Howard University

Faculty Highlights-April 2007

April 2007

Covering period from March 2007-April 2007

Black, Derek W.
On March 30th, Professor Black was a presenter on the panel, “The Supreme Court Confronts Affirmative Action in Public Schools,” sponsored by the Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project Conference at American University Washington College of Law.

He also accepted an offer to publish his article, The Mysteriously Reappearing Cause of Action: The Court’s Expanded Concept of Intentional Discrimination in Gender and Race Discrimination in Federally Funded Programs, in the Maryland Law Review.

Boyer, Spencer
On April 6th, during the Sports and Entertainment Law Student Association’s (SELSA) annual conference, Professor Boyer received an award for his 40 years of teaching with an Award in Excellence as well as recognition for his scholastic achievements in the field of sports and entertainment Law. The award was presented during the keynote address which was titled “The First Annual Professor Spencer H. Boyer Keynote Address.”

Many tributes were given by former students now working in the fields of entertainment and sports law thanking Professor Boyer and attributing their success to their former teacher’s influence. Two former SELSA members, one who is presently the President of BESLA (Black Entertainment and Sports Law Association) and one a board member of that organization joined with a third Howard Law alumni, to announce the continuation of the “Fifth Annual Professor Spencer H. Boyer Scholarship Award”. This award is given annually to a Howard University law student for excellence in entertainment and sports law. The scholarship award will be presented during BESLA’s annual conference this year in Cancun, Mexico.

Caesar, Carmia (Director, Equal Justice Program)
On March 27th, under Professor Caesar’s leadership in the Equal Justice Program, a group of ten HUSL students met in small groups with the entire student body of The Next Step/El Proximo Paso Public Charter School in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. The school, which is housed in the Latin American Youth Center, is structured around the GED and serves a largely immigrant population. The HUSL students spoke about college, law school, and law related careers. Professor Caesar and the students are working with the Latino students’ organization at American University Washington College of Law to establish a permanent program and relationship with the school that will include monthly contact between the high school and law school students.

Through the VITA program, a part of the Equal Justice Program, students have now volunteered six Saturdays at the HUB Starbucks on main campus to help prepare federal taxes. April 14th will be their last day preparing federal taxes for area residents.

Professor Caesar was the faculty advisor to a student organization that put on a very successful Third Annual Public Interest Fellowship Auction and she was recognized for her efforts by the students at the Auction.

On March 30th, she attended the Bi-Annual Marshall Brennan Program on Constitution Literacy Conference at American University Washington college of Law. The morning panel included a marvelous presentation by Professor Derek Black. Also, on Tuesday, April 17th, Fair Housing Clinical Fellow Adrienne DeCuire and Professor Caesar will be hosting a panel on post-graduate legal fellowships at the law school in Classroom 2 at 12:15 p.m.

Echols, Marsha
On March 22, 2007, Professor Echols organized the annual LLM Graduate Lecture Program at the law school. The program’s title was “Reflections on the Rule of Law: After an ABA Sponsored Trip to West Africa” with the keynote address given by the current Chair of the ABA Section on International Law. Professor Echols delivered the welcome at The Graduate Lecture Program.

Ellis, Atiba
In March, Professor Ellis was one of the faculty members who participated in the Law School’s Alternative Spring Break Trip to New Orleans, LA. He supervised students in four different projects. In one project, students provided assistance to Louisiana residents who needed to initiate probate proceedings to consolidate title. In another project, they developed legal strategies for citizens seeking to reacquire property displaced by the storm and now held by FEMA and other government agencies (who seek payment in exchange for its return). Students in a third project analyzed potential adverse possession claims on behalf of indigents ousted from their property by a major corporation.

Finally, Professor Ellis supervised students who read and did original analysis of a Louisiana legislative act that unconstitutionally eliminates judgeships from the bench of Orleans Parrish. Professor Ellis also assisted Professor Ross and the planning committee in the later stages of trip planning and helped to facilitate the development of a number of the projects in which students participated.

