When Am I Supposed to Get Work Done?

In addition to everything else, there’s a ton of good seminars coming up in the law school and nearby on campus. For example:

  • An ethics seminar series on “Confidentiality and the Professions” being presented by visiting scholar Ronald Goldfarb, starting Thursday, and being held both at the Coral Gables campus and the medical school.
  • “Dreaming of Democracy,” a symposium in honor of my colleague D. Marvin Jones’s recent book: Race, Sex, and Suspicion: the Myth of the Black Male (Praeger 2005), Friday, Feb. 17, from 2-5pm in the law school, room E352.
  • A Symposium on “Wrongful Convictions: Psychological and Legal Issues” on Friday, Feb. 24, starting at 1pm in the law school, room E352.

More information about these seminars:

Confidentiality and the Professions

The University of Miami Ethics Programs’ “Confidentiality and the Professions” is a university-wide seminar series featuring Distinguished Visiting Scholar Ronald Goldfarb, a Washington, D.C. attorney and author who served in the 1960s as a member of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice. The series, which is open to the University community and the public, will address issues in law, medicine, pastoral care, journalism, information technology, and other professions.

A series of eight seminars will be held on Thursdays at 3 p.m. on February 9 and 23, and March 9 and 23 on the Coral Gables campus, Department of Philosophy conference room on the seventh floor of the Ashe Building; and February 16 and March 2, 16 and 30 on the medical campus, Mailman Center, Room 5003.

Dreaming of Democracy

In the 2000 election thousands of qualified voters, in overwhelming disproportion blacks, were disenfranchised because the Secretary of State mislabeled them as “ex-felons.”

In January 2005, Ward Connerly obtained all the signatures necessary to place on the ballot a referendum ending affirmative action in the State of Michigan. It is expected to pass. An underlying theme in this debate is the argument, articulated by THE BELL CURVE, by Sander and others, that blacks are inferior academically and are lowering standards. Thus, they argue in effect the stereotypes are true.

In a similar vein in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, black survivors of the storm, perhaps searching for food and clothing, were portrayed as looters by at least one Southern governor.

These events thematize a stubborn tension: blacks still continue to suffer from invisibility and marginalization in the midst of progress. The Supreme Court and many state legislatures nonetheless pursue policies of color-blindness, arguing that the playing field has been leveled, that race no longer is relevant. In his recent book, Professor Jones deals powerfully with this duality or conflict between the notion of formal equality and the lived experience of African-Americans.

To address these timely issues, The University of Miami School of Law has convened a panel of nationally renowned legal scholars to discuss the topic of Race and Democracy, using the text of Professor Jones’ work as a backdrop for analysis, dialogue and debate.

Anyone interested in the emerging field of Critical Race Theory, the Constitutional and social issues raised by the 2000 election, the renewed attacks on affirmative action, the disparate treatment of the hurricane victims, or the future of civil and political rights for minorities and people of color in the 21st century should attend this symposium.

Panelists

Linda Greene, a California native, is Evjue-Bascom Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School where she teaches Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Legislation, and Civil and Constitutional Rights seminars. Professor Greene, a graduate of Berkeley Law School, is one of the founders of the Critical Race Theory Movement. She is the President-Emeritus of the Society of American Law Teachers and President of the Midwestern People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference.

Bryan Fair, Professor of Law at The University of Alabama Law School, received his B.A. from Duke University in 1982 and his J.D. from UCLA in 1985. He teaches Constitutional Law; Race, Racism, and the Law; Gender and the Law; and First Amendment. He writes primarily about race. He also served as an assistant vice president for academic affairs at the University from 1994 to 1997. He is the author of Notes of a Racial Caste Baby: Colorblindness and the End of Affirmative Action (NYU Press 1997).

Kenneth Nunn, Professor of Law at Levin College of Law, University of Florida, received his B.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. A former Associate Dean at the University of Florida School of Law, Professor Nunn has taught also at Makerere University in Kampala Uganda and at Washington and Lee School of Law. Professor Nunn has written numerous articles concerning the intersection of race and the criminal justice system.

Kathryn Russell-Brown is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Race at the University of Florida in Gainesville where she teaches the Sociology of Crime and Criminal Law. Ms. Brown holds a J.D. degree from the University of California at Hastings and a PhD from the University of California at Hastings.

Jeremy I. Levitt is Associate Professor of Law at Florida International University. Professor Levitt holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, St. John’s College and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Professor Levitt has written extensively including an acclaimed book entitled the Evolution of Deadly Conflict in Liberia: from Paternalism to State Collapse.

Professor Pat Gudridge
Presenter, Introductory Remarks

Professor Marnie Mahoney
Moderator

Professor Mario Barnes
Discussant

Professor Zanita E. Fenton
Discussant

Wrongful Convictions: Psychological and Legal Issues

Despite the protections built into the American criminal justice system, innocent people continue to be convicted for crimes that they did not commit. This result runs counter to our commitment to the principle that it is far better that ten guilty people go free than that one innocent person be convicted. What insights from science and psychology can help us to minimize the potential of wrongful convictions? What legal and professional ethics reforms are needed? This symposium addresses these issues.

Order of Program

Introduction
Bruce J. Winick, Professor of Law, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Director of the Institute on Law, Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Miami.

Reforming the Legal System to Minimize Wrongful Convictions
Janet Reno, Former U.S. Attorney General

The Psychology of Eyewitness Identifications: Implications for Criminal Law
Dr. Gary Wells, Iowa State University

Innocent on Death Row: an Odyssey of Injustice
Juan Melendez, Exonerated from Florida’s Death ‘Row on January 3, 2002

Professor Winick is the co-founder of a field of social inquiry known as Therapeutic Jurisprudence, and is the author of numerous books and articles, the latest of which is Civil Commitment: A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Model (2005). Additionally, he is the legal advisor of Psychology, Public Policy, & Law.

Symposium Panelists

Janet Reno is the former Attorney General of the United States, a position she held from 19932001. Appointed State Attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida for Miami Dade County in 1978, she was elected and re-elected to that position five times. She is the former Staff Director for the Florida House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Innocence Project.

Juan Melendez was sentenced to death in a Polk County, Florida ourtroom on Sept. 21, 1984, after being convicted of robbery and murder. Without any physical evidence implicating Juan, the prosecution’s case rested solely on the testimony of two questionable witnesses. Despite strong evidence of his innocence, the Florida Supreme Court upheld Juan’s conviction, on three occasions. Sixteen years after his conviction,, newly discovered evidence demonstrated that Juan was an innocent man. After 17 years on death row, he became the 24th person released from death row in Florida, and the 99th nationwide.

Dr. Gary Wells, Ph.D., holds the title of Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at Iowa State University. Dr. Wells is an internationally recognized scholar in scientific psychology and his studies on eyewitness memory are widely known and cited. He has authored over 150 articles and books. His research on eyewitness identification has been incorporated into standard textbooks in psychology and law. He has also served as an expert for the defense, prosecution and plaintiffs in criminal and civil cases across the United States and Canada. In 2004, Professor Wells was elected President of the American Psychology & Law Society.

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