In wonderful news for SMU Law, Tulane Law Professor Pamela Metzger will be moving to Dallas to lead SMU's Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center. Pam joined Tulane in 2001 directing the school's Criminal Law Clinic and made a particular mark on the world of legal practice leading efforts to insure that thousands of inmates incarcerated in the aftermath of Katrina received representation. She's s an exceptional catch for SMU because in addition to being a great scholar and teacher, she is truly a lawyer's lawyer. And a very cool person as well. Congratulations all around.
The University of Houston Law Center's Associate Dean, Marcilynn Burke, has just been appointed dean of the University of Oregon Law School. She will commence her tenure as dean on July 1. Congratulations, Marcilynn!!
When you read the literature about the concentration camps in which the War Relocation Authority (WRA) confined some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry from 1942 to 1945, you come away with a pretty grim picture of that federal agency. At very best the WRA is depicted as administering the confined communities through benign decree; at worst the agency is caricatured as a malign enforcer. The inmates, for their part, could choose between resisting the administration or trying to ignore it the best they could.
After extensive primary source research in the records of the white "project attorneys" at the WRA's Heart Mountain Relocation Center, I have come away with a markedly different account of how the camps ran, at least on large matters of community governance. In several areas -- the design of community government, the running of the camp's criminal justice system, and the incorporation of the many "community enterprises" (retail and service establishments) -- the administration engaged in lengthy negotiation with Japanese Americans rather than ruling by decree. This process of negotiation and mutual accommodation often led t0 results at variance with official WRA policy and that respected inmate preferences. And the WRA lawyers on the ground in the camp were often instrumental in producing these results.
I document all of this in a new article "Of Coercion and Accommodation: Looking at Japanese American Imprisonment through a Law Office Window," which appeared online yesterday in the journal Law and History Review and is also on SSRN. It is a micro-history, focusing on just one of the ten WRA camps. For that reason, my conclusions are necessarily tentative; my chief argument is that the WRA-inmate relationship needs a fresh look.
This paper is part of a longer-term project of looking closely at these "project attorneys" -- lawyers who occupied a gray zone of conflicting loyalties to their employer (the WRA) and to the confined population. To varying degrees most of these lawyers struggled with questions of conscience, trying to do what they believed to be work for the good in what they knew to be an unjust system.
Next week the University of Dayton will host their annual Porter Wright Symposium on Law, Religion, and Ethics. This year the topic is "Property and Subordination." The symposium, which is organized by Eleanor Brown of GW Law, is centered around Orlando Patterson's book Slavery and Social Death. Patterson will deliver the keynote address and then there will be related work by a number of property scholars. The speakers and their topics are:
Keynotespeaker: Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard University, speaking on “Slavery, Property and Social Death”
Speakers in Order of Presentation:
Eduardo Peñalver, Allen Tessler Dean and Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, speaking on “Slavery, Exclusion and the ‘Essence’ of Ownership”
Eric Claeys, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, speaking on “Slavery and Property: A Comment on Conceptual Methods and Slavery and Social Death”
Claire Priest, Baldwin Professor of Law, Yale Law School, speaking on “The Centrality of Slaves as Collateral in Colonial Credit Markets”
Adrienne Davis, Vice Provost, William Van Cleve Professor of Law, Washington University, speaking on “Slavery, Caste and Conceptions of Justice”
Bernadette Atuahene, Professor of Law, Chicago Kent College of Law, speaking on “Dignity Takings and Dignity Restoration”
Al Brophy, Judge John Parker Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law, speaking on “Property and Proslavery Thought in the American Judiciary and Academy”
June Carbone, Robina Chair in Law, Science and Technology, University of Minnesota, speaking on “Race and the Meaning of an Ownership Interest in American Life”
Eleanor Brown, Visiting Professor of Law, University of Dayton, Professor of Law, George Washington University, speaking on “From Furs to Farmers Who Were Enslaved: What Can Demsetz Tell Us About Slave Property Ownership?”
On a personal note, as a few of you know, I've been dealing with some family health issues for a little more than a year now, which explains why I've been so quiet -- and also why I've had to back out of a bunch of commitments over the past couple of semesters. This will be one of the first weekends in months that I have been able to think about things other than family or teaching and I'm super excited and honored to be a part of what I know will be a vibrant discussion of slavery, property, and subordination.
My piece is up on Slate today. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Supreme Court justices are popular figures on the banquet circuit, but they come with a serious drawback. Canon 4C of the Code of Conduct for United States judges provides that a judge may not be a speaker or the guest of honor at “fund-raising” events. Although the Supreme Court has never formally adopted the code, which applies only to judges on the lower federal courts, Chief Justice Roberts has reported that the justices will look to it as “a uniform source for guidance” on ethical matters. Consequently, the justices refrain from speaking at money-making events, even for their favorite nonprofits.