Gavil, Andrew
On March 20, 2007, Professor Gavil was quoted in a Wall Street Journal news article on the role of expert testimony in antitrust and other economics-dependent litigation. The article can be found at

On April 2, 2007, Professor Gavil’s Antitrust class had a guest lecturer, Commissioner William E. Kovacic of the Federal Trade Commission. Commissioner Kovacic is one of Professor Gavil’s casebook coauthors and a world-class antitrust lawyer.

On April 4, 2007, Thomas O. Barnett, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, was a guest lecturer in Professor Gavil’s Antitrust class.

Gilmore, Brian (Supervising Attorney)
On April 10, 2007, Supervising Attorney Gilmore was featured on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, a daily radio show that airs on 96.3 WHUR. In recognition of Fair Housing Month, Supervising Attorney Gilmore discussed current housing issues challenging our community. The show aired from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

On April 13, 2007, Supervising Attorney Gilmore will be the featured speaker at the “Know Your Fair Housing Rights” Fair Housing Forum at the David A. Clark School of Law. This program is a part of HUSL’s Fair Housing Month Recognition.

King, Rachel
Professor King has been hired as a lawyer for the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives and will be working for Congressman Conyers, the first African-American Chair of the Judiciary Committee. Professor King will be working on the subcommittee for Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and will have an opportunity to work on extremely interesting and timely issues. She will begin her new position at the end of this semester.

Also, Professor King’s novel about life in D.C. post September 11 is being published as a serial by the Takoma Voice on their website. She worked on this novel for several years; the first chapter was published on Friday, March 16th and a new chapter will be published every Friday thereafter. You can find Professor King’s novel at

McDougall, Harold
Professor McDougall attended the Board of Directors meetings for the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (Fulbright Program) in November 2006, and will attend in May 2007. He also attended Board of Directors meetings for the Paul J. Aicher Foundation (Study Circle resource Center) in November 2007 and will attend in June of 2007.

Professor McDougall heads a Saturday school for disadvantaged teen-aged boys in Montgomery County, teaching them civil right history and law to supplement their social studies curriculum in the Montgomery County Public Schools. The Saturday school is operated in coordination with the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, which has received a county council grant to run the school. Howard University law students assist Professor McDougall in teaching and tutoring the boys.

He was also appointed to the Committee to Bridge the Minority Achievement Gap in Montgomery County Public Schools, convened by Montgomery County Deputy Superintendent of Education Dr. Frieda Lacey. He has attended meetings once a month since then.

In spring 2007, Professor McDougall sent several chapters of the second draft of his manuscript, EVERYDAY LAW FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS to Paradigm Press.

In March, Professor McDougall presented a lecture on the “Invisible College” to the Faculty of Law at CUNY Law School at Queens College, in Flushing, New York. He also attended a “Facing Race” Conference, gathering antiracism activities from around the United States at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, as a delegate of the Study Circles Resource Center.

Meekins, Tamar
On February 12-13, Professor Meekins participated as the on-camera judge in the filming of the Fair Housing Clinic’s Mock Trial Training Video. The video, which is in final production and editing, featured experienced fair housing and civil litigators who conducted a mock trial of a racial discrimination case. The hypothetical case and trial materials were authored by Fair Housing Clinic Supervising Attorney Brian Gilmore.

On February 26th, Professor Meekins was a co-presenter and facilitator with Professor Ross at a training session on Client Interviewing for the students participating in the Howard Law School Alternative Spring Break Project in New Orleans, LA.

On March 2nd, she was a judge in the first and second rounds of the Luke C. Moore Invitational Moot Court Competition sponsored by the Fair Housing Clinic and the Charles Hamilton Houston Moot Court Team.

On March 11-16, she also participated in the Howard Law School Alternative Spring Break Project in New Orleans, LA as a faculty advisor and on-site supervisor to students working at the Orleans Parish Public Defender Office.

On March 14th, Professor Meekins presented a training session to senior attorneys in the Orleans Parish Public Defender’s Office. The topic of the training session was “Impeachments and Working With Documents as Essential Trial Skills.”

