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Professor Bettman’s judicial decisions cited by the Supreme Court of Ohio

In State v. Radcliff, Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-235, issued by the Supreme Court of Ohio on January 28, 2015, and authored by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, the court cited with approval a concurring opinion written by Professor Bettman when she was a judge on the First District Court of Appeals. In Radcliff  the state high court held, with admitted reluctance, that in the absence of statutory authority, a trial court does not have inherent authority to seal the criminal  record of an offender who has been pardoned by the governor.  The excerpt from Bettman’s opinion, which begins at paragraph 35 of the majority opinion, urges the legislature to liberalize the expungement (this term has been changed to the word “sealing”) statutes to help those deserving of a fresh start.  

Read the entire opinion online at State v. Radcliff, Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-235, You can also read more about the entire issue of judicial record sealing in this post from Professor Bettman’s  blog on the Supreme Court of Ohio. 

Professor Solimine’s Article Cited by the US Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion January 21, 2015 in Gelboim v. Bank of America Corp.  On the last page of the Court’s opinion, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you will find the following reference to authority: "See generally, Solimine, Revitalizing Interlocutory Appeals in Federal Courts, 58 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1165 (1990)."

Congratulations, Professor Solimine.


Solimine’s Article Now in Print

Professor Michael Solimine’s article, The Fall and Rise of Specialized Federal Constitutional Courts, is now in print in17 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 115 (2014). 

Professor Sperino's Article Published in OSU Law Journal

Professor Sandra Sperino’s Let's Pretend Title VII is a Tort is now in print at 75 Ohio State Law Journal 1107 (2014). 

Bettman’s Legally Speaking Ohio Blog Cited by FindLaw

Kudos to Professor Marianna Bettman and her Legally Speaking Ohio blog, which was recently mentioned on FindLaw for Ohio v. Clark, Darius, a case from the Ohio Supreme Court which was taken up by the Supreme Court of the United States.  The writers of FindLaw noted that the Legally Speaking Ohio blog was a resource for information on the case. It was number 4 on the FindLaw list.

Professor Solimine Cited in Election Law Expert’s Blog

One of the country’s most well-known authorities on national and state election politics and blogger on legislation, Professor Rick Hasen at the University of California Irvine School of Law, commented on Professor Michael Solimine’s newest article “Rethinking District of Columbia Venues in Voting Rights Preclearance Actions,” recently published in the Georgetown Law Journal.  Professor Hasen noted he looked forward to reading it (Solimine’s article). “Michael leads the field in his writing on election law procedure.”

Welcome to A New Year

Dear friends,

A highpoint for me every year is welcoming our new students to the College of Law – sharing in their excitement, commemorating with them the start of their careers, and celebrating the good things about law and the legal profession that make both essential to a civil and prosperous society.

And Monday, August 18th  was as good as it gets.   We welcomed the Class of 2017 – a group of 75 students (a smaller class than usual, as is happening at law schools across the country).  Impressive, engaged, and rich with promise, they range in age from 21 to 50 and come from 13 states (and birthplaces in at least seven different nations).  Alumni of 43 different undergraduate institutions, they majored in 26 different undergraduate fields of study. 

We also welcomed five transfer students to the Class of 2016, as well as two exchange students from our New Zealand partner, the University of Canterbury School of Law.  And we welcomed 12 LL.M. students who hail from eight nations.  Our long-storied law school, now in its 182nd  year, is delighted to welcome all these new members into the fold.  We are now even stronger.

Going Forward

It’s an exciting year ahead.  There are victories to be won in moot courts, trial and negotiation competitions, and transactional meets.  Law reviews to publish and influential scholarship to produce.  Hundreds of clients to serve in our clinics.  Law to learn and skills to hone in our classes.  Major lectures and events – including a boundary-spanning program this October from the Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice – that you won’t want to miss.  Milestones to mark, including the Ohio Innocence Project’s 10th anniversary and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights’ 35th.   

We’ll continue to excel – and  get even better – at providing an outstanding legal education.  (Did you know the College was recognized nationally for the strength of its experiential learning and practical training?)  We’ll provide that outstanding legal education as affordably as possible.  (Did you know the College ranks 25th in lowest average graduate student debt, and recently was recognized nationally for value?)  We’ll continue to do it all with great spirit and an enviable sense of true community.  (Did you know that the College was the only college at UC to attain 100% participation in the recent Faculty/Staff fundraising campaign, and leads UC’s west campus colleges with the highest percentage of alumni fundraising participation?)

Speaking of spirit, community, and the exciting year we’ve begun: The SBA kicked off the year with a Day of Service on September 6, bringing together students, faculty, staff, and alumni in community service projects throughout our city.  A great time was had by all.  Let’s continue that trend they’ve started.

Best wishes for a great year,

Lou Bilionis, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law


Professor Moore Invited to Participate at Criminal Defense Forum

Congratulations to Professor Janet Moore, who was invited to participate as one of 12 national experts on a new national working group on indigent criminal defense reform in early September. The working group is supported by the U.S. Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Professor Moore’s scholarship focuses on the legal and political conditions that empower stakeholders to obtain greater transparency and accountability from criminal justice systems.

