Monday, September 05, 2016

Blowin' Down the Road

I had good intentions to post a few more times, but Hurricane Hermine had other plans. And so it goes. But I'm glad that Prawfs provided a platform for my live-blogging experiment from the Intellectual Property Scholars Conference at Stanford. I hoped for a bigger turnout, but a few dedicated souls shared some wonderful summaries of fascinating scholarship. Perhaps I'll try again next year. If you have clever ideas to encourage more scholars attending multi-track conferences to live-blog or tweet the panels they attend, please share your ideas in the comments.

In the meantime, I'm thankful that Hermine only landed a glancing blow on funky Tallahassee, and that family, friends, and community members made the experience bearable. Hermine may spend more time in the North Atlantic, so I hope my northern colleagues stay safe.

Until next time!

Posted by Jake Linford on September 5, 2016 at 09:02 PM in Blogging, Funky FSU, Information and Technology, Intellectual Property | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 30, 2014

FSU Law VAP position available

Florida State University College of Law seeks applicants for a new Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP) in business/commercial law for the 2014-2015 academic year. The VAP will hold a one-year appointment which is designed to help and train future law professors.  Candidates will be selected based on their prior work and educational experience, and teaching and scholarly potential. FSU is committed to achieving equal opportunity in all aspects of University life.  Applications are encouraged from people of color, individuals of varied sexual orientations, individuals who are differently-abled, veterans of the armed forces or national service, and anyone whose background and experience will contribute to the diversity of the law school.

If interested, please email a Curriculum Vitae (including a research agenda) to Associate Dean Manuel Utset (mutset at

Posted by Administrators on May 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Checking In

I've read PrawfsBlawg with what in retrospect seems to me disturbing thoroughness almost since its inception, so I'm grateful to Dan and the Prawfs community for the chance to guest this month. I teach federal courts and constitutional law and write about those subjects and constitutional theory. I'll have some thoughts on federalism, the impact of unusual occurrences on complex federal lawsuits, perhaps McCutcheon , and maybe, just maybe, nuclear war. Or rather some effects of the threat of nuclear war on state governments in the 1950s and 1960s. This is my first attempt at blogging and I'm excited to hear your thoughts.

Posted by Garrick Pursley on April 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What Makes Lawyers Happy? A Study

My colleague and guru, Larry Krieger, has this very cool new paper up on SSRN (co-written with K. Sheldon), and in the space of a couple weeks, it's already received an avalanche of downloads. Here's the abstract. Smart law review editors should want to get their paws on this since it will be cited a zillion times.

"Attorney well-being and depression are topics of great concern, but there has been no theory-driven empirical research to guide lawyers and law students seeking well-being. This article reports a unique study establishing a hierarchy of five tiers of factors for lawyer well-being, including choices in law school, legal career, and personal life, and psychological needs and motivations established by Self-Determination Theory. Data from several thousand lawyers in four states show striking patterns, repeatedly indicating that common priorities on law school campuses and among lawyers are confused or misplaced. Factors typically afforded most attention and concern, those relating to prestige and money (income, law school debt, class rank, law review, and USNWR law school ranking) showed zero to small correlations with lawyer well-being. Conversely, factors marginalized in law school and seen in previous research to erode in law students (psychological needs and motivation) were the very strongest predictors of lawyer happiness and satisfaction. Lawyers were grouped by practice type and setting to further test these findings. The group with the lowest incomes and grades in law school, public service lawyers, had stronger autonomy and purpose and were happier than those in the most prestigious positions and with the highest grades and incomes. Additional measures raised concerns: subjects did not broadly agree that judge and lawyer behavior is professional, nor that the legal process reaches fair outcomes. Specific explanations and recommendations for lawyers, law teachers, and legal employers are drawn from the data, and direct implications for attorney productivity and professionalism are explained."

Posted by Administrators on March 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM in Article Spotlight, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Monday, February 10, 2014

Some good tidings from FSU

The Dean at FSU Law recently reported that an astounding 83% of our current students made cash gifts to our law school's fund raising drive, which, let's face it, is a pretty awesome expression of gratitude and good cheer about their law school experience. ‪#‎theyaredrinkingkool-aid

Posted by Administrators on February 10, 2014 at 01:01 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Monday, May 20, 2013

FSU Law Is Hiring, 2013 edition

Florida State University's appointments committee for the College of Law will be gearing up over the summer and we are looking (principally) for laterals in the following areas:  Environmental Law, Torts/Products, Trusts and Estates, Tax, Health Law and ADR. If you or someone you know is a possibly good fit for FSU’s virtues (ie., extraordinary scholarly culture, good weather, great cookies, among other things), please feel free to (have them) send Wayne Logan (and/or me) a CV and statement of interest. The Fall 2013 committee includes Wayne (Chair), Hannah Wiseman, Manuel Utset, Courtney Cahill, and myself. (If you are outside our targeted area of interest, but still keen on FSU, please don't hesitate to send us your materials as needs and interests evolve.) As always, FSU seeks a diverse pool of applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and interests.

Posted by Administrators on May 20, 2013 at 02:07 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

FSU Law Review Announces its Exclusive Submission Window

The Florida State University Law Review will be conducting exclusive spring cycle article reviews.  Any article submitted to this exclusive review between now and April 3d will be evaluated by April 11th.  By submitting the article you agree to accept an offer for publication should one be extended.  Any articles accepted through this review will be published in Issue 3 or Issue 4 , both of which are slated for publication in summer of 2014.  

If you have an article which you would like to submit, please e-mail an attached copy of the article and your cv and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line "Exclusive Spring 2013 Article Review." Feel free to cc' me.

Posted by Administrators on March 27, 2013 at 11:50 PM in Article Spotlight, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fixing Pretrial Risk Assessment (in Florida)

For those of you interested in pretrial release, I thought I'd point you to a neat roundtable hosted in part by my colleague Sam Wiseman.  Last week, FSU hosted the American Bar Association Roundtable on “Pretrial Risk Assessment and Community Supervision: Tools to Advance Public Safety.” The Roundtable featured panelists discussing a variety of pretrial tools to advance Florida public safety and reduce citizens’ tax burden. The event was co-sponsored by the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Association of Counties, the Florida State University College of Law and the Florida State University Project on Accountable Justice. Video of the event is available here. The focus of the roundtable was on the collection and use of data in the pretrial process, both in individual release decisions and at the system level.  Legislators, judges, sheriffs, prosecutors, public defenders, pretrial agency supervisors, commercial bondsmen, GPS monitoring vendors, and court administrators from around the state attended or appeared on panels.  


Posted by Administrators on January 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM in Criminal Law, Current Affairs, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, March 25, 2012

FSU Law Review announces its Exclusive Submission Window for Volume 40

Adam Kramarow, the senior articles editor at the FSU Law Review, has asked me to pass this along. (Feel free to cc me on your submissions.)

The Florida State University Law Review is now conducting exclusive spring article reviews. Any article submitted to this exclusive review between now and April 2, 2012 will be evaluated and responded to by April 9, 2012. By submitting the article during this window you agree to accept an offer for publication should one be extended. Any articles accepted through this review will be published in Volume 40, which is slated for publication in 2013.

If you have an article which you would like to submit, please e-mail an attached copy of the article and your CV and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line "Exclusive Spring Article Review." (The character after the k in Adam's email address is a zero, not an "o".) This opportunity also applies to articles you may have submitted to FSU LR earlier this season but you need to resend the piece under the appropriate subject line. If you have submitted an article for review through ExpressO, you will have to resubmit it through this process to be considered under the exclusive review process. We look forward to reading your articles.


Posted by Administrators on March 25, 2012 at 08:03 PM in Funky FSU, Law Review Review | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quick Exclusive Submission to the FSU Law Review

See update below.

I was told yesterday that FSU's Law Review has one spot in the current volume that opened up at the last minute. If any of you have a piece that you want to submit for both exclusive and quick review, please feel free to send it (along with CV and cover letter) to Senior Articles Editor, Hannah Monroe, and feel free to cc me.  Hannah's email is hdmonroe16 at

The story is that the Review will basically occur over the next few days until a suitable piece is found. If you submit now, you agree to publish it with FSU if it is selected. Straightforward and simple. The board will turn over later this spring and the new volume will open up to submission around then. Thanks.

1/27 Update: The FSU LR has asked me to shut the spigot off by tomorrow (Saturday) at 12pm (noon).  So please send something to Hannah before then. There very well may be an exclusive submission window that reprises itself later on this semester so watch this space (ie, read Prawfs) for more information.

Posted by Administrators on January 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Monday, January 16, 2012

FSU is hiring, 2012 edition...

Florida State University's appointments committee for the College of Law serves from January to January, rather than the traditional academic year assignment.  Our new committee is now gearing up and we are once again in the fortunate position where we are looking to hire with no particular curriculum restrictions. If you’re an aspiring rookie or already a prawf, whether junior or senior, and think you or someone else you know would be interested in FSU’s extraordinary scholarly culture and good weather, among other things, please feel free to (have them) send Jeffrey Kahn (and/or me) a CV and statement of interest. The 2012 committee includes Jeffrey Kahn (Chair), Mark Seidenfeld, Franita Tolson, Wayne Logan, and Shawn Bayern.

Posted by Administrators on January 16, 2012 at 09:41 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two Thunderously Trivial Thoughts on "Transformative Deans"

Thanks to a colleague's tip, I came across Brian's interesting post  where he identifies nine transformative deans during the last decade. (I guess it's the mid-summer doldrums that prompt this collective navel-gazing!) Anyway, as usual, he has some acute observations about who's been able to shake things up effectively, and certainly he's correct in his assessment of FSU's wunderkind dean...unlike Brian, I am happy to be objective without being neutral :-)

But I want to register a small point of caution related to something I wrote last year about one of these transformative deans (whom I happen to love). While it's true that effective deans can do a lot to win faculty retention challenges, I think we need to avoid overstating how much credit deans can take regarding the hiring of high-quality faculty.

Faculty hiring at most schools is a very collaborative process, and in most cases, it should be. While deans at some schools can appoint who sits on the hiring committee, other schools leave that decision to the faculty itself to vote on.  Even at schools where the dean appoints the appcomm, the dean cannot be assured that the committee will read/invite/approve those people the dean wants (assuming the dean even specified who she wants).  Nor can the dean, at most schools, expect to have all the non-appcomm cats herded on voting days and have them vote as she wants. This may not be true in DVZ's world, where he is said (on what I take to be spectacular authority) to have fined people who didn't fall into line with his vision, among other aggressive tactics. But most schools do not have deans that are so, um, empowering of (or susceptible to) the unitary executive...and at least in some cases, the deans who assert such authority are regarded as rapscallions and worse.  In light of this complex sausage-making reality of faculty hiring, one has to be cautious with praise in this dimension, just as one should be careful with criticism that deans are "responsible" for the failure to hire libertarians or women or any other group. After all, and put simply, faculty hiring is a they, not a s/he.

A second minor point worth mention: when it comes to noting the spending habits of deans, one has to also be aware of whether the successors (and the other stakeholders) are as thrilled with the resulting balance sheets as those who made the decisions. A law school's transformation that is built on shaky financial ground may share the same half-life as an O'Connor or Brennan opinion.

Last, Brian didn't open up comments on his post. So feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts here, but bear in mind the usual rules of the road here. 

Posted by Administrators on July 19, 2011 at 11:50 PM in Blogging, Funky FSU, Life of Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Losing Steve

I've been off the box for most of the last few days so I haven't had a chance to share directly the news of the passing of my FSU colleague Steve Gey, but I am glad that Howard, Franita and Dan have already shared some news and links that give you a glimpse of Steve's wisdom, fortitude and humor through the best and worst of times.

Losing Steve is devastating to the students and family and friends who loved him, the colleagues who admired him from near and afar, the administrators whose tasks he eased with his enthusiasm for FSU, and the world of ideas and constitutional law that he illuminated over and over again with his passion and insight.

Our bright and beautiful world is dimmer without you, Steve, and we will miss you terribly.

Posted by Administrators on June 12, 2011 at 07:01 PM in Funky FSU, Life of Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Legislative Catnip of Crime Registries

Just in case y'all missed it, here's a link to Erica Goode's very interesting story from the front page of today's NYTimes about the way states are thinking about expanding eligibility for their crime registries and communal notification requirements. My beloved FSU colleague, Wayne Logan, is probably the leading scholar in the country on this topic -- here's a link to his recent book -- and unsurprisingly, he appears in the story with some great commentary.

Posted by Administrators on May 21, 2011 at 08:29 PM in Article Spotlight, Criminal Law, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, April 01, 2011

Exclusive Submission Window Available at Florida State's Law Review

My wonderful former student, Hannah Monroe, is the new senior articles editor at the Florida State University Law Review. She's asked me to share this information. Feel free to contact me or her about this opportunity. See below.

The Florida State University Law Review will be conducting exclusive spring article reviews. Any article submitted to this exclusive review between now and April 10, 2011, will be evaluated by April 18, 2011. By submitting the article during this window you agree to accept an offer for publication should one be extended. Any articles accepted through this review will be published in Volume 39, which is slated for publication in 2012.

If you have an article which you would like to submit, please e-mail an attached copy of the article and your cv and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line "Exclusive Spring Article Review." (Keep in mind: this opportunity applies also to articles you may have submitted to FSU earlier this season but you need to re-send the piece under the appropriate subject line). (And per the comment below, the character after the m in Hannah's email address is a zero, not an "o". 

Posted by Administrators on April 1, 2011 at 03:10 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Some prawfy options may still be available at FSU

I'm thrilled to say we've hired six lateral and rookie folks for next year but we are still hiring at FSU! So, if you either are someone or know someone who is still interested in an academic law position for next year, perhaps as a visitor, please let me know asap with an expression of interests and I'll forward it along to the relevant folks. It's especially helpful if you can send along a cv to me. We have wide needs and as always seek a diverse pool of applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and interests.

Posted by Administrators on March 16, 2011 at 04:10 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | TrackBack

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tri For Gey 5!

Long-time readers of this blog know about the heroic defiance of my colleague, Steve Gey, against ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's) disease. I just received this email from one of favorite former students, Kristie Klein, who has been a terrific friend to Steve and a relentless foe of ALS. Please live and give generously.

Despite being told in 2006 that he only had three years to live, Professor Gey has defied the odds and continues his battle against ALS.  Gey fights on, We fight on - and on April 9, 2011, I'll be competing in the TRI-FOR-GEY-FIVE … yes, that’s right, our fifth year of Tri For Gey! In honor of Professor Gey, and the Tri For Gey Five team, please consider donating $5 to the Professor Steven G. Gey Endowment for Civil Liberties.  To do so, follow these three steps:

 (1) Go to:

 (2) Under the "Designation" drop down menu, choose “Gey Endowment for Civil Liberties”

 (3) For tribute information, please indicate that you're donating "in honor of"  me or any of the other awesome members of Team Gey. 

 Professor Gey will see the names of everyone who donates – and now, more than ever, it’s important that we show him some support.


Posted by Administrators on March 1, 2011 at 03:08 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FSU Law Review Exclusive Submission Window

My research assistant, the wonderful Will Ourand, is also the FSU Law Review's Senior Articles Editor. He asked me to post this:

The Florida State University Law Review will be conducting exclusive fall article reviews.  Any article submitted to this exclusive review between now and October 17, 2010 will be evaluated by October 31, 2010.  By submitting the article you agree to accept an offer for publication should one be extended.  Any articles accepted through this review will be published in Issue 4 of Volume 38, which is slated for publication in summer or fall of 2011.  

If you have an article which you would like to submit, please e-mail an attached copy of the article and your resume to [email protected] with the subject line "Exclusive Fall Article Review."   (Keep in mind: this opportunity applies also to articles you may have submitted earlier this season).


Posted by Administrators on October 14, 2010 at 03:24 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, October 08, 2010

The FSU/ACS Criminal Justice and the Constitution in 2020 Conference: Streaming Here

If you're not available to be here in the Hassee for the Criminal Justice and the Constitution in 2020 event, you can watch it with an 8 second delay right now over at this link.  Coming up this afternoon: Jack Chin (right now); Wayne Logan; Richard Myers, Bernard Harcourt, Sharon Dolovich, Reid Fontaine, me, and Doug Berman.

Posted by Administrators on October 8, 2010 at 01:40 PM in Criminal Law, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, October 01, 2010

Rotations and sundry

Happy Simchas Torah, and happy world vegetarian day too. It's also a new month so it's time for some rotations here at Prawfs. First, many thanks to the stellar crew of guests who were here through the month of September, and second, welcome to our new visitors for the month of October. Making his debut at Prawfs this month is David Horton of Loyola Law School in LA. And returning to the conversation are FoP's, Jessie Hill (Case Western); Marc DeGirolami (St. John's); and Geoff Rapp (UToledo). We're thrilled to have you here. Readers, you can learn more about these wonderful folks from the links on the sidebar.

Also: if you've not yet registered for the FSU Criminal Justice Conference but are still thinking of coming, please register over here. If you can't be here in the Hassee in person, you should bookmark this link, and then you'll be able to watch the video of the conference when it happens or at least shortly after next week.  

Last, this month augurs not only my 56th month of wedding bliss but also, inshalla,  and as I mentioned the other day, a new baby later on so if things don't run quite as smoothly over the next little while, please be patient.  Happy October! 


Posted by Administrators on October 1, 2010 at 05:29 PM in Blogging, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, September 27, 2010

FSU and ACS Criminal Justice in 2020 Conference: Updated Schedule and Registration

As mentioned in these pages earlier, FSU and the ACS are hosting a really neat conference on the future of criminal justice here in funky t-town. The schedule I circulated earlier has been updated somewhat (see below) but I hope y'all are marking your calendars for Oct 7-8th! If you're a crim prawf, lawyer, law student, or just someone interested in criminal justice issues, I hope you'll come to this (free) conference at FSU. You can register over here. Kudos to ACS, my dean (Don Weidner), my colleagues Susan Bandes, Reid Fontaine and Wayne Logan, and our wonderful support staff for making this happen. As I find out information about streaming the conference, I'll let you know. And this week and next, Jack Balkin is posting a blog post from each of the contributors up on Balkinization. (Sorry for my dithering Jack; I'm almost finished mine!) Anyway, here's the updated schedule:

Thursday, October 7:

6 p.m. - Keynote Address by Steve Bright, Southern Center for Human Rights

Friday, October 8:

8:30-8:55 a.m. - Opening Remarks Dean Don Weidner, Florida State University College of Law,  Professor Jack Balkin, Yale Law School

9-10:30 a.m. - Panel One: National Security and Liberty

Jack Balkin, Yale Law School (moderator),  Susan Herman, Brooklyn Law School and ACLU,  John Parry, Lewis & Clark Law School,  Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center,  Chris Slobogin, Vanderbilt University Law School

10:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m. - Panel Two: Crime Control and Equality

Susan Bandes, DePaul University College of Law/Florida State University College of Law (moderator and panelist),  Darryl Brown, University of Virginia School of Law,  Song Richardson, DePaul University College of Law,  David Sklansky, UC Berkeley School of Law

12:15-1:15 p.m. - Lunch: Remarks and Q & A with Judge Lynn Adelman, E.D. Wisconsin

1:20-2:50 p.m. - Panel Three: Citizenship and Community

Jack Chin, University of Arizona College of Law,  Bernard Harcourt, University of Chicago Law School,  Wayne Logan, Florida State University College of Law,  Richard Myers, UNC School of Law (moderator)

3-4:30 p.m. - Panel Four: Punishment and the Constitution

Doug Berman, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law,  Sharon Dolovich, UCLA School of Law,  Reid Fontaine, Florida State University College of Law (moderator),  Dan Markel, Florida State University College of Law

Posted by Administrators on September 27, 2010 at 08:19 PM in Criminal Law, Culture, Current Affairs, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, April 12, 2010

Originalism's Old Bulldog: Notes from Scalia's visit to FSU

I earlier mentioned how Justice Scalia was in Tallahassee (for turkey hunting season) the other day. This was just a day before we had an even more prominent guest at the enrichment series for FSU's faculty -- thanks again for coming here, Tracey :-)

As it happens, I did take some notes during Scalia's presentation, which focused on his "shtick" re: originalism. Ever witty and trenchant, Justice Scalia made a number of good points for his team, and he displayed a masterful command of his material and audience. (Kudos go to AS for taking about 15 unscreened questions from the audience and kudos to the FSU students who asked sharp and prepared questions.) Sorry, Larry, but he said nothing about semantic originalism and the interpretation/construction distinction.

I thought I'd share a few of the remarks that I found especially interesting. 

For one thing, I was surprised by Adam Liptak's coverage of Stevens' retirement the next day after Scalia's presentation, because the punchline of the NYT coverage was that Stevens was the last person appointed/confirmed to the SCT on the basis of competence (or independence) as opposed to ideology. Scalia the day before made the point to the crowd that he thought he *was* the last such person, having been confirmed 98-0 by the Senate (with two R's (including Barry Goldwater) not participating in the vote). He offered the view that he didn't think he would be able to get the votes today to be confirmed.

Re: Federalism, I thought Rick Hills would be keen to hear that Scalia's prognosis is that federalism is dead and that Congress can do anything it wants. This ostensibly makes Scalia sad.

