Your Personal Perspective Counts!
Keep an eye on your Southwestern email inbox. On March 30, all students will receive an invitation from Dean Garth to participate in the annual Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE). Students are encouraged to complete the survey to assist Southwestern in achieving a more representative sample of student responses. The survey poses questions regarding how students organize their time, what they feel they've gained from their classes, their assessment of interactions with faculty, staff and peers, and their involvement in campus activities. The survey is completed online through a secure website, and may be submitted through the end of April. Student input provides valuable information to assist Southwestern in improving and enhancing the law school experience. More information about LSSSE, and how Southwestern has utilized it to enhance student experiences in the past, is available online.
Student Commencement Speaker Selected
Graduating SCALE student Andrew Caple-Shaw has been selected to deliver the Student Commencement Address at Southwestern's 94th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 17 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. He was selected from a field of four finalist candidates (from eight total applicants)
by a panel of students, faculty and administrators based on his written speech and oral presentation. An experienced actor, Caple-Shaw believes that the substance of the speech is far more important than the delivery. "My goal is to not bore people ... if I can inspire someone, great. If I can get a few laughs, great. Mostly I just want to keep people from looking at their watches. If I can pull that off, I think it's a win."
Caple-Shaw cites his experience in Southwestern's Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP) as his most memorable, and where he learned a useful skill that he enjoys practicing. He was a member of the St. Johns Civil Rights Team, which won First Place at the National Invitational held in New York City. He also excelled in the SCALE Appellate Advocacy Competition last year, winning First Place Oralist, and served as an officer of the Criminal Law Society. He hopes to use his newly acquired legal skills to assist with what he believes is a necessity: merging the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). "I'd like to play whatever role I can in making that dream a reality, whether it is as a lawyer, an actor, or both."
SCALE Student Selected to Sing the National Anthem at Commencement
Graduating SCALE student Nazanien Ebrahimi has been selected to perform the National Anthem for Southwestern's Commencement Ceremony. A singer since she was 4 years old, Ebrahimi was a featured vocalist at Sea World and has done voice-over work, as well as touring with Off Broadway national touring companies prior to starting college. "I feel honored to be representing the SCALE class of 2009 and am equally excited to share my love for music with everyone," said Ebrahimi, who plans to practice estate planning and tax law.
Do you have questions about Commencement?
Information is available online!
Next Dean's Forum to Focus on the Scheduling Process
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 31 at 12:30 p.m. in BW370 and Wednesday, April 1 at 5:00 p.m. in W329 when the next Dean's Forum will include a special topic - the scheduling process. Get advice and information about the classes offered in Summer 2009, as well as the 2009-10 school year. Refreshments will be served. Questions may be directed to the Student Affairs Office.
Don't miss "Table Days" in April
"Table Days" are intended to provide students with the opportunity to receive advice from faculty, deans and staff on planning their schedule for the upcoming academic year and preparing for their legal career. Tables will be grouped by areas of interests, including entertainment law, business law, criminal law, international law, skills courses (Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation, etc.), bar preparation, public interest, student honor groups and much more.
Table Days will take place on the Promenade during the following dates/times:
- Monday, April 13, 5 - 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 14, 12 - 2 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 14, 5 - 6 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 15, 12 - 2 p.m.
Alumni-Student Networking Receptions
and Graduate Celebrations
The Alumni Association works with various student organizations on campus to increase the opportunities for networking between our alumni and students. Questions may be directed to the Institutional Advancement Office. The remaining April receptions are:
- Criminal Law Society Alumni/Student Networking Reception, Thursday, April 2, 5:30 p.m., BW Second Floor.
All students are welcome to attend. Send RSVPs and questions to the Institutional Advancement Office.
- Champagne Toast, Friday, April 24 at 12:30 p.m. and Tuesday, April 28 at 5 p.m. - All graduating students are invited to the Student Commons as we 'toast' in your honor, and celebrate as your finish your days in law school.
Three Deans Debate Prop 8 at Southwestern
The Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA) will present a debate on California's Proposition 8 on Monday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Louis XVI Room. The program will feature Dean John Eastman of Chapman University School of Law arguing for, and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California, Irvine School of Law arguing against the heated initiative regarding the right of same-sex couples to marry. Moderating the event will be Southwestern's own Dean Garth. Nancy Knupfer '90, President of the BHBA, invites all Southwestern faculty and students to attend at no charge. However, those who plan to attend MUST RSVP to Pamela Weston at the Beverly Hills Bar Association.
