Howard University

Faculty Highlights-Archive October 2006

October 2006

Covering period from August-September 2006

Ballard-Thrower, Rhea
On September 25, 2006, Professor Ballard-Thrower was a speaker for the American Research Libraries’ program, “Academic and Research Libraries: the Director’s Perspective.” The program was presented (with Jack Siggins, University Librarian, George Washington University) for the American Research Libraries Leadership Institute, Washington, DC.

Black, Derek
On September 7, 2006, Professor Black, along with co-counsel, filed their final brief, Holton, NAACP, et .al v. Thomasville City School District in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case challenges the discriminatory and segregative placement of students into ability groups in Thomasville, GA’s public schools. In the fall of 2005, Professor Black and co-counsel convinced the 11th Circuit to reverse and remand on the issue, but the district court held against the plaintiffs for a second time and they were forced to appeal the case once more. Oral arguments in the 11th Circuit have been scheduled for the second week of January 2007.

Professor Black is coordinating the efforts of our students in volunteering through the Katrina Student Network at Loyola New Orleans School of Law. They held their first meeting on September 27th and twenty-four students attended; the students will be conducting interviews on evacuees, doing legal research and providing information to individuals. The students will also be producing memorandum on specific legal issues that will assist law students, both at Howard and Loyola, in responding to future questions by evacuees. Professor Black thanks 3Ls Jeremy Broussard and Louis Brown, for bringing this idea to him and providing him with an opportunity to contribute.

cunningham, e. christi
Professor cunningham was a part of the planning committee for the National Guantanamo Teach-In which was web cast from Seton Hall University School of Law located in Newark, New Jersey. The program was held in Howard Law School’s Moot Court Room. Approximately, 250 law schools, colleges, universities, community colleges and divinity schools were linked to a live broadcast of this program.

Echols, Marsha
On October 16, 2006, Professor Echols will be conducting the World Day Food Program along with Howard Law students. In addition, recent HUSL grad, Ida Ngueng-Feze, was chosen as the 2006 World Food Law Fellow.

Professor Echols was also appointed the Liaison of the ABA Section of International Law to the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) in Rome. In addition, she was invited by Vanderbilt Law Journal to participate in its spring 2007 Symposium on food, culture and the law.

Ellis, Atiba
Professor Ellis was recently elected President of the Board of Directors of Operation Understanding DC (OUDC). OUDC is an area 501(c) (3) nonprofit that sponsors a year-long leadership program for Washington-area Jewish and African American high school students. OUDC’s mission is to build a future generation of community leaders who will work to eradicate anti-Semitism, racism, and all forms of discrimination, and to promote respect, understanding, and cooperation within their communities.

Professor Ellis leads a 17-person OUDC Board of Directors. The Board oversees the management, programming, and fundraising efforts of OUDC.

Francois, Aderson
On October 2, 2006, Professor Francois, pursuant to an invitation from C-Span, spoke on a program on the school integration case that he and Professor Black are working on with civil rights clinic students. Professor Francois spoke about Howard’s historic connection to Brown and its current involvement in the case.

Gavil, Andrew
On October 17th, Professor Gavil will be speaking on “Exclusionary Conduct under Section 2 of the Sherman Act” as part of the Basics Teleconference Series being sponsored by the ABA Antitrust Section, the ABA Young Lawyers Division, the Antitrust Committee of the New York State Bar Association, and various state antitrust enforcement agencies. On October 19th and 20th he will be participating as a panelist in a workshop sponsored by the UK Office of Fair Trading in London on private enforcement of competition law. Gilmore, Brian (Supervising Attorney, Fair Housing Clinic) On September 27, 2006, Attorney Gilmore was a group presenter on “Brokerage Issues” at the Fannie Mae Fair Lending Conference. At the conference, break out group sessions were held where participants were asked to split into groups on particular topics. Attorney Gilmore’s group discussed “Brokerage Issues” and he presented recommendations to the full conference on how the practices of brokers can be improved in the context of fair lending.

Gresham, Alice
Professor Gresham participated in the ABA workshop for Chairs of ABA Accreditation Site Visit Teams at the ABA office in Chicago along with 30 other persons scheduled to chair site teams at law schools this academic year.

Jamar, Steven
On June 9, 2006, Professor Jamar was a panel member and presenter on Scholarship for Legal Writing Faculty at the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Atlanta, GA. On October 6, 2006, in Chicago IL, he was also a presenter at and submitted a paper on Resolving License Disputes at the ALI-ABA CLE on Licensing Intellectual Property.

McDougall, Harold
Professor McDougall videotaped an historical simulation of a high-level civil rights strategy meeting held immediately before the term “Black Power” was first publicly used. The simulation was held on April 7, 2006 in his Civil Rights Planning class. The historical 1966 meeting was attended by Roy Wilkins, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Stokely Carmichael. Professor Drew Days role-played Roy Wilkins in the reenactment. Dr. A. Knighton Stanley, a former associate of Dr. King’s role-played King. Professor McDougall role-played Stokely Carmichael. Members of Professor McDougall’s Spring 2006 Civil Rights Planning class also participated in various roles. The purpose of the exercise was to contract differing strategies in the struggle for civil rights legislation and litigation, mass demonstrations, and community organizing.

Professor McDougall is presently working with the legal videographing firm, DigitalLINK of Bethesda, preparing a DVD which can be distributed for classroom and other use. It should be finished by October 6, 2006.

Motala, Ziyad
Professor Motala was one of the opening presenters for the Web cast of the National Guantanamo Teach-In at Howard Law School on October 5, 2006. His presentation was titled “International Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions on the Laws of War as Higher Norms of International Law.”

Robinson, Reginald
On October 21, 2006, Professor Robinson will serve on a luncheon panel on the impact of real property, probate, and trust policies on minorities. The event will take place in Denver, Colorado.

Ross, Josephine
Professor Ross is publishing an article in Northwestern’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology titled: After Crawford Double-Speak: “Testimony” Does Not Mean Testimony and “Witness,” slated for January 2007. She is also publishing an article in the North Dakota Law Review titled: Crawford’s Short-Lived Revolution: How Washington v. Davis Reins in Crawford’s Reach” slated for August 2007.

Taslitz, Andrew
Professor Taslitz recently received advanced copies of his new book, Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment: A History of Search and Seizure, 1789-1868 (2006). The book should arrive in bookstores in about two weeks and is available for Barnes and Nobles members at a 30% discount if purchased on line at

Professor Taslitz also had his first meeting serving as the inaugural Co-Executive Director of the new ABA Criminal Justice Section Division on Communications. Additionally, he received reprints of his newly released article, Temporal Adversarialism, Criminal Justice, and the Rehnquist Court: The Sluggish Life of Political Factfinding, 94 Geo. L. J. 1589 (2006).”

Professor Taslitz was an opening presenter for the Web cast of the National Guantanamo Teach-In at Howard Law School on October 5, 2006. The title of his remarks was “False Dichotomy?: Security Versus Liberty and Guantanamo Bay.”

Highlights from the Deans’ Corner

Dean Kurt L. Schmoke

  • On September 8, Dean Schmoke moderated a panel at the African-American Brain Trust on Eliminating Racial Disparities in Substance Abuse Policy. The panel was sponsored by the National African American Drug Policy Coalition and Congressman Elijah Cummings in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.

  • On September 14, Dean Schmoke along with Ms. Conti, escorted members of the first year class to a reception at the law firm of Morgan Lewis and Bockius. This event is held annually in honor of our first year students.

  • On September 23, Dean Schmoke was the keynote speaker at the Frankie M. Freeman/Wayman F. Smith Endowed Scholarship Gala in St. Louis, Missouri. The event was sponsored by the St. Louis, Missouri Chapter of the Howard University Alumni Association. On September 28, the dean led two group discussions during the Conference on the Judiciary held at Georgetown Law School.

Associate Dean Okianer Christian Dark

  • Associate Dean Dark was the keynote luncheon speaker at the Oregon Bar Program on Affirmative Action in Eugene, Oregon on September 15, 2006. The title of her presentation was “The State of Diversity in Legal Education.”

  • She was recently appointed by the Montgomery County Executive to the Advisory Board of Montgomery Cares which is a program focused on providing primary health services for uninsured residents of Montgomery County. The Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting on September 26, 2006.

  • On September 27, 2006, Associate Dean Dark participated in the Quarterly meeting of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Board and Commission Chairs. Associate Dean Dark is the Chair of the Montgomery County Commission on Health.

  • On October 3, 2006, Associate Dean Dark testified on behalf of the Montgomery County Commission on Health before the Montgomery County Council sitting as the Public Board of Health. Her testimony addressed issues involving access to health services, health disparities, emergency preparedness, the community health plan and childhood obesity.

Faculty Colloquies

On September 12, 2006
Professor Lawson, Nichols and Nolan conducted a Colloquy on Teaching Ideas and Techniques. Professor Lawson and Nolan shared some of the information they received from the AALS New Ideas for Experienced Teachers’ Conference that was held in Vancouver, B.C. this summer. Professor Nichols shared information and materials from the annual conference of the Institute of Law Teaching that was held in Chicago. A booklet and folder of teaching materials were distributed to faculty who attended this session. Power Point slides on small group collaboration in the classroom were distributed by email to the entire faculty by Professor Nichols.

On September 27, 2006
Professor Cynthia Lee from George Washington School of Law discussed several novel and provocative ideas about Derrick Bell’s interest convergence theory and its possible application to problems in criminal law. She specifically discussed, whether the assertion of criminal defense in criminal law can be explained by Bell’s theory (i.e. that whites only help racial minorities when the whites see it is in their self-interest to do so). She also discussed the theoretical implications of and practical likelihood of law reform in light of her analysis. Thank you to Professor Lee for an enlightening colloquy.

Thank you to Professor Taslitz for organizing this particular colloquy. Thanks to the following who attended this colloquy: Professors Ellis, Jamar, Newsom, Francois, Gresham, Nolan and Worthy.

Future Faculty Colloquies

Monday, October 16 @ 12:00 p.m.
Professor Joseph Hylton, Marquette University

Thursday, October 26 @ 3:30 p.m.
Professor Ross, Howard University School of Law

November 1, 2006 @ 12:00 p.m.
Professor Angela Davis, American University

Wednesday Coffee
The next Wednesday Coffee will be on Wednesday, October 18, 2006, from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. in the faculty lounge.

More Information

Fair Housing Law for the People
The Civil Rights School, September 22-23, 2006. This two day program was well- planned and executed by the Fair Housing Clinic under the leadership of Professor Meekins, Supervising Attorney Gilmore and Mr. Edward Davis, the Program Director. The contributions of all clinic staff were valuable to the overall success of this program. Congratulations all!

National Guantanamo Teach-In
On Thursday, October 5, 2006, Howard University will participate in the National Guantanamo Teach-In, organized by Seton Hall University School of Law. The program will be viewed via web-cast in the Moot Court Room and will broadcast from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm.

Howard Law School will have a live program from 9:30-10:00 a.m. Professors Motala and Taslitz will give presentations from 9:30 to 10:00 am. Professor Cunningham will provide an overview of the program immediately before the live web-cast. The program will include experts discussing issues such as the detainee problem, a history of torture in the modern world and Guantanamo and American foreign relations.

This program is co-sponsored by the Office of the Academic Dean, The National Security and Law Society (NSLS), The International Law Society and the American Constitution Society (ACS). The student organizations are providing student volunteers to act as hosts for this event throughout the entire day.

Many thanks to the planning committee for this event which was composed of Professor cunningham, Ms. Fax, the Executive Director of Administration and Operations, Mr. King, the Director of Information Technology, Mr. Knatt, Audio Visual Specialist and Associate Dean Dark. The committee received exceptional support from Mrs. Gorman, Academic Dean’s Office, and Ms. Pryce, Student Assistant in the Academic Dean’s Office.

Court Day
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals will hear three cases at Howard University School of Law on Tuesday, October 17, 2006, in the Moot Court Room beginning at 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The court session will be followed by an open Q & A period with the judges. At 2:00 p.m., the judges will meet with two sections of the Legal Writing II classes and the Moot Court Teams. This session will be followed by an Ice Cream Sundae Reception in the Houston Courtyard. More information to follow.

Third Annual Wiley A. Branton Howard Law Journal Symposium
“What Is Black: Perspectives on Coalition Building in the Modern Civil Rights Movement.” This program will be held in the Moot Court Room starting at 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Keynote Speaker is Professor Patricia J. Williams, James L. Dohr, Columbia University School of Law. You must RSVP for the luncheon with Ms. Young. At the luncheon, Sidley and Austin will award the Wiley A. Branton Award to the first year student with the highest GPA in last year’s first year class.

World Food Day Program
On Monday, October 16, 2006, the World Food Day Program will be held at Howard University School of Law. With the guidance of Professor Marsha Echols, several Howard University School of Law students will be planning the event. The students decided to discuss the black farmers and their lawsuit as the topic. The program will be from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in the Law Library, Room 400.

There will be three speakers at the event: Stephen Hill of Howrey & Simon, the head of the Black Farmers Association and a former USDA official who worked on the Pigford claims.

On Tuesday, October 24, 2006, The World Food Day Symposium: Climate Change, Food Security and Africa: Law and Policy will be held from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm at The Cosmo Club.

In addition, The World Food Law Institute announced the selection of Howard Law School graduate Ida Ngueng-Feze to receive the 2006 World Food Law Fellowship and her travel to Rome, Italy under the Fellowship. The Fellowship allows Ms Ngueng-Feze to conduct legal research in the Development Law Service of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy. In addition to providing legal assistance, she will write an article for publication in UNFAO’s Online Paper Series. The Fellowship is funded by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta.