Howard University

Faculty Highlights-February 2008

February 2008

Covering period from January 2008 - February 2008

Crooms, Lisa
On January 10, 2008, Professor Crooms was a panelist at a public symposium on the 1808 act abolishing the slave trade. The symposium, “Abolition and the Road to Freedom: 200th Anniversary of the Slave Trade Act of 1808,” was presented by the Center for the National Archives Experience and the Foundation for the National Archives in partnership with the Bicentennial Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Howard University; the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the National Archives Afro-American History Society.

On January 15, 2008, Professor Crooms commented on a paper, “Geneticizing Disease: Implications for Racial Health Disparities,” at a public dialogue hosted by The Center for American Progress. She provided a legal and racial/gender perspective on the implications of “geneticizing” disease, a discussion in which medical journals and the mainstream press increasingly focus on individuals’ genetic predisposition to disease. More and more, race is interjected into this dialogue as scientists link genes of certain racial groups to medical conditions while pharmaceutical companies increasingly seek to medicate those conditions. Unfortunately, during this process the focus on reducing and preventing racial health disparities – which in large part can be attributed to social determinants – becomes obscured.

Echols, Marsha
Professor Echols’ book Geographical Indications for Food Products: International Legal and Regulatory Perspectives was published in January 2008. Much of the book is about the WTO rules for geographical indications (such as Parma ham, Roquefort cheese), as well as the laws in several countries and the differences between trademarks and GIs. The book analyzes the international (WTO) law and explains for governments, local groups and communities what they have to consider if they are thinking about creating a GI system (whose focus is communal) rather than a trademark system with certification marks (whose focus is private property).

Also last month Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law published her article titled, “Paths to Local Food Security: A Right to Food, A Commitment to Trade”. The article is part of a special journal issue commemorating a symposium entitled, “From Hand to Mouth, Via the Lab and the Legislature: International and Domestic Regulations to Secure the Food Supply.”

Gavil, Andrew
Professor Gavil will be a panelist at the FTC’s February 12th workshop on Unilateral Effects Analysis and Litigation. The workshop is open to the public and will take place at the FTC’s conference center in Washington, D.C. For more information, see

He was quoted in a January 15, 2008 New York Times business and technology blog on the treatment of dominant firms by European antitrust regulators. See

He was also quoted in the Seattle Times on January 30, 2008 in an article discussing the decision of the U.S. District court in Washington to extend the antitrust consent decree that governs Microsoft. See

Gilmore, Brian (Supervising Attorney, Fair Housing Clinic)
Supervising Attorney Gilmore designed and executed program on “Mortgage Foreclosure” that was co-sponsored by the Fair Housing Clinical Program and the Montgomery County Housing and Community Services Department in January 2008. See page 8 for additional details.

Jamar, Steven
Professor Jamar presented a stimulating guest lecture on “Client Interviewing and Counseling” to Professor Gresham’s Estate Planning class in January 2008. His presentation was interactive and made it clear to students that interviewing and counseling is one of the most significant skills for good lawyering. He also emphasized fine points that are particularly important to interviewing and counseling in the estate planning context.

On January 25, 2008, Professor Jamar presented materials and spoke on “Exit Strategies” at the ALI-ABA CLE on “Intellectual Property Licensing Today”, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

McDougall, Harold
On January 21, 2008, Professor McDougall delivered the keynote address for Capital University’s Martin Luther King, Jr, Day of Service in Columbus, Ohio. His theme was “Marin Luther King: Civic Storyteller.”

Robinson, Reginald (on leave 2007-08)
Professor Robinson just completed and submitted a critical essay entitled: “The Word And The Problem Of Human Unconsciousness: An Analysis Of Charles R. Lawrence’s Meditation On Racism, Oppression, And Empowerment.”

He was invited by the Editor-in-Chief of the Connecticut Law Review to submit a critical essay for a special symposium on the works of Charles R. Lawrence III. In this essay, he critically analyzes Lawrence’s The Word And The River and applies that analysis to the Jena 6 case.

Professor Robinson is currently serving as Distinguished University Visiting Professor of Critical Theory at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale School of Law & College of Liberal Arts in Carbondale, Illinois.

Ross, Josephine
Professor Ross is once again co-sponsoring the Spring Externship Fair on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 with Professor Lisa Lerman of Catholic University Law School.

She will be speaking as part of the Administration of Justice panel at the University of the District of Columbia’s Law Review Symposium on Katrina’s Wake: Emergency Response from the Bayou to the Beltway on February 29, 2008. The panel is titled, “Navigating the Academy.”

