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Volume 2 Issue 2
January 2005


Register for Diversity Weekend 2005 (January 14-15).

Explore UT: The Biggest Open House in Texas (March 5).

The January 28, 2005 meeting of the Non-Practicing Alumni Advisory Council (NPAAC) has been rescheduled. Please mark your calendars for Friday, April 15, 2005.

Save the Date! Alumni Reunion 2005 (April 16).

Activities and Honors

Beckworth, Jefferson, Sales and Walker Receive Alumni Awards

The UT Law Alumni Association Award announced its awards recipients for 2005 this past month. They are Jim B. Sales, '60, Lifetime Achievement; the Honorable Wallace B. Jefferson, '88, Outstanding Alumnus; Laura Beckworth, '83, Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service; and Darren Walker, '86, Honorary Order of the Coif. The Law School will recognize these accomplished honorees at a February dinner in Austin.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/depts/alumni/recipients.html

President Torres, Professors and Staff Member to Speak at 2005 AALS Meeting

Professor Gerald Torres will serve as president for this year's annual meeting of the American Association of Law Schools, held January 5-8, 2005 in San Francisco. Eleven other law faculty and staff members will speak on scholarly topics or hold important leadership positions. Torres was named president-elect at the January, 2003 annual meeting and began his one-year term at the January 2004 meeting.

Full listing of speakers: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2005/010405_aals.html

Queen Elizabeth II Confers Knighthood on Professor Basil Markesinis

On December 31, 2004, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office released the "New Year Honours 2005 – Diplomatic and Overseas List," naming Professor Basil Markesinis QC, DCL, FBA, as Knight Bachelor for his "services to Comparative Law and International Legal Relations." The formal investiture will be held at Buckingham Palace at a time to be appointed in the near future. This award is exceptional in part because knighthoods are rarely awarded to law professors prior to retirement. It is thus believed that at the present moment there is only one such instance at Oxford, Cambridge and London. This is the first known instance of a professor at The University of Texas receiving this honor. Dean Bill Powers said, "We offer Basil our warmest congratulations on his rare accomplishment. He is a world-renowned scholar, a highly popular teacher, and continues to be a very good friend to our Law School and University."

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2005/010505_knighthood.html

Professor John Dzienkowski, '83, Receives Texas Exes Faculty Teaching Award

The student selection committee for the Texas Exes' Faculty Teaching Award has selected Professor John Dzienkowski, '83, to be the recipient of the 2004-05 award in recognition of his being an outstanding mentor to students, both inside and outside the classroom. Each year the Texas Exes honor a professor from each college and school with this award.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/120104_dzienkowski.html

Capital Punishment Clinic Wins Second Case this Year at U.S. Supreme Court

UT Law's Capital Punishment Clinic won its second U.S. Supreme Court case in five months. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion reversing the death sentence of Laroyce Smith in Smith v. Texas, No. 04-5323. In the opinion, the Court found that Smith's jury did not have an adequate vehicle for considering Smith's mitigating evidence, including evidence of organic learning disabilities and low IQ. Capital punishment clinic students and professors won their first case at the U.S. Supreme Court this May in Tennard v. Dretke, No. 02-10038.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/111504_supreme.html

UT Law Ranks First in Texas Bar Passage Rate

Graduates of UT Law passed the Texas bar exam in July at a rate of 92.04%, ranking first in the state among the other eight Texas ABA law schools.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/110804_barpassage.html

UT Law Ranks in the Top Ten of NLJ 250 Most Hired

Graduates from UT Law's 2004 class were listed as the eighth "most hired" by a National Law Journal (November 15, 2004) survey sent to 250 of the largest law firms in the United States.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/120204_nlj250.html

In the News
  • Professor Douglas Laycock filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Evangelicals and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America in Cutter v. Wilkinson, in which Ohio challenges the constitutionality of the prison provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. The Act requires prisons that accept federal funds to permit free exercise of religion by prisoners, subject to the compelling interest test as interpreted in the context of prison conditions, which is to say, deferentially. The brief argues that protections for the free exercise of religion had no connection to the establishment of religion in the original understanding, and that the establishment clause was not (as Ohio and other states now claim) an affirmative protection for state establishments of religion or for state discretion in religious matters.

