Professor Kalir Publishes Op-Ed on Leaked Dobbs Opinion

Professor Doron Kalir has published an op-ed on, titled, “Why Alito’s Roe v. Wade draft is the court’s most Trumpian opinion ever.” The opinion identifies five themes that, in Professor Kalir’s view, make the opinion “the most Trumpian opinion to ever leave the high court.”

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Kalir Discusses Timing of the Dobbs Opinion Release

Professor Doron Kalir was featured in a Fox News article titled, “Will the Supreme Court release a Roe v. Wade decision this week?” Professor Kalir explained that it was extremely unlikely that the Dobbs opinion would be released today, noting that there are almost certainly dissenting opinions currently being drafted. He also noted that some justices in the majority may push for changes in the tone or language of the majority opinion.

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Professor Sterio Speaks at Oxford Kashmir Forum About Self-Determination

Professor Milena Sterio delivered a guest lecture to the Oxford Kashmir Forum on May 10, on the topic of “The Right to Self-Determination.”  The Forum is an 8-week online course on “International Human Rights Law and Kashmir: Prospects and Challenges” hosted at Oxford University (United Kingdom).  More information about the Forum is available here:

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Professor Sterio Moderates Event on European Democracy

Professor Milena Sterio moderated an event on May 4 on the “State of European Democracy,” hosted and organized by The City Club of Cleveland.  The conversation centered around autocratic tendencies in some European countries, such as Hungary and Poland, and the impact of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine on such autocratic tendencies.  

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Professor Sterio Speaks About Ukraine

Professor Milena Sterio participated as a panelist in an event entitled “Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War” on May 5.  The event was part of Tri-C’s Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies program’s Crisis in Ukraine series.  Professor Sterio’s remarks focused on accountability for those who commit gender based and sexual violence crimes in international armed conflict.

Professor Sterio also moderated a panel discussion on May 6, on the topic of “The Future of the Peace Process in Ukraine.” The panel discussion was organized by the Public International Law and Policy Group and featured the following speakers: Bohdan Vivitsky, U.S. Department of Justice and former Resident Legal Avisor at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine; Victor Rud, expert on Russia/Ukraine/U.S. relations; Professor Paul Williams, American University Washington College of Law; and Ambassador Sven Alkalaj, Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations.

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Professor Kalir Interviewed on Roe v. Wade

Professor Doron Kalir was interviewed both by Business Insider and Newsweek about Justice Alito’s Draft Opinion aiming to overrule Roe v. Wade. 

In the Business Insider article, Professor Kalir stated that “Never before has the court overruled itself in such an egregious tone and in such a contemptuous manner.” On the question of stare decisis, he noted that “If every day the Supreme Court can overrule itself, then you don’t know what the law is.”

In the lengthy Newsweek interview, Professor Kalir discussed the immediate changes that will follow Roe being overturned, the possibility of a federal ban on abortion, the possibility of restrictions on persons traveling to obtain an abortion, and other related issues.

In the lengthy Newsweek interview, Professor Kalir discussed the immediate changes that will follow Roe being overturned, the possibility of a federal ban on abortion, the possibility of restrictions on persons traveling to obtain an abortion, and other related issues.

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Appellate Practice Clinic Secures Another Win with the Sixth Circuit; Extends Winning Streak to Four

The Cleveland-Marshall Appellate Practice Clinic, directed by Professor Doron Kalir, has secured a fourth straight victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Clinic was appointed to represent Liston Watson on appeal.

In the district court, Mr. Watson entered into a plea agreement providing for a maximum 30-year sentence. At the sentencing hearing, however, the district court imposed a sentence of 30 years and one day, based on the court’s belief that the additional day was legally required. 

On appeal, the Clinic argued that Mr. Watson’s plea agreement was breached and that his lawyer’s failure to object constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. To prevail, the Clinic had to show that (a) the plea agreement was breached; (b) that sentencing counsel provided ineffective assistance by not objecting to the breach at the time it occurred; (c) that appellate counsel also provided ineffective assistance of counsel, by not raising the issue properly on direct appeal; and (d) that Watson could overcome the procedural default that prevented him from raising those issues below.

The Clinic submitted a comprehensive Opening Brief exploring each of these points. The government, in return, submitted a 40-page brief contesting each point separately. The Clinic then submitted a longer-than-usual Reply Brief, explaining why the government was wrong at every turn.

Clinic students Dominic Neville, Anthonia Ogbechie, Renee Pickel, and Bianca N. Smith assisted Professor Kalir in in researching and drafting of the Opening Brief. (The Reply Brief was submitted in July). 

Professor Kalir argued the case before the Sixth Circuit, and clinic students Katheryn Hach, Nicole Johnson, and Marty DiMichele provided crucial assistance in preparation for Oral Argument, and in reviewing and drafting of the later round of briefs. 

Following the Judges’ remarks on Oral Argument, the government conceded the error, acknowledging that the sentence of 30 years plus one day violated the terms of Mr. Watson’s plea agreement. It then filed a motion asking the Appellate Court to vacate the decision below. Following another round of shorter briefs, the Court issued its opinion, granting Watson’s Motion to Vacate his sentence, and remanding the case to the district court to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea. 

Professor Matthew Green, former Professor Joseph Mead, and Associate Dean Jonathan Witmer-Rich assisted by conducting practice oral arguments with Professor Kalir and the Clinic students. 

Professor Kalir served as Counsel of Record.  

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Professor Sagers Quoted on Musk Twitter Acquisition

Chris Sagers, the James A. Thomas Professor of Law, was quoted in Bloomberg this week in coverage of Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform Twitter. Asked about antitrust aspects of the deal, Sagers explained that federal enforcers would not likely challenge the deal on antitrust grounds. As he explained, neither Musk nor his affiliates appear to own assets that currently compete with Twitter. Moreover, the speech and content concerns that have most troubled critics likely won’t be perceived as antitrust problems.

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Professor Sterio Discusses Ukraine Conflict, War Crimes, and Accountability

Professor Milena Sterio was quoted in an article on war crimes prosecutions in the Ukraine conflict published by Politifact. The article is available here:

Professor Sterio also participated as a panelist in a Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association law day event on May 3 on the topic of “Rebuilding Trust: Insights from the World Justice Project’s Global Rule of Law Index.”  Professor Sterio’s remarks focused on the role of lawyers in the Ukraine conflict, and how the work of lawyers can contribute toward accountability.  More information about this event is available here:

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C|M|LAW Enters 3+3 Partnership with Oakwood University

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is pleased to announce that it has entered into a 3+3 partnership with Oakwood University, an HBCU in Huntsville, Alabama (our second 3+3 agreement with an HBCU). These agreements permit students to complete both their undergraduate and law degrees in six years rather than seven, with their first year of law school satisfying the student’s final year of undergraduate credits, as well, saving students both time and money. Providing this opportunity is consistent with the value proposition inherent in everything we do.   

This latest 3+3 agreement is our 14th partnership. Since 2014, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has created an internal 3+3 program at Cleveland State University and has entered into external 3+3 agreements with Lake Erie College, the University of Findlay, Ursuline College, Notre Dame College, Mercyhurst University (Pennsylvania), Trine University (Indiana), Marietta College, Hiram College, Wagner College (New York), Rust College (Mississippi), Baldwin Wallace University, and Kent State University. 

Oakwood University has been recognized as one of the top 20 historically black Christian colleges in the nation and is 16th in the nation of all colleges and universities for the number of black medical school applicants. Its 45- to 60-member choir, the Aeolians, has traveled the world and performed in the White House and at the Kennedy Center. Oakwood is known for its musical program and has among its alumni Little Richard, Angela Brown (soprano opera singer), multiple members of the gospel group Take 6, and others. Its alumni also includes Delbert Baker, a former President of Oakwood who currently serves on the White House Board for HBCUs; John F. Street, the two-term mayor of Philadelphia; Barry Black, the current chaplain to the United States Senate; Erica Thomas, a Georgia State Representative; T.R.M. Howard, civil rights leader, surgeon, and mentor to Medgar Evers and Fannie Lou Hamer; Sylvia Rhue, a writer, filmmaker, producer, and LGBT activist; and many others.  

Because of our history as a school of opportunity, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has been reaching out to a number of HBCUs to join with us in 3+3 agreements. Oakwood University is the second HBCU to partner with us, after Rust College in Mississippi (signed October 2020).  

C|M|LAW’s Commitment to Providing Opportunity to a Diverse Population 

Preparing a diverse student body for the practice of law has been a hallmark of Cleveland-Marshall for more than 120 years. Since their early history, Cleveland-Marshall’s predecessor programs were dedicated to providing access to women and minority students at a time when they had been systematically denied a meaningful opportunity to attend law (and other professional) schools. We were the first law school in Ohio to admit women, and we were one of the first to admit African American students. The early 20th-century class photos lining the walls of the second-floor atrium provides clear evidence of that early commitment, which was intended to benefit not only the minority and women candidates that we admitted but also the legal profession itself, which badly needed (and still needs) more minority and women lawyers for the good of the profession and civil society.  

