Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nearing the End of a Very Busy Semester

As we complete our last week of fall classes, it is hard to believe that the semester is over. We packed so much into it - the time flew by.

Here are some of the highlights:

We started out the semester with a visit from Professor Neil Hamilton who taught a one week condensed course, Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture. Professor Hamilton's forward-looking and progressive view of our food system and the future of agriculture always spurs thoughtful discussion.

Our regular semester classes followed - with Professor Christopher Kelley teaching Government Regulation of Agriculture and me teaching Agricultural Finance & Credit, Advanced Agricultural Law Research, and Food Law & Policy.

We were pleased to add a new adjunct professor to our ranks - Vince Chadick, J.D., LL.M., University of Arkansas. Professor Chadick, who practices Agricultural Law with the Bassett Law Firm here in Fayetteville taught Livestock Marketing and Sales and was a great addition to our faculty.

James Baarda, J.D., Ph.D. visited in September, teaching his Agricultural Cooperatives course. Dr. Baarda works with the USDA in Washington, D.C., and is well known for his cooperative law expertise. The LL.M. candidates were not only attentive students, but great hosts, organizing a fantastic pot luck luncheon for him.

And, speaking of luncheon's, this year's class also hosted the first of what may have to become an annual tradition - a luncheon in honor of our law school Dean, Dean Cyndi Nance, and her Associate Deans, Professors Lonnie Beard and Judith Kilpatrick. We prepared home-cooked and local foods for the occasion. Dean Nance's administration has been so supportive of our agricultural law efforts - it was a pleasure to thank them with a "real food" meal.

Mid-semester, many of us attended the International Law conference at Drake Law School in Des Moines. And, right after that, a group of us flew to San Diego to attend the Annual Educational Symposium of the American Agricultural Law Association. Great networking opportunities were available at each conference, and the real-world information from the conferences was invaluable.

During the last month of classes, Professor Kelley taught a new course, Selected Issues in International Agriculture; the LL.M. candidates worked diligently to get started on their thesis research; and, we enjoyed particularly beautiful fall weather in the Ozarks. Great hiking weather, pretty fall colors, and that clear blue sky . . .

Tomorrow is the last day of fall classes. A week or so of finals, and then everyone takes a well deserved break. More next time about the exciting things happening during that "break"!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Introducing Some of Our 2007-2008 LL.M. Candidates

It is with great pleasure that I post information about some of our LL.M. candidates this year. I am sure that you will agree that they are an impressive group -

Irina Feofanova
Specialist in Law, Interpreter in Professional Sphere (supplementary specialization), with honors, Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University, Russia

Law school activities: CIRP Summer School "Wider Europe Without Dividing Lines"; St. Petersburg Summer Law Program; Winter Academy (Center for European Security Studies); Visiting scholar, University of Arkansas School of Law; Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University team, Jessup Moot Court Competition; English tutor

Professional experience: Legal associate, JurService, Ltd., Legal consultant, Legal Clinic "Center of Legal Help for Indigent Population," Attorney, Construction firm, "Company NB," Ltd.

Eric Foy
B.S. Business Management, Brigham Young University
J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law

Law school activities: Member of the American Indian Law Review; American Jurisprudence Award: Professional Responsibility; Recipient of the Phillips Allen Porta Legal Ethics Memorial Scholarship; President of the OK College of Law Federalist Society, Vice President of the J. Rueben Clark Law Society

Professional experience: Judicial clerkship, the Honorable Justice Yvonne Kauger, Supreme Court of Oklahoma; Legal Assistant, Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office; Licensed to practice law in Oklahoma.

Benjamin Lewis
B.S. History, magna cum laude, Troy State University
J.D., Faulker University Jones School of Law

Law school activities: Intern, Legal and Political Affairs Div., Alabama Dep't of Agric. and Industries

Professional experience: Member of the Alabama state legislature (elected Nov. 2006), with appointments to the Agric. & Forestry Committee and the Public Safety Committee; Appointed to the Alabama Law Institute by Governor Bob Riley; Associate attorney with Lewis and Wadsworth, LLC; Licensed to practice law in Alabama and Florida

Agricultural experience: Active in family dairy farm operation.

Cara McCarthy
B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science/Environmental Policy, Michigan State University
J.D. ,Wayne State University Law School

Law school activities: Vice President, Environmental Law Society; Attended Environmental Law Summer Sessions at the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School

Professional experience: AmeriCorps Member (working with at-risk youth); Member of the Board of Directors for the Great Lakes Bioregional Land Conservancy and the Pleasant Lake Improvement Association; Law clerk, Children and Youth Services Div. Mich. Att'y General's Office; Legislative Fellow, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (Washington, D.C.; 2007 Farm Bill work).

Agricultural experience: work with Community Supported Agriculture at Three Roods Farm, CSA and Growing In Place Community Farm.