Re: Plessy and Brown, he said he thought that Plessy was wrongly decided on originalist grounds, and that Brown would also have been a decision he would have been comfortable voting for on originalist grounds. It's been a while since I read his book on "a matter of interpretation," but I thought it remarkable that he qualified his answer re: Brown with reference to a concern about stare decisis. So, would his faint-hearted originalism lead him to vote in dissent in Brown based on stare decisis? He didn't make that perfectly clear in his remarks, but I thought it a permissible inference that he was saying something like: but for stare decisis, he would have voted in the majority for Brown. Perhaps someone has heard him give a clearer answer elsewhere?

Re: docket selection, he noted that the Court is not in the business of error correction but only uniformity guidance. He said this has been true for at least a century, with a few exceptions: death penalty cases and the Haitian boat people case, because in that situation, they weren't likely to start swimming to New Jersey. I suspect Jack Chin might have something to say about that claim about error correction.

Finally, re: Bock Laundry and textualism, Scalia admitted that that case is often thrown in his face by people thinking he's inconsistent with his textualism, and he even suggested that sometimes that's one of the cases he "wonders" about, i.e., regrets,  but in the end, he said, "I am unrepentant."

Posted by Administrators on April 12, 2010 at 09:01 AM in Blogging, Constitutional thoughts, Dan Markel, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tri-4-Gey 4 is next week!

As many of you know from updates that have appeared in previous years, my FSU colleague Professor Steve Gey has ALS and it's an utterly grim situation. Making the best of the situation, Steve, a distinguished scholar in constitutional law, has been writing law review articles quite literally with his toes. Meanwhile, former students, current students, friends and colleagues are training for yet another triathlon in which they participate with the goal of raising money for a cure to ALS.

This year, the fourth since Steve was diagnosed, the folks behind the Tri-4-Gey are asking people to donate in Steve's name to Florida State's "Steve Gey Endowment for Excellence." Here's how you can do it.

To donate:
(1) Go to 
(2) Select "Steve Gey Endowment for Excellence" from the "Designation" drop down box
(3) Fill out the requested information 
(4) If you know anyone participating this year, then under the section titled "Tribute Information," select "in honor of" and put the team member's name that you are supporting in the "Name" box so that we can keep track of each team member's fundraising efforts. 

After the jump, I've posted a paragraph from a recent update by Steve that shows his indomitable spirit.

Despite these unhappy circumstances, my days are still relatively full. I spend my time doing what any rational person would do with his last days on earth: writing law review articles. I've got three articles coming out very soon, another that is currently under submission, and a fifth that is about three-quarters done. Who says tenure makes you lazy? When I am not writing law review articles with my toes, I read, watch movies, and listen to music. Mostly lighthearted stuff. For example, the item currently gracing my Kindle is a novel entitled "God is Dead." The basic plot is that God comes to Earth embodied in a wounded Dinka woman in Darfur. But although God plans to apologize for his role in permitting things such as Darfur to happen, he is gunned down, which triggers the events in the rest of the book. Like I say -- lighthearted. As for movies, I heartily recommend any example of the Romanian New Wave, or any of the recent movies made by directors in the countries that used to comprise the former Yugoslavia. They are almost uniformly wonderful, if a tad bleak. (Look, I'm dying here, so what did you expect -- a recommendation of "The House Bunny"?) As for music, today it has ranged from The Clash’s "Should I Stay or Should I Go" (get it?) to the gloriously quirky Glenn Gould rendition of The Goldberg Variations. I recommend the 1981 recording of the latter, by the way. (One of my many fears of this whole locked-in thing pertains to music selection. I live in mortal fear of asking for John Coltrane’s "Blue Train" and having one of my handlers load something along the lines of the Ramones’ "I Want to Be Sedated.") 

Posted by Administrators on March 25, 2010 at 08:48 PM in Funky FSU, Odd World | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


My invariably talented colleague Shawn Bayern puts the fun(k) in funky FSU. Yes, as you suspected, he now has a techno music album up for sale on Amazon. I think some of these tunes might have appeared on a disc he made for Ben-ben. Buy it here.

Out of curiosity, what were folks' reax to the pieces today in the NYT re: wikileaks, polarized Scotus clerk careers, quasi anti-vegetarianism (in the name of plants' right to life!), and organ selling??

FWIW, I think Satel's case for modified incentives for organs is quite strong; I'm a little nervous about widespread use of wikileaks, but that's probably unjustified (watched Bourne Ultimatum again last night and thought Pam Landy today would scan and upload there...); sympathetic to Angier's piece on plant rights but not willing to bite the bullet -- what else will we eat, I wonder; and last, doubt if Clinton Admin is to blame for the change post-1990 in clerk trajectories. Liptak's piece suggests that's when the "troubles" began. Can POTUS be to blame for this? Unlikely...

Posted by Administrators on December 22, 2009 at 11:28 PM in Article Spotlight, Blogging, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Eric Barron named new President of FSU

Well, as promised/threatened by the relevant powers that be, the FSU presidential search committee has acted very expeditiously from the time that all nominations were in to the time the selection was made--approximately 3 weeks!

Eric Barron will be replacing TK Wetherell at FSU's helm. This should be a relatively straightforward transition, especially compared to the simultaneous transition over at the Seminoles' football squad, where Bobby Bowden is  finally retiring after a zillion years. Anyone wonder if the president will get paid more than the coach?

The press release appears after the jump.

The Florida State University Board of Trustees today selected alumnus Eric J. Barron, Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, to serve as the University's 14th president.

Barron, 58, succeeds T.K. Wetherell, who became president in 2003 and guided Florida State to record heights before announcing in June his intention to retire.

"I am extremely gratified and honored to return to my alma mater and serve as its next president," Barron said. "This is an outstanding university that is poised to become one of the finest in the world, and I look forward to helping it reach that goal."

Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Smith reported to the trustees overwhelmingly positive comments in support of Barron from the 19-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee, which he chaired. That group had interviewed three finalists out of 26 applicants before forwarding the results of its review to the trustees.

"Under Dr. Wetherell's leadership, Florida State University advanced as one of the nation's top public graduate research universities," Smith said. "Now, it is well-positioned to vault to the next level, and the Board of Trustees is extremely pleased to be able to select Dr. Barron as the leader who will take us there."

"His national prominence in his field, his extensive fundraising experience and his superlative administrative skills are an excellent fit for Florida State."

Barron earned a bachelor's degree in geology from FSU as an honors student in 1973. He holds master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Miami, both in oceanography.

He has been director of the highly prominent national laboratory, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, since 2008.

In his first year there, he developed a strategic plan to address budget challenges that was praised by the National Science Foundation for its transparency and commitment to the future. This year, the Center had its greatest annual budget increase in nearly a decade.

Prior to taking the position at NCAR, Barron was dean of the newly formed Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. That school currently is executing a strategic plan developed while he was dean that expanded the faculty, transformed student recruitment and services, developed a lifelong connection to alumni and created a stronger sense of community.

From 1986 to 2006, Barron was at Pennsylvania State University, where he was professor of geosciences, director of the Earth System Science Center, director of the EMS Environment Institute, and finally dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. While he was dean, his college led all other colleges at Penn State in research expenditures per faculty member, it excelled at teaching and it emerged as an innovative leader on campus in a renewed focus on students and student services.

Barron is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society and the Geological Society of America. He has received many national awards as a scholar, researcher and distinguished lecturer, has published extensively and has been editor or a member of the editorial boards of a dozen academic journals. He has testified before Congress and has chaired numerous committees in service to the federal government, such as the NASA Senior Review for the Earth Sciences in 2005. He has chaired committees and panels of the National Research Council since 1987 and currently chairs "An Ocean Infrastructure for U.S. Ocean Research in 2030."

A highly visible scientist, Barron stressed his commitment to the full spectrum of academic disciplines, saying he is "an ardent supporter and advocate for the full spectrum of excellence in the arts and humanities, sciences, law, business and medicine."

A native of Lafayette, Ind., Barron has two grown children. He said he and his wife, Molly, are "a partnership" and that she will be an active participant in supporting Florida State University while he is president.

Posted by Administrators on December 8, 2009 at 10:51 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prawfsfest! in the Hassee

Tonight marks the onset of Prawfsfest! 5, our roving public law/legal theory workshop for early works in progress.  The gathering takes place this semester here in Sweet Sassy Tallahassee over the next few days at FSU. I'm very grateful to Deans Don Weidner and Wayne Logan and the administrative support team here at FSU for their help and energy.

In attendance, we'll have: Zak Kramer (Penn State); Rob Kar (Loyola LA en route to Illy); Carissa Hessick (ASU); Andy Hessick (ASU); Bill Araiza (Brooklyn); Lesley Wexler (FSU); Brian Galle (FSU/Georgetown/GW); Erik Knutsen (Queens); Dave Fagundes (Southwestern); Paul Horwitz (Alabama); and Beth Burch (FSU); Amelia Rinehart (FSU), and me.  Should be a lot of fun.

The next Pfest! will be at Southwestern in LA in December.

Posted by Administrators on April 29, 2009 at 10:05 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tri-4-Gey, and an update from Steve Gey

The folllowing is a press release that I thought would interest the academic legal community as well as the numerous fans of Professor Steve Gey outside the professoriate. I am also posting Steve's most recent update, which is both, and again, heart-breaking and inspiring.

Warriors against ALS Continue Battle for Ailing Professor


For the third consecutive year, a group of rowdy devotees are raising money on behalf of their favorite law school professor as he combats a fatal illness. Their story is one of love for a great man, dedication to a cause, and hope for the future. Competing in a triathlon is not easy, and fundraising during an economic crisis has proven difficult. However, knowing that every cent raised brings happiness and meaning to their hero’s final years keeps this team swimming, biking, and running to the finish line.  