The rule against fundraising is an important principle in judicial ethics, dating back to at least 1924, when an American Bar Association Committee, chaired by then Chief Justice William Taft, promulgated the first Canons of Judicial Ethics. The canons provided that a judge should not use “the power or prestige of his office” to solicit charitable donations, lest he (the judges were all men in 1924) give the appearance of either coercing contributions or encouraging others to curry favor. Similar provisions have been included in successive iterations of what is now called the Code of Judicial Conduct, including the version embraced by the Judicial Conference of the United States. It is that rule that seems to have been disregarded when the Claremont Institute recently honored Justice Samuel Alito.
The University of Idaho College of Law seeks applicants for academic year tenure track position of associate professor in Boise, Idaho, to teach law classes including Torts, Advanced Torts, Professional Responsibility and a fourth course in an area of mutual interest to the successful candidate and the College of Law.
This position is open until filled, but priority will be given to applications received by April 7th, 2017.
Questions about the position can be directed to the committee chair, David Pimentel, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Apply here.
Interim Dean Michael Kaufman, of Loyola-Chicago Law, has been named the school's new Dean. Kaufman has been a member of the Loyola faculty since 1986 and served as the School of Law’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2005 until July 2016 when he assumed the role of Interim Dean. His appointment is effective immediately. Kaufman holds a JD from Michigan Law.
This press release from colleagues affiliated with the Legal Writing Institute and Association of Legal Writing Directors:
Professional associations unite to support full institutional citizenship—an effort to correct gender and related disparities among law faculty
The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) announce the launch of a new initiative aimed at correcting gender and related disparities among U.S. law faculty. Organizers chose International Women’s Day (March 8) to launch the “Full Citizenship Project for All Law Faculty” because of the professional status challenges that continue to plague skills-based and academic support law faculty, who are predominantly women.
As law faculty status and salaries decrease, the percentage of women faculty increases. Based on available data, roughly—and only—36 percent of tenured or tenure track faculty are female, whereas 63 percent of clinical faculty and 70 percent of legal writing faculty are female. This disparity is due to faculty teaching in skills-based areas often being denied the opportunity to earn the same security of position and academic freedom that traditional law faculty enjoy. Yet security of position and academic freedom are needed for a robust classroom and innovative teaching in all areas of law.
The Full Citizenship Project kicks off the start of a campaign to raise awareness about the challenges facing many of the many women and men who teach in skills-based positions. “The goal of this project is to gain support among all law school administrators and faculty for our view that no justification exists for subordinating one group of law faculty to another based on the nature of the course, the subject matter, or the teaching method,” said Kim D. Chanbonpin, President of the Legal Writing Institute. “We believe these rights are now necessary more than ever before to ensure that law students and the legal profession benefit from the myriad perspectives and expertise that all faculty bring to the mission of legal education.”
The first step of this project involves gathering signatures from across the country endorsing the Full Citizenship Statement, which has already been adopted by these organizations and by the Society of American Law Teachers Board of Governors. A copy of the Full Citizenship Statement is available here.
We invite all interested parties—both within and beyond the legal academy—to endorse the Statement by signing here. The signature campaign begins on International Women’s Day (March 8) and will end on Equal Pay Day (April 4). Organizers plan to report and present the results of the project to interested organizations, including the American Association of Law Schools, the American Bar Association, and the American Law Deans Association. More information about the Citizenship Project is available on the LWI website.
About LWI and ALWD: The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving legal communication by supporting the development of teaching and scholarly resources and establishing forums to discuss the study, teaching, and practice of professional legal writing. LWI has nearly 3,000 members representing 38 countries. The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) is a non-profit professional association of directors of legal reasoning, research, writing, analysis, and advocacy programs from law schools throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. ALWD has more than 300 members representing more than 150 law schools. The mission of ALWD is to pursue activities to help law schools provide excellent legal writing instruction.
The Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School is now accepting applications for a Visiting Professor (VP) position. The position will run for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years. The position is in Lewis & Clark Law School’s premier animal law program at the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS).
The VP will teach three or four animal law courses per academic year and have the opportunity to write at least one article or other scholarly piece per year. The VP will also have an interest and background in international animal law issues as well as the demonstrated cultural competencies necessary to effectively teach, advise, and mentor our international J.D. and LL.M. students.
For further information about the position, and how to apply, please go here.