Professor Ross will also speak on a panel at the AALS Workshop for New Law School Clinical Teachers in June 29, 2008. The Workshop will be held in Washington, DC.

Taslitz, Andrew
Professor Taslitz participated in the third meeting of the ABA Task Force on Transactional Surveillance Standards, of which he is a member, on February 2nd and 3rd. The Task Force seeks to draft standards regulating when and how the government may obtain information about an individual from third parties, such as internet service providers, banks,, and credit bureaus.

Professor Taslitz also gave a talk on February 8th entitled, Does Race Contribute to Convicting the Innocent II: Five Raced Effects and the Example of Informants, at the Southwestern University Law School’s conference on Innocence.

He also accepted an invitation to participate this summer in the First Annual Berkeley-George Washington University Law School Privacy Conference. That conference invites 80 of the nation’s leading specialists on the law of privacy to educate one another and brainstorm about solutions to the most pressing current privacy issues. The conference brings together academics, think tanks, legislators, bureaucrats, activists, and other policy makers.

Professor Taslitz additionally agreed to speak next month at the University Of Texas School Of Law at Austin at a symposium on the Roberts Court and the Future of the Fourth Amendment.

Professor Taslitz has also been asked, and has agreed to serve as, the Inaugural Welsh S. White Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law for the 2008-09 academic year.

Highlights from the Deans’ Corner

Dean Kurt L. Schmoke

  • Dean Schmoke gave welcome remarks at the Giles S. Rich Inn of Court program held at the law school on January 17, 2008 in the Moot Court Room. The program was hosted by the HUSL Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice and the HUSL Intellectual Property Student Association.

  • On January 26, 2008, the Dean attended the Mid-Atlantic People of Color Conference held at the University of Maryland School of Law. He participated in a roundtable discussion on the importance of the minority vote in the Presidential Primary Election.

  • On January 28, 2008, Dean Schmoke was invited by the American Constitutional Society to lead a discussion on the electoral system. This discussion was open to the entire student body.

  • Dean Schmoke attended the ABA Mid-Year Meeting in Los Angeles on February 6 through February 8, 2008.

  • Dean Schmoke was also the keynote speaker at the Federal Trade Commission’s Black History Program on February 13. The topic of his speech was on “Lessons in Leadership”.

Associate Dean Okianer Christian Dark

  • Associate Dean Dark is a member of the teaching team for the Health Ethics course at the Howard University Medical School. This course is comprised of students from the Medical School, Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Dental and Allied Health Sciences. The teaching team includes ethicists, physicians, dentists, ministers, pharmacists, and one lawyer. The course is offered once a week on Wednesday evening.

  • She is in her sixth year as a member of the Montgomery County Commission on Health.

  • Associate Dean Dark is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Montgomery County Cares Program. This program is a unique private-public partnership to provide primary health care to uninsured adults in the county.

More Information - February 2008

“The Details and Acknowledgements”

The Jena 6 CLE Programs and Reception at ABA MidYear Meeting will take place on Friday, February 8, 2008 at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. For additional details, contact Rachel Patrick 312-988-5408 or

The Council on Racial & Ethnic Justice in co-sponsorship with Criminal Justice, CLEO, State and Local Government Dispute Resolution and IR&R will present “Is Jena 6 the Tip of the Iceberg?” A dynamic group of speakers will discuss crucial cutting-edge issues that are raised by the Jena 6 case e.g. Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System, Overrepresentation of Juveniles of Color in the System, Who’s Responsible & Accountable?, What’s the Role of the Media? Come and hear the perspectives of judges, media representatives, prosecutors, juvenile justice lawyers, and youth.

Criminal Justice in co-sponsorship with Council on Racial & Ethnic Justice, CLEO, State and Local Government, Dispute Resolution and IR&R will present “Re-Approaching Jena.” The Criminal Justice Section and its Race and Racism Committee and ADR and Restorative Justice Committee and The Section of Dispute Resolution invite you to co-sponsor the Re-Approaching Jena CLE at the ABA Mid Year Meeting. This will also be a presentation of the Mediation in Criminal Matters Enterprise Fund project in which many of you participate and will focus on what School Peer Mediation - Prosecutor, Police and School Board exercise of discretion and Restorative Justice could learn from or have taught us about Jena. For additional details or to express your interest in co-sponsorship, contact Jack Hanna at 202-662-1510 or at

Jointly Sponsored Reception featuring the following events: CJS Frank Carrington Victims Award and CLEO’s 40th Anniversary.

The World Food Law Institute will co-sponsor a panel discussion about Standards and the World Trade Organization on April 9 in connection with the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). The panel will be the fourth in the series discussing product standards in international food trade.

The other co-sponsors are ASIL and the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council.

The World Food Law Institute and ASIL will co-host another product standards round table about “Standards and PPM’s” at ASIL headquarters in March.

The following is an open letter from Professor Lateef Mtima regarding this event:

Last night, almost 100 members of the intellectual property practicing and judicial community came to HUSL, and whatever the program’s formal agenda, they also came to learn about HUSL. I believe they wanted to be favorably impressed; I know they went home overwhelmed.

From the moment they began to arrive, Inn members repeatedly commented that they had been unaware of our location, and of our tremendous facility. Many were in awe (and some in envy!) of our Moot Court Room, and the offers and suggestions to host high profile trials and hearings here were abundant. By the time they reached the reached the President’s after the program, we almost could not some Inn members to go home.

As did so many of the faculty, Professor Gresham and Professor Thomas successfully urged their students to attend the program- and in addition, attended themselves. The greater DC IP community understood from their presence that not only has HUSL embraced the field of IP (which most experts agree has become the inter-disciplinary area most critical to the nation’s global economic hegemony), but that HUSL has incorporated it into its broader Social Justice Mission. Once again, HUSL is leading the way in assuring that innovation and progress remain connected to social conscious.

Now, I come to the best part of the evening: HUSL students and the IPSA team of leadership. From your efforts behind the scenes in organizing the event to your impressively professional attendance and demeanor, you fulfilled the purpose of this and similar hosting of the professional community at HUSL… Of course, there were already countless lawyers, judges, and others who are aware of what HUSL has to offer, but now there are dozens of additional firms and companies, outside of our more familiar venues, who anticipate excellence from a HUSL interview, internship, or permanent hire.

As usual, I won’t single out individual contributions, but this time because there really are just too many of you… Perhaps there is one “student moment” from last night that symbolizes the impact of your collective efforts, and even reminded HUSL students that whatever our current challenges, HUSL students have the capability of not merely competing but “out-competing” the competition.

The continuing success of the IP Institute is the success of IPSA and the HUSL student body. Professor Jamar and I thank you, and are proud to be a part of the enterprise.

The following is an open letter from Professor Sherman Rogers regarding Ms. Richardson’s achievement:

Karen Richardson (HUSL 2002), the Obama presidential campaign’s “Iowa state policy director”, is featured in the March 2008 EBONY Magazine entitled “Anatomy of a Movement” on page 67-68. It seems like only yesterday that I wrote a recommendation letter for Karen to the London School of Economics. Well, a lot has happened since that time.

Having spent from April 2007 to January 2008 in Des Moines, Iowa until Obama won, Karen then left Iowa and stayed a few weeks at campaign headquarters in Chicago. Thereafter, she was sent to Columbia, South Carolina for that primary on January 26th and he won there, after which she went back to the headquarters in Chicago. She is presently in Columbus, Ohio until the Ohio primary on March 4th, 2008. Texas and Ohio are the big ones on that day.

The March Ebony Magazine article states the following about Ms. Richardson:

[T]he Barack Obama campaign tapped her [Karen Richarson] last April to become the Iowa state policy director. But the 30-year old African American, who interned in Obama’s Washington, D.C. Senate office in 2005 [and later became a permanent staffer] after a stint at UNICEF in Italy, was so impressed with him and his Senate operation that she caught ‘Obama fever’ and put off plans to go work in Angola.

With undergraduate and law degrees from Howard University, a master’s in international relations from the London School of Economics and a godfather named Muhammad Ali, Richardson is not easily impressed. ….

They feel the excitement of a movement that’s not just attracting young, gifted and Black staffers like Richardson, but marquee-name advisers, fundraisers and supporters like Oprah Winfrey. ….

Richardson epitomizes the more than two-dozen talented Blacks in key slots that Obama has attracted from the ranks of the nation’s best and brightest minds. ….

Indeed Richardson says one thing that makes Team Obama so effective is that there is no ego, no drama and everybody understands the ultimate goal of the campaign and their respective roles in achieving it.

You will also note the name of another Howard University School of Law graduate, Orlan Johnson (HUSL 1987 and adjunct assistant professor at HUSL, see page 69). Orlan’s name appears as one of thirty-six members of Senator Obama’s National Finance Committee. I had the privilege of teaching Orlan corporations in his last hear of law school at HUSL. Orlan is now recognized as one of the major powerbrokers in Washington as I mentioned in an earlier e-mail.