Mtima, Lateef (On Sabbatical )
On March 16, 2007, the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) published Volume 73 Number 1810 of its Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal which included mention of several of the programs of Howard Law’s Intellectual Property CLE conference that took place several weeks ago. In addition, the article mentioned an article by Professor Mtima as well as a presentation by Tom Irving, co-sponsors Finnegan Henderson of the IPSJ CLE program.

Rogers, Sherman
On April 1, Professor Rogers was notified by the Graduate Student Assembly that he has been nominated by HUSL students as the recipient of the “Outstanding Faculty of the Year” Honors & Excellence Award 2007. As a recipient of this award, his presence is required at the Graduate Student Gala on April 14, 2006 to receive the award. The Gala will highlight his accomplishments. Congratulations colleague!

On April 11, Professor Rogers invited Ms. Karen Richardson, HUSL ’02, to speak as guest lecturer in his Federal Courts’ class. Ms. Richardson is a Policy Coordinator for presidential hopeful, Barak Obama. Ms. Richardson spoke about her career path, alternatives to the traditional practice of law and her role as Policy Coordinator for Senator Obama.

Ross, Josephine
On March 23rd, Professor Ross organized a panel for The Tenth Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities held at Georgetown Law School entitled: Lying, Deception and the Problem of Pretexting. Her talk was titled: The FEMA Mission Post-Katrina: White Trailers, Black Evacuees, and White, Black & Gray Lies.

On April 20th , she will be presenting on “Cross-Examination and the Rule Against Hearsay” at a symposium at Widener University School of Law. The title of the symposium is Cross Examination: The Great Engine (?).

For Spring Break, Professor Ross organized a trip to New Orleans so law students could work on various law projects in the areas of housing and criminal justice. Thanks to the enthusiasm of 57 wonderful students, Howard broke a law school record for the number of post-Katrina volunteers. The New Orleans City Counsel gave the law school a signed proclamation and honored the Howard Law School at a City Counsel Meeting. On March 15th, she spoke at the ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of Dean Schmoke and the whole law school.

In addition to overseeing the trip, Professor Ross was able to supervise one group of 19 students with Professor cunningham. Known as the “Baker Project,” this group of students worked with the New Orleans Center for Racial Justice, attending a day of training followed by a two-day visit to the largest trailer park in the state, located two hours north of New Orleans. Before they left, they created an interview questionnaire. The students interviewed approximately 10% of the families in the park and tried to assess the needs of the evacuees. Since returning, students from this project have continued to work and meet.

On April 9th, Professor Ross organized a forum at the law school titled “Stories from New Orleans”, to give the students returning from New Orleans an opportunity to discuss their legal work and to formerly present the proclamation to Dean Schmoke that was given to HUSL by the City Counsel of New Orleans for their work. The forum was attended by over seventy students plus several faculty members.

Taslitz, Andrew
Professor Taslitz spoke at Texas Tech University on Bullshitting the People: the Criminal Procedure Implications of a Scatological Term as part of a symposium on citizen ignorance and police deception. He also attended a meeting of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Editorial Board, of which he is a member, and submitted the manuscripts for the third editions of his two texts, Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Evidence Law and Practice.

Additionally, Professor Taslitz has just signed a contract to be a contributor to MacMillan Press’s forthcoming Encyclopedia of the United States Supreme Court and has been appointed as the ABA’s liaison to the Custodial Interrogations Study Group of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law.

Thomas, Alice Martin (Visiting Professor)
On March 12th, Professor Thomas, at the invitation of Dr. Orlando Taylor, Vice Provost of Research and Dean of the Graduate School, presented her scholarship in the area of teaching and learning to his graduate level course on the scholarship of teaching and learning at the Howard University Graduate School.

Professor Thomas was invited to give the opening remarks at the Annual BLSA Faculty and Staff Appreciation Luncheon at UDC-DCSL, charging the students to make academic excellence the central platform of their work in BLSA.

