Archives for the month of: March, 2008

Tuesday, March 11th  began with the Academic Deans Group Luncheon at Hog Haus.  The host of that Academic Deans meeting was Collis Geren of the Graduate School.  The rest of that day was a pretty quiet one, but that evening was the Inns of Court meeting.

The American Inns of Court (AIC) are designed to improve the skills, professionalism and ethics of the bench and bar.  An American Inn of Court is an amalgam of judges, lawyers, and in some cases, law professors and law students.  Each Inn meets approximately once a month both to “break bread” and to hold programs and discussions on matters of ethics, skills and professionalism.  Our local Inns of Court is named for W.B. Putman who is an alumni of the University and a very distinguished trial lawyer.

At each Inn of Court there is a one-hour CLE program, and this evening’s was on trademark and copyright.  It was a well prepared program.  David Pieper, our alum, began the evening with a general primer on copyright and trademark law.  The session was set up like the game show, Hollywood Squares.  There were nine folks there.  The celebrities that they chose to impersonate were our local alum Don Elliott, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Pamela Anderson, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Houston Nutt.

Just like on the show, there were two contestants. They would take turns picking their favorite “celebrity,” and the moderator would ask a question based on trademark.  The contestants would then decide whether the celebrity answer was right or wrong.  It was a very clever and informative session.  The group had prepared a number of slides illustrating the issues.  For example, one of the questions was whether a color could be trademarked, for example, the UPS brown.  The “celebrities” were also asked if you can trademark a phrase, like Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?”  After each question, regardless of the answer given by the “celebrity” and/or the contestant, David Pieper would give a detailed explanation of the correct answer.  In addition to an informative program, it was great to see a number of our alums and the local judiciary at Inns of Court.

Thursdfrenchy goodiesay started out like any other day, but during the middle of my weekly meeting with Teri Stafford, our new director of development and external relations, there was a knock on the door and in walked Frenchy LaDue, our contractor with Nabholz. In his arms was a huge basket filled with goodies based on a bet that we had a long time ago about the color of the carpeting in the old building. It was a good to see him again, and he was very humble as he “paid up on his bet.” Thanks so very much Frenchy, for stopping by and for bringing such a terrific basket of treats.

Following a faculty meeting, I took off for the Law School Admission Council Investment Policy Oversight Group (LSAC IPOG). The purpose of the IPOG committee is to oversee the Law School Admission Council’s investment portfolio, to make decisions about potential new investment strategies, to review the performance of the portfolio and to raise any questions we might have about the portfolio with our investment advisor.

Unfortunately, during the course of the day, the local weather prognosticators issued several warnings about weather (again!). It seems that my travels have been plagued by the weather lately. As it turned out, the flight form XNA was delayed about an hour and fifteen minutes, but at least it was a direct flight to New York City. We took of safely and, amazingly, arrived in New York pretty much on schedule. There was only time for a quick check-in and some sleep before the meeting began bright and early the next morning.

I am a member of IPOG committee as a liaison to the board of trustees. Fellow members on the IPOG committee incluTed Eisenbergde: aprillEllen Aprill, Associate Dean for Academic Programs at Loyola Law School; Ted Eisenberg, Professor of Law at Cornell Law School; Arthur Pinto, Professor at Brooklyn Law School; Leigh Taylor, Dean Emeritus at Southwestern Law School (but, Leigh got trapped in Atlanta due to weather and was unable to make the meeting); and Bill Wang, Professor at University of California–Hastings College of Law. Chuck Goldner, fellow Dean at UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, was in attendance along with Ellen Rutt, who you’ve seen mentioned in previous blog entries; Dan Bernstein, the President and CEO of LSAC; Marjorie LaRue Britt, the Chief Financial Officer of LSAC; and Stephen Schreiber, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of LSAC.

Our investment advisor is Strategic Investment Group (SIG). The SIG advisors who attended the meeting were Laurie Bonello, Hilda Ochoa, Derrick Sasveod, and Stephanie Anderson. Laurie talked with us about the hedge fund market, the current economic environment as it affects hedge funds and the many issues that go into selecting a hedge fund manager. Derrick gave a presentation to the committee on private equity.img_1659.jpg

It has been my privilege to serve on the IPOG committee for a number of years – first, as the Chair of the Financial Legal Affairs Committee of LSAC (as an ex officio member, Chuck Goldner’s position on the IPOG committee right now), and then as a trustee liaison from the LSAC Board. This was my last IPOG committee meeting and, since I’m rolling off the LSAC Board in May. It was limogood to see everyone again, and equally nice to spend a little time with my very good friend, Marjorie LaRue (who is about to be Fabulous at 50 as well), after the meeting adjourned.

