Washington and Lee law professor Jim Moliterno was one of a small number of panelists invited to present earlier this month at an Aspen Institute Law & Justice Symposium on mass atrocities. The event was titled “Trying Atrocity Crimes: The Khmer Rouge Trials, Transitional Justice, and the Rule of Law; An Aspen Institute Symposium for Judges and Scholars.” Prof. Moliterno presented during a session titled “Recent Experiences from the Field.” His role was to situate his work on legal institution building within the context of prevention and remedy for atrocities.
Prof. Moliterno is an acknowledged international expert in legal ethics and professionalism and has traveled throughout the world to help countries develop ethics policies and training programs. He has engaged in substantial international legal ethics and legal education reform work, designing new lawyer and judge ethics courses in Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Czech Republic, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand. He has trained law professors in China, Thailand, Georgia, Armenia and Serbia. He has trained judges in Kosovo and both judges and prosecutors in Indonesia. He has worked to revise the lawyer ethics code in Thailand and Georgia and lectured extensively on international lawyer ethics topics in Spain, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
Washington and Lee School of Law Dean Nora Demleitner and Prof. Jim Moliterno present at Seton Hall Law School on Oct. 25 as part of a symposium titled “Legal Education Looking Forward.” Panelists at the event will discuss current proposals for revamping, revitalizing, and reestablishing the value of law school. Paulette Brown, President-Elect of the American Bar Association, will deliver the keynote address,
Dean Demleitner is participating in a plenary panel titled “Bold Approaches to Legal Education,” with Dorothy Brown, Vice Provost, Emory; Evan Chesler, chairman, Cravath, and David Lat, Above the Law. Prof. Moliterno is on a breakout panel titled “Law School: What Return(s) on the Investment?”.
Some of the questions the symposium attempts to answer include: Is law school still economically viable? Should it last two years instead of three? Would increasing “skills classes” increase preparedness? Could an apprenticeship program or post-graduate “low bono” service clinic give students a means of building experience in a tough legal market? Do we need the bar exam?
For more information about the event, visit the Seton Hall Symposium website.
Washington and Lee law professor Jim Moliterno was in the Republic of Georgia last week attending a forum on proposed legislation that would advance the independence of the judiciary. Proposals include life-tenure for judges and new selection procedures. In addition, he conducted a training workshop for the Ethics Commission and the Georgian Bar Association. Topics will include important, new cooperation between state prosecutors and defense lawyers and advanced ethics training for lawyers to follow the two years of more basic lawyer ethics training that he has designed, and amendments to the disciplinary procedures.
This week, Prof. Moliterno heads to Slovakia where he is consulting for the U.S. Embassy on judicial branch reforms and lawyer ethics in law schools. On October 2, he will present on judicial independence issues to a meeting of about 15 ambassadors and mission chiefs. Later that day, he will meet with business leaders to discuss the benefits of more advanced systems of lawyer ethics and judicial accountability. On October 3, he will participate in a forum on spreading legal ethics courses to several law schools in the country. And finally, on October 4, Moliterno will present to the Slovakian Judicial Academy on impartiality, independence, and ethics issues for judges in their dealings with media.
Washington and Lee School of Law Dean Nora Demleitner has announced the recipients of a number of annual faculty fellowships that recognize excellence in teaching and scholarship.
Prof. Michelle Drumbl directs the Tax Clinic and also teaches courses in Federal Income Tax. She received the Jessine Monaghan Faculty Fellowship for Teaching awarded to “recognize stellar teaching in the third year.”
Prof. Jill Fraley has taught Environmental Law, a new Environmental Practicum, a seminar on Law and Geography, and a small section of Property. She is the recipient of the John W. Elrod Law Alumni Fellowship in Teaching Excellence.
Prof. Brant Hellwig teaches a number of introductory and upper-level specialized tax courses. He is the recipient of a Law Alumni Faculty Fellowship for Teaching.
Christopher Bruner’s book Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World: The Political Foundations of Shareholder Power, published this spring by Cambridge University Press, examines shareholder influence and power that challenges popular wisdom and provides fascinating insights into the uniqueness of U.S. corporate governance. He is the recipient of the Ethan Allen Faculty Fellowship for Scholarship.
Jim Moliterno published his book A Profession in Crisis (Oxford) to great acclaim and also put out a new Civil Procedure book with West, designed to provide a new approach to the teaching of civil procedure in law school. He is the recipient of a Law Alumni Faculty Fellowship for Scholarship.
Ben Spencer continues to be a prolific scholar despite his new duties as director of the Lewis Law Center and Associate Dean for Research. His scholarly work on civil procedure has received increasing acclaim, and his latest article “Class Actions, Heightened Commonality, and Declining Access to Justice” appeared in the Boston University Law Review. He also authored an insightful commentary on the state of legal education in his magnum opus on The Law School Critique in Historical Perspective. He is the recipient of the Law Alumni Faculty Fellowship for Scholarship.
Washington and Lee law professor Jim Moliterno traveled to China recently to discuss the U.S. legal system and legal education reform with faculty and students at Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School in Hangzhou, China. While there, he also met with lawyers, judges and prosecutors in Hangzhou and Chengdu to discuss lawyer ethics reforms.
