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University of Cincinnati College of Law Wins National Moot Court Competition


The University of Cincinnati College of Law Moot Court team of Sarah Kyriakedes and Tony Strike brought home a first place win at the 15th Annual Herbert J. Wechsler National Criminal Law Moot Court Competition.  The team won the overall competition and Strike won the Final Round Best Advocate Award. The event was held Saturday, March 23, 2013, hosted by the SUNY Buffalo Law School.

Kyriakedes and Strike, who will both graduate this year, have been on the Moot Court Board since their second year of law school after making the team during the Intramural Competition.  (There, Kyriakedes won the Best Overall Score during the competition.) They became partners last year for their first competition: the Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law Moot Court Competition.  (Strike won Best Overall Oralist at this competition.)  In addition, they worked together on the Trial Practice Team for the last two years.

“I got involved in Moot Court, because I wanted to improve my oral advocacy skills,” said Kyriakedes. “After graduation, I always knew that I wanted to be in the court room actively litigating. I knew that Moot Court would give me an opportunity to practice my courtroom etiquette and to grow from the constructive criticism that I received.” 

Strike concurred. “I came to law school in large part because I want to do things in the courtroom and Moot Court is one of the best ways to get that sort of experience. Moot Court is an excellent way to delve into a particular topic and get a sense of the way the law develops.” 

Prepping for the Moot Court Competition

The Herbert J. Wechsler National Criminal Law Moot Court Competition is one of the leading national moot court competitions in the United States to focus on topics in substantive criminal law. Problems address the constitutionality and interpretation of federal and state criminal statutes as well as general issues in the doctrine of federal and state criminal law.

The Wechsler Competition consisted of two parts: a written brief and oral arguments.  After receiving the material for the brief in January, Kyriakedes and Strike researched and reviewed the issues, dividing responsibilities between the two. Before they began writing their brief, they met with Professor Janet Moore and Professor Christo Lassiter to brainstorm ideas about how to approach the problem. They estimate it took about three weeks to write the 30 page brief. (Meanwhile, they were also practicing for a Trial Practice Competition in February!)

After turning in the brief, they began to prepare for the oral arguments, including weekly meetings to talk through issues and problem spot and weeks of practice “moot sessions.” During these sessions, they basically ran through their arguments as if they were in the actual competition with different people acting as judges to ask questions.  Because the Moot Court Program is a student organization, there aren’t formal coaches. So, the students reached out to professors and attorneys in the community to help them prepare.

“We knew that the best way to get prepared was to soak up all the advice that we could get,” said Kyriakedes.  Judge Patrick Fischer, Hamilton County Court of Appeals, First Appellate District of Ohio; Professor Moore; Donald Caster, an attorney with UC Law’s Ohio Innocence Project; and fellow student Sundeep Mutgi, the Moot Court Executive Director, helped with practice and acted as judges.

Looking Ahead to Life after Moot Court and Law School

Both Kyriakedes and Strike are already making plans for life after law school. Strike has been working part-time at the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office and hopes to continue that full-time after passing the bar. This "new" career of Strike's comes on the heels of a lengthy career in business, including receiving an MBA from Harvard.

Kyriakedes will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina after graduation. She hopes to work at the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, where she interned this past summer. “It has always been my goal to pursue a career as a public servant, so that I could use my legal education and skills to better the public welfare as a prosecutor.”

Take Note: Recent Moot Court Competition Success

Amy Bedinghaus’14 and Erica Helmle’14: advanced to the quarterfinal round at the Whittier Moot Court Juvenile Law Competition.

Nina Vachhani’13 and Josh Langdon’13: advanced to the octo-final round of the 2013 Cardozo/BMI  Entertainment and Communications Law Competition. Team also had top 10 brief.

Cincinnati Named a top 10 Revitalized City for Young Professionals by Forbes


Forbes magazine has included Cincinnati, OH on its list of the top 10 revitalized cities for young professionals. According to the article “Downtowns: What’s Behind America’s Most Surprising Real Estate Boom” by Morgan Brennan, America’s major metro area downtowns experienced double-digit population growth in the decade ending 2010, more than double the rate of growth for their overall cities. As more Americans, particularly college-educated young adults ages 25 to 34, opt for urban lifestyles, cities are working to revitalize their central business districts. Cincinnati, OH is listed as one of them.