In December of 2006, the colleagues, students, and friends of Professor Steven Gey received devastating news: he had developed a particularly aggressive form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Except in very few cases, the victims of this cruel disease endure slow paralysis and, eventually, death.
For those who know him, it is difficult to think of Professor Gey as being mortal. Sporting a thick Groucho Marx mustache, his explosive personality and endearing charm have made him a favorite at Florida State University’s College of Law since he first began teaching there in the 1980s. Blessed with the ability to speak almost as fast as he is able to think, Professor Gey’s unorthodox and impassioned teaching method has cultivated generations of students entirely devoted to him, whether or not they agree with him. As one former student, Sean Park, put it, “time was always short in his daily schedule, but whenever you had his attention, the spotlight was on you.”
It has been just over two years since his initial diagnosis, and the disease is taking its toll. Professor Gey jokes that being hand-fed and spending all day, every day, in pajamas makes him “feel like Hugh Hefner without the baby rabbits.” But this humor belies the truth: ALS has ravaged his body. Always wafer-thin, his weight dropped to a paltry 90 pounds at one point during 2008, prompting him to joke: “I won’t have the chance to die. I’ll just float away.” But even now, after losing control over his limbs and lungs, the kinetic fire in his eyes continues to burn mischievously. His abilities to motivate and influence those around him—the same characteristics that make him a powerful professor—have inspired a fundraising effort of monumental proportions.
After learning of Professor Gey’s illness, many of those who love him chose to proactively channel their grief into raising awareness about ALS. In the spring of 2007, a small group of students led by Atlanta-based lawyer Kristina Klein, a graduate of FSU law school, initially set out to raise a couple thousand dollars towards ALS research by competing in the Red Hills Triathlon in Tallahassee, where Professor Gey still resides. This modest goal snowballed into a three-year philanthropic endeavor. Over $40,000 were raised in 2007; the following year, the team doubled in size and raised another $60,000.
This year, the 60 members of the Tri-for-Gey III team aim to bring the total to $150,000—no small feat in the midst of a global economic crisis. With less than three weeks left until the April 4th triathlon, they are still $30,000 short of their goal, but they hold out hope that they will succeed.
Hope is all they have left.
The members of Team Gey are diverse. They are Christians, atheists, and Jews; they hail from Norton, Kansas, and Bowling Green, Kentucky. Very few are true athletes. To the contrary, many are doughy white-collar workers who, until recently, had not seen the inside of a gym since leg warmers were in style—the first time. Yet everyone who started the race succeeded in making it across the finish line. This determination evidences the formation of a positive-feedback cycle based on devotion and a sense of responsibility: the Team Gey members continue to be inspired by Professor Gey’s staunch will to live, which is in turn bolstered by the team’s determination and constant outpouring of love.
Orlando-based lawyer Melanie Shoemaker Griffin, a three-year Team Gey veteran and former student of Professor Gey, refers to his powers of motivation as “heroic.” She hopes that “as a result of Team Gey's efforts, I will see a cure for ALS found during my lifetime and know I played a small part in saving millions of lives.”
Another competitor, Atlanta-based lawyer Ranney Wiesemann, has never met him, but the devotion of co-workers inspired her to join the team. “As long as Professor Gey continues his courageous fight against ALS, I will be right there beside him,” she says, looking forward to the opportunity to meet him after this year’s triathlon.
It is no small wonder, then, that Professor Gey has drawn two conclusions from his experience with ALS. First, “fatal diseases are a bummer, but second (and more important), people's responses to fatal diseases make the human race look downright respectable.” In a recent letter to the team, he expressed regret that “I will never be able to repay any of you for what you've done. But please understand that if you could cash out gratitude, you would all be rich beyond belief.”
And yet his happiness is all the riches that the members of Team Gey seek.
Professor Gey’s story is a timely reminder that the ongoing debate regarding stem cell research has a very human face. Many argue that degenerative disorders such as ALS can be treated, if not cured, by such research. Never one to shy away from controversy, Professor Gey is a strong proponent of stem cell research and applauds President Obama’s recent reversal of the ban put in place by the previous administration.
Some who adore Professor Gey abhor the use of human stem cells for research; others roundly support it. Both wish that he could be cured. Reinforcing his legacy as an educator, Professor Gey continues to compel those who love and respect him to address and fully analyze a sensitive issue that, for the sake of comfort, they may have otherwise ignored.
Back in December of 2006, after she first proposed the idea of the Tri-for-Gey, Kristie Klein made a pact with Professor Gey: he would keep living as long as the team kept competing in the triathlon. He has thus far held up his end of the bargain and continues to insist that the team live in the moment. Just yesterday, he wrote: “For now, let’s all celebrate the fact that I’m still living and you are all still crazy.”
Perhaps they should also celebrate that their fundraising efforts have produced an immortal gift for future generations of ALS victims: hope.


Donations can be made in Professor Gey’s name at Professor Gey personally receives an update every time a donation is made, and all proceeds will go to ALS-Therapy Development Institute, the world’s largest ALS research center.


Select Quotes from Professor Gey in letters to the Tri-for-Gey team:

·         “The basic plan now is the same as it was a year ago: figure out how to deal with an ever-diminishing number of body parts, until some doctor trips over a cure to ALS while trying to develop a new and improved version of Rogaine.”

·         “It's probably safe to say that I'm on track to fulfill the usual prognosis for all ALS patients, which basically gives me the life expectancy of a hummingbird. I've just decided to act as if that's not the reality, and I'm happy to say that all of you are helping me perpetuate my self-delusion.”

·         “If you crazy people are still willing to get up at the crack of dawn and jump in a frigid lake, and then run and ride yourselves silly, then I may as well try to stick around to see what you all look like in wetsuits.”

·         Regarding his new-found freedom to watch French movies: “Indeed, my present circumstances have given me a whole new perspective on the nouvelle vague. I now find Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend oddly comforting. So you see? This whole fatal disease thing isn't all that bad after all.”


Informational Websites:


Please direct any questions to Julia Breslin ([email protected]) or Melanie Shoemaker Griffin ([email protected]). 

Posted by Administrators on March 15, 2009 at 10:30 AM in Constitutional thoughts, Funky FSU, Life of Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Entry Level Hiring Report at Legal Theory Blog

For those of you with relevant information on the hiring of entry level profs, please visit the Legal Theory blog of our friend Larry Solum to share the info. Larry reports he is going high-tech this year:

This year, I will be using surveymonkey to collect the data. The data elements are similar to prior years. I am collecting information on the candidate's first law degree (JD), other advanced degrees in law or another discipline, practice experience, post-doc's/fellowships/VAPs, and areas of specialization/methodological orientation. Click Here to enter data for the 2009 Entry Level Hiring Report.  The first preliminary results will be reported in about one week.

For those lacking patience, readers of prawfs might be happy to hear that FSU has already made three hires and we are still hoping to hire more. So far, we've hired Tara Grove (HLS, Climenko); Franita Tolson (UChicago, VAP at NW); and Shawn Bayern (Boalt, Duke VAP). Prospective students (and professors) keen to learn more about FSU might want to check out our latest propaganda tool information sharing device. :-)

Posted by Administrators on February 24, 2009 at 08:31 AM in Blogging, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Great Conference on International Criminal Tribunals

For those of you able to come join us in the Hassee, you should try to clear some time next week on Jan 29-31 to attend an exciting symposium entitled: International Criminal Tribunals: Problems and Prospects. Justice Richard Goldstone will be one of the several distinguished speakers.

More details after the jump.


January 30-31, 2009

The Claude Pepper Auditorium

Florida State University


Thursday January 29, 2009 Pre-Conference Lunch &Talk

12:00 Noon

FSU Law School Rotunda


Attorney David Akerson, FSU Law School Alumnus

“From FSU Law School to the International Criminal Tribunals”



Friday January 30, 2009


9:15 AM               Welcome & Introductory Remarks

                                Professor Terry Coonan, Executive Director, CAHR


9:30 AM               Introduction of Justice Richard Goldstone

                                President Emeritus & Professor of Law Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte


                                Justice Richard Goldstone

Former Chief Prosecutor, UN International Criminal Tribunals, the Former Yugoslavia & Rwanda

                                “International Criminal Tribunals: Problems & Prospects”


                                Respondent & Discussion Facilitator

                                Professor Bert Lockwood, Editor-in-Chief, Human Rights Quarterly                        


11:00 AM             Introduction of David Tolbert

                                Professor Sumner “Barney” Twiss, Distinguished Scholar, CAHR


                                David Tolbert, U.S. Institute of Peace

Former Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia & Special Advisor to the UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials

“Making Complementarity Work: Lessons from Yugoslavia and Cambodia”


Respondent & Discussion Facilitator

Professor Fernando Teson, Tobias Simon Eminent Scholar, FSU Law School


12:30 PM             Lunch


2:00 PM                Introduction of Mark Ellis

                                Monsignor William Kerr, Executive Director, FSU Pepper Center

                                Mark Ellis, Executive Director, International Bar Association

                                “Strengthening the International Criminal Court Through Domestic Prosecutions”


                                Respondent & Discussion Facilitator

                                President Emeritus Sandy D’Alemberte


3:30 PM                Coffee Break


3:45 PM                Introduction of Susana Sacouto

                                Professor Terry Coonan


Professor Susana Sacouto, Director, War Crimes Research Office, American University Washington College of Law

“Victim Participation in Proceedings of the International Criminal Court”


Respondent & Discussion Facilitator

Professor Wayne Logan, Gary & Sally Pajcic Professor of Law, FSU Law School


5:15 PM                Adjourn


7:30 PM                Dinner


Saturday January 31, 2009


9:30 AM               Introduction of Fergal Gaynor

                                Wendi Adelson, Program Director, CAHR


                                Barrister Fergal Gaynor, Irish Centre for Human Rights

Former Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia  & Rwanda

“Prosecutorial Challenges & Accomplishments of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda”


                                Respondent & Discussion Facilitator

                                Professor David Akerson, Denver University Sturm College of Law


11:00 AM             Introduction of April Carter

                                Professor Terry Coonan


April Carter, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

“A View from the Trenches—an ICTY Prosecutor”


Respondent & Discussion Facilitator

Professor Lee Metcalf, Director, FSU Graduate Studies Program in International Affairs


12:30 PM             Lunch


2:00 PM                Introduction of Nicholas Stewart

                                Professor Barney Twiss


Nicholas Stewart, Defence Council, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

                                 “A View from the Trenches—an ICTY Defense Attorney”


                                Respondent & Discussion Facilitator

                                Mark Ellis, Executive Director, International Bar Association


3:30 PM                Concluding Remarks & Thanks

                                President Emeritus Sandy D’Alemberte


7:00 PM                Dinner (off-campus)










Posted by Administrators on January 22, 2009 at 04:15 PM in Criminal Law, Current Affairs, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Faculty Productivity

As you may have seen over on Brian Leiter's blog, there's a new study of faculty productivity that was produced by Professor Yelnosky at Roger Williams Law School. The study measures the scholarly productivity of professors at law schools ranked outside the top 50 of USNews. To my delight, Florida State ranks third, trailing a bit behind USanDiego and Cardozo. Richmond is not far behind FSU. San Diego warrants mention for being just a point and a half behind Harvard. (NB: When Brian did a similar study of the "top" schools, FSU ranked 31st nationally; Cardozo and USanDiego tied at 22d. I'd be very curious to see what the numbers look like today.)  The study's methodology is pretty interesting and probably somewhat controversial insofar as it measures productivity by focusing on how much scholarship gets selected for publication in the "top" journals. Yelsnosky explains that 67 journals were deemed "top":

We included the general law reviews published by the 54 schools receiving the highest peer assessment scores in the 2008 U.S. NEWS RANKINGS (47 schools had a peer assessment score of 2.9 or higher; 7 had a score of 2.8) and an additional 13 journals that appear in the top 50 of the Washington & Lee Law Journal Combined Rankings. An alphabetical listing of those journals can be found on this website, as can the U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT RANKINGS and Washington & Lee Law Journal Combined Rankings on which that list of 67 journals is based.

