Archived Posts

Grand Rapids' Decriminalization of Marijuana Prompts Questions of State Law Preemption

Posted February 18, 2013 | By Alyssa Wolf

The City of Grand Rapids is one of many cities in Michigan whose voters have approved the decriminalization of Marijuana. The passage of Proposal Two prompted a lawsuit between Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth and the City of Grand Rapids. Forsyth argues that the charter amendment is in violation of Michigan's criminal law. The city argues that the citizens had the power to approve the charter amendment through voting. Proposal Two has created a tension between the power of the people to invoke change and the state's power to protect the health, safety, welfare, and morals of its citizens.

This article addresses the ramifications of Proposal Two and Judge Sullivan's ruling Prosecutor Forsyth's request for a preliminary injunction. 

Read the following piece from Thomas M. Cooley Law Review's web edition: Grand Rapids' Decriminalization of Marijuana Prompts Questions of State Law Preemption


New York Becomes the First State to Begin Requiring Pro Bono Service Prior to Bar Admission

Posted February 12, 2013 | By Brittany Mills

New York has become the first state in the nation to require all prospective attorneys that apply to sit for the bar exam to complete pro bono service prior to admittance to the bar. Since New York is often a legal trailblazer, it is foreseeable that similar pro bono service may be a requirement for all attorneys someday. This article addresses the specifics of New York’s new pro bono requirement and the stated purpose for instating this new rule. This article also addresses the possible benefits and downfalls that could accompany requiring prospective attorneys to complete pro bono service prior to bar admission.

Read the following piece from the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review's web edition: New York Becomes the First State to Begin Requiring Pro Bono Service Prior to Bar Admission


The "Greed Gland": A Conversation with Securities Attorney Joseph H. Spiegel About The Problems With Protecting American Investors in an Unfriendly Regulatory Scheme

Posted February 6, 2013 | By Colin W. Maguire

What do we really know about the world of securities and commodities trading? Given the events of our still young millennium, we probably wish we knew more about what was actually happening. Yet, we might wish we knew less about the sometimes unsavory aspects of the industry itself.

The Thomas M. Cooley Law Review's Colin W. Maguire sat down with Mr. Joseph H. Spiegel to discuss legal issues in the investment industry. Mr. Spiegel has represented those on the inside of the industry, befriended important players in government regulation positions, and now advocates for victims of investment fraud. With his wealth of knowledge, he shares compelling stories, insightful suggestions for legal reforms, and urges us to help fight investment fraud by knowing the signs.

You can read the interview entitled: The "Greed Gland": A Conversation with Securities Attorney Joseph H. Spiegel About The Problems With Protecting American Investors in an Unfriendly Regulatory Scheme


Cooley Students Tackle Difficult Legal Questions Concerning Hot Topics – Immigration and Fugitive Status

Posted November 2, 2012 | By Colin W. Maguire

The Supreme Court of the United States did not grant a petition of certiorari to hear the case of Bright v. Holder .1 This decision allowed a jurisdictional split to stand on the definition of a fugitive for the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine, in the context of a deportable alien. That did not stop Cooley students in the Trinity 2012 term from arguing the case in front of a fictitious Supreme Court. Local Lawyers and Judges provided scoring and feedback for the Trinity 2012 Intra-School Moot Court Class & Competition. Students at Cooley are presented with this unique opportunity to prove their appellate mettle and work their way onto a national competition team. Read the following piece from the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review's web edition to learn both sides of this emerging, complex issue in our jurisprudence: The Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine


Digital Citizens' Bill of Rights

Posted November 2, 2012 | By Anna Zagari, Thomas M. Cooley Law Review

The Internet, which is most regarded for its open and convenient access to countless types of information is often celebrated by the masses, but there are some, especially owners of intellectual property rights, who have reasons to detract from the celebration.  Recent efforts by the government to stop online piracy on an international level has caused a stir, with opponents claiming the proposed legislation is too vague and would take away the freedom of the Internet.  After what was dubbed an “Internet Blackout” earlier this year, where thousands of Websites literally blacked-out all their content, the bills lost major support and were withdrawn.

In reaction to the controversy, Congressman Darrell Issa, who opposed both of the bills, made an open invitation over the summer to help him draft the Digital Citizen's Bill of Rights with the goal of keeping the Internet open and free.  Issa hopes to establish fundamental rights for citizens within the digital world to ensure "they are free to innovate, collaborate and participate in building a stronger America and better world."

Issa posted his first draft of the Digital Citizens' Bill of Rights online with an invitation for all citizens to contribute to the drafting.  The draft follows:

  1. Freedom - digital citizens have a right to a free, uncensored internet
  2. Openness - digital citizens have a right to an open, unobstructed internet
  3. Equality - all digital citizens are created equal on the internet
  4. Participation - digital citizens have a right to peaceably participate where and how they choose on the internet
  5. Creativity - digital citizens have a right to create, grow and collaborate on the internet, and be held accountable for what they create
  6. Sharing - digital citizens have a right to freely share their ideas, lawful discoveries and opinions on the internet
  7. Accessibility - digital citizens have a right to access the internet equally, regardless of who they are or where they are
  8. Association - digital citizens have a right to freely associate on the internet
  9. Privacy - digital citizens have a right to privacy on the internet
  10. Property - digital citizens have a right to benefit from what they create, and be secure in their intellectual property on the internet

So far, there have been more than 100 comments and suggestions.  Read the preamble and the rest of Issa's comments, or make your own comments.


When Science Fails Us & We Fail Justice: A Conversation About the Tragic Case of David Gavitt

Posted November 2, 2012 | By Colin W. Maguire

The legal system is far from perfect. Sometimes, the system can even create gross injustices. That was the case with David Gavitt – a man who served over two decades in prison after he was wrongly convicted of killing his wife and young children. At the time of his conviction, the scientific consensus was that someone set a fire that engulfed David's house, injured him, and killed his family. With no other suspects, a jury convicted David of setting the fatal fire. Years later, it was revealed that the "science" used to convict David was junk science...and David was not the only person affect as a result of bad arson science.

The Thomas M. Cooley Law Review's Publicity Editor, Colin W. Maguire, visited Imran Syed, Staff Attorney at the University of Michigan Law School's Innocence Clinic. Mr. Syed started working on David's case as a Law Student and was there to accompany David out of prison after he was exonerated.

You can read the interview in a piece entitled "When Science Fails Us & We Fail the Law: A Conversation About the Tragic Case of David Gavitt."

In this in-depth interview, Maguire and Syed explore the details of this injustice. The interview also looks at remedies that Attorneys and Lawmakers should consider when dealing with a clear case of bad science leading to bad convictions.


Steven Cox, Bonny Hedderly and Jonathan Lawrence interviewed by Colin Maguire of the SERF Foundation Sustainable Real Estate and the Green Agenda: A Conversation

Posted 27 July 2012 | By Colin W. Maguire

How did you spend your summer? Colin W. Maguire, the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review's Publicity Editor, jetted across the pond to meet with three attorneys at the London office of K&L Gates, one of the world's largest law firms. (By the way, 2006 Cooley graduate Billy M.C. Chen is an associate in the firm's Taipei, Taiwan office.) Colin'sinterview focused on a paper that they had published, but also goes in some different directions. The result is an incredibly deep look at green building policies in the commercial real estate sector. There is a particular focus on Britain's "Green Deal" and energy-efficiency requirements for commercial buildings. The lessons learned from the UK are applicable and beneficial to professionals and legal advisers in many markets.

Here is the text of Colin's interview as found on the firm's own website.

 

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