The 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, from October 26 – October 29, 2017. The Program Committee invites proposals on any facet or period of legal history, anywhere in the world. We also strongly encourage thematic proposals that traverse traditional chronological or geographical fields.
Limited financial assistance (covering airfare and ground transportation only) is available for presenters in need, with priority given to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and scholars from abroad.
The Program Committee welcomes proposals for full sessions and individual papers. Given the number and high quality of submissions, however, individual papers are much less likely than full sessions to be accepted. Individual paper submitters are encouraged to connect with other scholars (through H-Law, etc.) to coordinate the submission of complete session proposals.
The Committee encourages the submission of a variety of different types of program proposals, including:
Traditional paper panels (3-4 papers, with a separate chair-commentator);
Incomplete panels lacking either one paper or a chair-commentator (whether 2-paper panels with a chair-commentator, or 3-paper panels without a chair-commentator), which the Program Committee will try to complete;
Author-meets-reader panels (up to two (2) book authors, with 2-3 commentators);
Roundtable discussions (1-2 chairs, with 3-4 commentators);
“Lightning Round” sessions (1-2 chairs, with 8-12 presenters, speaking for three-minutes each, on projects at any stage of development, in a related geographical/temporal/thematic/methodological field);
Pre-conference symposium programs (more information below).
Proposals for paper / book panels, workshops, roundtable discussions, and “lightning round” sessions should include the following:
Submitter’s name and contact information
Titles of each proposed paper / presentation
A 300-word description of the proposed session
A c.v. for each presenter / chair / commentator (including complete contact information)
Any special scheduling requests (note that we may not be able to accommodate all scheduling requests.)
For paper-based panels only: a 300-word abstract of each paper
Individual paper submissions should include the following:
A 300-word abstract of the paper
A c.v. for each presenter (including complete contact information)
ASLH is also soliciting proposals for innovative full-day or half-day pre-conference symposia crafted around related themes, and designed to augment (not duplicate) traditional ASLH conference offerings. The Program Committee is available to consult with organizers of such symposia, both as they draft their proposals and as they finalize their accepted programs. Pre-conference symposium proposals must include:
Program title (and whether half-day or full-day)
Presenter bios and contact information
Program description (including summary, format, learning objectives, planned sessions, and how stated learning objectives will be met)
Equipment / technology needs
Please note that:
All program presenters must be current members of the Society by the date of the Annual Meeting.
Prospective participants may submit proposals for multiple sessions, with the understanding that, absent exceptional circumstances, no individual may appear more than once on the final program in any capacity. The Program Committee strives to include as many participants as possible in the Annual Meeting, and will work with session organizers to identify suitable replacements for any sessions from which a participant has had to withdraw.
This open letter, posted today on the Virology Blog, calls on the UK journal Psychological Medicine to retract an article by the PACE team, in which they claimed to have achieved a 22% ME/CFS recovery rate using CBT and GET. Here is the concluding paragraph:
Therefore, we are asking Psychological Medicine to retract the paper immediately. Patients and clinicians deserve and expect accurate and unbiased information on which to base their treatment decisions. We urge you to take action without further delay.
Citing numerous flaws in the study, many of which I have detailed in earlier posts, the open letter is signed by virtually every leading ME/CFS researcher in the U.S. and Canada.
Dean Steven Kaminshine is stepping down as Dean of Georgia State Law. He took over in 2004 - so it's been a significant run for him. Associate Dean Wendy Hensel will serve as Interim Dean during the 2017-18 academic year as the school conducts a national search.
Bay area Loungers may be interested in the upcoming Robert A. Kagan Lecture in Law and Regulation at Berkeley Law’s Center For The Study of Law And Society. The lecture is Thursday, March 16, from 3:30 - 5:15pm (see the flyer for more info) and features Lauren B. Edelman (Agnes Roddy Robb Professor Of Law And Professor Of Sociology, U.C. Berkeley), who will discuss her work on legal endogeneity. Robin Stryker (Professor, School Of Sociology, University Of Arizona) and I will provide commentary.
I’m looking forward to this. Edelman’s work has had a great influence on my own thinking and writing about the regulation of business entities, and I’m looking forward to this chance to reflect on her (and Kagan’s) impact.
My short commentary on the role of bias in the PACE trial has been published by the Journal of Health Psychology. The piece develops an analogy between the role of judges and investigators in research trials, concluding that latent or implicit bias needs to be addressed in both sorts of trials, and suggesting that the recusal standard under U.S. law -- whether "impartiality might reasonably be questioned" -- may be useful in both contexts.