For those of you making decisions about which journals to send your stuff, your deans will be especially happy if you place in these ones, rather than other ones you might be tempted by. This study, consequently, might create certain feedback loops. Another important aspect of how this was measured includes the deduction of points for articles published in journals in one's home institution and for articles that are short:

For each qualifying article, we used Professor Leiter’s system: 0 points for articles under 6 pages; 1 point for articles 6-20 pages in length; 2 points for articles 21-50 pages in length; and 3 points for articles exceeding 50 pages. For articles appearing in a journal published by the faculty member’s home institution, the points assigned were reduced by one-half. The total number of points for all members of a faculty was divided by the number of faculty, yielding the institution’s per capita score.

Given the limited ambition of what the study purports to measure, I'm not sure I have too many quibbles with its design. I can imagine that faculties with lots of legal historians (UNC?) or other specialties might suffer under this metric. And if I had my druthers, I'd probably deduct all (not just half the) points for publication in a journal belonging to one's home institution. 

By the way, Brian remarks: "For those on the law teaching market, this study is not a bad tool for gauging which more regional law schools have serious scholarly culture." Indeed, but the point should dig deeper: the study also raises the question of which of the top 50 law schools don't have a "serious scholarly culture," at least comparatively and based on this metric. Unfortunately, we don't have enough data for that determination; actually, I'm a bit surprised that Yelnosky didn't undertake that. In light of the already substantial work that was involved, I wonder how much more work it would have been to include the rest. In any event Yelnosky deserves thanks for putting this together and if your school was not measured by Yelnosky but you've done a self-study to mimic it, please feel free to share that info in the comments. Of course, if you're on the market this year, you may want to ask the schools you're meeting with about how they fare or at least what they think of the study--but probably best to do so after you get an offer!

Posted by Administrators on September 11, 2008 at 09:01 AM in Funky FSU, Life of Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Friday, August 01, 2008

FSU Law Ranks Very Highly on the New Leiter Methodology

It may not please Jason in terms of what he's trying to measure in the race to the top, but according to Jim Rossi, our fearless number-crunching Associate Dean for Research, Florida State's College of Law compares quite favorably on the new Leiter Rankings methodology.

Jim reports: "we seem to fall right around [Leiter's] cut-off for the top 20, right behind Minnnesota (which has an average of 200), but a) this is based on numbers [Rossi] ran [yesterday] and b) [Rossi] really don't know how many other schools are in the same general ballpark since Minnesota is the lowest ranking school [Leiter] reports for the most recent citation numbers."  Please let me know if Rossi is missing anything here. We'll be happy to correct it. And if you're a school who wants to run numbers similar to the setup below, then please feel free to share the stats in the comments as they appear in the table below with the date the stats were performed.

Name                                Total Cites                 Post-2000 Cites
                                          in JLR                        in JLR

frederick /2 abbott              659                           463
rob /2 atkinson                   413                           205
barbara /2 banoff               117                              80
donna /2 christie               100                               65
robin /2 craig                     219                             139
joseph /2 dodge                473                             356
dino /2 falaschetti                  7                                5
steven /2 gey                     681                            287
elwin /2 griffith                     93                              64
adam /2 hirsch                  380                            269
tahirih /2 lee                       118                              70
wayne /2 logan                  311                            187
david /2 markell                 272                            189
gregg /2 polsky                  116                              85
david f /2 powell                     8                                7
jim /2 rossi                         552                            343
j.b. /2 ruhl                           943                            558
mark /2 seidenfeld             690                            411
nat /2 stern                         173                             77
fernando /2 teson               490                           218
manuel /2 utset                  143                             87
donald /2 weidner               263                           171

Average                             328.23                     197.09

Posted by Administrators on August 1, 2008 at 10:04 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Some news of varying degrees of excitement:0-11

Ah, the beginning of exam-grading period: it is, by my lights, the best time to procrastinate by writing incessantly. And while my wife could have been eating donuts with Jack in Tucson the last few days, I've had the chance to finish assemble cobble from here and there a shitty first draft of Implementing Retributive Damages. Ok, "draft" is overstated; there are still various holes  in the text to write.  But as the second of a trilogy -- you can read a more developed draft of the first part, Retributive Damages, up on SSRN --  Implementing Retributive Damages raises and hopefully resolves all sorts of neat policy questions that I had to defer from the first installment. 

This bricolage comes just in time. On Thursday I'm slotted to present the basic ideas of the paper to my colleagues here at FSU Law over lunch before going on the road with it this summer to Vancouver, NYC, and Palm Beach. If you're in the 'Hassee this Thursday, and interested, please let me know--you're welcome to come munch on Qdoba or some such with us while I talk about pluralism about punitive damages purposes, punishing entities, dirty-handed plaintiffs, and procedural safeguards for civil defendants facing retributive damages.

Speaking of FSU Law, some really great news in the last few days has emerged. First, our graduates just led the state in bar passage--again. Florida State ranked first among Florida’s ten law schools in the passing rate on the February 2008 administration of the Florida Bar Examination. Our first place passing rate of 93.6% was followed by UF’s passing rate of 88.3%. The overall passing rate was 76.4%. Florida State Law has had the highest passing rate in four of the last five administrations of the Florida Bar Exam.  Second, and at least equally impressive, the Dean recently announced that according to data recently released by the ABA, Florida State Law has the 13th best alumni giving rate among the nation’s law schools, at 26.1%, with only two state schools ahead of us, UVa and UCLA.  Given FSU's relative youth and its status as a public law school, I think that sense of alumni engagement says something quite good about the school -- and our development office!  Moreover, it looks like this coming year we will have a burgeoning smatter of criminal justice-related activities and initiatives that I'll be coordinating with Wayne Logan. More on that to follow.

Last, though definitely not least, Prawfsfest! is coming!! After two successful incubator workshops at Miami and Loyola LA the last two Decembers, we are now contemplating a move toward doing them on a semi-annual basis instead of an annual one. Well, that's the ambition; that, and warm weather hosts during the winter.  Toward that goal, I'm thrilled to announce that Dean Nora Demleitner and her colleagues at Hofstra will be hosting Prawfsfest! this coming July. Details are still being worked out, but we will gather in NY before the SEALS Conference. Stay tuned for more info on this great match: Hawfsfest! at Prawfstra. Er, I meant Prawfsfest! at Hofstra.

Posted by Administrators on May 6, 2008 at 05:02 PM in Dan Markel, Funky FSU, Housekeeping, Life of Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Critical Tax Conference at FSU

Some of the nation’s leading tax law faculty members will be at Florida State College of Law on April 4-5 for the 2008 Critical Tax Conference. Event hosts are Florida State prawfs Joseph Dodge, Brian Galle and  Charlene Luke. The annual conference has been in existence for about a decade and is hosted by a different institution each year. The event allows tax scholars to present their works-in-progress for feedback from peers. From the schedule, it looks like there will be some conversation about the nature of critical tax theory as well. This year's presenters include:

Yariv Brauner, University of Florida

Kim Brooks, McGill University

Neil Buchanan, George Washington University

Joseph Dodge, Florida State University

Brian Galle, Florida State University

Wendy Gerzog, University of Baltimore

Lily Kahng, Seattle University

Sarah Lawsky, George Washington University

Leandra Lederman, Indiana University

Charlene Luke, Florida State University

Beverly Moran, Vanderbilt University

Henry Ordower, St. Louis University

Diane Ring, Boston College

Mildred Robinson, University of Virginia

Nancy Shurtz, University of Oregon

Nancy Staudt, Northwestern University

You can find a pdf of the conference schedule here. I believe the sessions are open at least to faculty and probably others too. (Note to BDG: I have diligently scrubbed this post of all the obvious tax prof conference jokes.)

Posted by Administrators on April 2, 2008 at 08:59 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Workshops etc. this fall at FSU's College of Law

Notwithstanding the budget cuts we're facing across Florida, there are still plenty of interesting things going on, especially at the FSU law school this fall.  The juniors are continuing their own incubator workshop series and we'll be having a philosophy reading group as well as a new crim reading group;  more generally, our excellent external workshop series moves apace, with over 20 speakers coming to break bread with us and share wisdom. The workshop series schedule appears after the jump.  If you're a prawf who will be in T-town or nearby on those dates, let me know and we should be able to squeeze you in for lunch.

Speaking of wisdom, I'm particularly keen to hear David Schmidtz' presentation on the History of Liberty later this fall. Schmidtz is visiting FSU's law school this fall from the Philosophy and Economics Departments at the University of Arizona, where he heads the Philosophy of Freedom program. Not only a fellow Canadian by origin, he's also prone to writing philosophy of the sort that connects to the big questions, much like this wonderful essay. He joins Joseph Sanders, one of the leading torts and scientific evidence scholars in the academy, who will also be visiting us for the fall semester. We're very glad to have them both.

