance by Whistleblowers, which discussed early versions of the whistleblower bounty scheme enacted in Dodd-Frank.
Professor Rapp's testimony was covered in multiple news outlets:
Republicans seek changes in SEC Whistleblower Rule, Reuters, May 11, 2011
Business Community Pushes to Change SEC Whistleblower Program, Fox Business, May 11, 2011
Bill Seeks to Restrict Corporate Whistleblowers in Financial Cases, Fair Warning: News of Safety, Health, and Corporate Conduct, May 16, 2011
House holds hearings on legislation revising Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions, Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation, May 12, 2011
Financial Services Committee Hearing: Whistleblowers Likened to Bounty Hunters, Firedoglake, May 11, 2011
Business Community Pushes to Change SEC Whistleblower Program, Automated Trader, May 11, 2011
Republicans seek changes to SEC whistleblower rule, Portfolio.com, May 11, 2011
Lawmakers consider forcing whistleblower to report to employer first, HousingWire: Financial News for the Mortgage Market, May 11, 2011
Nick Seger, of the Toledo Law class of 2011, has won first place in the Fourth Annual
2011 Embryo Law Writing Competition, sponsored by Nighlight Christian Adoptions. The competition is conducted to raise awareness and increase interest in embryo donation and adoption. Mr. Seger won a prize of $2500 for his scholarly position paper written in response to the provided problem.
Breanne Democko, a 2L at Toledo Law, was invited to speak at the 2011 Spring Conference of the Ohio Association of Magistrates. Her presentation, "Social Networking and the Ohio Rules of Evidence," was given on Thursday, April 28. The subject is part of a note she has written for the University of Toledo Law Review.
She was recommended to the Conference by Professor Beth Eisler, and spoke for about an hour and a half. Although the presentation was intended to cover several aspects of social networking and the law, she was only able to complete about half of her presentation, due to the many questions asked by the audience. The attorneys and magistrates in attendence were interested in more information, as it pertained to specific cases they had encountered.
Ms. Democko's note, entitled "Is the Writing on the Facebook Wall? [No Need to Wrestle with the Rules on Authentication]," is planned for volume 42 number 2 of the Law Review, due in December 2011.
Students in the Law and Leadership Institute sponsored by the College of Law won the 9th and 10th grade divisions at a Moot Court Competition in Dayton on March 19. The students were coached by Toledo Law students who spent the current academic year teaching the LLI students about First Amendment rights in public schools.
The 9th Grade defense team, coached by Lindsy Gwozdz and Zack Hohl, was awarded best overall 9th grade team and named as competition champion. The 10th grade plaintiff team, coached by Terrell Ratliff and Cleveland Karren, was awarded best overall 10th grade team and named as competition champion.
The Law and Leadership Institute is a statewide initiative, in collaboration with the legal community, that inspires and prepares students from underserved communities for post-secondary and professional success through a comprehensive four-year academic program in law, leadership, analytical thinking, problem solving, writing skills and professionalism. Students enroll in LLI the summer before they begin 9th grade and attend a five-week LLI Summer Institute held at the University of Toledo College of Law. LLI programming continues for admitted students throughout the four years of high school and includes internships in law offices, college tours, KAPLAN college admission test preparation, mock trial and moot court competitions, among other activities.
Professor Marilyn Preston, Director of the Toledo LLI, said, "We are very proud of these students. They worked hard, and their efforts paid off."
The Toledo and Dayton Teams
Six Toledo Law students participated in an "alternative spring break" project this March in Memphis, where they provided free legal services to elderly and low-income residents of that area. The event was sponsored by the University of Memphis School of Law and the Public Action Law Society. Participants also had the opportunity to work with a number of Memphis-area non-profit organizations to develop community outreach programs.
The Toledo Law students who attended, Caitlin Frost, Tami Harmon, Jennie Hoffman, Tom Marino, Peyton Mullins, and Miranda Vollmer, all put in enough hours during the event to receive a Public Service Commendation for Spring semester.
Under the supervision of licensed attorneys, the students worked with clients in three areas – pro se divorce, advance directives, and non-profit advocacy. They were also offered workshops and tutorial sessions in a number of legal subjects. Thirty-four students from 10 law schools participated, processing 34 pro se divorce petitions and preparing over 60 advance directives. In addition, students in the non-profit track assisted 3 non-profits to develop projects.
Officials at the University of Memphis School of Law described the event as "highly successful."
On January 13, Toledo Law students, professors, and staff participated in the "Gutter Madness" bowling fundraiser at Bowlero Lanes. The event was a success, raising $1360.00 to help a current law student pay outstanding medical bills. It was also an opportunity for students to interact and have fun with their professors. SBA and WLSA organized the event, which concluded with an afterparty at Chuck's on Monroe.