Join us for the 2010 Alumni Banquet
Join us as we honor the following three alumni at the 2010 Alumni Recognition Banquet on Thursday, May 13:
Johnson Toribiong, President of Palau '72, LL.M. '73
Distinguished Alumni Award
Sworn into office January 15, 2009, Toribiong is Palau's seventh president. He is a former ambassador of Palau to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and co-founder of the firm Toribiong and Coughlin. Toribiong is the first sitting head-of-state to receive a Law School Alumni Association Recognition Award.
Michael Gotham '93
Service Recognition Award
Gotham is the Director of Recruiting and Retention with the law firm Perkins Coie. In that role he oversees law student and lateral attorney recruiting, new attorney orientation and integration, associate evaluation and compensation, and other attorney personnel matters.
Sonia Rodriguez Martinez '00
Recent Graduate Award
Rodriguez is the owner and managing attorney of Morales Rodriguez P.S. in Yakima specializing in family law. In 2008, she was appointed to the Yakima City Council, the first Latino member in Yakima history, serving until November 2009. Rodriguez was recently sworn in as a Pro Tem Judge in Yakima County.
The banquet will be held at the Grand Hyatt (721 Pine Street, Seattle). Reception starts at 5:30 p.m., the dinner and program begin at 6:15 p.m. RSVP by May 5, 2010.
Alumni-Faculty Breakfast Examines Health Reform
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the health care reform bill into law, touted as a far-reaching overhaul of the nation's health system. As part of the law school's Alumni-Faculty Breakfast series, a distinguished panel of legal and medical experts will look at how the bill might address the more than 45 million Americans without health care and working families facing rising premiums and rising deductibles. Join us Wednesday, April 7 from 7:30-9 AM at the Grand Hyatt Seattle (721 Pine St.) for Health Care Reform: What It Is...What It Should Be, an important and timely discussion. Our panelists include:
- Professor Patricia Kuszler, M.D., JD and Moderator - Center for Law, Science and Global Health, UW School of Law
- Frederick Chen, M.D., M.P.H - Department of Family Medicine, UW School of Medicine
- Taya Briley, RN, MN, JD - Legal Affairs/Clinical Policy, Washington State Hospital Association
- Professor Sallie Sanford, JD - UW School of Law and UW School of Public Health
Also on the topic of health care reform, the UW School of Law recently hosted a roundtable discussion by distinguished faculty, "Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?" The debate, which drew a standing-room-only crowd, can be viewed on the web or downloaded as an MP3 file.
Director Hired to Lead Barer Institute
Manisha Singh, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs with the U.S. State Department, has been hired as the first Executive Director of the Barer Institute for Law and Global Human Services at the UW School of Law.
"I am thrilled to be the first Executive Director of the Barer Institute, and am very much looking forward to working under the leadership of Dean Kellye Testy," said Singh.
The Barer Institute was created by a gift from UW Regent and Law School Advancement Committee chair Stan Barer '63 and his wife, Alta. The Institute, which will involve an interdisciplinary effort based in the law school, will study and promote the effectiveness of legal frameworks as essential elements in achieving goals for human health, education, and social and economic well-being in developing countries.
"It is my and Alta's hope that the Barer Institute for Law and Global Human Services will provide legal roadmaps for the establishment of enforceable duties and the resultant enjoyment of rights for the receipt of basic health care, educational and economic opportunity wherever those problems are most pressing in the globe," said Stan Barer. "It is a lofty goal but one that is close to our hearts and can no longer only be addressed by medicine and science."
"Stan and Alta Barer have tremendous vision in establishing the Institute and are seeking to fill a gap in the world of human services -- using the law as a tool in addition to fields such as science and medicine," said Singh. "Lawyers at the Institute will complement the important work that is currently being conducted by many divisions of UW as well as the greater Seattle community. It is a privilege for me to be able to join in these crucial efforts to advance humanitarian causes."
UW Law Clinic Reverses Rape Conviction
(l to r) Felix Gavi Luna '97, Bradford's attorney, Ted Bradford, and Associate Professor Jackie McMurtrie, director of the Innocence Project Northwest Clinic
A 14-year nightmare ended Thursday, February 11 for Yakima resident Ted Bradford when a jury declared him not guilty of first-degree rape and burglary, the first case in Washington state history to win a new trial based solely on new DNA evidence. Students, faculty, staff, and volunteer attorneys with the UW School of Law Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) have worked on Bradford's case for conviction reversal for almost eight years.
On September 29, 1995, a woman in Yakima was raped in her own home around 9 a.m. Although Bradford was at work from 6 AM - 2:30 PM, a clerical error at the mill he worked for had him marked "absent" that day. Six months later, Bradford was arrested on an unrelated charge of indecent exposure. The victim never identified Bradford as her attacker, but a neighbor claimed to have seen Ted Bradford driving in the neighborhood sometime prior to the rape. Bradford confessed to the crime, but later he professed his innocence, saying that his confession came after nine hours of police interrogation. In 1996 Bradford was tried and convicted for a rape and burglary, based on his confession.
