Professor Arthur Hellman Comments on Prospects for Ninth Circuit Split

Debate has begun over a new proposal to split the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Daily Journal, the California legal newspaper, asked Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman, an expert on the Ninth Circuit, about the prospects for the legislation.

The configuration being proposed of how to split up the Ninth Circuit’s territory is different from past proposals, Hellman told the Journal, but a central question will be how judges would be distributed. “One of the reasons past proposals failed is because they shortchanged California and made an enemy of Sen. Dianne Feinstein,” Hellman said. “If these proponents can make sure California isn’t hurt in a realignment, in terms of judges and resources, they’d have a much better shot of getting this through.”

The sheer vastness and diversity of the Ninth Circuit stretching north to the Arctic Circle, south to the Mexican border, far out in the Pacific Ocean and east to Montana is something to take pride in, Hellman said. “But the question is,” Hellman said, “’Does it best serve the needs of the people?’”

Read more at the Daily Journal (subscription only).

Publish Date: 
Friday, February 5, 2016 - 2:15pm
Date and Times: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 4:45pm to 7:00pm

Locations: 
Omni William Penn Hotel
530 William Penn Pl
Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Are you looking for a fun networking event with the city’s most talented attorneys and judges? ...With a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres? You’re in luck!

  • What:  The Women’s Bar Association hosts its annual Susan B. Anthony Reception
  • WhenTuesday, February 16, 2016, from 4:45 PM—7:00 PM 
  • Where: downtown at the Omni William Penn Hotel
  • Why: honoring Susan A. Yohe, Esq., Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney P.C
  • Who: this annual event is always well-attended by attorneys, law students and local judges
  • Cost: free for student volunteers and WBA members, $20 for non-members
  • Dress: business formal

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us in honoring Susan Yohe for her outstanding efforts in promoting and mentoring women in the profession. The WBA is seeking 5-8 student volunteers to assist with set-up, guest check-in and coat check. Student volunteers will be assigned one or two hour shifts, and volunteers are encouraged to network and enjoy the event when their volunteer duties are done. Student volunteers will also receive a free year of membership to the WBA! 

Students—please RSVP by noon on Friday 2/12 to clr64@pitt.edu and hlb48@pitt.edu

All other interested attendees please RSVP to the WBA by calling (412) 429-1922 or via email to mpierson@zoominternet.net

Date and Times: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Locations: 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room 113
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


In the first of two sessions in which Pitt Law LLM students will talk to the Pitt Law community about the legal systems and rule of law challenges of their home countries, four Pitt Law students from Kosovo will provide their individual perspectives and participate in a roundtable discussion of the development of that young state’s legal and governmental institutions.

Presenters: Partin Pruthi, Engjell Rexhepi, Kastriot Rexhepi, and Isuf Zejna

*Pizza and Drinks will be provided 

Date and Times: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 3:30pm

Locations: 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Next Thursday, February 4, at 3:30 pm in the Courtroom, the Law School will present its sixth Pitt Law Academy program for this year: “Is It Possible to Be a Super Star Lawyer and Still Have a Personal Life/Family?”

The three panelists who will be speaking here next week are in a word: “special.” Truly. They really are. Each of them is incredibly insightful, entertaining, and interesting. They should be. To be a really good lawyer (and maybe, eventually, a really good judge), you’ve got to be able to tell a good story.

Our three story-telling panelists, all Pitt Law grads on this panel, are:

  • Hal Coffey, Blumling & Gusky (Pittsburgh; practice area: commercial real estate)
  • Necia Hobbes, Associate, Jones Day (Pittsburgh Office; practice area: civil litigation)
  • Honorable Marilyn Horan, Judge, Butler County Court of Common Pleas (confirmation pending to be a federal District Court judge, Western District of Pennsylvania)

So . . . you surely remember the mantra by heart by now: The Pitt Law Academy program is designed to assist you in thinking about life after law school. And, honestly, what more important after-Law-School topic can there possibly be than your personal life?  Am I right?  Are you planning to have one?

Well, if you are, you’ve probably heard the horror stories: legal practice – especially litigation – means that you will be worked to the bone; you will be virtually enslaved if you work in a law firm; you will never get to see your family; you will have no social life; the work is all-consuming, etc., etc.

So, is this true?  Is it really true?  Should you consider dropping out of law school right now and becoming a plumber?  There are always leaks to be caulked (or whatever . . . I don’t know). What have you gotten yourselves in for?  What should you/can you expect?

And if the practice of law is really as scary as it is sometimes cracked up to be, why would anyone do it for a living? Why? Why? Why? Glad you asked. That’s some of what Hal, Necia, and Judge Marilyn will talk about.  How can you be a lawyer – a really, really top-notch lawyer or judge – and still have a reasonable and rewarding personal life?   Who knows what their answer will be?  Three years ago, one of the lawyers speaking on this panel explained how his all-consuming professional life ended his first marriage and made it difficult to make arrangements to even see his kids from that relationship.

Anyway, our three panelists next Thursday will offer you some insights about what it means to live a life in the law, and how to live a “real” life at the same time. And I’ve asked them to talk about whether they would do it all again if they were in your shoes today. Was it worth it? They will tell you the truth. They are not shy.  You’ll see.

