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Posted by David Logan
11/28/2011 at 03:41 PM
Election Day 2011 brought a double dose of good news for Roger Williams Law as two members of the family (both Class of 2005 alums) won mayoral slots in cities immediately flanking the Ocean State: to the east in Fall River, Mass., and to the south in New London, Conn. Both victories carried more than passing political impact. In Fall River, Will Flanagan ‘05 – the city’s youngest-ever mayor, elected in 2009 at age 29 – proved his success was no fluke by handily winning a second term. And in New London, Daryl Finizio ‘05 became that city's first openly gay mayor. Mayor Will Flanagan In Fall...
Posted by David Logan
11/21/2011 at 03:42 PM
After an intimate conversation with RWU Law’s student leaders, Justice Breyer returned to the Appellate Courtroom for the day’s grand finale – a revealing “Fireside Chat” (well, actually the fire code doesn’t permit a fireplace) with First Circuit Judge Bruce Selya, a valued adjunct and longtime friend of RWU Law, who facilitated the visit. Judge Selya encouraged the full-house of students, faculty, staff, and alums to think of the event as “a conversation between two old friends” – which, indeed they are. From 1980 to 1994, Breyer was a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the...
Posted by David Logan
11/18/2011 at 09:45 AM
RWU law is proud of all of its graduates, but there is a special place in our heart for Betty Anne Waters (’98), whose amazing legal journey was the basis for the 2010 movie Conviction. A single Mom with a high school GED, Betty Anne went to community college, then college, and then (RWU) law school, and passed the bar with a single goal in mind: freeing her brother Kenny who was serving a life sentence for murder. Betty Anne’s passion and resourcefulness were rewarded when Kenny was freed through work with the Innocence Project. Last year Fox Searchlight released a movie on Betty Anne's...
Posted by David Logan
11/15/2011 at 10:20 AM
The most recent edition of our flagship intramural forensic competition was, as so often in the past, a display of supremely prepared and talented finalists, before the Justices of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, in our own courtroom.  Nick Nybo had to make a tough argument: that the Supreme Court of the United States would create an exception to its controversial decision in Smith v. Oregon, and recognize a parent’s right to refuse to follow a school ban on foods that had religious significance to members of a small religious sect. Will Wray defended the rule as a legitimate, and...
Posted by David Logan
11/10/2011 at 08:48 AM
While the Roger Williams Law community is focused on teaching and learning the law, it is good to take a moment to look outside our institution, indeed outside of our state and nation on this Veterans’ Day to recognize the bravery of armed forces personnel, past and present.  A special shout out to Lt. Dan Marusak, who is in the Army National Guard, currently  deployed in Afghanistan.  I am proud to say that Dan was  in my Torts class, and like everyone in the RWU Law community, we salute his sacrifice, far from our idyllic campus.  Below is an email from Dan and some...
Posted by William Wray
11/09/2011 at 05:36 PM
It is customary, after an absence of a month or more from one’s blog, to profusely apologize because “I have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to update.” Lies. Nobody is so busy that they literally do not have the time to type 800 coherent words. Given the average words per minute of twenty-something typists, 800 words = 15 minutes. What dilatory bloggers are really saying – or at least what I  am saying - is that for over a month I have found it uncomfortable to sit behind a keyboard and produce thoughtful content. Prepare yourself for yet another tortured allegory. I have been...
Posted by David Logan
11/08/2011 at 04:07 PM
After delivering his Con Law class, Justice Stephen Breyer adjourned to the Bay View Room to meet student leaders. The vibe was decidedly informal, as the pics below show. Asked how he prepared for cases, Breyer described SCOTUS’s “cert. pool” – the mechanism by which the Court manages the massive influx of petitions for certiorari – now over 8,000 a year. Under this system, the Justices’ law clerks are randomly assigned a portion of the petitions and they evaluate them via a memo sent to the Justices participating in the pool (currently all except Justice Alito). Discussing judicial ethics...
Posted by Brendan Schlander
11/04/2011 at 12:59 PM
...and I am not talking about the October nor'easter. November for a 1L is a complete whirlwind, and I think that, along with my classmates, I will have a lot to be thankful for about 3 weeks after Thanksgiving. First of all, if anyone is interested in doing a psychological study, they could find an incredibly fascinating focus group if they polled 1L's the weekend before our first memo submission was due. The neurosis was palpable and entertaining. On top of that, all of our doctrinal professors are dropping not so subtle hints about finals and how fast they are approaching. Each of the 1L...
Posted by David Logan
11/03/2011 at 09:39 AM
Roger Williams University School of Law got a rare and fascinating view from the top of the profession last week, when Associate Justice Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States visited campus. In an extremely busy half day, Justice Breyer taught a Con Law II class, met with student leaders, and sat for a revealing “Fireside Chat” with First Circuit Judge Bruce Selya (a valued adjunct and longtime friend of RWU Law, who facilitated the visit). The Justice also signed books for a long queue of students, faculty, staff and alums – staying well past his scheduled departure time,...