FALL 2007

         Thursday, September 6 - Professor Kristen Hickman, University of Minnesota. Topic: In Search of the Modern Skidmore Standard (Rossi)

Thursday, September 13 - Professor Suja Thomas, University of Cincinnati. Topic: Why the Motion to Dismiss Could be Unconstitutional (Wexler)

Friday, September 14 - Professor Heidi Hurd, University of Illinois. Topic: The Morality of Mercy (Bridgeman)

Monday, September 17 - Professor Randy Abate, Florida Coastal. Topic: TBA (Ruhl)

Thursday, September 20 - Professor Paul Robinson, University of Pennsylvania. Topic: What Distributive Principles Should Guide Punishment? (Markel)


Thursday, September 27 - Professor Joseph Sanders, University of Houston Law Center. Topic: A Norms Approach to Jury 'Nullification': Interests, Values and Scripts


Thursday, October 4 - Professor Daniel Rodriguez, University of Texas School of Law. Topic: Is Administrative Law Inevitable? (Rossi)

Monday, October 8 - Professor Royal Gardner, Stetson Law School. Topic: TBA  (Ruhl)

Wednesday, October 10 - Professor Erin O’Hara, Vanderbilt Law School. Topic: TBA  (Wexler)


Thursday, October 18 - Professor Gabriel J. Chin, University of Arizona. Topic: TBA (Markel)


Thursday, November 1 - Professor Matthew Stephenson, Harvard Law School. Topic: TBA (Seidenfeld)


Thursday, November 8 - Professor Julian Juergensmeyer, Georgia State University College of Law. Topic: TBA (Ruhl)


Thursday, November 15 - Professor Peter Strauss, Columbia Law School. (Distinguished Scholar in Residence during week of November 13-16) (Galle)


Thursday, November 29 - Professor David Schmidtz, University of Arizona (Department of Philosophy). Topic: The History of Liberty



Thursday, January 17 - Professor Margaret Blair, Vanderbilt Law School. Topic: Assurance Services as a Substitute for Law in Global Commerce (Rossi)

Thursday, January 24 - Professor Thomas Stratmann, George Mason University Economics Department. Topic: TBA (Falaschetti)

Thursday, January 31 - Professor Ethan Yale, Georgetown Law Center.  Topic: TBA (Galle)

Thursday, February 7 - Professor John Mayo, Georgetown University School of Business. Topic: TBA (Falaschetti)

Thursday, February 14 - Professor Jonathan Simon, University of California-Berkeley. Topic: TBA (Markel)

February 20-21 - Professor Jutta Brunnée, University of Toronto (Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law Distinguished Lecturer). Topic: TBA (Markell)

Thursday, March 20 - Professor Pamela Samuelson, University of California-Berkeley. Topic: TBA (de Larena)

Thursday, March 27 - Professor F. Scott Kieff, Washington University-St. Louis. Topic: TBA (de Larena)

April 4-5 - Critical Tax Conference (organized by Dodge/Galle)

Thursday, April 10 - Professor Rick Geddes, Cornell University Department of Economics. Topic: TBA (Falaschetti)

Monday, April 14 - Professor Suzanne Scotchmer, UC-Berkeley (Goldman School of Public Policy). Topic: TBA (Falaschetti)

Posted by Administrators on August 22, 2007 at 12:01 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, April 06, 2007

Takings Conference at FSU

For all you Takings law and economics junkies, there's going to be a conference at Florida State's College of Law on April 20-21, 2007, in conjunction with FSU's Economics Department.  Blog-readers of the Volokh Conspiracy and Jurisdynamics will especially appreciate the presence of Ilya Somin, Jonathan Adler, and my colleague JB Ruhl.  The conference is titled, "Takings: The Uses and Abuses of Eminent Domain and Land Use Regulation" and it is being sponsored by FSU's DeVoe Moore Center and the Law School's Law, Economics and Business Program.

I've posted the schedule of papers after the jump. If you're interested in attending, please contact Prof. Bruce Benson at bbenson at


Note: The 50 minutes allocated to each paper in the following schedule will be broken down as follows: Paper presentation, 20 minutes; discussant, 15 minutes; general discussion, 15 minutes. 

The conference will take place in the Rotunda of the Law School.

Friday, April 20

8:00-8:50: Breakfast

Session 1

8:50-9:00: Opening remarks

      9:00-9:50: Mark Seidenfeld, Patricia A. Dore Professor of Administrative Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Florida State University College of Law, “A Limited Defense of Kelo: Suggestions for Preventing Abuse of Eminent Domain to Transfer Property from One Private Entity to Another”

Discussant: Richard Stroup, Senior Associate, Property and Environmental Research Center, and Professor and Chair (Retired), Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University; Visiting Professor of Economics, North Carolina State University

      9:50-10:40: Steven Eagle, Professor, George Mason University School of Law, “Landowner Participation in the Urban Redevelopment Process: A Partial Solution to Eminent Domain Abuse?”

Discussant: Perry Shapiro, Professor, Department of Economics, University of California – Santa Barbara.

10:40-11:00: Break

Session 2

      11:00-11:50: Scott Bullock, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice, “The Inadequacy of the Planning Process for Protecting Property Owners from the Abuse of Eminent Domain for Private Development”

Discussant: Wallace Kaufman, M.Litt. Oxon., Professor (retired) and Practicing Appraiser.

      11:50-12:40: Daren Bakst, J.D., LL.M., Legal & Regulatory Policy Analyst, John Locke Foundation, “Making the Case for an Eminent Domain Amendment to the United States Constitution”

Discussant: Bruce Benson, Chair, Department of Economics, DeVoe Moore and Distinguished Research Professor, Courtesy Professor of Law, Florida State University

12:40-1:40: Lunch

Session 3

      1:40-2:30: Paul Niemann, PhD. Candidate in Economics, University of California – Santa Barbara, and Perry Shapiro, Professor, Department of Economics, University of California – Santa Barbara, “Compensation for Takings: Efficiency and Equity”

Discussant: Randall Holcombe, DeVoe Moore Professor, Department of Economics, Florida State University

      2:30-3:20: Wallace Kaufman, M.Litt. Oxon., Professor (retired) and Practicing Appraiser, “How Fair is Market Value: An Appraiser's Report of Temptations and Distortions in the Condemnation Process”

Discussant: Tom Means, Professor, Department of Economics, California State University, San Jose

3:20-3:40: Break

Session 4

3:40-4:30: Samuel Staley, Ph.D. Director, Urban and Land Use Policy, Reason Foundation, “The Proper Uses of Eminent Domain for Urban Redevelopment: Is Eminent Domain Necessary?”

Discussant: Christopher Coyne, Assistant Professor Department of Economics, Hampden-Sydney College

4:30-5:20: Ilya Somin, Assistant Professor, George Mason University School of Law, “The Limits of Backlash: Assessing the Political Response to Kelo

Discussant: Charles Barrilleaux, Professor, Department of Political Science, Florida State University

Saturday, April 21

8:00-9:00: Breakfast

Session 5

9:00-9:50: Bruce Benson, Chair, Department of Economics, DeVoe Moore and Distinguished Research Professor, Courtesy Professor of Law, Florida State University, and Matt Brown, PhD candidate in Economics, Florida State University, and Policy Research Director, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, “Eminent Domain for Private Use: Is it Justified by Market Failure or an Example of Government Failure?”

Discussant: Steven Eagle, Professor, George Mason University School of Law

9:50-10:40: Peter J. Boettke Professor, Department of Economics, George Mason University; Peter T. Leeson, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of West Virginia; and Christopher J. Coyne, Assistant Professor Department of Economics, Hampden-Sydney College, “Impact of Regulatory Takings on Entrepreneurial Discovery”

Discussant: Edward Stringham, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, California State University, San Jose

10:40-11:00 Break

Session 6

11:00-11:50: Matt Brown, PhD candidate in Economics, Florida State University, and Policy Research Director, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and  Richard Stroup, Senior Associate, Property and Environmental Research Center, and Professor and Chair (Retired), Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University; Visiting Professor of Economics, North Carolina State University, “Markets versus Takings: Deciding the Future of the Past”

Discussant: Sam Staley, Ph.D. Director, Urban and Land Use Policy, Reason Foundation

11:50-12:40: Jonathan Adler, Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, “Money or Nothing: The Adverse Environmental Consequences of Uncompensated Regulatory Takings”

Discussant: J.B. Ruhl, Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property, College of Law, Florida State University

12:40-1:40: Lunch

Session 7

1:40-2:30: Tom Means, Professor, and Edward Stringham, Assistant Professor, both in the Department of Economics, California State University, San Jose, “Testing the Impact of Affordable Housing Mandates”

Discussant: Ron Cheung, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Florida State University

2:30-2:40:  Closing remarks (e.g., instructions for submitting final papers for publication)

Posted by Administrators on April 6, 2007 at 09:23 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Funky T-town Update

Rick's post below links to an article about Justice Alito's visit to Florida. During the course of a speech he gave in St. Pete's, Alito quipped:

One of the things I am asked is if I believe in a living Constitution," Alito said in his speech, referring to a thought that the Constitution can reflect the times. "Umpires face this very same problem. For example, do we want a living strike zone?"

The idea of a living constitution is getting some airing as I write (and not simply from Ethan). Here at FSU's College of Law we have the privilege of hosting Prof. Peter Rubin from Georgetown. Peter is in town for the day meeting and speaking with students as part of his role as ACS founder and spokesperson. Also in town for the day is Jerry Reichman, who is giving the Lillich Memorial Lecture this afternoon, after having already presented a provocative paper at a faculty lunch workshop.

Tomorrow is equally busy: Scott Shapiro from Michigan is presenting at a lunch workshop followed by the inimitable Kate Litvak in the afternoon, on the subject of Sarbanes-Oxley and the Cross-Listing Premium. Kate is talking to students (and others) in Jon Klick and (visiting blogger) Jonah Gelbach's Empirical Legal Studies seminar, which has also hosted (Prawfs alum) Yair Listokin (Yale), Joanna Shepherd (Emory), Eric Helland (Claremont McKenna), and is slated to host Daniel Ho (Stanford), and Albert Yoon (Northwestern).

More exciting news is that good great things are also happening on the hiring and retention front at FSU. In addition to hiring Kelli Alces at the entry level, FSU has enticed both Manuel Utset (formerly of Utah) and Wayne Logan (formerly of William Mitchell via a visit at William and Mary) to accept senior posts--they came to FSU on a reverse look-see, that is, they came with offer in hand and accepted during their visits this semester. (Btw, check out Wayne's very interesting op-ed in the National Law Journal on the subject of federal prosecutions of sex offenders who fail to register in states to which they migrate.) And just recently, FSU has also lured Dino Falaschetti, a rising law and economics star, to join at the senior level. Dino's hire is particularly valuable to us as FSU builds its Law, Economics and Business Center and in light of Jon Klick's absence next year as he visits Penn and Columbia. Additionally, Gregg Polsky, a youngish senior tax scholar from UMinn, will be coming on a reverse look-see in the next year or two, as will Michael Z. Green, from Texas Wesleyan. On the retention front, Jim Rossi has turned down a senior offer at Illinois to stay at FSU as our dean of research, and Curtis Bridgeman, who's only in his 3d year of teaching, turned down a tenured offer from Ohio State to stay at FSU, where he will become the James Edmund and Margaret Elizabeth Hennessey Corry Professor. Also of note: both JB Ruhl and Jim Rossi have visits lined up at Harvard in 2008. It's a sunny day in, about that living strike zone.

Posted by Administrators on March 14, 2007 at 04:37 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Hi, I'm Gov. Crist, and I'm here to make your professor a judge."

I meant to blog about this a bit earlier, but it escaped my attention. A couple weeks ago, the newly elected Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, decided to appoint an adjunct professor at FSU to an appellate judgeship. The story begins here and continues after the jump:

Gov. Charlie Crist brought a lesson on the judicial appointment process to life when he made a surprise visit to a Florida State University law classroom Thursday to appoint a professor to an appellate judgeship.

L. Clayton "Clay" Roberts and FSU President Emeritus Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, who co-teach a class on state constitutional law, were leading a discussion on judicial appointments when Crist and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp showed up to announce their administration's first judicial appointment - Roberts. Roberts will succeed retired Judge Richard Ervin III on the 1st District Court of Appeal.

