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Professor Jacob Cogan Elected to Executive Council of American Society of International Law

Jacob Katz Cogan, the Judge Joseph P. Kinneary Professor of Law, was recently elected a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. Founded in 1906, the Society, which is headquartered in Washington, DC, is the preeminent international law learned society in the United States. Its nearly 4,000 members from more than 100 nations include attorneys, academics, corporate counsel, judges, representatives of governments and non-governmental organizations, international civil servants, students, and others interested in international law. Professor Cogan recently co-chaired the Society’s 2018 Annual Meeting.

Immediately prior to joining the College of Law in 2006, he served for five years as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. Professor Cogan is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has received both the College’s Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching and its Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award.

Date: May 10, 2018

Mark Godsey Receives University’s Faculty Research Mentoring Award

Cincinnati, OH—Congratulations to Professor Mark Godsey, the recipient of the University of Cincinnati’s Faculty-to-Faculty Research Mentoring Award.

This honor recognizes faculty members who use their time to support, counsel and mentor peers at various stages in their careers. Criteria for nomination include a history of demonstrated research mentorship; activities to support the success of peer faculty in clinical, translational or basic science research; and, evidence of mentee’s success in research endeavors.

“Professor Mark Godsey exemplifies the excellence of our law faculty, not only in making significant academic contributions, but also in building a community of scholars,” shared Verna L. Williams, Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law at the College of Law.

Awardees receive $1,000 in faculty development funding to expand their research efforts. This award is presented by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Research.

Cincinnati Law Faculty Celebrated For Excellence In And Out Of Classrooms

Cincinnati, OH—Congratulations to Kristin Kalsem, the Charles Hartsock Professor of Law and Co-director, Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice; and Felix Chang, Associate Professor of Law and Co-director, Corporate Law Center! Both recently received the University of Cincinnati’s prestigious “Award for Faculty Excellence.”

The award recognizes exemplary faculty because of their exceptional and significant service, outstanding research, innovations and accomplishments.

“I’m excited for and proud of my colleagues,” shared Verna L. Williams, Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law. “This award reflects the incredible work they do. We are lucky that Professors Kalsem and Chang are part of our community.”

UC’s Offices of the Provost and Vice President for Research distributes the award annually. Honorees will receive $2,000 in faculty development funds to use to enhance their work at the university. 

Publication Date: April 19, 201

Cincinnati Law Professors Honored at University Faculty Awards Celebration

The University of Cincinnati presented its All-University Faculty Awards to 15 faculty members and one team in a celebration of teaching excellence on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Three College of Law faculty members were honored.

Professor Emily Houh, the Gustavus Henry Wald Professor of the Law and Contracts | Co-director, Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Presented with: the Distinguished Teaching Professor. This award represents the highest level of recognition for achievements and contributions in university teaching. It recognizes long-term commitment to excellence, and is awarded to instructors who represent the ideals of the educational profession and have made impactful contributions in teaching, curricular development, and the mentoring and supervision of students.

When Emily Houh, JD, first began teaching, her father, a university math professor known for his seemingly never-ending well of patience, offered her sage advice that’s come to be a guiding principal in how she approaches education.

In every class you teach, regardless of how good or bad a teacher you are, Houh’s father told her, there will be 10 percent of the class who will get the material and 10 percent who will not. The challenge, he said, is how to reach the 80 percent of students for whom it will matter how good of a teacher you are.

“You have to pay attention to the students at the ends, but you’ve got to pitch mostly to those in the middle, and it’s really challenging to do all three of those things simultaneously,” said Houh. “That advice carries me through in all of my teaching. That’s how you reach the most students.”

Reaching students across the spectrum has never been a challenge for Houh, say her students, who consistently give her among the highest teaching ratings and thrice awarded her the college’s Goldman Prize for Teaching Excellence. Two students even asked Houh to officiate their weddings.

Beyond the classroom, Houh works tirelessly to bring innovative programming to campus and create unique professional opportunities for students through her role as co-director of the college’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice.

Colleague Professor Kristin Kalsem, whose office is next to Houh’s, sees the dedicated law professor’s commitment to student success on a daily basis in the hours she spends with students — both current and former — discussing papers, exams, careers or just life.

“Professor Houh does much more than share her knowledge; she shares herself,” said Kalsem. “She is outstanding in the classroom, but truly extraordinary outside it.”


Janet Moore, Associate Professor of Law

Presented with: Mrs. A.B. "Dolly" Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award recognizes individuals committed to excellence in teaching, demonstrating creativity, respect for diverse opinions and experiences, and provides an atmosphere that fosters self-confidence, positive self-concept and mutual respect.

When the UC College of Law first asked Janet Moore, JD, to teach classes, the capital defense attorney and policy advocate decided to test a hypothesis: “Would I be able to accomplish more system change from this position than I was doing by case-by-case litigation or policy research and advocacy?”

It wasn’t long before Moore, now a law professor at UC, had her answer.

“I still get to do that policy-oriented research and advocacy, but now I get to teach it,” she said. “It’s such an honor to be a part of raising up the next generation of change-makers.”