Professor Thomas received an award from BLSA at UDC-DCSL as Faculty of the Year (Doctrinal). Congratulations Professor!

Professor Thomas, along with Associate Dean Okianer Christian Dark, Dean of Faculty Development Linda Crane (John Marshall Law School) and Professor Rogelio Lasso (John Marshall Law School), recently received confirmation that their proposals were accepted to present three legal education panels/workshops at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the International Society of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. These proposals were accepted for presentation through a competitive process. This conference will be held this summer in Sydney, Australia. The three workshops are Institutional Building; The Use and Benefits of SoTL in the Classrooms of Traditionally Disadvantaged Students; and Spirit Teaching: A Restorative Workshop.

Also she was recently invited to co-conduct a law school preparedness workshop, along with Professor Michael Schwartz, at a one-day CLEO workshop to be held in Los Angeles, in late July.

More Information- April 2007

“The Details and Acknowledgements”

Alternative Spring Break Report Professor Josephine Ross along with 57 Howard Law students participated in the Alternative Spring Break to New Orleans. These students, along with Associate Dean Duckett, Professors Ellis, Meekins and cunningham, provided legal and humanitarian services including working in the New Orleans’ DA’s office, working with criminal defendants in the Public DA’s office, helping property owners in eminent domain cases and other property litigation with the Loyola University of New Orleans legal clinic, helping home owners clear their title in order to receive much needed government recovery aid, interviewing Katrina survivors displaced to a FEMA-run trailer park 100 miles from New Orleans, investigating the cases of individuals who may have been wrongfully convicted with the Innocence Project and helping to rebuild homes and lives with Habitat for Humanity.

During the trip, the students were presented with two proclamations by the City Council of New Orleans recognizing their dedication and commitment on various projects and issues as well as the law school’s continuing commitment to social justice. We are extremely proud of the faculty members who dedicated their spring break to this project and take great pride in our outstanding students and their incredible work and representation of Howard University School of Law. We look forward to next year’s trip to New Orleans!

“My Life As A Lawyer” On March 21, 2007, The Corporate Counsel of Women presented the “My Life As a Lawyer” program. The program featured the nation’s top women of color lawyers from various sectors of the legal profession. This program provided information on how to prepare for the bar, transition from law student to lawyer, how to decide on a practice area, how to work in various legal settings, becoming a leader in the law and how to earn $100,000 plus per year.

The program was held in the Moot Court Room as was very well attended, including students and professors from surrounding area law schools. The presenters and attendants enjoyed a delicious buffet style dinner after the program. Thank you to Epsilon Sigma Iota Sorority for sponsoring this very informative and successful program.

Speakers/Participants included:

Johnine P. Barnes (Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP) Sheila Boston (Partner, Kaye Scholer LLP) Dionysia Johnson-Massie (Partner, Littler Mendelson, P.C.) Ann-Marie Mason (Counsel, MetLife) Rosland F. McLeod (Vice President, General Counsel, Ethics & Compliance Officer, Novation, LLC) Tracey L. McNeil (Associate, Hunton & Williams LLP) Kathleen Miles (Fannie Mae) Danitra Oliver (Associate, Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP) Tracy E. Poole (Johnson & Johnson) Yolanda Rabun (Staff Counsel, IBM) Laurie N. Robinson (CCWC & CBS Broadcasting, Inc.) Medina J. Senghore (Director, The American Express Company) Elizabeth Stanley (Attorney, Stanley, Marcus & Associates, PLLC) Lisa M. Stenson (Assistant General Counsel, MetLife) Benjamin F. Wilson (Partner, Beveridge and Diamond, P.C.)