"It was wonderful that it happened in the law school that I went to and where I now teach," said Roberts, a 1998 graduate of the FSU College of Law and an adjunct professor. Roberts, 41, said he was stunned to see the classroom door open and his wife, Trelles, walk in with Crist, Kottkamp and other members of Crist's team. "He said, 'Hi, I'm Gov. Crist, and I'm here to make your professor a judge.' "

Crist apparently had first gone to Roberts' office in the Capitol, where Roberts serves as executive deputy attorney general, but quickly decided to head to the law school to deliver the news upon learning that Roberts was teaching.

"Our students were really thrilled," D'Alemberte said. "That Gov. Crist would take his time to tell Clay in person is a great tribute to Clay and shows that the governor and Lt. Gov. Kottkamp are really comfortable here at FSU and that they really care about people. It also sends a signal that Crist cares a lot about judicial appointments, and not all governors do. He will pay attention to who he appoints to the judiciary."

Richard Alton, a third-year FSU law student, said the surprise appearance could not have been more on point given the day's discussion of Article 5 of the Florida Constitution.

"The governor called him Judge Roberts and handed him a piece of paper," Alton said. "We all just started clapping. This is one of the great things about going to law school at FSU - we have so much access to the government and the judicial branch. We have four courts within a three-block radius of the law school."

The judicial appointment may be the first for Crist, who took office on Jan. 2, but he did not have to look far to fill the appellate vacancy. As executive deputy attorney general, Roberts served under Crist, who was attorney general until he became governor. And like Roberts, both Crist and Kottkamp are FSU alumni.

Roberts earned his FSU law degree after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Before serving as executive deputy attorney general, Roberts was general counsel to the Florida Department of State and director of the state Division of Elections.

"I'm excited to be able to continue my public service and will work hard to uphold the confidence of the governor and my friends who have supported me," Roberts said.

Posted by Administrators on February 13, 2007 at 01:13 PM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Welcome Jim Chen, Part II

Earlier this week I issued Jim Chen's Jurisdynamics a welcome to the blogosphere.  It turns out Jim has since persuaded two extraordinary persons to join him at Jurisdynamics. The first is my utterly delightful FSU colleague and (soon to be erstwhile) neighbor, JB Ruhl.  The second is the very funny Dan Farber (law, Berkeley).  I'd like to say both are brilliant additions to Jim's efforts, but that might earn Dan's ire.  (Imagine a hyperlink here to 70 Minn. L. Rev. 917).   Seriously, I'm very excited to see both Dan and JB (another FSUnik) join the blogversations.  Perhaps my other colleagues will soon follow.  In any event, good job on recruiting, Jim!  You can catch JB's maiden post on the Simply Complex Law here.

Posted by Administrators on July 22, 2006 at 10:22 PM in Blogging, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Calling all Kelo fans and critics!

If you're in the T-town neighborhood, there will be a great forum on Kelo and the future of property rights here at the FSU law school this afternoon.  More info on the Environmental Forum is available here.   Here's some of the info:

Few decisions of the United States Supreme Court have attracted as much attention and caused as much public debate as the June 2005 decision in Kelo v. City of New London. Over hotly worded dissents, the Court’s majority ruled that the Fifth Amendment, which provides that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation,” does not prevent a local government from transferring property from one private landowner to another private interest in order to facilitate economic development and boost local tax revenues. Any protection from such government action, the majority ruled, must come from state and local law, not the Constitution.

Not surprisingly, many commentators quickly condemned Kelo as the last nail in the coffin of property rights, eradicating any notion that, under the Constitution, one’s home is one’s castle. On the other hand, many have risen in defense of Kelo, arguing that good government should promote economic prosperity and decide what best accomplishes that goal without close judicial oversight, and that the interests of the few who wish to hold on to their property notwithstanding the offer of fair compensation should not stand in the way of a community’s future. Kelo thus puts Florida land use policy at a crossroads. The Supreme Court has left it to the states to decide whether to favor the private individual’s property rights over the interests of community development. Florida constitutional and statutory law is not well settled on the matter, and the Legislature currently is considering whether and how to clarify matters through legislation. This Forum is intended to provide background on the varying perspectives and to stimulate discourse on which policy direction Florida should adopt.

Presenters include:

Wade Hopping
Wade Hopping is a founding member of the Tallahassee law firm Hopping Green & Sams. His Land Use and Administrative Law practice focuses on planning and licensing of complex projects. Mr. Hopping served as a Justice in the Florida Supreme Court from 1968-1969, and was employed at Florida State University College of Law as an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law in1978 and Land Use Law in 1984.
Michael Parker
Michael Parker is the economic development director for the City of Tallahassee and also serves as the executive director for the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency. Mr. Parker received his master’s degree in public administration from FSU and has 24 years of experience working in local government for the cities of Long Beach, California, Ft. Lauderdale and Tallahassee. Mr. Parker led the initiative to establish the Tallahassee Redevelopment Agency in 1998.
Debra W. Schiro
Debra W. Schiro, a FSU College of Law graduate, has been an assistant city attorney with Tallahassee since 2000, specializing in all aspects of eminent domain law and real estate transactions. Prior to joining the City, she was an assistant attorney general representing Districts III and VII of the Florida Department of Transportation in the acquisition of real property through condemnation. She is a member of the Association of Eminent Domain Professionals and is a vice chair of the Eminent Domain Committee of the Florida Bar.
Mark Seidenfeld
Mark Seidenfeld is the associate dean for academic affairs and the Patricia A. Dore Professor of Administrative Law at The Florida State University College of Law. Professor Seidenfeld earned his J.D. from Stanford University in 1983, clerked for the Honorable Patricia Wald on the D.C. Circuit, and worked for the New York State Public Service Commission before joining the faculty at FSU. He has written extensively on the structure of administrative agencies and judicial review, and has taught Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, and Law & Economics as well as several courses that address particular areas of regulation.
J. B. Ruhl, Moderator
J. B. Ruhl, is the Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property at Florida State University College of Law, where he teaches courses on Environmental Law, Land Use, and Property. Professor Ruhl is a nationally regarded expert in the fields of endangered species protection, regulation of wetlands, ecosystem management, environmental impact analysis, and related environmental and natural resources fields. His extensive publications in these fields include recent articles in the Stanford Law Review, Georgetown Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, and Ecology Law Quarterly. He is also co-author of the recently published casebook, The Law of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management (Foundation Press 2002), which is the first casebook to organize environmental law under these emerging themes. Prior to entering full-time law teaching, Professor Ruhl was a partner in the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P., in the firm’s Austin, Texas, office. Professor Ruhl received his B.A. (1979) and J.D. (1982) degrees from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Laws (1986) in environmental law from the George Washington University.

Thanks to my colleague JB Ruhl for the tip.

Posted by Administrators on November 15, 2005 at 11:14 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I thought I'd take a minute to say a few unrelated things.  First, I want to  congratulate the fine folks at the FSU Law Library on their new blog, available here; I think it's a great thing that law schools are institutionally becoming more receptive to the educational value of blogs and blogging, as indicated by the FSU library blog, and the launch of ChicawgoBlawgo

Related to that, I am hoping L'affaire Drezner is nothing more than an outlier, and won't chill the desire for other prawfs to enter the fray.  My own sense is that within three years, blogging will become very common among law faculties, and will be a way for schools' faculties to communicate with their students, alumni, and stakeholders in a real and energetic fashion.  Chicago's blog is, as might be expected, blazing the trail here.

I suppose it's worth pointing out the problem that, notwithstanding the lack of barriers to entry in the blog marketplace, many of the better known academic law blogs, including this one (to our chagrin and frustration), have gender imbalances and we can't pretend they don't exist.   Part of this problem is that legal academia still has a gender imbalance (not to mention ethnic/racial ones too).   Perhaps if blogging becomes more accepted in law schools generally, more women scholars and more scholars from minority backgrounds will participate in this venture.  My sense, based only on my experience trying to steer this ship, is that time commitments (and different priorities) thwart blogging, even for a short stint.  I'm not sure what we can do to fix that, based here, but I'd be curious to hear helpful recommendations or thoughts privately via email, or on comments.

Second, I have been delinquent, and thus I wanted to extend some overdue thanks to a few of our recent guest bloggers, including Mark Fenster, Brooks Holland, Doug Lichtman, Doug Berman, and to welcome our current guest, Matt Bodie, along with some familiar returning figures, Rick Garnett (ND) and Marcy Peek (Whittier).    I am also happy to see the auspicious debut of Concurring Opinions with Messrs. Solove, Wenger and Oman.  Kaimi and Dan: we are grateful for your efforts the last few months here, and we wish you well in your new home in cyberspace, which will surely be easier to spell than this one. 

Finally, I thought I'd mention that I'd seen Spellbound recently on DVD; if you enjoy the prospects of watching South Asian-American kids from Texas being asked to spell "yenta," it's the right movie for you and your family. 

Posted by Administrators on October 11, 2005 at 11:06 AM in Blogging, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Reflections on the First Two Weeks of Classes

To blog about more fruity fare in the wake of all the devastation and death of yesterday seems odd, but life must go on, and people don't read this blog merely to be morose.  I've been meaning to write lots lately but time kept slipping away in the first two weeks of classes.  Happily, I have a moment or two now to share some quick thoughts.  In future posts, I hope to weigh in on some of the other things my co-bloggers have brought up, especially the internet shaming issues.

With respect to teaching, life is surprising.  Even though I had taught for four years when I was in graduate school, it was to undergraduates in sections, and so I thought teaching law students was going to be very very different.  Turns out, not so much really. 

Still, I was entirely petrified the first day for my bail to jail crim pro class.  I skipped eating to minimize the chances of puking; that I didn't puke, I view as a signal triumph of the week.  Indeed, once the class started, all was calm and fun. 

Unsurprisingly for a rookie, I made a few important mistakes and one discovery, all of which may be of some interest or use to current/future prawfs.  First, to my chagrin (and that of my students), I was radically over-ambitious about the amount of material I could cover in my 100 minute classes.  (Dan Solove, you were right of course!)  I realized that 25 pages of casebook reading was more or less enough for a class that length, and that aiming for more would be a burden on not only my students but also on me.  I rationalized this decision by realizing that it's much more fun (and educationally beneficial) to dig more deeply into the reading and develop the skills of students through role-plays and more socratic method than it is to simply try to cover more material over the course of the semester by lecturing or moving quickly. 

Second, I could tell my (upper-level) students were not thrilled with being cold-called, even though they recognized the incentive to prepare that created, and the differential benefit of a class for which they prepared from one for which they did not.  Sure enough, with these issues alone, a bunch of students voted with their feet the next day, and enrollment dipped--notwithstanding my apology to the class over email that first night, which stated bluntly that I assigned too much reading and would imminently adjust the syllabus, and that I would henceforth split the class into two groups and would only call on one side each day.

