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,
W&L Professor Jim Moliterno spoke regarding the 3L curriculum reform recently at the University of Denver. At this conference of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers (ETL), Professor Moliterno was given the Rebuilding Justice Award by ETL’s associated organization, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS). The award was in recognition of his 30 years of engaging in legal education reform.
At the conference, Moliterno presented the most current information about the 3L curriculum, including recent statistics from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE). The recent LSSSE numbers indicate that W&L’s third-year students are dramatically more engaged in their studies than were W&L’s past third-year students and the current third-year students at W&L’s peer law schools.
“I am thrilled to be the first legal educator to receive the Rebuilding Justice Award from IAALS,” said Moliterno. “Building or rebuilding justice starts in the law schools—law students represent the future of justice in any society.”
Moliterno has spent his career as a legal educator seeking ways to infuse experiential learning into legal education. He was the architect of William and Mary law school’s award winning ethics, skills, and professionalism program, which in 1991 won the American Bar Association Gambrell Professionalism Award, as the best law school or bar association program for the teaching of ethics and professionalism.
Every year, the faculty at W&L Law convene to share current scholarship and provide feedback to one another. Last week, seven faculty presented their papers and invited discussions, criticism, and suggestions for improvement. The presenters were as follows:
- Josh Fairfield: “Virtual Currency: How to Print Money for Fun and Profit”
- Aaron Haas: “The Marginalization of Religious Persecution in U.S. Asylum Law”
- James Moliterno: “Lawyer Regulation and Innovation”
- Robin Wilson: “Calculus of Accomodation”
- Doug Rendleman: “The Last Tour of Calabresi and Melamed’s Cathedral You Need to Take”
- Michelle Drumbl: “Decoupling Marriage and Taxes: Beyond Innocence and Income Splitting”
- Tim Jost: “The Affordable Care Act Litigation”
Professor James E. Moliterno, the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee, posted this morning on The National Law Journal’s Law School Review blog. The post was titled Time to “Do”, Not “Talk”.
In the post, Professor Moliterno discusses the downturn of the legal economy and the recent embarrassment by some law school’s reporting of employment data. His solution is to encourage transparency and to increase the value of legal education. For over 100 years, he argues, legal education has been more suited to produce law professors than practicing lawyers. Prof. Moliterno touches on the innovative change W&L has implemented in its experiential third-year curriculum. But his overall message is to “do something to make legal education better, and do it without destroying what legal education does well.”
Professor James E. Moliterno, the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee, recently published his article, Rectifying Wrongful Convictions: May a Lawyer Reveal Her Client’s Confidences to Rectify the Wrongful Conviction of Another?, 38 Hastings Const. L. Q. 811 (2011), in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, as part of a roundtable discussion of the ABA Standards for Criminal Litigation).
In 2002, the American Bar Association amended the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“Model Rules”) to allow an attorney to reveal client information when necessary to prevent certain future harms as well as crimes. Thus, if a client reveals that the client was the perpetrator of a crime for which someone else has been convicted and is scheduled to be executed, the lawyer is free to reveal that confidence. Prof. Moliterno asks: “But what of non-capital, wrongful convictions? Is the presence of the wrongly convicted in prison such a future harm? In particular, is the wrongly convicted ‘reasonably certain’ to suffer ‘substantial bodily harm?’”
In the paper, Prof. Moliterno suggests that the Model Rules should include any incarceration within “reasonably certain . . . substantial bodily harm.” Should the rules as written not encompass incarceration, Prof. Moliterno argues that an exception should be added to the Model Rules to permit disclosure of confidences to rectify wrongful incarceration. He provides example cases and the wrongs that occurred because of the confidences lawyers felt bound to keep. He then addresses the current state of the law and possible interpretations. Prof. Moliterno concludes the paper by stating that “[c]onfidence in the justice system cannot survive in the face of long-past revelations of wrongful convictions when silence was mandated by lawyer ethics law. The change advocated for in this paper is overdue and now needed if confidence in the justice system is to be preserved.”
Professor David Millon, the J. B. Stombock Professor of Law and Law Alumni Faculty Fellow at Washington and Lee University School of Law, was named president-elect of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) at its recent annual meeting. Millon will serve in this position during 2011-12 and will become president of the organization for the 2012-13 term.
Started in 1947, SEALS is comprised of 65 institutional member schools, 23 affiliate member schools and several foreign member schools. The primary activity of the organization is an annual legal conference held during the summer at a family-friendly venue. SEALS just completed its 64th annual meeting, which was attended by more than 500 scholars, the largest attendance in the history of the conference.
W&L Law faculty are very active within SEALS. This year Professors Christopher Bruner, Johanna Bond, Mark Drumbl, Jim Moliterno, Tim MacDonnell, Joshua Fairfield, and Robin Wilson all joined distinguished panels to present their research. In addition, John Keyser, Associate Dean for Administration and Technology, presented on teaching empirical methods, outcome measurement compliance and was also named chair of the conference technology committee.
The full press release can be found here.
Professor James E. Moliterno, the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee, recently published his book, The Litigation Department Lawyer (West 2011).
The book includes substantive material on civil procedure, evidence, and lawyer ethics, but the bulk of the book is devoted to sets of materials that students will use, directed by their professor, to create an elaborate simulation of litigation department practice. These simulations mimic a series of isolated activities of different litigation department types, as well as to create a running, connected event, based on a single matter. Along the way, students will gain experience in discovery, pleadings, and motion drafting for an array of purposes before finally taking the matter to trial.
The book can be purchased at Amazon here.
Congratulations to Professor Moliterno.