That evening we all got together—except for SIG advisors Laurie, Hilda and Derrick—to go to dinner at Eleven Madison Park. Because there were 10 of us, and because it was a rainy day in New York, it was very difficult to hail a cab. Instead, the doorman called a stretch limo for us, and we all piled in and headed to the restaurant. Now that’s riding in high style!

Eleven Madison Pchampagne barark was a very, very swank restaurant. The menu was a prix fixe menu from which one selected either two or three menu items. The first experience that greeted us was a rolling champagne bar wheeled over by the sommelier. The sommelier described each of the different varieties of champagne, after which we made our selection. Very shortly afterwards, the waiter came out and served us something called amusé bouches, or a tiny bited size morsels served before the hors d’oeuvres or the first course of the meal. On the plate were many small items, including sweetbreads in a little pastry, a mushroom tart, salmon tartar and foie gras sandwiched in between little cinnamon wafers. These were served alongside tiny french cheese puffs called gougères.

The next course was a nage. It turns out that ala nage cooking means to poach foods,duck usually seafood, in a bullion. The nage was saffron mussel with anaise sauce. The next course was a winter green salad with walnuts, beets and blue cheese. After the salad, we were served a Nova Scotia lobster. It was poached with madras curry, green apple, and lemon grass and was really delicious. Finally the main course arrived, which was the Grimaud Farms muscovy duck glazed with lavender honey and spices for two with an orange puree and au jus. Duck leg confit with kumquat and fennel were served on the side of the slices of duck. For dessert we had a bittersweet chocolate symphony with caramel that included a chocolate ganache and souffle.

Just when we thought we were done, out came a tray of mignardises (from the French word meaning “pretty” or “delicate”) which are after-dessert desserts that accompany a meal. There were little cherry pistachio pastries, chocolate peanut butter desserts, grand marnier ganache and raspberry pastries. What a meal! It was great fun, and even better company. After dinner, very much sated, we piled out of the restaurant and back into our stretch limo to arrive back at the Sofitel Hotel on 45th Street for a quiet evening. The next day back to Fayetteville

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Well, that’s what I thought, anyway. It was a quiet evening, but I didn’t return to Fayetteville. You bloggies out there know that I tend to run into travel challenges, which was the case yet again. Here’s what happened: I took a cab out to LaGuardia very much in advance of my flight. As it turned out, because of the weather that followed me from Fayetteville, it was very foggy, so flights could neither arrive nor depart. What’s worse is that American Airlines put me on a different flight through Dallas (that actually took off), except that I had opted to remain on the original flight in order to avoid confusion, the original flight of course, was ultimately cancelled. After having waited at LaGuardia from1:30 p.m. until early evening, I ended up scheduling another night in the hotel, getting a cab and going back into Manhattan where I walked around for a couple of hours before eating a Cuban plate at the Brooklyn Diner. The meal was chicken with lime and cilantro covered with peppers and onions, with sides of black beans and rice and plantain chips (not really very Cuban tasting, but okay for a stranded traveler).

img_1696.jpgSaturday, I took a cab out in plenty of time because of my concerns about both my baggage and my flight. I checked in, and found out that the flight I had been booked on through St. Louis, which was scheduled to depart at 12:55 p.m., was delayed until 2:18 p.m. That meant I would miss my connection from St. Louis to XNA. Sigh. I walked back to the reservation desk and re-booked, trying to find a flight that would connect to northwest Arkansas. The new flight was a Chicago flight which would arrive in Chicago at 2:30 p.m. with a connecting flight departing for XNA at 6:30 p.m. The only other option was a 7:00 p.m. direct flight that wouldn’t get in to Fayetteville until 10:00 p.m. It definitely took tenacity to return to Fayetteville.

I made it to O’Hare and checked the flight boards to make sure everything was on track with my flight to Fayetteville (which was supposed to leave at 6:30 p.m). As it turned out, the airplane I was supposed to fly out on was still at O’Hare at 3:00 p.m., and it had to go to Nashville and come back before heading to XNA. At about 6:30 p.m. (the time I was supposed to be boarding, if you remember) it was time to get something to eat, and I have to say that it was not a Fabulous at 50 meal, more like “Frustrated at 49.”

