GW Law School Fall 2003
A Magazine for Alumni and Friends

GW Law Briefs

Frederick M. Lawrence Named Dean | Examining File Sharing and Copyright Infringement | Contractors in the Battlefield | Faculty Bookshelf | Inspiration in Action | GW Law by the Numbers | Public Interest Corner | Oral Advocacy Successes Demonstrate Student Skills | Clinic Report | Advancing the Dialogue on Domestic Violence | Emerging Interest in Animal Welfare | International Update | GW Law in History | Faculty File

Frederick M. Lawrence Named Dean

Civil rights expert joins the Law School in August

The George Washington University will welcome Frederick M. Lawrence this fall as he assumes his new position as dean of the Law School. President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg announced the appointment in May after a yearlong search, in which Roger Trangsrud served as interim dean. Trangsrud, Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, will return to his previous role as associate dean for academic affairs.

Chosen from more than 175 applicants, Lawrence “brings to the school a perfect blend of scholarship and experience, and we look forward to welcoming him as the leader of the next generation of GW-educated legal professionals,” Trachtenberg says.

As a graduate of Yale Law School, Lawrence is a leading expert in civil rights and has written five books, including Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law. Having served as a delegate to the meeting of the Organization and Cooperation in Europe on Enactment and Enforcement of Legislation to Combat Hate-Motivated Crimes, Lawrence has lectured internationally on the subjects of bias crime law and civil rights. Since 2003 he also has served as chair of the National Legal Affairs Committee of the Anti-Defamation League.

Last year Lawrence testified before Congress in support of federal hate crimes legislation concerning Justice Department misconduct in Boston. As an associate dean for academic affairs and associate dean for Boston University School of Law, Lawrence also served as a professor of law, teaching courses on civil procedure, criminal law, civil rights enforcement and civil rights crimes. Lawrence received Boston University’s Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1996, the university’s highest honor in teaching.

“He is an internationally known scholar and an extraordinary teacher, and he has been a respected leader at Boston University School of Law. He has the energy, vision, and experience to reach out to our large and supportive alumni community and to work well with our dedicated senior staff. I am confident that Dean Lawrence will have enormous success building upon the strong foundation laid down by former GW Deans Barron, Friedenthal, and Young over the last two decades, and that he will guide GW Law to new levels of excellence,” Trangsrud says.

Having other interests outside of legal studies and civil rights, Lawrence will be at home in Washington, as he has performed with the New York Choral Society at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

“I am delighted at the prospect both of becoming dean of The George Washington University Law School and of joining the faculty of the school. The George Washington Law School has a long and illustrious history in the District of Columbia and in the American legal academy,” Lawrence says. “It has become one of the top law schools in the country, with a distinguished faculty and staff, an impressive student body, and a highly accomplished group of alumni. I am honored to be joining the George Washington community.”

Examining File Sharing and Copyright Infringement

Only hours after oral arguments concluded before the U.S. Supreme Court in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., et al., v. Grokster, Ltd. on March 29, a number of the participating counsel visited GW Law for a standing-room-only panel discussion on the copyright issues raised by the litigation. The panel came fast on the heels of a visit to the Law School by Dan Glickman, JD ’69, who is president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America and a former secretary of Agriculture and congressman from Kansas. Glickman spoke on the growing dangers posed by file sharing to the motion picture industry and took time for audience questions.

MPAA CEO Dan Glickman, JD ’69, former president of the Student Intellectual Property Law Association Sally Parker, and associate professor Robert Brauneis

Photo by Claire Duggan

At issue in the case is whether entities that offer software that allow users to trade files over the Internet are liable for any copyright infringement in which those users engage. The Court, in the 1984 case Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., held that manufacturers of video tape recorders could not be held liable for contributing to copyright infringement committed by the machines’ users if there were “substantial noninfringing uses” for the machines. The Grokster case considers how to apply this standard for “peer-to-peer” file sharing technology.

The panel featured Thomas J. Perrelli of Jenner & Block, who represented the petitioners; Hon. Marybeth Peters, JD ’71, register of copyrights; professor James Gibson of the University of Richmond School of Law; and professor Justin Hughes of Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law, all of whom filed amicus briefs supporting the petitioners. The respondents were represented by Cindy Cohn of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Michael Page of Keker & Van Nest, and professor Michael Birnhack of the University of Haifa Faculty of Law. The panel was moderated by associate professor Robert Brauneis, co-director of GW Law’s Intellectual Property Law Program. The event was co-sponsored by The District of Columbia Bar Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law Section and the Washington chapter of the Copyright Society of the USA.

The spirited discussion, which included reflections on the morning’s oral arguments and a fair amount of crystal-ball gazing, played out before an active audience of practitioners, students, and professors, many of whom contributed pointed questions and opinions to the debate. The Court’s opinion in the case is expected in June.