The Career Services Office (CSO) has several upcoming events to help students make connections, obtain and prepare for clerkships, and get ready for the On-Campus Interview Program. For more information on any of the following programs, contact the Career Services Office.
Class of 2010: Early Planning Encouraged for 2010 Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkship Applications
Applications for 2010 Federal Court Clerkships will be due in early September 2009, but students are encouraged to begin their planning now. Those interested in State Court clerkships need to check deadline dates, as they vary from state to state. For more information, visit the CSO and plan on attending the Career Services Seminar on Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkships on Thursday, April 16 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. in W311.
Summer Clerk Boot Camp
Find out what to do to get the most out of summer clerking experiences at The ABC's of Being a Law Clerk on Thursday, April 23 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. in W311. Topics will include how to approach assignments, effective networking skills, how to deal with billable hours, and everything else that students need to know to make the summer a success.
Summer Job Listings
In an effort to assist students, the Alumni Association, in conjunction with the Institutional Advancement and Career Services Offices, has contacted Southwestern alumni and encouraged them to list positions available to Southwestern students for the summer, as well as for graduates pending bar results. Last year, more than 100 paid and volunteer positions were listed. Check with the CSO for those lists of positions being offered. These positions are not listed on Symplicity.
Get Ready for the On-Campus Interview Program
The On-Campus Interview Program (OCIP) will begin in August - the week before school starts - so if you would like to participate, you should attend How to Participate in the On-Campus Interview Program and Other Things You Should Know about Finding a Job on Friday, April 17 at 12:30 and 5:00 pm or Monday, April 24 at 12:30 and 5 pm in W311. During OCIP, employers will visit campus to interview students for summer 2010 and post-graduate positions. In order to participate in the OCIP, students must attend one of the mandatory sessions offered in April and again over the course of the summer. Learn about law firm recruiting, the mechanics of the OCIP, and what you will need to do to be ready for it. Remember, interviews will take place the week of August 10-14, so please plan accordingly!
California Bar Association President Discusses Diversity, Offers Interview Tips
Holly Fujie, President of the California State Bar and a shareholder with the firm of Buchalter Nemer where she specializes in insurance litigation, visited Southwestern's campus in March to speak to Professor Robert Pugsley's class about diversity in the legal profession. She explained that because of the recession, workplace diversity issues unfortunately tend to get placed on the backburner. But a bad economy does not diminish the need for diversity in law offices and the courts. Ms. Fujie, who is a self-described, "short, Japanese American woman," provided this example: What would it do to your perception of justice if you went into a courtroom and everyone else in the room - except for you - was a short, Asian woman? She also asked how many students had ever heard someone refer to a minority's success and say, "He or she only got this because they are a woman or a minority?" Several hands went up. She responded to this scenario: "To that I say, 'don't you think if we got special favors as women or minorities that there would be more of us in the profession?'"
In order to increase diversity within the legal profession, Ms. Fujie explained that it will take a lot more than lip service. That is why the California State Bar has been working to implement pipeline programs to pique students' interest in the legal profession from the early stages of their education, with initiatives to introduce students to the law as early as preschool.
Ms. Fujie also spoke about the ways that cultural differences can affect how people conduct themselves, especially in an interview situation. That is why she serves as a mentor for law students and new lawyers, conducting mock interviews to help them perform as effectively as possible in order to obtain a job or externship. She offers these general interviewing tips, aimed to help everyone seeking positions within the profession:
- The student should show an interest in what the interviewer and the firm does and what is important to them. For example, they should ask about training and client development, and they should ask how the firm helps associates grow professionally to become partner material. One of the things that partners today are finding most puzzling is students' lack of interest in making partner. That should be your goal at any firm - we are not interested in training people only for them to leave.
- Ask specific questions about the interviewer's practice area. Why did s/he choose it? What is the best/most interesting part about being in that practice area? What is the most interesting/difficult deal/case they have ever handled? The goal is to get to the end of the interview time and have the interviewer realize, "Oh gosh, we're way over time and I haven't even had time to tell you about our summer program/associate program."