Paula L. Barnes (Counsel, MetLife) Dorothy G. Capers (Deputy Corporation Counsel, City of Chicago Department of Law) Jannel Coles (Discovery Communications) Jacqueline J. Harding (Senior Associate Attorney, Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP) Nicole L. Harris Johnson (Senior Attorney, CBS Paramount Television Distribution) Laquita V. Honeysucker (Legislative Representative, United Food & Commercial Workers, International Union) Monica McCullough (Associate, Jones Day) Joycelyn McGeachy Kuls (Vice President and Senior Counsel, Merrill Lynch) Autumn M. Montague (Associate, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP) Keba U. Riley (Associate, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP) Debra A. R. Sydnor (Partner, Alston & Bird LLP)

The LLM Graduate Lecture On March 22, 2007, The Graduate Program presented Reflections on the Rule of Law: After an ABA Sponsored Trip to West Africa. The speaker, Deborah Enix-Ross, Chair, ABA Section of International Law, delivered the keynote speech at the program. Ms. Enix-Ross is the Litigation Practice Group Manager at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a Senior Legal Officer and Head of the External Relations and Information Section of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Graduate Program at HUSL offers a Master of Law (LL.M.) degree to qualifying lawyers who obtain their law degrees from schools outside of the United States. This Graduate Program builds on the Howard University School of Law’s rich history as a center for creative scholarship and advocacy.

Program On Foreclosures On March 22, 2007, the HUSL Fair Housing Clinic presented a program on foreclosures and the prevention of current and future foreclosures. The program addressed the problem of foreclosures and empowered individuals by answering various questions about foreclosures.

The seminar addressed the fact that the number of overall foreclosures is increasing in the United States and the fact that the same is occurring in the D.C. area as well. It provided edification for those who are currently in trouble with their mortgage and those interested in purchasing a home and securing a loan. The event was well attended and was an overall success. The HUSL Fair Housing Clinic is supervised by Supervising Attorney Brian Gilmore.

Robert E. Wone Annual Judicial Clerkship & Internship Conference On Saturday, March 24th, the Annual Robert E. Wone Judicial Clerkship Conference was held at the law school. The program was very informative and provided information about judicial clerkships and internships from judges and law clerks. Attendants had the opportunity to meet judges from the federal and state trial, administrative and appellate courts. Judges and law clerks described the work of their courts and their own experiences in the field.

Students were also given information about the application process and the selection criteria for clerkships and internships. The program was well attended and very informative.

Third Annual Alumni Reception and Public Interest Fellowship Auction (A Huge Success!) On March 29th, The Third Annual Alumni Reception and Public Interest Fellowship Auction raised $35,000. Individuals are encouraged to continue to make donations so that the Public Interest Program can honor their commitment to award funds to every student who pursues unpaid work in the public sector. Special thanks to all of the professors who donated items and/or attended the event. Their support has been critical to the program’s ability to further the HUSL mission and legacy of producing leaders in the field of social justice and public service. If you would like to make a donation, please make your check payable to Howard University School of Law and put “auction” in the memo line. Deliver the donation to Professor Carmia Caesar.

The State of Environmental Justice in America: A National Conference On March 29-31, Howard Law School along with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Small Town Alliance hosted a national conference on the State of Environmental Justice in America 2007. There were special sessions on bridging the health and justice gap, land use and environmental justice, collaborative problem solving and participatory policy making, environmental justice and local regulations, unique challenges to non-federally recognized tribes in an emergency situation, environmental education, and local impact of federal programs.

There were almost 500 people who attended the conference over the three day period. Each session included insightful information about the state of our environment as well as policies in motion to rectify some of the problems that are the essence of this issue. In addition to the sessions, there was an exhibit hall and a Poster Display that allowed conference participants to learn more about agencies and nonprofits during work on a range of environmental issues in the United States. The conference was a tremendous success.

Program on the Key to Drafting the “A” Final Exam On April 3rd, Professor DeMaio, Coordinator of the Academic Achievement Program, along with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, hosted this program for 1Ls interested in “making the grade.” The program’s featured speakers were HUSL Alumni, Raina Jones, Henry Thompson and Reyna Walters of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. The speakers offered advice on how students can distinguish their final exams from others in their class. The program also offered exam preparation and writing techniques to enhance students’ success on their finals. The program began at 4:30 p.m. in the Moot Court Room and refreshments were served. It was an overall success.