Laura Heymann, visiting associate professor

To read more about Dan Glickman, JD, ’69, call up his GW Magazine profile in the article titled “The Entertainers” in the spring 2005 edition at

Contractors in the Battlefield

Deidre A. Lee, director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy for the Department of Defense, delivered the keynote speech of the conference.

Photo by Claire Duggan

With support from the International Peace Operations Association, GW Law hosted a daylong conference in January on the employment of private contractors in the U.S. military. With additional support from Institute for Global and International Studies and the Security Policy Studies Program of GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs, three panels were held, in addition to luncheon and keynote address by Deidre Lee, director of defense procurement at the Department of Defense.

Topics included contract management, the structure of the contracting industry and the proper role for contractors, and the legal issues and liabilities surrounding what has been learned from the continuing conflict in Iraq. Both legal and operational issues relating to the integration of contractors on the actual battlefield were discussed, in addition to the relation and obligation of the U.S. government to contractors positioned in areas. Individuals from organizations including the Center for Public Integrity, the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United States Senate Armed Services Committee contributed to the panel discussions.

Erin Mavian


Photo by Claire Duggan

Giving the Beach Boys a run for their money, senior associate dean for administrative affairs Tom Morrison, interim dean Roger Trangsrud, professor Eric Sirulnik, and executive director of law advancement Rich Collins get into the spirit of a GW Law tradition: Deans Jeans Day. Students enjoyed an afternoon of sunshine, barbecue, and the sight of faculty members and administrators sporting Hawaiian shirts, leis, and straw hats on April 13.

Inspiration in Action


GW Law student Christopher Jardine volunteered at a community center in honor of Martin Luther King Day alongside law students from D.C. universities.

Photo by Claire Duggan

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., who encouraged Americans to come together to create stronger communities, law students at several Washington universities volunteered in January for the D.C. Inter-Law School Service Project. About 35 students from GW Law School, American University College of Law, Georgetown Law School, Howard University Law School, and University of the District of Columbia Law School took on service projects at the Johenning Baptist Community Center in southwest D.C.

“It was inspiring to work with a gang of such compassionate D.C. area law students,” said Christopher Jardine, a GW Law student who hopes to volunteer again next year.

The majority of the morning was spent clearing and cleaning the center with local residents and center employees as classrooms and playrooms were scrubbed, swept, and organized. Lessons that focused on civil rights and equality were taught later in the day as the afternoon was dedicated to the children of the community.

Three separate sessions were taught by the law students, which included the history of civil rights and the civil rights movement, freedom songs and their meanings, and understanding cultural diversity and community service in addition to the role they play in our lives. The group plans to return to the center again next year.


GW Law By the Numbers

• In its annual “America’s Best Graduate Schools” issue, released in April, U.S. News & World Report ranked GW Law School 20th out of 179 accredited law schools in the nation. GW Law’s intellectual property program was named third best in the country; its international law program was ranked ninth; its environmental law program was ranked 10th; its clinical training program ranked 13th; and its tax law program ranked 24th.

• In a new study on the success of different law schools in placing their graduates at the nation’s most elite law firms, GW is ranked 15th in the country. The placement is just slightly behind University of California at Berkeley, tied with Vanderbilt, and ahead of Northwestern. The list can be viewed at

• In a list of top-50 authors in the Social Science Research Network’s top-1,000 author list, professor Orin Kerr is listed 10th, professor Steve Schooner is 39th, and professor Daniel Solove is 41st. The list is measured by downloads of all the papers in the SSRN eLibrary in the last 12 months through March 1, 2005.


Photo by Claire Duggan

Harvey J. Goldschmid, commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, delivered the 25th Annual Manuel F. Cohen Memorial Lecture March 23 in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room. Here, he is joined by professor Lawrence Mitchell and Peter Raven-Hansen, senior associate dean for academic affairs.



Oral Advocacy Successes Demonstrate Student Skills

GW Law students represented their school well this academic year, building on past successes in traditional competitions and blazing trails in new contests. These are a few of their highlights:


First-year students Peter Bazos and Vivian Basdekis were runners-up in the fall 2004 ABA Regional Negotiations Competition hosted by GW Law; 24 teams from two countries competed. Second-year student Adelicia Cliffe Taylor coached the duo as they advanced to the nationals in Salt Lake City.

After tying for second at the Regional Client Counseling Competition Feb. 19 at the University of Baltimore School of Law, Adelicia Cliffe Taylor and Valerie Schneider, both 2Ls, were invited to the nationals at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, Calif., in March.

This spring, 2Ls Julia Kreyskop and Jeffrey Showalter placed second in the Regional Mediation Competition.

Mock Trial

Fernando Brito, 2L; Orlando Juarez, 3L; Denise Noel, 3L; and Joe Orzano, 2L; reached the semifinal round of fall 2004’s National White Collar Crime Mock Trial Tournament, sponsored by Georgetown University.

Moot Court

Kristie Blase and Lynn Deavers, both 2Ls, won the National Center for Animal Law Moot Court Competition at Harvard this spring. Deavers was named best oralist.

3Ls Leigh Anne DeWine, Lindsay Kay, James Menz and David Shull won Best Memorial (Brief) First Place at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition this spring.

Third-year students James Cobb and Stephanie Roy won best brief out of 36 teams at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition Regional and advanced to the nationals in Chicago in April. Don Amlin and Frank Scaduto, both 3Ls, won third best brief and also advanced to the nationals.

Kristie Blase, 2L, and Olivia Hussey, 3L, winners of the North American Regional of the Manfred Lachs Space Moot Court Competition

Photo by Claire Duggan

On April 12, Judge Herman Gierke of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Services held a special session in GW Law’s Moot Court Room to hear oral argument in the case of United States v. Garlick. After hearing from attorneys for each side, the court invited students David Hartnagel, 3L, and Melissa Covolesky, 2L, to present amicus briefs and oral argument on behalf of each side.

Second-year student Adrian Esguerra won third place for oral advocacy in the Hispanic National Bar Association’s 10th Annual Moot Court Competition.

Sheree Clove and Christl Denecke, both 3Ls, were the runners-up in the Regional Giles Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Boston, advancing to the nationals in D.C.

David Hartnagel, Samuel McDonald, Daniel Nadel, all 3Ls, and Brendon Tavelli, a 2L, placed second at the Niagara Moot Court Competition at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The competition was organized by the U.S.-Canada Law Institute, Case Western, and focused on relations between the two nations.

Olivia Hussey, 3L, and Kristie Blase, 2L, won the North American Regional of the Manfred Lachs Space Moot Court Competition this spring and were invited by NASA to Fukuoka, Japan, to compete in the world semi-final in October.

Of Note

Denise Starr, 3L, won the first Animal Law Legislative Drafting and Lobbying Competition in Washington.

Advancing the Dialogue on Domestic Violence

New legal ground was broken in March as the U.S. Supreme Court heard Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Jessica Gonzales, the first domestic violence case to reach the Supreme Court.

The background of the case drew much media attention, including a 60 Minutes segment about the story earlier this year, and a Washington Post opinion article by Professor Joan Meier.

The case concerned Jessica Gonzales, whose three daughters were killed by her husband. Gonzeles alleged that police failure to enforce her restraining order when her husband snatched the children deprived her of due process under the 14th Amendment. Meier, director of GW Law’s Domestic Violence Project (a course for credit), and the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (an affiliated nonprofit), and several of her students worked with Richard Smith of McDermott, Will & Emery to file an amicus brief on behalf of five police organizations supporting Gonzales. The facts are as follows:

Professor Joan Meier and McDermott, Will & Emery attorney Richard Smith

Photo by Claire Duggan

In May 1999, Gonzales secured a restraining order; in violation of the order’s terms, Simon Gonzales abducted the girls on the evening of June 22, 1999, according to Gonzales’ complaint. Gonzales immediately made five calls to the police department and met with law enforcement officers twice, seeking to have her protection order enforced and her children returned. Police repeatedly told her to “call back later,” even after she confirmed that the girls were with her husband.

At 1 a.m., in desperation, Gonzalez went to the police station and filed an incident report. The officer took no further action, and went to dinner. At 3:20 a.m., Simon Gonzales arrived at the station in his truck. He got out and opened fire on the station with a semi-automatic handgun, and was mortally shot at the scene. The bodies of the Gonzales girls were found in the cab of the truck. They had been murdered by their father.

Gonzales’ attorney filed a lawsuit against the police department and the town, charging violations of the due process guarantees of the 14th Amendment. Both the Colorado district court and the 10th Circuit rejected the substantive due process claim citing a 1989 Supreme Court ruling, DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 489 U.S. 189, in which the Court held (5-4) that there was no substantive due process violation where a child was beaten into permanent brain damage by his father, because the Constitution does not require the government to protect an individual from private violence. However, the 10th Circuit ruled in Gonzales’ favor on the procedural due process claim, holding that her statutory right to mandatory enforcement of her protection order was a “property interest” that could not be abridged without fair process. The court found that the police department’s inaction constituted an arbitrary denial of procedural due process.

The question put before the Supreme Court was whether the constitutional guarantee of procedural due process was violated by the Castle Rock police department’s failure to enforce the protection order, in violation of the state statute, which required them to use “every reasonable means” to do so.

DV LEAP and Gonzales’ attorney, Brian J. Reichel, argued that the mandatory arrest statute, coupled with the individualized protection order, created a concrete state “benefit” that was entitled to procedural due process before it was denied.

“Colorado has the strongest possible state law to protect victims of domestic violence, which creates a concrete, tangible benefit for holders of restraining orders. The long line of cases requiring due process for the denial of lesser benefits such as welfare, employment, and school attendance, should apply equally here,” Meier says.

To rebut the city’s argument that it is unduly burdensome to meet the requirements of due process in responding to protection order violations, Meier and Smith’s amicus brief detailed more than two dozen “best practices” in police departments across the United States that are more demanding than the minimal requirements of procedural due process delineated by the 10th Circuit.

Meier found out about the case through the national domestic violence attorneys’ listserv (created by Robin Runge, JD ’97, executive director of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence) and recruited Smith and his firm’s pro bono services through DV LEAP. (The firm’s managing partner, Timothy Waters, recently joined DV LEAP’s Board.) In addition to DV LEAP’s brief on behalf of several police organizations, a vast array of domestic violence and other organizations filed amicus briefs on the mother’s behalf.

Lara Worm, who worked on the case with Meier during her first year at GW Law and will continue in the fall, says the case represents a watershed moment in the legal world. “We have come far enough in society that there would be a domestic violence issue before the Supreme Court, when most people used to look the other way,” Worm says.

As this article went to press, the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision reversing the 10th Circuit and holding that Gonzales could not sue under the 14th Amendment for the police failures to enforce her order despite the mandatory arrest law. Meier’s reaction was swift: “While I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has not recognized that mandatory arrest laws mean what they say, and that battered women have a right to minimal fair treatment by the police, I am not surprised, given the conservative inclination of this Court. However, many police departments have been and will continue to use proactive and protective measures to protect victims of domestic violence. For the others, state laws and constitutions still provide meaningful avenues for holding police accountable; domestic violence advocates will be turning our attention in this direction in the future.”

While acknowledging that the case presented a novel legal theory for the Court to review, Smith says that despite the outcome, he is pleased the case brought important issues to light. Smith’s efforts have not gone unnoticed; he was awarded the McDermott Will & Emery Award for Outstanding Achievement and Commitment to Pro Bono in Service to the Community. The firm was awarded the D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Award for its work on this case and other matters.

“It was a true pleasure to work on this important project with Professor Meier, DV LEAP, and the law school students at GW,” Smith says. “Through initiatives like DV LEAP, which brings the resources and talent of top-tier law firms to bear on difficult legal issues, we can make a difference.”

Laura Ewald

Emerging Interest in Animal Welfare

The spring semester marked the beginning of the second year of the Animal Welfare Project at GW Law School, which has grown increasingly effective during its sophomore year. Notably, the GW/HSUS Animal Law Litigation Project, a joint venture with the Humane Society of the United States, gives students practical experience standing up for animal rights in the nation’s courts.

Second-year students Lynn Deavers and Kerry Contini, D.C. Dept. of Health Director Gregg A. Pane, professor Joan Schaffner, D.C. Councilmember David Catania, and professor Mary Cheh during the February press conference in which the Animal Welfare Project released a report on animal welfare in the District.

Photo by Claire Duggan

The venture is one of the first of its kind in the country. “This unique program, combined with the many other opportunities here for students interested in animal protection, places GW Law at the cutting edge of law schools in this up-and-coming area of law,” says GW Law School Interim Dean Roger Trangsrud.

Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president of animal protection litigation for HSUS and an adjunct faculty member at GW Law, led the project. He and his wife, Nancy Perry, have taught the Animal Law and Wildlife Protection Seminar at GW Law for three years.

In February, the Animal Welfare Project released “A Report on Animal Welfare in the District of Columbia,” which provides proposals to improve the lives of animals in Washington. More than 50 students, together with professors Joan Schaffner and Mary Cheh, spent a year researching laws and compiling data for the report.

“It’s a unique document,” Cheh says. “We have taken a comprehensive look at the various animal populations in the District. We hope it will be a model for other law schools and that it will encourage legal initiatives in local jurisdictions across the country.”

On hand to receive the report on behalf of the District was D.C. Councilmember David Catania and Department of Health Director Dr. Gregg A. Pane. Both officials said they were impressed with the report and are interested in speaking with the group further on the issue of a task force.

Of other accomplishments, Schaffner says, “I am extremely proud of our students’ efforts this year in creating a GW Law student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, placing first in the National Animal Law Moot Court Competition at Harvard Law School, and winning the first Animal Law Legislative Drafting and Lobbying Competition hosted at GW Law.”

Second-year students Lynn Deavers and Kristie Blase were named the top team at the NCAL’s Animal Advocacy Moot Court Competition at Harvard, besting 19 other teams. Deavers was named Best Oral Advocate. This year’s competition dealt with the term “cruelty-free” as well as issues of false advertising and unfair competition laws.

Claire Duggan

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