    Brief: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/enewsletter/laycock_cutterbrief.pdf
  • Professor Sarah Buel is co-authoring an amicus brief on Castle Rock v. Gonzales, which is scheduled for oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring. The issue in the case is what kind of due process is required for police inaction with respect to a domestic violence restraining order to avoid violating the constitution. Mrs. Jessica Gonzales sued the Castle Rock, Colorado police for failing to respond to her repeated pleas for help, resulting in her ex-husband murdering their three small daughters. The Tenth Circuit permitted a procedural due process claim against the municipality for its failure to protect the Gonzales children, as holders of a valid restraining order, and the Town of Castle Rock now appeals.

  • Professor Philip Bobbitt on President Bush's Reelection in The Guardian, Nov. 6:

  • Professor Levinson on Torture in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Nov. 21:

Regular columnists:
  • Professor Charles Childress is a regular columnist for HEARTBEAT, the quarterly Texas journal for Texas CASA (court appointed special advocates).
  • Professor Linda Mullenix for The National Law Journal.
  • Professor David Sokolow for the Australian Law Journal.
  • Professor Jay Westbrook (with Elizabeth Warren) for The American Bankruptcy Institute Law Journal.

A full list of faculty activities and publications can be found online at: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/news/.

Alumni Honors

UT Law Alumni Litigators Nationally Recognized

Of the five law firms the American Law Journal recognized as the "Best Litigation Boutiques" in the U.S., two of the firms hailed from Texas: Susman & Godfrey, LLP and Beck, Redden & Secrest, LLP. Both firms hire numerous UT Law graduates and, of the named partners, all except Mr. Ron Secrest graduated from UT Law.

Austin Attorneys Honored at Austin Bar Foundation Gala

Alumni Shannon Ratliff, Sr., '64, Larry York, '64, and Bill Whitehurst, '70, will be honored as Distinguished Lawyers on January 29, 2005 by the Austin Bar Foundation at their annual gala. In addition, Denise Hyde, '97 will become the second recipient of the David H. Walter Community Excellence Award.

Harry Reasoner, '62, Honored for Lifetime Achievement

Harry Reasoner was given the Lifetime of Excellence in Advocacy Award by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists.

Hollis Horton, III, '80, Appointed to Texas' 9th Court of Appeals

On Dec. 22, 2004, Gov. Rick Perry announced the appointment of Hollis Horton, III of Beaumont as justice of the Ninth Court of Appeals. Mr. Horton will serve until the next general election, when he can opt to run for a full term. He is an attorney and senior partner with Orgain, Bell and Tucker, L.L.P. He is board certified in personal injury law and civil trial law by the Board of Legal Specialization.

Del Williams, '85, Named Vice President and Secretary of Perot Systems

Del Williams, President Elect of the Law School's Alumni Association, was named vice president and secretary of Perot Systems in September 2004. He also serves as general counsel for the company and leads the legal and internal audit groups.

Class Notes: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/enewsletter/classnotes/0105.pdf


Douglas Whaley, '68, retired from The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law after 35 years of teaching contracts and commercial law. Professor Whaley has won eight awards from three universities for outstanding teaching, including an Ohio State University Distinguished Teaching Award in 1978. In 1993 he participated in a conference at UT on law and popular culture, lecturing and writing on Gilbert and Sullivan at Law (a lifelong interest). He is the author of seven casebooks (Contracts, Sales, Commercial Paper, Consumer Law, Debtor-Creditor Law, Secured Transactions, and Commercial Law) and a book on warranties.

In Memoriam

The Honorable Mack Kidd, '64, of the Texas Third Court of Appeals died January 3, 2005, at 63.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2005/010605_kidd.html

Felecia Shankle Rogers, '01, died December 8, 2004, at 27. While at UT Law, she was a member of the Frederick Douglas Moot Court team. She practiced intellectual property law with Leydig, Voit & Mayer in Chicago since 2002.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/122304_rogers.html

In Memoriam: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/enewsletter/inmemoriam/0105.pdf


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UT Law News is a bi-monthly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends to keep you informed about The University of Texas at Austin School of Law and its impact on the world. Please share your comments and suggestions by emailing the UT Law communications office director Allegra Young at ayoung@mail.law.utexas.edu.

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