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David Logan served as Dean at Roger Williams School of Law from 2003 to 2014, making him one of the nation's longest-serving law deans. In 2014, he returned to full-time teaching and research.

A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Logan clerked for a federal...

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Justice Kagan in Rhode Island

Posted by David Logan on 09/05/2013 at 05:19 PM

Justice Elena Kagan came to Rhode Island to join in two important celebrations: the 250th anniversary of the oldest synagogue in the United States - Touro Synagogue and the 350th anniversary of the Royal Charter for the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and the Roger Williams Law community was out in force for both events, as well as an invitation-only reception at the Federal Courthouse in Providence.

The Touro event was built around the reading of George Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, historically significant because it was the first statement by a United States President that the new country would not just be tolerant of all religions, but actually provide religious liberty. (And it was the source of the famous phrase, “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”) Justice Kagan’s address, unsurprisingly, focused on the experience of Jewish lawyers in the U.S.  Here is press coverage of her Touro talk. http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130818-newports-touro-synagogue-celebrates-its-250th-anniversary-gallery.ece

The next day, Judge Bruce Selya (a popular member of our Adjunct Faculty), hosted the federal court event which began with a private reception in his chambers and then an opportunity for the larger group to interact with the personable justice.

Jeffrey Padwa, Providence City Solicitor with Justice Kagan

  Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Judge Bruce Selya

  RI Supreme Court Associate Justice William Robinson

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha, Colonel Brendan Doherty (ret.) and RI Superior Court Associate Justice Michael Silverstein

Mike Daly'02, Stan Pupecki'02 and Associate Justice Netti Vogel, RI Superior Court

RI Family Court Associate Justice Laureen D’Ambra

Michael P. Fontaine, Esq. and Judge Selya

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Jeffrey Padwa

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard Sullivan

Judge Selya, Associate Justice Vogel and RI Chief Justice Paul Suttell

Then, of course, was the event that was sponsored by RWU Law, her conversation, held at Trinity Rep Theater in Providence, and attended by over 200 RWU Law students, faculty, and staff.  The conversation was fascinating and the event went viral when Justice Kagan mentioned that due to the formality of her colleagues, the Court “had not gotten around to email.” Here are some links to the press coverage:




Here are pictures from this event.



Professor Ted Widmer, Brown University