- Engage the interviewer and keep him/her interested and you will put them in a position where they like you so much they will fight to bring you back to the office or hire you.
Southwestern's USAID Program Cited in Congressional Testimony
On March 10, Roger D. Garner, Mission Director to Mexico USAID/Mexico's Role in the Merida Initiative testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. He specifically referred to the collaboration between Southwestern and Monterrey Technological Institute to train Mexican lawyers. He said, "The Merida Initiative is a timely and historic opportunity for the United States to expand our partnership with Mexico, as well as the countries of Central America and the Caribbean, to fight the international criminal organizations that harm the citizens and communities of all of our countries ... Across the region, USAID programs strengthen institutions." Over the past two years, five students studied Trial Advocacy at Southwestern under the auspices of the USAID program.
Follett Bookstores has selected Paul Blackwell to be the Bookstore Manager at Southwestern. Mr. Blackwell has six years of bookstore experience as the Assistant Manager at Follett's Orange Coast Community College Bookstore, Supervisor and Operations Manager at Borders Books and Music, and Book Buyer/Store Assistant at Books Etc. He earned his B.A. with honors in Economics from Exeter University in the United Kingdom.
Audren Morris, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, earned her B.A. in Human Communications with a Pre-Law emphasis from California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and a Master of Public Policy from the CSUMB's Panetta Institute for Public Policy. Ms. Morris has served in the financial aid arena for 14 years, ranging from her most recent position as a Client Services Representative for Northwest Educational Loan Association to having served as Director of Financial Aid both at CSUMB and Gavilan College.
Dianna Santillano, Legal Clinic Assistant, is finishing her M.A. in Art History at California State University, Los Angeles, where she also earned her B.A. in Art History with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. Prior to joining Southwestern, she worked as a curatorial assistant at Bill Viola Studio. With an interest in contemporary art, Ms. Santillano is also a published writer, having contributed to exhibition catalogs for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).
Debra Snyder, Dean's Office Assistant, earned her B.A. in Theater from Kalamazoo College and MFA in Theater from Brandeis University. She has extensive office and production management experience in entertainment and other industries, as well as wide-ranging experience with a variety of computer and database programs.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
A Dozen Questions for Professor Warren Grimes
Q: What did you do as a Fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Germany?
A: I provided analyses of U.S. based cases for foreign scholars, did some translation work, and worked on my own research, including an article on deceptive advertising law that was later published in the Harvard Law Review.
Q: Which agencies did you work with in Washington D.C.?
A: I worked initially for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice (2 years), then spent a longer period (6 years) working for the Federal Trade Commission's Office of General Counsel. My last stint in Washington (8 years) was as the Counsel for the Subcommittee on Monopolies and Commercial Law, House Committee on the Judiciary.
Q: For which U.S. Presidents did you draft legal opinions during your tenure as attorney advisor to the U.S. Department of Justice?
A: The Office of Legal Counsel wrote opinions for the Attorney General and provided advice, on request, to the White House. Our communications with the White House were with President Nixon's White House Counsel John Dean. It was an interesting time - the build up to the House impeachment inquiry that led to Nixon's resignation.
Q: What initially piqued your interest in antitrust law?
A: Well, I took antitrust as a student at Michigan Law School. At that time, I had no sense that I'd be pursuing antitrust as a specialty. It was not until roughly five years out of law school, when I went to work for the Federal Trade Commission, that I really began to focus on antitrust law. That focus was intensified when I worked eight years as counsel for the House subcommittee with responsibility for the antitrust laws.
Q: What was the most memorable antitrust case you worked on when you represented the Federal Trade Commission?
A: The biggest case I worked on was probably the "Line of Business" case, involving the FTC's attempts to require large corporations to provide the agency with performance data broken down by line of business. But the most memorable case was the first I ever argued in a U.S. Court of Appeals. It involved a firm's deceptive promotion of aluminum siding. I flew to Denver to argue the case before the 10th Circuit, was very nervous, but very pleased when the Court upheld the Commission's order.
Q: What did you like most about working for the Federal government and what did you find most challenging?
A: I think every lawyer enjoys being a passionate advocate for the client. For me, this was most easily done by being on the side of the public. Although the government doesn't always get it right, most of the cases I argued for the FTC were genuinely in the public interest. That made it fun.
Q: What do you see as some of the biggest trends and changes in antitrust law?
A: Antitrust law is a unique mixture of law, economics, and politics. In the 100 plus years that the Sherman Act has been around, there have been wide policy swings between vigorous and relaxed enforcement. For the past two decades, antitrust enforcement has been minimal. That may be changing with the current administration, although the financial crisis is a bit of a wild card that may hinder a shift in policy.
Q: What did you enjoy most about collaborating with the late Professor Lawrence Sullivan, one of the most renowned antitrust authorities in the world?
A: We wrote a book together, and that was an enriching and very satisfying experience. In addition, everything that I wrote over the past two decades was to varying degrees shaped by Larry Sullivan's input. But I enjoyed most just being around Larry - a wonderful story teller and a true "Mensch." I am so happy we were able to honor Larry at the law school. That symposium helped to put Southwestern on the map for antitrust scholars from the U.S. and abroad (we had scholars from Mexico, Argentina, and Europe).
Q: What was the most interesting aspect of teaching antitrust law in both Japan and Europe?
A: The lectures and symposia that I have participated in have been learning experiences for me. I've met scholars and students from different cultures and legal backgrounds. Because antitrust law is shaped in part by the politics and culture of a country, you can't properly understand the international issues without some sense of the differing cultural values.
Q: How did you decide to transition from government service to law teaching?
A: I always wanted to teach and write - and had been doing part-time teaching during my time in D.C. After roughly 16 years in the federal government, it was time to seize the opportunity to come to Southwestern.
Q: What are some of your interests/hobbies outside of the legal profession?
A: I love to read. As a result of taking my oldest daughter to a women's college basketball game years ago, I have become a fan of that sport. I am now an amateur reporter and post occasional articles on women's basketball on a college team website.
Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: Find a way to preserve a pleasant life on this planet for my children and their children.
PROFESSOR DAVID FAGUNDES
DEAN BRYANT GARTH
- Panel Moderator, "What's Needed? Re-envisioning the Copyright Act's Architecture for the Digital Age," Reforming Copyright: Process, Policy and Politics, Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute Conference
"Indian Law, Property, and the Supreme Court" (with Professor A.
Riley), Native American Law Students Association, Southwestern Law
- Quoted in "Can a 'Day of Sharing' save the music industry?" Christian Science Monitor
PROFESSOR JAMES KUSHNER
- Presenter, "Exploring Inequality in the Corporate Law Firm
Apprenticeship: Doing the Time, Finding the Love" (with Professor J.
Sterling), Empirical Research on the Legal Profession: Insights from Theory and Practice
Symposium, The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and the
Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Georgetown University Law Center.
- Welcome/Opening Remarks, The Evolution of J.D. Programs: Is Non-Traditional Becoming More Traditional? Southwestern Law Review Symposium
- Presenter, Principal Address, "Planning for Global Climate
Change," Patricia C. Tisdale Symposium,18th Annual Land Use Conference
- Sustainability: Beyond the Platitudes, Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, CO
- Panelist, Presented Perspectives on Local Land Use Laws, "Mapping the Potential Legislation," Climate Change and the Future of California Environmental Law Symposium, Chapman University School of Law
- CLICK HERE FOR MORE FACULTY ACTIVITIES -
Southwestern Welcomes New Adjunct Faculty
Experts in the areas of sports law, real estate law and litigation and appellate advocacy have joined the adjunct faculty for Summer 2009. Read more.
Southwestern Student Named Best Advocate at TAHP Competition
At the recent American Association for Justice (AAJ) Regional Student Trial Advocacy Competition in Santa Monica, Southwestern Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP) team member Lindsay Gardner won Best Advocate. She represented the defendant, a hotel in a wrongful death liability case. Her coach, alumnus Edwin Rathbun '02, praised the performance of the entire team, which also consisted of Fritzgerald Javellana, Cory Scott, and Lou Myers.
Of Gardner's presentation, he said, "She was simply outstanding. After five weeks of practice, she really shined at the competition. Lindsay's courtroom presence and her ability to connect with people no doubt won the judges over. In particular, her closing argument was great. It was well-organized and the delivery was awesome. All of this combined with her communication skills and ability to think quickly on her feet will make her an outstanding trial attorney."
Gardner, a third-year day student who also sits on the TAHP Board, credits the support she received with preparing her for the competition. "My teammates and coaches really helped push me to give 150% at every practice, and if it was not for them, I would not have performed so well," she said. "Winning Best Advocate was one of my goals for this competition. I feel very honored to have won."
Wagner Team Wins Best Respondent Brief,
Second Place Oralist
Southwestern's Moot Court Honors Program team of Carlo Reyes, Alma Dumitru, and Matt Weiner excelled at the Robert F. Wagner Labor and Employment Law Competition, winning Best Respondent's Brief. Matt Weiner also won Second Place Oralist and the team finished overall as semifinalists. The team argued a problem exploring two issues: whether mid-level employees should be deemed supervisors under the National Labor Relations Act, a determination that could bar millions of employees from union representation; and whether a disabled employee is entitled to automatic reassignment to a vacant position under the reasonable accommodation provision of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Southwestern's team defeated law students from New York University, Pepperdine University, Penn State, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock before besting University of Hastings in the Quarterfinals. They narrowly lost to Northern Kentucky University in the Semifinal Round.
From left: Reyes, Dumitru and Weiner
Reyes, a third-year PLEAS student, father of four girls, and a full-time Emergency Medicine physician, served as the swing oralist and brief writer for the Wagner Team. He said, "The most important experience gained by participating in Moot Court is the opportunity to work as part of a team - to find a way for three strong-minded individuals to collaborate effectively to produce something special."
Weiner is a two-time Second Place Oralist, having also competed in the ABA National Moot Court Competition last year. Professor Christopher Cameron, who has served as faculty advisor for the Wagner competition for 11 years, said of Weiner's performance, "Matt's unflappable demeanor, encyclopedic knowledge of the law and record, and persuasiveness were commented upon by many judges as the best they'd seen." He also praised the team's performance, saying, "In 11 years of competing at Wagner, this was Southwestern's third Best Brief and fourth Semi-Final appearance. The team was incredible."
Law Review/Law Journal Announce 2009-10 Leaders
Congratulations are extended to the following students on their appointment to leadership positions on the boards of Law Review and Law Journal.
Sharon Penina Shadrooz
Special Projects Editor
Notes and Comments Editors
Lead Articles Editors
Lead Article Editors
Note and Comment Editors
Research/Special Projects Editors
Adjunct Professors Ostrove and McCoy to be honored at Awards Recognition Event
At Southwestern's 22nd Annual Awards Recognition Reception and Auction, David Ostrove '58, who has served on Southwestern's adjunct faculty for over 40 years, will be honored as "Alumnus of the Year," and Hon. Charles W. McCoy, Jr., who has been a member of the adjunct faculty since 1995, will be recognized as "Outstanding Friend." They will be feted along with Commissioner Alan Friedenthal '83, who will receive the "Outstanding Judicial Officer" award at the event to be held on campus on Thursday, April 16. This annual event allows the Alumni Association and other members of the Southwestern community the opportunity to recognize alumni and friends for their outstanding service to the law school, the legal profession and the greater community. In addition to the awards ceremony and cocktail reception, the evening features a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Alumni Scholarship Fund. Additional information can be found online.
Honduras School Named After Southwestern Alumnus
The Honduran Ministry of Education has named a school after Southwestern alumnus Mariano Castillo '64. This is the first time the Central American country has named a school in honor of a living person. Prior to that, the only public education in San Jose de Colinas, a mountain town (population 14,000) in the Department of Santa Barbara, Honduras, was vocational training. The "Liceo Abogado Mariano Castillo Mercado" was established by a non-profit organization of business and civic leaders in the area, who petitioned the Honduran Ministry of Education to name the school after Mr. Castillo. The school, which began classes in February 2009, is funded completely by private capital (no government money has been used for it) and operates as a bi-lingual institution in Spanish and English. It has computers and internet access for its students, the best teachers and a very dedicated and committed board of trustees. An accomplished attorney who practices international, business and family law, Mr. Castillo is offering 10 scholarships, a national bank has offered five, and other businesses and individuals in Honduras, Mexico and the United States are providing scholarships to assist the deserving and academically qualified local students with the financial help they need.