The Fourth Annual James M. Nabrit, Jr. On April 5, 2007, the Fourth Annual James M. Nabrit Lecture took place in the Moot Court Room. There were two lecturers. The 10:00 a.m. keynote speaker was Congressman Charles B. Rangel, who is currently serving his 19th term as the Representative from the 15th Congressional District, comprising of East and Central Harlem, the Upper West Side, and Washington Heights/Inwood. Congressman Rangel is the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means and the Dean of the New York State Congressional Delegation.

Congressman Rangel’s topic was —————— His lecture was followed by a 15 minute Question and Answer session.

The 12:00 p.m. keynote speaker was Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her topic was ———————————————.

The program ended with a spectacular lunch as well as a cake and ice cream birthday celebration in honor of Mr. Oliver Hill, HUSL ’33 and member of the Brown v. Board of Education team of lawyers. The celebration was open to the entire law school community in recognition of Mr. Hill’s 100th birthday.

The program was very well attended and the overall day was a huge success. Congratulations to the planning committee for all the hard work they put into making this event so spectacular. The James Nabrit Jr. Planning Committee was composed of Associate Dean Dark, Director JoAnn Fax, Ms. Jacqueline Young, Ms. Joanne Kess, Ms. Cathy Miller, SBA President Quershi, and Mr. Craig Ricard, Class of 2007. The students who served as hosts and escorts for the day were truly outstanding and represented the law school extremely well. Our thanks to everyone for your contributions and support of this program.

April is Fair Housing Month: HUSL Activities April is Fair Housing Month and in recognition and celebration, the Fair Housing Clinic has scheduled several events around the community to bring awareness to fair housing and housing discrimination. To kick off this celebration, on April 3, 2007, Professor Gilmore and the Clinic hosted a “Community Chat” on affordable housing and economic development issues facing the city. The program featured Julie Lawton, Adjunct Professor and Clinical Attorney, Harrison Institute, Georgetown University Law Center and Sam Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Law, David A. Clarke School of Law. They discussed affordable housing, community development, and tenant empowerment issues in the city. The program was held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the law school. Refreshments were served.

On April 6th, students from the Fair Housing Clinic participated in a Habitat for Humanity effort in the local community. This effort was in celebration of Habitat for Humanity Day and was a part of the Fair Housing Month celebration.

On April 13th, a “Know Your Fair Housing Rights” forum will be held at the David A. Clark School of Law. The featured speaker, Professor Brian Gilmore will provide information about the established rights individuals have regarding this issue. The forum will be held at UDC.

On April 14th, the clinic will host “Fair Housing Education Day.” Students from the clinic will educate the public on fair housing laws and provide information on ensuring individuals’ rights and preserved. The forum will take place in two local libraries in Prince George’s County. The Largo Kettering Branch will host the forum at 10:30 a.m. and the second forum will be held at the Hyattsville Branch at 1:30 p.m. These programs are sure to be a success.

“Stories From New Orleans” Program On April 9, 2007, Professor Josephine Ross organized a program on the “Stories From New Orleans” which featured student accounts of the Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans. The program provided information about some of the projects these students were involved in. Dean Schmoke was presented with an Award from the City Council of New Orleans by 3L Jeremy Broussard.

A letter from HU President Patrick Swygert was read aloud for the attendees. The letter praised and commended these extraordinary students on their efforts while in New Orleans.

During the slideshow presentation at the program, 2L Lawrence Cosby shared his experience while working on a lease project involving one of the New Orleans’ residents. Other accounts by students included their experiences working on cases for New Orleans’ inmates as well as the help some of them provided to the Public Defender’s office. Some of their duties in the Public Defender’s Office included research and memo drafting. They also discussed their work on The Innocence Project.

The program ended with an acknowledgement of Dean Duckett, Professor Ellis and Professor Ross for their support and involvement in making the trip possible. Professor Ross was presented with a framed picture of some of the people on the trip.

Once again, thank you to these outstanding law students, Dean Duckett, Professors Ellis, Meekins and Ross for their leadership on this project.