Read more about Professor Moore:

From the Courtroom to the Classroom Janet Moore focuses on Policy Reform

UC Law Professor Janet Moore Wins Junior Scholarship Competition

Faculty Profile

Constitution Day 2014: The American Constitution in a Changing America

Date: September 17, 2014

Time: 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Location: Room 114

CLE: Application for one (1) hour of general CLE has been submitted for Ohio and Kentucky. Approval is expected.

Webcast (available 9/17): 2014 Constitution Day

About the Event

Polarization in Congress and the nation’s politics.  Elections, campaign contributions, and money.  Equality and liberty in an increasingly diverse nation.  Individual privacy in a digital age.  Free market freedoms in a complex society and an interconnected world.

These are among the foremost constitutional challenges of our day, provoking controversies and cases that have captured the nation’s headlines and attention.  In this Constitution Day 2014 program, three constitutional law experts will explore how they are testing and evolving the meaning of the United States Constitution in a changing America

About the Speakers

Louis D. Bilionis, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law,  is a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of constitutional law and criminal law and procedure, with his work published in leading law journals such as the Michigan Law Review, Texas Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, University of California-Los Angeles Law Review, Emory Law Journal, North Carolina Law Review, and Law and Contemporary Problems. He has taught constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence, as well as seminars on capital punishment, constitutional law and theory, criminal law and procedure, and sentencing.

A. Christopher Bryant, Rufus King Professor of Constitutional Law, has been a prolific scholar and an exceptionally skilled and award-winning teacher of constitutional law. His numerous published articles and essays reach a wide range of issues of contemporary constitutional importance, including the separation of powers, judicial review, and the roles of the various branches of the national government in constitutional interpretation.  He is a recognized expert on the scope and exercise of national legislative power and the respect that Congressional action is owed from the federal judiciary, with leading articles on the subject published in the Cornell Law Review, George Washington Law Review, BYU Law Review, Notre Dame Journal of Legislation, and William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.

Ronna Greff Schneider, Professor of Law, is an expert in constitutional law, with a focus on the First Amendment, and education law.  She is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues involving constitutional law, education law, and educational policy and is the author of the two volume legal treatise, Education Law: First Amendment, Due Process and Discrimination Litigation (Thomson Reuters), and its annual supplements (available in print and online in Westlaw).


Sperino Cited by Iowa Supreme Court and Quoted in Washington Post

Sandra SperinoJuly 2014 has been a great month for Professor Sandra Sperino. In addition to having her work cited several times by the Iowa Supreme Court in cases involving federal and state employment law and employment discrimination, she was quoted in a Washington Post article about punishments federal whistleblowers may receive on their jobs. And, she also was published in the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Iowa Supreme Court Cites Sperino’s Work

The Iowa Supreme Court cited articles by Professor Sperino in two opinions issued this summer. The two cases are Goodpaster v. Schwan's Home Serv., Inc., 13-0010, 2014 WL 2900950 (Iowa June 27, 2014) and Pippen v. State, 12-0913, 2014 WL 3537028 (Iowa July 18, 2014).

In both cases, the Iowa Supreme Court decided whether it should interpret the Iowa Civil Rights Act to be consistent with federal law. In both cases, the Iowa Supreme Court used Sperino’s work to support its conclusion that Iowa state law should be interpreted independently from federal law.

Sperino’s articles discuss how fractured federal discrimination law has become over time. Under federal law, discrimination protections are found in three main statutes: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Prior to the 1990s, the federal courts tended to read these three statutes consistently. If a phrase was interpreted one way under Title VII, the courts would interpret the same or similar phrase in the ADEA to have the same meaning. However, in recent cases, the Supreme Court has interpreted these statutes differently.

Sperino’s work explains how many states have a single anti-discrimination statute. It is difficult for state law to continue to follow federal law because federal law now approaches some questions differently, depending on whether the underlying claim is one for age discrimination, sex discrimination, or disability discrimination. In many states, claims for age, sex, and disability discrimination would all be brought under the same state statute.

Her work also explains that Congressional amendments to Title VII and the ADA were largely in response to Supreme Court decisions interpreting these statutes narrowly. State laws may use different words than the federal statutes. Many state laws also do not have the same history of narrow court interpretation followed by subsequent amendment. It is now difficult to read many state laws in tandem with federal law. As the Iowa Supreme Court noted: “Congressional reaction to a specific case decided by the United States Supreme Court does not shed light on the meaning of state law when there has been no comparable narrow state court precedent to stimulate a legislative override.” Pippen v. State, 12-0913, 2014 WL 3537028, at *15 (Iowa July 18, 2014).

Here are links to the cited articles:

Washington Post Article Quotes Sperino

Professor Sperino was also quoted in the August 4, 2014 Washington Post article “For whistleblowers, a bold move can be followed by one to department basement.” The article follows the case of former Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital employee Paula Pedene who alleges she was reassigned to a new position after complaining to higher-ups about mismanagement at the hospital. In the article Sperino talks about the challenges employees often face when attempting to bring this type of case to court.

Finally, her article Fakers and Floodgates, co-authored by Professor Suja Thomas, University of Illinois College of Law, appeared in print at 10 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 223 (2014).