Prof. Moliterno said that the lecture at the law school was mainly for advanced law students who are interested in the history of the American legal profession. The meeting with law school officials was led by the Deputy Party Chairman for the law school. He outlined measures they are taking, experiments with more interactive teaching and even experiential education. He asked many questions about U.S. legal education reforms and about W&L’s innovative third-year curriculum. Also present was the dean of their undergraduate law students, dean of their graduate law studies and the Youth Party Secretary for the law school. Moliterno noted that the Chinese law school has a traditional dean structure that is complimented by Communist Party officials who are assigned to every university faculty department.
Prof. Moliterno’s meetings with lawyers, judges and prosecutors are part of a project he is working on with a Chinese colleague, Assistant Professor Lan Rongjie. They are working on a paper that compares the attorney-client privilege in criminal cases in China and the US. One of the lawyers present at the meeting expressed interest in starting a university-based discussion among defense lawyers and prosecutors about a range of issues surrounding a major public corruption case that is currently in litigation in Hangzhou. Prof. Moliterno expects to be involved in some way with that project.
W&L Law Professor Jim Moliterno has posted his article entitled The Trouble with Lawyer Regulation on SSRN, where it has become a top 10 download in its category. Here is the abstract:
The American legal profession has been a backward-looking, change-resistant institution. It has failed to adjust to changes in society, technology, and economics, despite individual lawyers’ efforts to change their own practices and entrepreneurs’ efforts to enter the legal marketplace to serve the needs of middle- and lower-income clients. When change does come, the legal profession is a late-arriver, usually doing no better than catching up to changes around it that have already become well ensconced. This failure robs the society of what could be a positive role of the legal profession in time of change, and it deprives the profession itself of being as robust and successful as it could be.
The article may be downloaded by visiting http://ssrn.com/abstract=2264351.
Washington and Lee University Professor Jim Moliterno has published the first book in a new series from West Academic Publishing focused on experiential education. The book, titled Experiencing Civil Procedure, is the first primary Civil Procedure course book to incorporate skills assignments into the book. The book actively involves students in the application of civil procedure concepts. It Includes three simple simulation cases, one contracts based, one torts based and one blended case. Sample documents from real cases are also included. Students using this book will engage in experiential learning exercises, including drafting the jurisdictional allegations for complaints, drafting very simple pleadings and motions, and responding to supervisor email messages. The book contains the statutes, rules, and edited cases that are the staples of traditional Civil Procedure casebooks, incorporating them into an experiential learning approach.
Prof. Moliterno, who is the editor of the series for West, discusses this book and the project in the video below:
Prof. Moliterno also recently published a book on how the U.S. legal profession responds to crisis. The book, The American Legal System in Crisis, covers everything from recent challenges such as the explosion of technology and globalization back to the waves of immigration in the early twentieth century, examining how the legal profession reacted to these events. Prof. Moliterno argues that through all these events, the ”legal profession has tried to maintain the status quo by retreating to its traditional values and structure and throwing up walls to block whatever threatens it.” You can read more about the book in this press release.
Washington and Lee law professor Jim Moliterno has published two articles dealing with the ongoing crisis in the American legal system. In “Crisis Regulation,” published in the Michigan State Law Review, Moliterno explains that the American legal profession has regulated not in a forward-looking way, but only as a form of crisis management. As a result, the profession has regulated itself poorly and without forward vision.
In addition, Moliterno published “The Future of Legal Education Reform” in the symposium issue of the Pepperdine Law Review. This essay outlines the need for reform based on the new challenges that law graduates face in the marketplace and the profession. It urges reforms in the bar exam and in law school curricula that will add value to graduates and make them more successful in the new regime of law practice.
Prof. Moliterno delves more deeply into these issues in his forthcoming book from Oxford University Press. In the book, titled The American Legal Profession in Crisis, Moliterno argues that with striking consistency, the legal profession has resisted societal change and sought to ban or discourage new models of legal representation created by such change. In addition, Moliterno demonstrates how the profession has held to its anachronistic ways at key crisis points in US history, including during Watergate, communist infiltration, waves of immigration, and the current economic crisis.
Professor Jim Moliterno has been invited to chair a conference on criminal defense lawyer ethics in Hangzhou, China in late July 2013. The conference will examine the controversial topics surrounding the criminal defense lawyer’s role in China. Numerous prominent Chinese lawyers and law faculty will participate, with Professor Moliterno providing an international perspective on the topics raised by participants. The conference is funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation to Professor Lan Rongjie, 兰荣杰, 法学博士 法律科学博士 Ph.D S.J.D, 浙江大学光华法学院 讲师 Assistant Professor at Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School in Hangzhou. Professor Lan and Professor Moliterno have previously collaborated on projects in China in 2007 and 2009.
James E. Moliterno is the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law and joined the Law School in 2009.
W&L Law Professor James Moliterno has recently returned from Czech Republic and Slovakia. In Czech Republic, he spoke on legal education reform and delivered a demonstration class in experiential style at the Palacky University Faculty of Law in Olomouc. He and his colleagues there have created a year-long skills curriculum to complement their existing clinical offerings. The course has been quite successful, attracting English-speaking students from across Europe to take the course at Palacky University.
In Bratislava, Professor Moliterno met with representatives of the U.S. Embassy who have invited him to work with various Slovak NGOs, law faculties, and judicial organizations on legal education and judicial ethics reform. He will venture back to meet with those groups in Slovakia as he returns from a planned trip to the Republic of Georgia in late November. In Georgia, Professor Moliterno is working with the Lawyer Ethics Commission to upgrade its bar disciplinary processes.
James E. Moliterno is the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law and joined the Law School in 2009. He is one of the nation’s leading educators in experiential learning and legal professionalism,