Last but not least, there will also be the sort of elaborate post-panel Reception you have all come to expect at PLA events, immediately following this presentation. I was going to serve champagne and caviar on – you know – those little, toast-point things.  Hey, everything was all set.  But then, I thought, . . . . naaaah! They really seem to love those Pitt cookies. So . . . cookies, it is.  And not-yet-ripe fruit slices. Yummo! You know what? If tuition is going to go up anyway, the least you should get out of this experience is a cookie, and a piece of hard cantaloupe.  Done.  All of this for “free” (excluding consideration of your tuition dollars).  You’re welcome.

So don’t be shy! Come to the Reception after the presentation and share a chocolate-frosted, marshmallow-macademia-nut cookie with sprinkles with one of our panelists! Come and meet and talk to some of the people who you may someday face in court or be in front of in court or negotiate with over a commercial real-estate lease.  Butter them up now.  Maybe they will hurt you less when you see them again in a few years. (Update: no chocolate-frosted, marshmallow-macademia-nut cookies with sprinkles; if we purchased them for you, we’d have to cut out one of our Clinics. We thought about it but, for now, we’re going with the Clinics.)

2Ls and 3Ls: Don’t miss the networking opportunities here, upperclass persons. Pitt Law Academy. It’s where all the cool kids are. Word.

Professor John M. Burkoff

Date and Times: 
Friday, February 26, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Locations: 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room G12
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Join the Center for International Legal Education, the Innovation Practice Institute and the Office of Professional & Career Development for a luncheon discussion/Q&A with Judge Todd Hughes from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

Pitt Law Professor Mike Madison will moderate a discussion regarding the Court, its jurisdiction, the substantive legal matters that come before it, and federal judicial clerkships. 

The Federal Circuit is unique among the thirteen Circuit Courts of Appeals. It has nationwide jurisdiction in a variety of subject areas, including international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, certain money claims against the United States government, federal personnel, veterans' benefits, and public safety officers' benefits claims.

Lunch will be served.

Date and Times: 
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Locations: 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room 113
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Mr. Jurcek Zmauc is the President of the Slovenian American Business Association and is a Secretary of the Office for Slovenes Abroad of the Republic of Slovenia. 

A native of Maribor, Slovenia, he received degrees in law from the University of Maribor and from the University of Ljubljana. His career has included service as the Republic of Slovenia’s Counsel General in Austria and as its Counsel General in Cleveland, Ohio, and as the Deputy Minister and Director of the Division of Southeast Europe of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.

In addition to his government service, Mr. Zmauc has taught civil and international business law at the University of Maribor, and has served as Director of its Center for International Cooperation.

Date and Times: 
Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Locations: 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room 113
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Dr. Zlatan Meškić (Bosnia) is an associate professor of European Union law and vice dean for academic research in the law faculty of the University of Zenica. He is a visiting professor with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law for Spring 2016, and has been a visiting professor in the law faculties of the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), University of Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina), University Džemal Bijedić in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), University of Tirana (Albania) and the Europa-Institute at the University of Saarbrücken (Germany). 

Professor Meškić is the chief editor of the Journal Annals of the Law Faculty University of Zenica, as well as a member of the editorial board of the Journal "Nova Pravna Revija" ("Neue Juristische Umschau" (Sarajevo) and Evropsko pravo (European Law, Skopje, Macedonia). Professor Meškić received his doctorate from the  Faculty of Law of the University of Vienna in 2008. 

Date and Times: 
Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Locations: 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room 113
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Attorney Nery Ramati is a partner in Gaby Lasky and Partners Law Office, a leading human rights firm in Israel specializing in freedom of expression and protest. He has represented Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights and anti-occupation activists in the military and civil courts since 2008. He has also provided legal counsel to various organizations engaged in documenting and protesting human rights abuses and violations of international law by the Israeli authorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He has been a leader in raising global awareness of issues surrounding the treatment of Palestinian minors in the Israeli military court system.

Professor Arthur Hellman Comments on New Effort to Split Ninth Circuit

Efforts are once again under way to split the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the National Law Journal asked Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman for expert commentary. The new proposal comes from Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and members of the Arizona Congressional delegation.

Hellman noted that plans to split the circuit since the early 1990s faced opposition from California lawmakers, Ninth Circuit judges and state bar officials. He said that supporters of a smaller Ninth Circuit faced slightly better odds now that Republicans control both houses of Congress, but he still thought the bill was “a very long shot.”

“I thought that issue had just died a natural death, but I guess it never does,” Hellman said. “It disappears for a while and then there it is again.”

Read more in "Arizona Revives Long-Failed Push to Split the Ninth Circuit" in the National Law Journal.

Publish Date: 
Friday, January 29, 2016 - 4:45pm
Date and Times: 
Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Locations: 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room 109
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


The Discussions on Governance Lecture Series presents featured speaker, Fred Thieman, President of the Buhl Foundation.

"Ethics, Citizenship and Governance: Can we fix the Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century?”

Join us as Mr. Thieman explores the fallacies inherent in how we administer criminal justice in America. Against a backdrop of exploding arrests and jail populations, the address will consider how individual leaders and communities might better enhance public safety while administering a more just society.

Fred Thieman and Pitt Law Professor David Harris recently participated in an expert conversation feature, "Community Policing," for the Fall 2015 issue of Pitt Law magazine (read more).

Registration to this event is requested as seating is limited.

REGISTRATION LINK

This lecture is sponsored by The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy and co-sponsored by the School of Law and the University Honors College.

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