For example, just a small sample of C|M minority graduates who benefited from our commitment to providing opportunity and who have made meaningful contributions to American life and the legal profession include many members of our Hall of Fame:  

  • Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (class of 1983), 11th Congressional District of Ohio 
  • Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson (class of 1983) 
  • Justice Melody J. Stewart (class of 1988), Ohio Supreme Court 
  • Judge Ronald B. Adrine (class of 1973), senior staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations, long-time Judge on Cleveland Municipal Court, spearheaded Cleveland Bar Association’s Minority Clerkship Program 
  • Teresa Metcalf Beasley (class of 1993), partner at Calfee, Halter & Griswold, former Law Director of the City of Cleveland and member of Mayor Frank Jackson’s Special Commission on Missing Persons and Sex Crime Investigations 
  • Chief Magistrate Gregory F. Clifford (class of 1980), founder of the Minority Outreach Committee to help C|M minority law students acclimate to law school and the legal profession 
  • Sheryl King Bedford (class of 1979), Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Chief Legal Officer 
  • Judge Patricia A. Blackmon (class of 1979), Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals, formerly Chief Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland and Assistant Director of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program 
  • Hon. George Forbes (class of 1962), Cleveland City Council’s first African-American President 
  • James L. Hardiman (class of 1968), legal director of the ACLU of Ohio 
  • Larry H. James (class of 1977), Managing Partner of Crabbe, Brown & James 
  • Judge Benita Pearson (class of 1995), U.S. Dist. Court Northern District of Ohio 
  • Leonard D. Young (class of 1974), first African American to serve as General Counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation 
  • the late Nona M. Burney (class of 1981), a life-long teacher who started Cleveland’s Martin Luther King Law and Public Service Magnet High School and who became a Professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, working to prevent closure of Chicago neighborhood schools 
  • the late Annette Garner Butler (class of 1970), Equal Opportunity Specialist for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s Office of Civil Rights, 24 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Judge on Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, and first elected woman President and Board Chair of the City Club of Cleveland 
  • the late Russell T. Adrine (class of 1954), President of Cleveland chapters of Urban League and NAACP 
  • the late Lillian W. Burke (class of 1951), granddaughter of a slave and the first African American woman to serve in the Ohio judiciary 
  • the late Judge Charles W. Fleming (class of 1955), elected to Cleveland Municipal Court, serving for 19 years 
  • the late Clarence L. James, Jr. (class of 1962), serving as Cleveland Law Director and later serving as Jimmy Carter’s Deputy Campaign manager 
  • the late C. Lyonel Jones (class of 1963), Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland 
  • the late Reuben M. Payne (class of 1953), who served as lead prosecutor in the landmark Supreme Court case of Terry v. Ohio 
  • the late Carl B. Stokes (class of 1956), the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city (Cleveland) 
  • the late long-serving Congressman Louis Stokes (class of 1953), 11th Congressional District of Ohio 
  • the late Stanley E. Tolliver, Sr. (class of 1953), representing civil rights protestors in Mississippi, Glenville riots defendants, and college students involved in the fatal Kent State shootings in 1970 
  • the late Judge George W. White (class of 1955), Chief Judge of U.S. Dist. Court Northern Ohio, credited with ending Cleveland’s 25-year desegregation case and creating the United Black Fund of Cleveland 
  • the late Judge Jean Murrell Capers (class of 1945), first African American woman elected to Cleveland City Council, appointed an Assistant State Attorney General, and appointed to Cleveland Municipal Court 
  • the late Charles V. Carr (class of 1926), grandson of a slave and 30-year veteran of Cleveland City Council  
  • the late State Representative William H. Clifford (class of 1902), believed to be the first African American male alumnus of one of our predecessor schools 
  • the late Jane Edna Hunter (class of 1925), for whom the principal building of the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services is named in honor of her work with children and families 
  • the late Norman S. Minor (class of 1927), the first African American Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, in whose honor the Cleveland affiliate of the National Bar Association is named 
  • the late Lawrence O. Payne (class of 1923), named the city’s first African American Assistant Police Prosecutor, elected to Cleveland City Council, and a partner in the creation of The Call and Post, Cleveland’s former African American newspaper 
  • the late Louise Johnson Pridgeon (class of 1922), one of Cleveland’s first African American women lawyers and President of the Harlan Law Club (predecessor to the Norman Minor Bar Association) 
  • the late Hazel Mountain Walker (class of 1919), Cleveland’s first African American school principal and one of the first black women admitted to the bar, which she did “to prove that black women could earn law degrees.” 

Seeking out 3+3 partnerships with HBCUs will permit us to continue this tradition. 

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