See what they’re saying about downtown Cincinnati’s transformation: Forbes magazine article

John Peck '69 to Help Lead National Housing Trade Group


John Weld Peck '69CINCINNATI, Ohio, March 2013 – Peck Shaffer partner John Weld Peck '69 has been elected vice chairman of the board of directors of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA).

The NH&RA is a professional association of companies and individuals involved in affordable housing, historic rehabilitation and New Markets Tax Credit development. Mr. Peck has served on its board since 1993.

Mr. Peck has been in the forefront of affordable housing finance in the United States for the past 40 years. He participated in the legislative hearings that gave birth to the Section 8 program in the 1970s, helped write the original Section 8 financing regulations and has helped develop innovative tax-exempt multifamily housing finance vehicles since that time.

Mr. Peck has served as bond counsel, underwriter counsel, disclosure counsel, borrower counsel, housing authority counsel and issuer counsel on thousands of multifamily housing transactions.

He is a frequent speaker and panelist on multifamily finance topics.

 

About Peck Shaffer

Peck Shaffer is a national leader in public finance law, with offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Covington, Kentucky, Atlanta and Macon, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, and Denver, Colorado. Peck Shaffer is regularly ranked among the top bond counsel firms in the country (based on principal amount) by information intelligence company Thomson Reuters. More information can be found at www.peckshaffer.com.

Roetzel Appoints Robert B. Casarona '86 as Cleveland Office Partner-in-Charge


(Cleveland, OH, March 19, 2013) ― Roetzel is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert B. Casarona as Partner-In-Charge of the law firm’s Cleveland office, effective March 2013. Mr. Casarona succeeds Doug Spiker who will serve as the firm-wide Practice Group Manager of Roetzel’s Employment Services Group.

“Bob’s leadership and dedication to client service make him an outstanding choice for this position,” said Jeffrey J. Casto, Chairman and CEO of Roetzel. “We are pleased to have Bob take on this leadership role at the firm and look forward to his further contributions to our success. We thank Doug for his service to our Cleveland office and anticipate that his ongoing role as the head of our Employment Services Group will allow him to continue to exhibit his management expertise and strategic vision to further enhance the firm’s client service.”

“I look forward to this new role at the firm,” said Mr. Casarona. “Roetzel has many talented lawyers in Cleveland and I am fortunate to work with a strong office that is committed, not only to our clients, but the community as well.”

Mr. Casarona is a lifelong resident of Cleveland where he has practiced law for 27 years. His practice has focused on litigation with an emphasis on business, environmental and construction matters. He has served as the lead trial counsel in cases throughout Ohio, Florida, California and Utah, and has argued appeals in several districts and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Casarona has achieved the highest ranking from Martindale-Hubbell, and has been named to The Best Lawyers in America for both litigation and environmental law. He has been selected as an “Ohio Super Lawyer” by Ohio Super Lawyersmagazine since 2004, and Chambers USA has named him as one of the “Leaders in their Field” for Commercial Business Litigation.

 

About Roetzel

Roetzel is a full-service law firm that provides comprehensive, integrated legal counsel to national and international clients. For more information, visit& ralaw.com.

Christo Lassiter Quoted in ABC News Report


UC Law’s Professor Christo Lassiter was quoted in an ABC News.com article about the possibility of prosecuting people who failed to report a felony in the Steubenville, OH rape case.  Here’s the story: Steubenville (OH)  Rape Case Report

Law Review Launches New Blog as Additional Outlet for Legal Discourse


Legal scholarship has taken to the blogs.  To position the College of Law’s Law Review for the future, they have joined the movement, launching the UC Law Review Blog,

The goal of the UC Law Review Blog is to further legal scholarship through shorter, quicker, discussion-based discourse by contributors with practical experience, and to allow more student contributors to build domain expertise and be published in their profession.  The Blog is designed to target practitioners and provides an outlet for legal discourse that is often not covered in traditional Law Review articles.

New blog submissions from professors, students (even if not on Law Review), and practitioners are being accepted.  Additionally, Professor Sean Mangan will serve as a Contributing Editor.

All are invited to follow the UC Law Review Blog online and take part in the legal blogging movement!

Lorene Schaefer '90 invited to make recommendations to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


1990 UC Law Graduate Lorene Schaefer is 1 of 7 attorneys nationwide invited to make recommendations to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC has announced it will hold a public meeting at agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. to review the potential revision of the criteria to measure the quality of EEOC investigations and conciliations. EEOC Press Release Link: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-15-13.cfm

The EEOC invited seven private practitioners from across the U.S. to provide their recommendations, including Lorene Schaefer, Esq. Ms. Schaefer is an attorney and full-time workplace neutral. At Workplace Investigations Group, she conducts impartial investigations nationwide into allegations of harassment, discrimination and workplace misconduct and delivers training on how to conduct an effective investigation. She is also a mediator with One Mediation, Inc.

Lorene blogs regularly at www.WinWinHR.com and is a trusted media resource providing a balanced perspective on workplace issues to various media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Corporate Counsel, Inside Counsel and Business Insurance.

Workplace Investigations Group has a national panel of professional workplace investigators who have a minimum of ten years of employment litigation experience and a law degree. As such, wherever the workplace issue arises, we provide you with an investigator who can respond to the regional need quickly and competently. Workplace Investigations Group, Inc. also provides training to in-house counsel, risk managers and human resources professionals on all aspects of internal investigations. Its website is www.Workplace-Investigations-Group.com

JD-MBA Student William Volck Focuses on Career as In-House Counsel


William Volck ’14 has contemplated a number of legal career paths in the last two years. At first he considered sports law and becoming a sports agent. He flirted with the idea of litigation, aided in part by his summer work experience with a local judge. Now he is geared toward an eventual career in house. Regardless of where he ends up and what type of law he ultimately practices, Volck has not strayed from his initial goal as a college freshman of going to law school and working towards a JD.

Volck was born on a Navajo reservation in Northern Arizona but moved to his father’s hometown of Cincinnati at age five. After attending St. Xavier High School, Volck headed to Indiana University. He knew when he arrived at college that he was likely going to pursue a law degree, regardless of his major. Volck ultimately earned a BA in Communications from IU with a minor from the Kelley School of Business in 2011.

During his senior year at IU, Volck interned at a pair of local law offices in Bloomington, Ind. One person who was especially supportive of this decision was Volck’s uncle, a sole practitioner in Baltimore whose legal career was a primary motivation for Volck opting to pursue law in the first place.

After a tough decision, Volck opted to return home for law school, enrolling in the College of Law’s Class of 2014. In the last couple years, he has become especially interested in business law, in part due to his minor at IU, while also influenced by many of his college friends who studied business and now work in the field. As a result, he is now pursuing a joint JD/MBA. Typically, students attend a year at the College of Law while spending the second year out of four at the UC Lindner College of Business. However, Volck is taking a different route by loading up on credits this semester. He will then take a few business courses during his traditional 3L year, sit for the bar with this class, and then spend the 2014-15 year at the business school.

Externships Provide Lots of Opportunity

While Volck is currently preparing for a career as in-house counsel, his experiences last summer externing for Magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz ’84 at the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, opened up his eyes to litigation. “For a 1L summer, I had a really excellent experience,” Volck said.

Throughout the summer, Volck worked with Magistrate Judge Litkovitz’s clerks – College of Law graduates Erica Faaborg '06 and Laura Ahern '85 – in helping draft various opinions before the judge made her corrections.  “(Magistrate Judge Litkovitz) has final say over absolutely everything, but I felt involved with the whole process,” Volck said.

Volck noted his 1L civil procedure and research and writing classes were especially valuable during his summer, but his research and writing skills especially improved as he was “doing it every day.”

The current 2L was appreciative of Magistrate Judge Litkovitz bringing him into settlement conferences, hearings, and other proceedings to observe and take notes. Other judges were also very welcoming, including Chief Judge Susan Dlott. At the end of the summer, Judge Michael Barrett ’77, United States District Court of the Southern District of Ohio, held a mock trial for all the judges’ externs, which allowed Volck to argue in front of Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman and a live jury.