For those of you who are true epicureans, vegetarians, or just have healthy taste in foods, stop reading here. For those ofLake Michigan you with more pedestrian tastes, read on. I walked around to the Gold Coast Dogs and had a combo sandwich. A combo sandwich is an Italian sausage and Italian beef sandwich, which also comes with a ton of hot peppers (actually a hot pepper, onion and carrot mix – it’s very spicy), a side order of onion rings and, to make matters worse, a giant grape pop. It wasn’t Fabulous at 50, but it was pretty fantastic and reminded me of summers on the south side of Chicago when my brothers and I would walk to a sandwich shop on 79th and South Shore Drive, and then over to Rainbow Beach to sit on the retaining wall and eat our sandwiches watching Lake Michigan. It was comfort food, but I fell off the Fabulous at 50 path that night.

At least I was caught up on current events, having finished the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, New York Times, as well as the weekend Wall Street Journal. It felt great to finally land at XNA at 11:00 p.m. Sunday…more than 24 hours after first arriving at LaGuardia. What a way to end my tenure on the IPOG committee, but as always, I am thankful for safe travel.

I returned to Fayetteville for a very full day on Wednesday. The first thing in the morning Asia Diggs, a 3L student,steve sheppard interviewed me for Professor Steve Sheppard’s legal history class. As an assignment the students are required to select a lawyer of historical significance in the state of Arkansas and conduct and interview with that person. I am really honored that Asia selected me, and we visited for about an hour and a half.

At noon I had lunch with Read Hudson and Chris Daugherty, both of them are alumna of the law school and cTyson logoounsel for Tyson Foods. During lunch and we talked about ways lawyers at Tyson Foods could become more involved with the law school. We came up with a few ideas, including an interesting course that would provide hands on experience in a number of the areas encountered by corporate counsel. They also suggested the possibility of a summer clerkship. Both are exciting possibilities.

Our lunch took place at Mama Deans. Don’t worry, foodies, I haven’t forgotten you! Read had chicken friend steak with mashed potatoes and black eyed peas, Chris had friend chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, and I had the pork chops with greens and macaroni and cheese. Chris and I both had the peach cobbler, and Read had the carrot cake. Thanks Read and Chris for a great lunch, and for taking time out of your day to brainstorm with me about how we can work together to create opportunities for our students.Dean Worrell

That afternoon Dan Worrell, the Dean of the Walton College of Business, came for a visit. We toured the building and brainstormed ways that our two schools might collaborate. He got to meet a number of our faculty and staff and they shared their good ideas and suggestions with us. Dean Worrell is a good friend, and it was a pleasure to visit with him. As you know from the earlier blogs, I am working this semester to get around campus to visit with all the deans. Dan beat me to the punch! I promised him that I’d soon visit him at the Walton College of Business to take a tour and to learn more about his college. Thanks for coming to visit, Dan! I’m looking forward to developing new initiatives with you.

Wednesday evening, I attended two fun events. The first was the Kappa Iota Switch Stepsorority party 1 Show. Kappa Iota is the undergraduate chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority on campus. A switch step show is a neat idea. Each of the Greek organizations participating in the step show had to “switch” identities with another organization. Which group they had to impersonate was determined by drawing the other group’s name from a hat. For example, AKA drew Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, so their step show had to mimic the step show of the Sigmas who performed as AKAs. It was a really different type of step show and good fun.

sorority party 3Before I left to go to SBA auction, I saw the Phi Beta Sigmas step as the Alpha Kappa Alphas, and that was hilarious! Thanks a lot guys. They came out in pink wigs and were pretty funny. . Also, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority drew the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, so they stepped as the Alphas. The ballroom at the Union was completely full—it looked as though all the Greeks on campus were there. In fact, each of the campus fraternities and sororities gave a shout out at the start of the event. The emcee would say for example, “Are the Chi-O’s in the house?” And the Chi-O’s would resorority party 2present. It was definitely fun and high energy.

After that, it was off to the faculty auction. Thanks to Professor Circo for attending as well, and also to his daughter Rebecca, who donated her original painting of a Razorback with a scale of justice for the auction. It was a popular item. My auction item was a brunch for six at Copelands of New Orleans, won by Kelvin Stroud, the SBA president. I’m looking forward to brunch with him and his Fab 5. Seriously, thanks again to Kelvin for organizing the Faculty Auction, and a big thank you to all the faculty members who donated items. The proceeds of the auction are being donated to Legal Aid of Arkansas to support its programs. Legal Aid serves those who are least able to afford legal representation. Congratulations to the SBA for a wonderful event in support of such an important cause.

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Tuesday morning, Little Rock had its first snow. There didn’t seem to be much on the road, but NPR was urging caution, so I got an early start to Arkadelphia, Ark.. The drive was a safe one and, thankfully, uneventful.

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Anyway, I arrived in Arkadelphia in plenty of time for the Sidney S. McMath Pre-Law Conference at Henderson State University, which I was attending as a speaker. 150 students attended the conference which began with lunch. The President of Henderson State, Charles Dunn, attended as well. Dr. John Graves, the chair of the social sciences department, gave the welcome. Phillip McMath spoke about his father, Sid McMath, who is a 1936 School of Law graduate.

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The keynote speaker was Deputy Attorney General De Priest whose topic was ”When Henderson state univ 2Your Reality Check is Returned forHenderson state univ 6 Insufficient Funds.” Previous keynote speakers for the McMath Lecture have been the Honorable Judge Henry Woods; the Honorable Sidney Sanders McMath, former governor and the namesake of the event; the Honorable W.H. “Dub” Arnold, former Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court; the Honorable Wendell Griffen, Arkansas Court of Appeals; Honorable Ray Thornton, former Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court; and retired member, U.S. House of Representatives and the Honorable Dale Bumpers, a former U.S. Senator.

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After the keynote speaker there was a panel, consisting of Aaron Taylor, the assistant dean of the William H. BowenHenderson state univ 3 School of Law at UALR, Attorney Don Cheney, our alum from Chaney Law Firm in Arkadelphia and me. We were introduced by Ivy Kelly, President of the Henderson State student body. Aaron spoke about the nuts and bolts of law school admissions and gave some very technical and helpful pointers to students. I introduced them to the University of Arkansas School of Law and shared a PowerPoint presentation containing pictures of the new building and slides describing our many programs. Don Cheney talked about practicing law, being a tort lawyer and how he helps plaintiffs who’ve been injured recover so they are able move on with their lives. Afterwards the panel fielded a number of questions from the audience.

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An additional pleasure was the opportunity to visit with our alumna Elaine Kneebone, who is currently serving Henderson State as University Counsel. Many thanks to Dr. Larry Monet, the gracious host of the conference, for the invitation to speak as well as his hospitality. We certainly look forward welcoming students from Henderson State to the University of Arkansas law school community!

After attending Attorney Wolfman’s talk it was off to a meeting with everyone involved in the courtyard project, including the artist, Jesus Moroles; representatives from Nabholz Construction and Cromwell Architects Engineers Inc.; Professor Flaccus (as a representative of the faculty committee concerned with the project); Dan Street from facilities management; Michael Holloman and Archie Shaeffer. The meeting was very productive. We were able to work through a number of issues concerning the plans landscaping of the courtyard.

Almost before I knew it, it was time to go to Little Rock, where I stopped for the night on my way to Arkadelphia. To myGunter delight I had dinner with Russell Gunter of Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus that evening. We had d1620 restaurantinner at 1620 restaurant, and the meal was terrific. Okay, foodies, get ready for this one. My meal began with a goat cheese tart that was topped with crispy apple-smoked bacon and lump crab served with a spicy tomato puree and a cilantro emulsion. The entree was even better, believe it or not. I had Rush’s Seafood Pasta, a combination of pan-seared scallops, crawfish and crab tossed with fresh veggies and a spicy creole crème over rigatoni. The meal ended with a delicious three-chocolate medallion dessert. Russell had a really delicious hazelnut crusted grouper, and an appetizer of escargot. It was a really fabulous meal and I would highly recommend 1620 if you happen to be in the Little Rock area. Thanks to Russell Gunter (even though he’s a management lawyer! Just kidding, Russell) for a lovely evening.

I woke up Monday morning to a huge crash—actually, a series of crashes—only to find out that my neighbor’s very large, very old redbud tree had fallen over onto her house and car! What a bad start to the week for Mrs. Pilcher, who’s a real sweetheart and helpful neighbor. After checking on her to make sure that she was okay, it was off to Pilates with the torture mistress Claudia (who actually gives a very good workout, but it’s fun to tease her).That afternoon the law school community was pleased to host Brian Wolfman, the Director of Litigawolfmantion for the group Public Citizens. The courtroom was packed. A number of members of the legal community joined us for his talk. We were pleased that Conrad Odom, Jason Hatfield, and Paul Bird could join us. Director Wolfman spoke about the work of Public Citizen’s litigation group as well as a number of the cases the group has argued before the Supreme Court. He discussed the idea of the “cost of litigation,” and pointed out that most people think narrowly about litigation costs. But, he suggested that if the corporate malfeaser doesn’t pay for the harm caused, then there is still an additional cost—the cost that the individual bears in terms of the injuries suffered. Wolfaman encouraged us to think about “cost” more wholistically. He stressed the point that the issue isn’t if there is a cost, it’s who will really pay that cost, the wrongdoer or the injured plaintiff.

Attorney Wolfman also gave an overview about the other work of the litigation group. The attorneys in the group testify before congress and administrative agencies, and take cases involving open government issues, challenges to regulation, consumer justice, first amendment law and internet free speech (he gave an example of fighting for an individual’s right to post anonymously in internet chat rooms). The group brings a number of class action suits and has extensive experience arguing before the United States Supreme Court, litigating 55 cases since 1972. Public Citizen has also created a Supreme Court assistance project that will conduct mock arguments for attorneys who have trials in the Supreme Court, provide help with Supreme Court briefs, and help attorneys litigating cases who wish to avoid having their cases heard by the Supreme Court.

Check out Brian Wolfman’s news article on the School of Law website.

I know I’ve started writing posts event by event, but this week was slow enough that I thought it would be best to just write one long entry.claudia

Monday began as each Monday does with a trip to Studio Pilates here in Fayetteville where I meet with my Pilates instructor Claudia Smith. She seems pleasant and cheerful until we begin our lessons, at which point she becomes a torturess extraordinaire. Seriously, all joking aside, she is definitely wocollisrking to help me meet my goal of Fabulous at Fifty…if I can survive!

Monday, February 25th was full of meetings one to consider faculty appointments and another with Colleen Williams, the chair of our Community Life Committee to plan details. The highlight of the day was that Dr. Collis Geren, the Dean of the Graduate School came over to visit the law school. We went for a tour and I was able to show him our new facilities. Anyway, it was a pleasure to have him come over and see the new space. As you know if you’re an avid “bloggie,” one of the things I need to do more often is visit other deans around campus and learn more about their schools. Dean Geren is now one of the first on my list since he was kind enough to visit me.

Dinner was with Myra McKenzie, who you’ve read about before. She’s becoming the “Mysterious Myra”—I’ll remember next time, bloggies, to get a picture of her so you can see who she is.BLSA soul food

BLSATuesday was fantastic! It was the BLSA Soul Food Supper. It was fabulous! I must say it was inconsistent with being Fabulous at Fifty, but the meal was great. I did pass up the desserts and the bread, but I think the macaroni and cheese probably did me in. BLSA had set up an extensive—and delicious—menu. A big thanks to Dean Miller for treating me to this great lunch, and to BLSA for hosting a lovely event.

Wednesday was an early morning faculty meeting, and later in the day, we celebrated our February birthdays: Mike Mullane, Jo Anna Collins, Sharon Foster, Colleen Williams and Carlton Bailey. We had two special guests who came to help us celebrate, Lieutenant Colonel Clark Taylor—who you’ve seen mentioned before in the blog—as well as our alum, Katherine Shurlds (’94), from the University’s Journalism department who is teaching Media Law this semester.orchid

Thursday morning I noticed something exciting in my office. My orchid, sent to me by Stacie Walters when I came into the deanship, is blooming! It is so beautiful and so exciting, first of all that I kept the orchid alive, and to have it bloom again. Thanks for documenting this little miracle, Michele.

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Thursday afternoon, Professor Judges gave a presentation on emotional intelligence. He addressed the concept of emotional intelligence, how emotional hijacking interferes with relationships at home and in the workplace, and how that hijacking compromises performance and robs life of pleasure. The room was completely full—standing room only. Professor Judges also told us how to reprogram ourselves to deal with challenges and frustrations in a much healthier manner. Many thanks to Professor Judges for such an interesting talk.

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Later that afternoon there was a farewell reception for Kay Fairchild, the assistant director of the Office of Affirmative Action, who is retiring. Her friends and fellow members of the University community came to say their farewells to Kay. We will certainly miss her greatly. She has been a true friend to the law school and also a personal friend of mine. I do wish her well, but I’ll certainly miss her presence on campus.

Thursday ended with the University of Arkansas Inspirational Singers Gospel Feast, which I attendeSid Ramirezd with my mom and Bob Moberly. For anybody who missed it, you missed a treat! It was both a feast of food and a feast for the soul. What a wonderful event! Guests were served four courses while being entertained with music, dance, drama and step. The program was separated into four scenes based on different eras in the history of black Americans; each segment then was accompanied with a meal course. And the end of the meal there was a short concert of more modern gospel music, and it was fan-tastic! I’m not kidding you, it was just an amazing, amazing event. A bonus was a chance visit to the event of my favorite UAPD officer, Sid Ramirez. Thursday ended with us being very well fed in every way.