Shannon Mirus
B.S. Agricultural Business, magna cum laude, University of Arkansas
J.D., cum laude, University of Arkansas School of Law

Law School activities: Articles editor, Journal of Food Law & Policy; Judicial extern, Judge Xollie Duncan; Legislative intern, Senator Mark Pryor

Professional experience: Secretary, Board of Directors, Arkansas Women in Agriculture, Inc.; Preparation of publications for University of Arkansas – Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service; Research and writing assistance, Federal Laws Food Safety Project, Legal Research Network, Los Angeles, CA; Research and writing assistance, Workbook for Small and Very Small Processing Plants Regarding Legal Aspects of Sampling and Statistical Analysis Requirements under HACCP, Winrock Project; Contributing Writer for Ozarks Farm & Neighbor; Research Assistant, Professor Jennie Popp; Legal clerk and Teaching Assistant, Assistant Professor, Janie Hipp; Licensed to practice law in the state of Arkansas.

Elizabeth Springsteen
B.A. Political Science/Pre-Law, Michigan State University (active competitor, president, and captain of the MSU Mock Trial team)
J.D., cum laude, University of Toledo College of Law

Law school activities: Semi-finalist, Fornoff Appellate Advocacy Competition; Finalist, National Arbitration Competition; Highest rank - Criminal Procedure Adjudication & Trial Practice; Coach of the Ida High School Mock Trial Team; assisted Michigan State University mock trial team

Professional experience: Intern, Magistrate Judge Virginia M. Morgan, U.S. Dist. Ct, E.D. Mich.; Legal intern, Michigan prosecutors' offices (Monroe and Lenawee counties); Legal intern, U.S. Attorney's Office, Toledo Ohio; Legal intern, Hon. David A. Katz, N.D. Ohio; Law clerk, Cosme, D'Angelo and Szollosi, Toledo, Ohio. Licensed in Ohio

Agricultural experience: raised on a eight-generational centennial farm in Michigan; assisted with family farming operation involving the direct marketing of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

K.C. Tucker
B.A. Drama/Political Science, Colorado College
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Law school activities: President and Fundraising chair, Women’s Law Student Association; President, HLA Hart Society; Wal-Mart Corporate Legal Extern program (International Legal Department), Dean's Award for contribution through service to the law school community

Professional experience: Law clerk, Bassett Law firm, Ass’t Director of Dev’t, Alumni Director, and Teacher, Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences; Artist-in-Residence, Northwest Asian-American Theatre; Office Coordinator, Affiliated Mental Health Programs; Licensed to practice in Arkansas; Will assume Associate position with the Bassett Law firm upon completion of the program.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dean Jim Chen Visits the LL.M. Program

On November 1, Dean Jim Chen, visiting as part of our Day with a Dean program delivered a lecture in our Food Law and Policy course based on his article, Beyond Food and Evil.

In this article, and in his presentation, Dean Chen discussed the tensions between the FDA acting under its authority pursuant to the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act and the USDA acting under its authority pursuant to the Organic Foods Production Act. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are at the heart of this tension.

Dean Chen also addressed the Agricultural Finance & Credit class, presenting his article, Around the World in Eighty Centileters. In this article, and in Dean Chen's lecture, he discussed the interplay of trade, taxation (particularly through regulation and subsidy), and social justice. He used the typical North American coffee service, a carafe of coffee with cream and sugar on the side, to illustrate his analysis and to pointedly criticize certain aspects of U.S. farm policy.

Dean Chen's visit characterized the complex and controversial aspects of issues related to food and agriculture, and his analysis produced many good after-class discussions.

International Law Symposium

The month of October was a particular busy month for faculty and candidates of the LL.M. Program. After completing the condensed course in Crop Insurance and Disaster Assistance, the LL.M. candidates had a week of regular classes, followed by a road trip to Des Moines, Iowa to attend the International Agricultural Law Symposium sponsored by the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University School of Law. The symposium, created and organized by Professor Neil Hamilton, provided an international perspective on the topic, The Role of Law in Promoting Sustainable Farming and Rural Development. The LL.M. Candidates attended the symposium as the special guests of Professor Hamilton, and the Graduate Program in Agricultural Law and the National Center for Agricultural Law served as co-sponsors.

The conference brought together an amazing group of agricultural law scholars and experts from eleven different countries. Included among the distinguished speakers were several alumni of the LL.M. program, including:

Domenico Viti is a Professor of Law at University of Foggia, Italy and this fall was the Lorvellec Visiting International Scholar at Drake University Law School. Professor Viti spoke about rural development and multifunctionality in Italy through the lens of his wife's experience in establishing a farm business in her family's historic masseria. Masseria Pilapalucci is a founding member of the Praesidium of Slow Food and business activities include organic olive oil and almond sales, agritourism opportunities, rental of the historic buildings for conferences and holidays, and will soon include a bed & breakfast and restaurant.

Bhargavi Motukuri, policy coordinator, International Network of Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), New Delhi, India. Bhargavi prepares fundraising proposals and produces policy papers for INBAR promoting bamboo as a sustainable product. Products that can be generated from bamboo include charcoal, pellets, furniture, and housing. Bhargavi spoke on the topic of Legal and Regulatory Impediments for Sustainable Growth of the Bamboo Sector: A Case Study of an Indian Grassroots Scenario.

There was a special International Workshop Banquet to Honor the memory of another LL.M. program alumnus, the honorable and much loved Professor Louis Lorvellec (1946-2001), University of Nantes, France. His wife Soizic Lorvellec was the guest of honor.