Here is the gist:
Investigator bias and the PACE trial - Mar 07, 2017
By virtue of their own experience, the PACE investigators were confident in the effectiveness of CBT and GET as ME/CFS treatments. Their earlier public statements—attributing ME/CFS symptoms to “false cognitions”—certainly appeared to dispose them toward a result. Coupled with their mid-trial revision of certain outcome measures—in a direction favorable to their own theories of improvement and recovery—it is reasonable to conclude that non-blinded trials of CBT/GET should be designed and overseen by investigators with no preexisting stake in the outcome.
The University of New Hampshire School of Law has named Texas A&M Professor Megan Carpenter as its new Dean. Carpenter, who holds a JD from West Virginia University, is the founder and co-director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property at Texas A&M. She starts this summer.
I'm delighted to report that the March 2017 issue of the American Journal of Legal History is up on the AJLH's website and it's at the printer and should be arriving in the mailboxes of subscribers soon. The contents are as follows:
It was beautiful this morning so I walked the three miles to work. My path took me through the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. I chose to walk through its small historic African American section. I passed the newly installed monument remembering those in unmarked graves who, in the engraved words of an enslaved poet, “like birds, retreat / To groves, and hide from ev’ry eye.”
The stone is a welcome addition to this section of the old graveyard. A normal cemetery doesn’t need such a marker. The many individual gravestones and obelisks are there to do the work of memory. The Old Chapel Hill Cemetery has plenty of those where the Aycocks and the Mannings and the Phillipses are buried. But at a certain point as you move back from Ridge Road the gravestones disappear and the ground goes bare. A marker, perhaps lopsided or decapitated and certainly illegible, leans here and there, but the uneven ground is mostly moss and branches and last fall’s unraked leaves.
The new marker helps us populate the barren burial ground in our mind’s eye, helps us imagine the dignity of the many enslaved people laid to rest there and the sorrows of those gathered in small groups as their friends and loved ones went into the ground.
But I prefer to remain in the present. I want to experience the absence of stones and tombs and benches for mourners to rest. I want to pay attention not to the time the people beneath me passed, but to the time since then, the time when, through penury and neglect, presence dissolved to absence. I want to sense my own role in their disappearance. There are people here, but where exactly are they? We don’t know, and the ground keeps its secrets. All cemeteries are homes to ghosts, souls rendered invisible by the passing of the flesh. In the African American section of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, the ghosts are doubly invisible, vanished first from life and then again from memory.
These might seem like morbid musings for a sunny morning walk, but what put them in my mind was the controversy about HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s recent comments about enslaved people coming to America, “the land of dreams and opportunity.” Dr. Carson said they were “immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships [and] who worked even longer, even harder” than other immigrants, and “for less,” because “they too had a dream -- that one day their sons, daughters,” and other descendants “might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”
Immediately there was an uproar against the new HUD Secretary: the enslaved were not “immigrants!”
And immediately there was a defense: President Obama said the same thing! “Life in America wasn’t always easy for new immigrants,” he said in 2015, certainly “those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves.” These people faced “discrimination and hardship and poverty,” but “were able to muster faith that here in America, they might build a better life.”
To me, standing in the African American section of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery this morning, both statements seemed obscene. What mars them is not that they call enslaved people “immigrants.” It is that they had the audacity to plant optimism and patriotism in those people’s minds. They ignored the actual things that a malnourished, possibly sick person, ripped from home and family for a miserable voyage to auction in an unknown place across the sea, might reasonably be imagined to think and feel. They put a second yoke on those people, hitching them to a sunny story of American progress and opportunity that we love to tell ourselves about ourselves but has nothing to do with them.
I can’t pretend to know exactly what would be in the mind of an enslaved person on a translatlantic voyage into the unknown. But I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been a dream of prosperity and happiness for themselves and their progeny. The “American dream,” the narrative of relentless progress and endless possibility of which others would make a national identity, didn’t exist for just about anyone at that time. It certainly didn’t exist for people coming to the American colonies in chains.
Slavery, America’s original sin, was not a hopeful or inspiring thing. It was violence at an institutional level. Nowhere was that violence more evident than in the circumstances of an enslaved person’s transportation to and arrival in America. There is nothing nice to see there, nothing to feel good about.
That is the true affront in Dr. Carson’s and President Obama’s words. They help us feel a little better about something that we have no business feeling better about. They deny the real human experience of the people they purport to honor and recast that experience as something we can take a measure of comfort from. They use those people as a means to someone else’s end in death just as in life.
Let us leave the enslaved people be. Let us stand in the African American section of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery as it is today. Let us not fill the dead’s unmarked graves with our own stories.