For Moore, it’s that tireless dedication to pursuing justice that’s earned her a reputation as an exceptional educator who devotes an incredible amount of her time both in and outside of the classroom to ensure student engagement and success.

Students regularly say that Moore’s classes are among the most challenging — and memorable — of their law school careers.

Students prosecute houseplants and question stuffed animals on the witness stand. Lesson plans are supplemented with vintage film clips, card games and the opera Don Giovanni. Classes sing the Federal Rules of Evidence recorded to the tune of nursery rhymes.

Last year, Moore allowed first-year law students to work with her on an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, which cited the brief in its majority opinion — an experience the jubilant students described as “surreal,” “profound,” and the “highlight” of their year.

“Janet is a professor who sets high expectations for her students, balancing both joy and rigor in the classroom. Her classes reflect the kind of deep learning that represents the highest standards of teaching,” said Verna Williams, the college’s interim dean and Nippert Professor of Law.


Professor Michael Solimine and Professor Emily Houh

Inductees: Fellows of the Graduate School

Professor Michael Solimine, the Donald P. Klekamp Professor of Law, and Professor Emily Houh also were inducted as Fellows of the Graduate School. This honor recognizes distinguished researchers and scholars from across the university. In addition to their outstanding individual accomplishments, Fellow are among the most accomplished graduate-student mentors at UC.


Writer: Rachel Richardson, UC Public Relations

Professor Mark Godsey Named 2018 Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award Recipient

Cincinnati, OH— Verna Williams, interim dean at the College of Law, has announced that Professor Mark Godsey, veteran prosecutor, professor and director of the College’s Ohio Innocence Project, is this year’s recipient of the Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award. This award recognizes outstanding research and scholarly achievement by a member of the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Professor Godsey will deliver a public lecture in the next academic year.

Professor Godsey is the Daniel P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and Director of the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project. His scholarship focuses on wrongful convictions and police interrogation. Professor Godsey and the staff and students in the Ohio Innocence Project have thus far freed 25 individuals who were wrongfully convicted and incarcerated in the state of Ohio.

His book, BLIND INJUSTICE: A FORMER PROSECUTOR EXPOSES THE PSYCHOLOGY AND POLITICS OF WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS, was published by the University of California Press in the fall of 2017. It was selected for "best book of 2017" lists and has been favorably reviewed and widely discussed in the national media from Salon and Daily Kos to Time, The Economist and The Nation. In December, the Cincinnati Opera announced that it is creating an opera based on the book, to premiere in 2019. A television series based on the book is also currently in the works.

From 2008 to 2017, Professor Godsey served on the Executive Board of the Innocence Network, the organization representing Innocence Projects in the United States and around the world, and currently serves as co-chair of the Network's International Committee. He has been a leading figure in spreading awareness of wrongful convictions, and with assisting lawyers and scholars in other countries to establish mechanisms for fighting wrongful convictions. Professor Godsey has widely lectured and consulted on the subject in Asia, Africa and Europe, and serves on the board of the European Innocence Network.

Professor Godsey is also a regular commentator on issues relating to criminal law and wrongful conviction in both the local and national press, and has appeared nationally on Larry King Live, Dateline NBC, CNN, ESPN, BBC, Forensic Files, and NPR among others. He is frequently quoted in papers and magazines across the country, including The New York Times, Newsweek, People and the Wall Street Journal. In 2017, Time highlighted Professor Godsey as a leading figure in the movement, profiling his career and many of his cases over the years. He is also the editor of the Wrongful Convictions Blog and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

Professor Timothy Armstrong’s Article Discussed in SCOTUS Order

Professor Timothy Armstrong’s article “Chevron Deference and Agency Self-Interest” (published in the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy) was cited on October 16, 2017 in the Scenic America, Inc. v. Dep’t of Transp. statement of Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, respecting the denial of certiorari.

Here’s Professor Armstrong’s take on the development:

Although I no longer specialize in the area, I handled quite a few matters dealing with administrative law during my career in private practice. My clients in such cases had disagreements with federal government agencies over the terms of the statutes those agencies administered. As administrative-law specialists know, federal agencies enjoy a significant advantage in litigation over other parties where disputes arise over the meaning of an agency’s governing statute. Agencies usually win such disputes because, under the reasoning of Chevron USA Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984), courts are obliged to defer to an agency’s interpretation of its own statute in many instances, on the grounds that Congress meant for the agency itself to fill in the gaps and resolve any ambiguities in the legislation as enacted.


My article, “Chevron Deference and Agency Self-Interest,” argued that sometimes more important policies superseded the rationale of the Chevron decision. The article argued, specifically, that the courts should not defer to agencies’ legal interpretations when those interpretations tended to affect the scope of the agency’s regulatory authority or the agency’s financial interests, because in those scenarios, reasonable observers might doubt whether the agency’s action rested upon a dispassionate and impartial assessment of what the law actually required. The Court rejected my position, insofar as agencies’ regulatory authority is concerned, a few years ago in City of Arlington v. FCC, 133 S. Ct. 1863 (2013).


Monday’s Order, however, indicates that at least some of the Justices remain concerned about an agency’s reliance on the Chevron doctrine where the agency's legal interpretation redounds to its financial advantage. It is interesting that Justice Gorsuch drafted the order issued Monday, because his predecessor on the Court (the late Justice Antonin Scalia) wrote the majority opinion in City of Arlington and generally took a far more expansive view of the circumstances when Chevron deference was appropriate. For Justice Gorsuch to be signaling more discomfort with Chevron (as he also did during his years on the Court of Appeals) is a hint that the change in the composition of the Court in the few years since City of Arlington may become quite significant down the road if a new case raising the question of deference to agencies’ contractual interpretations should come before the Court.

Attorney, Scholar, Professor Michael Solimine’s 30+ Years in the Legal World

Before Professor Michael Solimine’s scholarship was cited by the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Ohio, and Iowa Supreme Court; before he became Cincinnati Law’s Donald P. Klekamp Professor of Law; and before he was awarded the University of Cincinnati’s 2017 Provost Faculty Career Award, he had developed an interest and passion for the law. Coming from a family of attorneys (both his dad and older brother were lawyers), Solimine felt a kinship with the legal world, deciding to major in political science when he attended Ohio’s Wright State University. He recalls his college years, remembering that “even back then I was interested in legal issues, and I was particularly interested in how political scientists . . . and other social scientists examine the legal system.”

Upon completing his undergraduate studies in 1978, Solimine was off to Northwestern University School of Law. While there, he made the dean’s list and served as Articles Editor for the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.

Honing his Interest in Civil Litigation
Although his knowledge and expertise cover many areas of law and legal studies, Professor Solimine is most recognized for his scholarship on civil litigation. His interest in this field grew when he took relevant classes in law school and later when he “clerked for a federal judge (Judge Walter H. Rice, United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio) and worked for him on both criminal and civil matters. Most of my work for him was on the civil side. After I finished my clerkship I practiced law for a firm [Porter, Wright, Morris, and Arthur] and did civil litigation.”

In 1986 Solimine transitioned to academia. Over the last three decades he has built a career defined by a devotion to teaching, research and serving the academic and professional communities. As a teacher, he is known as a professor who can translate “legalese into English” as he has transformed seemingly abstract concepts into comprehensible lessons.

With regard to research, Professor Solimine is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar in the American civil litigation systems, including civil procedure, federal courts, conflict of laws, as well as election law. His scholarly work consists of six books (a monograph on federal courts (Greenwood Press), a casebook on appellate practice (West Publishing), two casebooks on election law (Carolina Academic Press), two books for judges and lawyers on civil practice in Ohio courts (LexisNexis), and over 60 substantial articles, as well as numerous book reviews and shorter essays. His articles have been published in both peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Journal of Legal Studies, Supreme Court Economic Review) and in the law reviews of the top-ranked law schools in the United States (e.g., Michigan Law Review; Wisconsin Law Review; North Carolina Law Review; Ohio State Law Journal; Cornell International Law Journal; Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy). He has been invited to participate in and has published in 20 symposia, delivered scholarly papers at annual meetings of the Association of American Law Schools, and the Midwest Political Science Association, and by invitation contributed essays to academic blogs.

Professor Solimine has received four separate recognition awards from the College of Law for his scholarship. And in spring 2017 he was honored with the university’s Faculty Career Award, presented to a member of the faculty who has worked to make UC a high-quality education and research-focused environment.

The character of his work is reflected in the numerous times his work has been cited and discussed in other books and articles-- over 2000 books and articles and counting. Also, his work has been cited in the decisions of numerous federal court decisions (including the U.S. Supreme Court), and by the state supreme courts of Ohio and Iowa.

Through all of his success Solimine has retained his passion for his studies in political science. He recently co-wrote an academic book, Understanding Election Law, with professors Michael Dimino, Commonwealth Law School, Widener University, and Bradley Smith, Capital University Law School. Solimine ‘s input for this book can be traced back to his college years. “I remember, all these years back in my undergraduate, that I took a really good class called ‘Political Parties.’ There was a segment in it that explored how the state and federal governments regulate parties, the campaign process, and fundraising. It was very interesting to me, and so when I came back into the academic world, I wrote on the subject. And to make a long story short, I ended up collaborating on a casebook.” Understanding Election Law was published by Carolina Academic Press in 2016.

Professor Solimine is always finding new subjects of interest. At present, he is working on an academic paper about the “three judge district court.” He explains that this a court that hears “a small number of cases, of a certain type, that are litigated at the trial level by three judges.” The three judges give a verdict, and if it is appealed, the case goes directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. Solimine’s work will illuminate the history and legal specifics of this little-known feature of the legal system.


Writer; Pete Mills

Prof. Mark Godsey Weighs in on Mueller’s Grand Jury

Professor Mark Godsey, director of the Ohio Innocence Project (and former federal prosecutor), discusses the meaning behind Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s opening of a grand jury in Washington, DC. Find out more here.

Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs Bradford Mank was quoted in the article, "High Court Won’t Hear Dispute Challenging FDA Over J&J Drug."

Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs Bradford Mank was quoted in the blog, "When Third Parties Can Sue Government Remains Murky."