“That’s when I really discovered I liked litigation,” Volck said, noting the “competitive edge” involved.

This summer, Volck will be working in New York with Bruce Eichner ’69 and The Continuum Company. Volck is the 2013 Eichner Fellow. “I’m really excited about that. I have never been to New York before,” he said, who pursued this experience for the opportunity to work with in-house counsel and gain experience in business development.

Volck is a member of the Moot Court Program and also a Tenant Information Project volunteer. Last semester, he and 3L Casey Kirchberg participated in an ABA Negotiations competition at Cooley Law School in Michigan. Professor Marjorie Aaron, director of the Center for Practice, and adjunct professor Jim Lawrence of Frost Brown Todd coached Volck and Kirchberg, as well as another pair from the College of Law.

In his free time, Volck enjoys doing outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, and fishing. He also enjoys attending Reds games and listening to live music.

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13

From Broadcasting to Law—Alex Doyle Plans on Career as a Prosecutor


 Alex Doyle arrived on campus at UC in September 2006. Six and a half years later, she’s still here. Doyle, a native Cincinnatian, graduated with a degree in Electronic Media from the College Conservatory of Music in 2010 and, in two months, she will earn her JD from the College of Law.

“Being at UC for seven years has been the best experience possible for someone like me,” Doyle said. “I love UC and Cincinnati, and I would not have changed my time here for the world!”

Doyle grew up on the West Side and attended St. Ursula Academy, where she excelled both in the classroom and in the swimming pool. Doyle chose to attend UC, where she was offered a swimming scholarship, although she opted for a more traditional college life after one year of swimming for UC. She joined a sorority, became the president of UC’s student television station and even interned at CNN in Atlanta, where she managed social media networking for “CNN Newsroom with Rick Sanchez.”

Doyle’s interest in law school was first piqued by an undergraduate media law course. She was passionate about media and law had always interested her, so she jumped at the opportunity to take the course. In the end, it helped lead her toward law school and, ultimately, at UC.

“I have always been a homebody and being lucky enough to have a highly ranked law school in my hometown was a great coincidence for me,” said Doyle, who complimented the Admissions staff that made her feel welcome and accepted before she even submitted her application.

When Doyle began law school, she thought about focusing on media law and possibly continuing to pursue a career as a news anchor. However, she has since fallen in love with prosecution.

“I think I have always had a mind that is geared toward prosecution, and being in a courtroom most of the day and getting to meet lots of people is something that is right up my alley,” she said.

Doyle’s working experience and a College of Law clinical experience have certainly helped in her potential pursuit of a career inside the courtroom. After working with a Northern Kentucky attorney during the summer following 1L year, Doyle spent this past summer clerking for Judge Robert P. Ruehlman of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.

Last semester, she enrolled in the College’s Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic. Doyle utilized a legal intern certificate to litigate in front of magistrates and judges, and advocate for victims of domestic violence. This semester, she is participating in an independent study project with Hamilton County Prosecutor David Prem, through which she has been able to research, write briefs and memoranda, and shadow the prosecutor.

“The most meaningful classes have been the practical experiences, by far,” said Doyle, who also externed last spring with UC’s Intellectual Property Office. “In my three years at UC Law, I have worked at a small firm, completed research for a professor (James O’Reilly, Volunteer Professor of Law), worked at the Hamilton County courthouse for a judge, participated in the externship program and the DV clinic, and participated in an independent study. I feel like I have had the opportunity to be introduced to almost everything offered at UC Law.”

Doyle has also been involved with various activities at the College of Law, including serving as the current vice president of the Student Bar Association.

Outside of school and studying, Doyle enjoys participating in various running and swimming events. Last spring, she ran the full Flying Pig Marathon and plans to run the half marathon this year, on May 5, with her fiancée. Last October, Doyle finished first in her age group in the Great Ohio River Swim, while she has also twice run the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World (wearing a pink tutu), among other events.

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13

Professor Williams Writes Editorial About Justice Scalia’s Scorn of Vote Protections


Constitutional law professor Verna Williams published an editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer  (March 7, 2013) challenging Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments about voter protection under the Voting Rights Act.    

Read the editorial: Scalia Scorns Vote Protections