"When I was told in October 2008 that the corporation had been created and that the school was to be named after me, I felt very excited and emotionally charged," Mr. Castillo said. "However, the idea was an abstraction to me, and I did not realize its full impact until I saw pictures of the buildings and school uniforms, and a copy of the official government decree naming the school "Liceo Abogado Mariano Castillo Mercado." Read more.
Alumni Q&A with Barry Groveman '78, Senior Partner, Chair, Public and Environmental Law Group, Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP and Mayor Pro Tem, City of Calabasas
Q: What is your favorite law school memory? What did you like best about being in the SCALE® program at Southwestern?
What I liked best about the SCALE program and what helped me the most
was the conceptual approach to teaching legal concepts. It also made me
a creative lawyer. Because of the way I was taught I try to find things
that others may not readily see. My Southwestern SCALE education
instilled that in me every hour of every day. It's normal to be loyal
to your school, but my enthusiasm for Southwestern goes to the next
level. I'm a real cheerleader for the law school because as a student,
I saw a way of teaching that truly made a difference in the way I
practice law. The SCALE program also gave me the chance to be a law
clerk for the Hon. Shirley Hufstedler of the U.S. Court of Appeals,
which made an immeasurable contribution to my growth as a lawyer.
Q: When did you first become interested in working in politics?
I think about one minute after I was born. Actually, I've always found
the political sphere to be closely related to the practice of law. My
first job out of law school was as a city prosecutor and in that role I
had a decent amount of contact with legislators and local elected
officials. What we did influenced a lot of what they did. It was not
uncommon for legislators to contact me for ideas. I was the first
prosecutor to file a case under a criminal division of a then brand-new
waste law in California. I was the first to see the need for amendment
or improvement of it. That got me more involved in the political sphere
where I was able to see the value of the political process in terms of
enhancing the legal process.
In the end it's all about results
and solving problems. Solutions are found when you look up rather than
down because when you look up the sky is limitless.
Q: As a Deputy City Attorney prosecuting violent street crimes, what was one of your most memorable cases?
I remember a teacher who was robbed and we weren't able to make the
case for the robbery, but the robber then began to threaten her
(because he had her wallet so he knew how to contact her) with phone
calls. I vigorously prosecuted it. I found being a city attorney to be
tougher than being a DA because we didn't have the investigative
resources. But the city attorneys I worked with were the greatest
lawyers I knew. I also enjoyed working in the DA's office and I was the
first person to ever put people in jail for the disposal of hazardous
waste. I put several CEOs in jail for waste.
Q: Was it your
stint as Assistant City Attorney and head of Environmental Protection
for the City of Los Angeles that piqued your interest in environmental
A: Environmental issues have been a lifelong passion of
mine. I was one of the earliest to enforce it. They were very difficult
cases and they were brand new. I handled the case with the largest
seizure of elephant ivory in history (that was in Downtown LA where
imported ivory was being sold in Chinatown - a large commercial outlet
for the international sale of endangered species products). Elephant
ivory cases were very difficult to prosecute. I liked the cases that
everyone thought were un-winnable. We need government officials to take
on hard issues and get banged up in the process but do what's in the
public's best interest. I had prosecuted a bunch of those which led to
the creation of an exhibit at LAX right before the 1984 Olympics so the
traveling public would learn about the dangers of international trade
(ivory). When we inaugurated the display, England's Prince Philip
(Queen Elizabeth's husband) was there. I believe the exhibit is still
Q: What was you most important accomplishment as Head of Environmental Crimes/OSHA Division for the D.A.?
I created a priority for environmental protection for LA County and
elsewhere. I think what we showed is that in the regulatory argument
there are limited areas like health and safety where enforcement of law
is critical. You can take important steps to save the environment and
get very serious results. I developed the industry of prosecutors
nationwide that took up that cause. We made it clear that we wouldn't
allow fines to be the cost of doing business. We made jail sentences a
reality of pollution. Fines were no longer the cost of doing business.
Q: As principal co-author of Prop 65 (The Safe
Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) and other laws, what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of writing a law?