Seeing the dip was not a great feeling, especially as one begins, but the brave souls I have now in my class are a joy to teach--they are motivated, bright, and on fire.  I can't imagine a better group with which to begin my law teaching career.  The seminar that I'm teaching in tort theory and punitive damages has had a similar dynamic.  Strangely, I've realized, seminars can take substantially more work to plan than courses.

One last point.  I never much cared for powerpoint or used it before, but I decided to take a chance and I now use it for the crim pro course.  I have to say: I love it.  The authors of the excellent casebook I use (Miller and Wright) have some barebones powerpoint slides that they make available to prawfs, and I have altered and added various slides too.  What's best is how powerpoint totally liberates me from the podium and the stage.  I simply post the questions that would be my lecture notes on the slides, and have them video projected onto a big screen.  With a remote clicker, I can freely wander around the classroom and make sure my no-Internet rule is being enforced, and more importantly, I can go up to a student and listen carefully to her answer.  (Looking back in hindsight, I wish I had used powerpoints during my job-talks; again, not to flash answers, but just to use as outlines or guideposts for my own ideas or for facilitating discussion.  Powerpoint is an invisible crutch (that happens to be visibile and that doesn't really appear like a crutch).) 

The strangest thing is that as I wander around and ask questions in the class, I feel as if I'm somehow channeling Dan Kahan, my former evidence prof.  Weird.  And for what it's worth, Ethan, I haven't yet worn jeans, but I have ratcheted down the wardrobe from suit and tie the first day to shirt with no tie by day 3.  But I still wear pants.

I'm off to NYC for the weekend tomorrow for a good friend's wedding, so light blogging (again) until later in the weekend.  There'll be some good stuff coming up here at Prawfs: we'll be doing a group reaction to Akhil Amar's new book, as Paul will explain in a forthcoming post, and Akhil will be responding.  And who knows, maybe Justice Breyer will be discoursing on flakking his forthcoming book, Active Liberty.  Future guestbloggers this month include Mark Fenster from Florida and Doug Lichtman from Chicago.  Next month, the inimitable Kate Litvak from Texas will be joining us for a stint.

Posted by Administrators on September 1, 2005 at 12:51 AM in Dan Markel, Funky FSU, Housekeeping, Life of Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Monday, August 15, 2005

Speeding towards T-town

Given that my partners in crime here have been so "serious" of late, I'll borrow this space for a few personal ruminations after having been more or less off-blog the last week. Like Ethan (in June) and Kaimi (in July), I had to pack out and move to my new school recently.  Instead of taking the 95 down the coast, I figured we'd enjoy the drive down Route 17 until we got to Charleston, SC.  What a jackass move.  The roads were slow, and I must have stopped through every town in Va, NC, SC, and Georgia!

We were almost out of Virginia en route to NC when I got pulled over for speeding (my main non-personality vice).  The kindly officer asked me if I was in law school.  I said, actually, I'm about to start teaching at a law school (I'm guessing he saw a teacher's manual to a casebook in my backseat).  He said, well, I guess you know why I pulled you over.  He informed me that Virginia has draconian speeding laws; had I been going just a few miles faster I would have been required to appear before a magistrate judge and spend the night in jail.  Jiminy Crickets.  Of course, he recognized that I wasn't driving dangerously (there was nary a car on the road at that point and I wasn't swerving or anything), so I got off with a mere 225 dollar ticket.   This was probably my only speeding ticket in memory, and while I think the penalties are a bit severe, I know that I have nothing to complain about.  If legislatures think speeding is the near-equivalent to crystal meth trafficking, then so be it.  That's democracy.  I happen to think that it would be better if we could adopt more pre-commitment strategies to avoid speeding.  My own strategy is to drive a weak-engined Civic, btw. But that's hardly sufficient it seems.  (Parenthetically, Ed Cheng (Brooklyn) has an interesting paper on speeding and Napster and structural impediments to law-breaking.)

More vivid reminders of speed's dangers were posted along South Carolina's roads, which in construction zones, posted photos of little girls saying, Please don't kill my daddy; he works on this road, or Let 'em work, let 'em live.   The best one was a sign that said something like, since 1988 28 people have died on this road.  Drive carefully. (Or maybe, don't be a statistic.)

I find these incredibly powerful semiotic gestures, and I wonder why I never saw this kind of state moralizing (I say that with respect not derision) in the North or even in California, let alone federal roads.  Maybe that will be a new PrawfsBlawg cause, after adoption and organ donation...and now cancer-reduction.

Anyway, Charleston SC is a glorious place to spend a night or twelve, eat pralines, and go on mule-drawn carriage rides.  We spent less than 16 hours there, but it made me want to go back soon.  We missed Savannah on the way down, but I gather it's not too far away and worth its own trip.  And T-town is growing on me by the nano-second.  As I write, I'm sitting in my study overlooking a pastoral golf course.  The home I'm renting for the year lends insights into the American dream, and its allure.  I'm paying less in rent now for a 2400 sq. foot home than I did for my 1BR in apt in Dupont Circle.  Everything else in TLH seems about the same price as big city living--restaurants, movie rentals,  upscale groceries are all the same.  And so are Target, Walmart and CVS.  You'd think that there'd be lower prices when the real estate is lower-priced; but my quick perusal of gas prices belies that.  It seems gas prices are higher in the poorer parts of town here.  Maybe that's because there's a higher likelihood of robbery, but it seems weird still.

As for Prawfs business, this week augurs the arrival of Brooks Holland, another junior crimprof who was a former public defender in New York and who now teaches at Gonzaga, in Washington (state).  I want to thank Bernie Meyler and Ekow Yankah for their posts the last few weeks. Hope to see you back soon. 

Posted by Administrators on August 15, 2005 at 10:27 AM in Dan Markel, Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Severed Heads in Tallahassee? Again!

Thanks to David Zaring, a Prawfs alum who's off to Washington and Lee to start teaching, I came across this interesting article about FSU's creative writing program, which is apparently regarded as one of the best in the biz.  The article is a

story about how FSU's young creative writing program has become during the past five years what some believe to be the best in the country, overshadowing the University of Florida's, Florida International University's and even possibly the granddaddy of creative writing programs, the University of Iowa's.  It did it with the help of patent money from the cancer drug Taxol, developed by an FSU scientist; the energy from pontifical mobster writer Mark Winegardner; and support of an established and respected English department. In 1997, U.S. News and World Report ranked creative writing programs. FSU's came in 37th.  In 2007, the National Research Council will publish a new ranking of creative writing programs. FSU unabashedly plans to win that race. While other schools downplay competition among programs, FSU puffs out its chest, plumps up its feathers and struts.  ''What we never were before was a program that could make a legitimate claim of being the best in the country,'' said Winegardner, who recently stepped down as director of the creative writing program after writing The Godfather Returns, a continuation of Mario Puzo's legendary mobster saga. 'I defy you to find a faculty that is better in terms of quality and quantity of awards and publishing. You cannot get any better than FSU.''

Well, I'm happy to see that FSU's writing program is doing so well, and even more, that its publicists have been so successful.  (Note to Dean Weidner: Hire them!) Seriously, this kind of peacockery is a bit unseemly.  (Ed.: But, perhaps, so is a blog with a category entitled "Funky FSU.")  What is cool is how seed money invested wisely can pay off in such a short while.  Are law schools too sluggish to dance as nimbly?  Paul Caron (and his co-author and colleague, Rafael Gely) have written interestingly on that subject, using Moneyball analysis.

In any case, the story about FSU made me laugh; and it then made me wonder how Alafair Burke managed to pump out three crime novels in the last few years while at the same time keeping up her day job as a Hawfstraprawf.  I had hoped Alafair was going to to be at the Junior CrimProf gathering I'll be presenting at later this week at GW being hosted by Orin Kerr, Rachel Barkow (NYU, law), and another Prawfs alum (and my co-author), Jennifer Collins (WFU, law).  But I just realized, to my chagrin, Alafair won't be there.  New Orleans perhaps?  At least there, there will be a discussion on "Blogging: scholarship or distraction?"  I'm waiting to hear from co-bloggers their reactions to that very subject...

P.S.  The title of this post is connected to the lede for the Miami Herald article that DZ provided.

Posted by Administrators on July 27, 2005 at 01:55 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Friday, June 17, 2005

Libertarians for More Government

A while back, I blogged about how my colleague and buddy (and future guest-blogger?) Jon Klick was given an endowed chair after one year in the academy.  In Thursday's NYT Economic Scene column by Virginia Postrel, one of Jon's co-written pieces is discussed at length.  The piece, which came out in the April 2005 Journal of Law and Economics, is called "Using Terror Alert Levels to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime."

A copy of the article is available at this link hereThe upshot of the article is that "more police officers in fact reduce crime." 

Apparently this intuitive result runs against some of the conventional wisom among various social scientists.  But for these two economists with libertarian streaks, the results of empiricism are robust:

Money quotes from the NYT piece:

the case for adding more police officers is strong. Using generally accepted cost estimates, Professor Tabarrok said, every $1 to add officers would reduce the costs of crime by $4. The authors did not identify a point of diminishing returns.  "We estimate that if we had a 10 percent increase in police, crime would go down by about 4 percent," he said, adding that researchers taking other approaches have come up with similar numbers. Nationally, he said, "that means about 700,000 fewer property crimes and 213,000 fewer violent crimes." As a back-of-the-envelope calculation, Professor Klick offered an even more striking suggestion. "It wouldn't be unreasonable," he said, "based on our estimates and based on conservative estimates of the costs of crime, to say it would be cost-effective to actually double the number of people working in police forces, which is pretty amazing."

Posted by Administrators on June 17, 2005 at 08:02 AM in Funky FSU, Law and Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Tough Acts to Follow

While I was away, FSU's law school has been the site of some interesting developments.  First, and perhaps of special interest to PrawfsBlawg readers, my colleague and buddy in the  making, Jon Klick, was named the Jeffrey A. Stoops Professor of Law after only one year of being an assistant professor.  Klick received his J.D. in 2003 and his Ph.D. in economics in 2002, both from George Mason University.  One of his many interesting articles is available here and it's about terror alerts in DC and their effects on crime rates.

Additionally, Curtis Bridgeman, who just finished his first year teaching at FSU also,  was named Professor of the Year by first year students at FSU, and his paper was selected for the Stanford-Yale junior faculty forum.

Finally, and due in no small part to Curtis and Jon's productivity and Jim Rossi's management, FSU's law school now stands in the top 20 of the SSRN recent downloads "tournament. "  See here for details.

Posted by Administrators on May 26, 2005 at 11:08 AM in Funky FSU | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack