Prof. Guzman

Monday was a very, very busy day.  It started (as usual) with Pilates with Claudia at Studio Pilates followed by an early morning meeting to plan a reception for Prof. Guzman.  As many of you know, Prof. Guzman retired as of last year.  However, this is the last class of students who had an opportunity to have been in one of his classes, so we wanted those students to be able to say goodbye to him.  As it turned out, he was going to be in town to pack up his belongings, so the meeting that morning was to think about how to put on a nice event. 

Later that morning I met with Tim Tarvin and Emily Bridges.  They are the heros behind the Legal e-Source program.  If you haven’t visited our Legal e-Source website, you should.  It has received national recognition.  It’s a website that serves as a resource for non-profit organizations and gives them basic information on various legal issues they may face.  Prof. Tarvin and Emily were coming to meet with me about looking for grant funding to continue to develop and maintain the Legal e-Source website. The grants that we currently have will be expiring at the end of this spring.

At 12:00 we had a faculty meeting, during which we were pleased to be able to visit with Chris Thomas.  He gave an overview of the bar exam and answered questions.  Later that afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting Robert Lyford.  His son, Charles Lyford, is one of our 2L students.  Bob is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC).  He previously served as vice president and general counsel and staff attorney for the cooperatives.  Prof. Susan Schneider is working with Bob to help develop a cooperative website which would showcase the Law School’s Cooperatives in Arkansas course and highlight the AECC’s rich cooperative heritage.  I hadn’t previously met Bob, but I had an opportunity to walk with him, tour the Law School, share with him some of our initiatives and programs, and answer his questions.  We had a delightful visit and I’m really glad that I was able to spend that time with him.  It was great meeting him and we hope he’ll come back and visit us again sometime soon.  We’re also very grateful to the AECC for the Leatherman Scholarship that goes to one of our LL.M. students.  It’s an endowed scholarship that is named after their former attorney Leland Leatherman.  Mr. Leatherman was a pioneer of agricultural cooperatives as applied to the rural cooperatives that were responsible for bringing electricity to all of rural Arkansas.  He was a 1939 graduate of the UofA School of Law and served as corporate counsel of the AECC for many years.  The current recipient of that scholarship is Qiana Wilson and Mr. Lyford was also able to meet Qiana.  After meeting with Mr. Lyford, I had a meeting with Associate Dean Beard to catch up on a number of bits of business.  Sometimes when I’m away things pile up and we needed a half an hour to go through a number of pending matters. 

Paul Morris and myself

Paul Morris and myself


That evening I attended the Wright, Lindsey & Jennings cocktail party for 1L students held at Ella’s at Carnall Hall.  That is always a fun event.  I know a number of the WLJ attorneys and am grateful to them for taking time out of their busy schedule to come and meet with our 1L students.  A number of folks who came with the firm are our alums including Jane Kim, Charlie Coleman, Paul Morris, Adrienne Jung.  Many thanks to them for a very pleasant end to the day.  It was great to see them all.  Special thanks to Michelle Kaemmerling who invited me to dinner with the firm at Doe’s Eat Place.  It had been a long day and I wasn’t up for dinner, but I very much appreciate the gracious hospitality.  Thanks again to Wright, Lindsey & Jennings for your continued interest in and support of both our students and the Law School.

Tuesday morning, February 10, the Law School had a Digital Video Conference (DVC) with Ukrainian law professors and law students at the United States Embassy in Kyiv.  The topic was The Role of the Judiciary in Enforcing Constitutional Rights.  Professor Brian Gallini as well as Professors Don Judges and D’lorah Hughes participated on our end.  Professor Gallini’s counterpart in Kyiv was Dr. Khrystyna Pryhodko of the Academy of Municipal Management in Kyiv.  As you may know, we have been engaged in a number of DVCs with law professors, lawyers and judges from the Ukraine, due to the efforts, initiatives and relationships established by Professor Christopher Kelley who was a Fulbright Fellow in Kharkiv, Ukraine in 2005.

Later that morning I met with Prof. and Law Library Director Randy Thompson.  We have a meeting every two weeks to touch bases on what’s going on in the law library.  One of the things that has been pending for quite a while (and we’re happy to say seems to now be resolved) is the cooling unit for the server room on the second floor of the law library.  The equipment in that room generates a great deal of heat and the room does not have a vent to the outside.  We had not been able to get the room cool enough to protect the equipment and, as you know, electronics do not fair well in very warm temperatures.  At our meeting it came out that our Facilities Management folks working along with Prof. Thompson and our IT staff actually were able to obtain a custom design cooling unit that looks like it will be able to do the job.  We’re very relieved to have that resolved because one of the side effects of not having an appropriate unit was a huge giant space caterpillar looking thing that went across the top of the library ceiling.  We no longer have that eye sore, and that’s a good thing.  Thanks very much to Facilities Management for working with us to get that done.

Dean Greenwood

Dean Greenwood

At lunch I met with my fellows Deans at the Graduate Education Building.  As I’ve mentioned before, the Academic Deans get together about twice a month and each Dean takes a turn hosting.  This time the meeting was hosted by Dr. Reed Greenwood of the College of Education & Health Professions.  The topics of our meeting that day were administrative evaluations, that is how the Deans would be evaluated by Provost McMath and our faculty and staff colleagues, and also the upcoming budget hearings.

That afternoon I met with the Law School Executive Committee.  I believe I’ve talked about the Executive Committee before in the blog.  It is an advisory committee to the Dean and administration of the Law School.  My colleagues on the committee also address the concerns of faculty and represent the faculty to the Central Administration of the University.  I’d asked the Executive Committee to meet with me to think about budgetary issues in light of the Chancellor’s suggestion that we seriously begin considering how to save and where we might cut back on expenses during these tough economic times.  This is an important issue, and as you know from the early January blogs on the Dean’s conference, one of the topics the Deans discussed several times was that no Dean should make these kinds of decisions without the input of the faculty.  I really appreciate the Executive Committee for staying late in the afternoon to meet with me.  We had a very productive meeting.

After the Executive Committee meeting, I had a surprise visit from one of our alums, Ben McMinn.  He and I had a very lovely visit and update about what’s happening around the Law School.  He also shared with me a bit about his practice and what was now going on in his life.  It’s always a pleasure to visit with our alums when they are in the area, and certainly our visit was no exception.  Thanks Ben, for dropping by.

That evening I had the February Inn of Court meeting on my calendar.  The program was described by our alum Bill Putman this way, “The February Inn of Court program will be on the exciting, fun-filled and action packed subject of legal writing.  If any of you have examples of especially egregious, inappropriate, incomprehensible and/or humorous pleadings, letters, judicial opinions or e-mail messages (non-privileged, of course) you’d be willing to share, the presentation group and I would appreciate it if you would e-mail or fax them to me.  No prize for winning entries beyond the satisfaction you will receive for helping elevate the standard of writing in our Inn which really should be reward enough.” It sounded like a great program, but I have to say that I did not make it.  I was preparing to leave the next day for Little Rock, so I missed the meeting, but I’m sure it was terrific because Bill was involved with the program.