A: It can be a
very frustrating process of compromise. I had a no-prisoners attitude
with Prop 65. I compromised with my co-authors, but I put it to the
people with much less compromise, and we got a much better law.
Twenty-one years later it's still the hallmark of environmental law.
But by and large, law involves a lot of compromise so things get done a
lot slower. It's important to balance the interest of everyone - from
those with no voice to those with big voices. That's what lawyering is
all about. And as frustrating as it is, it's worthy of a very
democratic society. With all of the strain it ultimately produces a
Q: As a senior partner at Musick, Peeler & Garrett, LLP,
directing the firm's Public and Environmental Law Practice, what types
of environmental cases do you handle?
A: We have about 10
lawyers dedicated to environmental law and we have a lot of extra
attorneys who can be called into service. We also have a non-lawyer
scientist who I brought with me to the firm. He goes out to the field
and does all kinds of research. We also practice a lot of public law.
I've always gravitated toward public law actually. I represented the
Los Angeles Unified School District for about 25 years. I represented
USC one time and the DWP and the cities of Santa Monica and Morrow Bay.
I now represent many water purveyors. I chair the Inland Empire Water
Purveyor Task Force. It feels like we're doing the public's work. In
the end it's very helpful to factor into judgments representing public
entities. Read more.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?
This Month - MyLoc Dinh, Second-year Day Student
MyLoc Dinh's wide-ranging passions and hobbies include everything from
politics to break dancing. The second-year student brings her energy
and work ethic to Southwestern where she not only serves as President
of the Asian-Pacific-American Law Students Association, and Vice
President of both the Women's and Native American Law Students
Associations, but is also a Junior Advocate in Southwestern's Trial
Advocacy Honors Program and a Student Ambassador for the Admissions
Office. In addition to all of her campus activities, Dinh, who is
interested in civil litigation, is currently externing for the Hon.
Philip S. Gutierrez of the U.S. District Court, Central District of
California, a position that involves a lot of research and writing.
During the summer, she was a Research Assistant for Professor Byron
Stier, and she continues to serve as a teacher's assistant for his
evening Torts class, holding office hours to assist students.
is also the recipient of several scholarships. Most recently, she was
honored by the Japanese American Bar Association, where she won the
Justice Stephen K. Tamura Scholarship. She has also received the
Professor Douglas Salem Memorial Scholarship and a CALI Excellence for
the Future Award. She is conversant in Vietnamese, Japanese and French,
and earned her B.A. degree in Linguistics from her hometown school, the
University of California, San Diego. The Coro Fellows Program in Public
Affairs originally brought Dinh to Los Angeles, where she honed her
public speaking skills and interned at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los
Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District, Bill Simon for
Governor, Rogers & Associates, and Communications Workers of
America Local 9503.
Prior to attending Southwestern, Dinh
worked as a Legal Assistant for the firm of Artiano & Guzman LLP
and was active in state government. She was a Field Representative for
then State Senator Debra Bowen (who is now California Secretary of
State) and became interested in Asian Pacific Islander (API) politics,
serving as a Field Coordinator for Warren Furutani's campaign for State
Assembly. Although very active in politics, she does not have any
intention to run for office, but she continues to support APIs in the
political process. "After working in politics for a while, I realized I
needed a Masters in Public Policy or a law degree, and I opted for the
law degree," she said. "I like the flexibility of the programs at
Southwestern and the individual attention students receive." Dinh also
really enjoyed taking Southwestern's first Capstone course in Mass Tort
Litigation, saying "it was so practical and interdisciplinary, and
there were only 20 students. I can't say enough about how much that
class was very enjoyable and educational. I'm a practical kind of gal.
Too much theory can be tough. I like to see how things work in the real
world, so I thought that class was just spot on."
self-professed "jigsaw puzzle geek who enters contests," Dinh also
loves spending time with her husband, Elpidio Ebuen. They have found a
unique way to bond. "I love break dancing. I never said I was good at
it, but I absolutely enjoy it. I figured if you work hard then you can
play hard, and I wasn't getting my exercise. So about a year ago, we
decided to take a break dancing class together. I do it for the fun of
it. I'm not competitive at it. Otherwise it would be work."