While he served his full prison sentence of nine years, Bradford maintained his innocence. His sister-in-law contacted the IPNW, a clinical law program at the UW that works with wrongfully convicted inmates in Washington state. In 2007, Bradford's criminal conviction was reversed by the state court of appeals based on DNA testing not available at the time of his conviction. The ruling sent the case back to Yakima County Superior Court.
In 2008, Yakima County prosecutors refiled charges against Ted Bradford, choosing his confession over the DNA evidence. While Bradford had already served his sentence, a conviction in the refiled charges would have meant Bradford would be forced to register as a sex offender. On Thursday, February 11, 2010, after deliberating for less than five hours, a jury found Bradford not guilty of the first-degree rape and burglary. Felix Gavi Luna '97, an attorney with Peterson Young & Putra and volunteer attorney with IPNW, has been Bradford's trial attorney.
"We believed in Ted's innocence all along," said Luna.
Law school clinics like IPNW provide students with law-school credit while they represent real clients. Through the UW School of Law Clinical law programs 11 clinics, students represent clients in a wide range of contested legal proceedings, mediate cases, draft legislation, educate high school students about law, and provide legal research for budding entrepreneurs.
"Our law students provide thousands of hours of service each year, typically to individuals who would not otherwise have legal representation. I estimate the value of those services at $1.5 million per year," said Debbie Maranville, a law professor and director of the clinical law program at UW. "Aside from providing unique hands-on law practice experiences for over 100 law students each year, our clinics have generated more than 5,500 case files in the past six years."
Over the nine years that Bradford's case had been with IPNW, a cadre of law students in the clinic worked on Bradford's case, including:
- Anne Beardsley '01, the first to correspond with Bradford and his family
- Steven Masada '04 and Patrick Trompeter '04 worked on Bradford's first request for post-conviction DNA testing in 2002
- Matt Ficcaglia '06 and Theresa Connor '06 wrote the briefs that persuaded the Court of Appeals to order an evidentiary hearing in the case
- Mindy Ater Carr '08 and Ashley Payne '08 researched and edited the supplemental brief for Bradford's hearing
- Wesley Hottot '08 and Karin Rogers '09 wrote the brief in opposition to the state's motion for discretionary review
- Jon Ackley '10, La Rond Baker '10, Vanessa Hernandez '09, Lilia Lim '09, Rebecca Magee '10, Kelly Pfundheller '10, Roxana Rezai '09, Todd Williams '10, and Hania Younis '09 worked on Bradford's case in preparation for trial.
Update on Law School Leadership Changes
Associate Deans Peter Nicolas and Steve Calandrillo will return to the faculty full-time July 1.
Professor Sam Donaldson, director of the Graduate Program in Taxation, will serve as the next Associate Dean for Academic Administration, effective July 1. UW School of Law Dean Kellye Y. Testy said that she has determined that the law school will be best served at this time by having one rather than two associate deans from the faculty.
Professor Scott Schumacher will step up as the next director of the law school Graduate Program in Taxation.
There has also been a transition in leadership in the newly established Law, Technology & Arts Group. To lead LTA through its next phase of development, Professor Bob Gomulkiewicz has agreed to step up as the group's faculty director. He will continue to direct the Intellectual Property Law and Policy Graduate Program.
Professor Sean O'Connor, who previously led LTA, will step up to serve as the leader of the law school's business and corporate law initiatives.
"Sean is perfectly positioned to help us develop this program as one that is synergistic with the strong entrepreneurial direction of business in this region," said Testy.
Despite a challenging job market, the Center for Career Planning and Public Service reports that 98% of the Class of 2009 who were seeking employment have found jobs as of February 2010:
Whether you are a recent graduate or have been in the workforce for a while, the law school's Career Center is available to all alumni. Knowledgeable staff can help you build your professional resume and increase your connections within the legal community. Career coaches are available to meet with alumni, provide resume and cover letter review, and to conduct mock interviews.
If you are established in your career, you might consider offering your connections and expertise to our students and recent graduates. Students benefit from working with alumni as they seek employment. Your advice and suggestions may open doors as students navigate the job market. Through networking events, law school alumni meet with students to discuss topics such as government employment, finding a summer externship, navigating the world of private practice, public interest law, working overseas, and networking opportunities.
2010 Law Firm Annual Challenge Spotlights Dean Testy
The fourth year of the Law Firm Annual Challenge (LFAC) is in full swing, with Dean Kellye Y. Testy and nine dedicated LFAC volunteers visiting more than 30 law firms throughout the state of Washington, charged with continuing to improve alumni giving and the law school's involvement and outreach with the legal community.
In 2009, LFAC contributions totaled more than $130,000 for the law school with a 31% participation of alumni in LFAC firms. Peterson Young and Putra finished the challenge in first place with a 80% alumni participation rate, the top participation rate of all LFAC firms.