In this issue:
2007 Graduation Illuminates Extraordinary Achievements
On May 12, in ceremonies that featured the on-stage participation of University of Idaho President Timothy White, Provost Douglas Baker, and Registrar Nancy Krogh, the law school community and an audience of approximately 800 persons extended their congratulations to 105 members of the Class of ’07, some of whom had graduated in December. Members of the graduating class who had performed pro bono service in their third year, during the transitional phase of the College’s new universal service program, wore special cords as part of their academic apparel.
Distinguished retiring faculty
The graduation ceremony, which filled the UI Student Union Ballroom, began with a special introduction and expression of gratitude to retiring faculty members, Dennis Colson and Craig Lewis, both of whom joined the faculty in 1975.
Professor Colson has devoted his academic career to teaching state constitutional law, Indian law, contracts, and other subjects. He is a widely recognized authority and consultant on the Nez Perce treaties as well as on state constitutional history. His treatise, Idaho’s Constitution: The Tie That Binds, is a landmark work of scholarship. He is also well known for his monographs on William H. Clagett, who presided over the Idaho state constitutional convention, and in whose character Professor Colson has delivered speeches to audiences including the Idaho legislature. The Class of ’07, with support from the College of Law, has established a student scholarship in Professor Colson’s name.
Professor Lewis has pursued an academic career emphasizing trial practice. His teaching has included civil procedure, evidence, and remedies for wrongful convictions, as well as coaching the College’s mock trial competition team. He was a moving force in the establishment of the College’s clinical program. He has connected the College to the legal profession and the judiciary through his statewide committee service and his much-acclaimed continuing legal education programs. Upon recommendation by the Class of ’07, the College has named its intramural mock trial competition, and a student advocacy award, for Professor Lewis.
The commencement address featured Deborah Leff, President of the Public Welfare Foundation, past Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and former CEO of America’s Second Harvest -- the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. Ms. Leff, an honors graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School, urged the Class of ’07 to make time for public service, and she congratulated law students from Idaho and elsewhere who donated time to helping victims of Hurricane Katrina. She recalled that she had been invited to address the College of Law graduation in 2003, but had been forced to cancel while she battled a life-threatening illness. In an emotional moment, she held aloft a personally signed get-well message she had received from University of Idaho law students four years ago, saying it contributed to her recovery and created a feeling of special affection for Idaho.
The College recognized two distinguished alumni for outstanding contributions to the legal profession:
Lucinda (“Cindy”) Weiss (Class of ’73), corporate counsel and executive of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for nearly three decades, received the Faculty Award of Legal Merit. One of Idaho’s “first fifty” women admitted to the practice of law, Cindy was elected Bonner County prosecutor fresh out of law school, making her, at age 24, one of the few women and one of the youngest individuals to serve as an elected prosecutor in the United States. When she entered the corporate world, she became the first woman appointed to head the law department of a major Goodyear subsidiary. She later served as Goodyear’s ethics counsel and headed the company’s international ethics/compliance program. Residing in Akron, Ohio, she is a co-founder and past president of Women’s Initiatives in Leadership, mentoring and promoting women in professional careers throughout the corporate world.
John Thornton, also a member of the Class of ’73, received recognition in the law graduation ceremony for his induction this year into the University of Idaho Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame. Representing less than one-half of one percent of the University’s alumni, the Hall of Fame is composed of alumni who have achieved distinction through their accomplishments or leadership. Residing in Boise, John has developed a regional law practice devoted to estate and tax planning, and wealth management. He has helped clients in many states attain family and philanthropic goals, and he has provided a leadership example through his own extensive philanthropy and civic engagement.
Pele Peacock, President of the Student Bar Association in 2006-07, delivered the student remarks, noting how rapidly time had passed in law school and how the students and faculty had formed a close community. After revisiting serious and humorous highlights of the law school experience, she challenged the Class of ’07 to pursue lifetimes of professional responsibility and unselfish service to others.
Faculty and student awards
The faculty-established “Award of Legal Achievement,” earned by the graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average in the most recently graded academic term, was presented to Kara Marie Gleckler of Helena, Montana. The graduating class conferred the “Peter E. Heiser Award for Excellence in Teaching” upon Professor Dennis Colson, and the “outstanding faculty service award” to Professor/Associate Dean Richard Seamon. The graduates also bestowed the “spirit of the class” award upon Chris Christensen, of Caldwell, Idaho, and the “outstanding student service award” upon Pele Peacock, who has family ties in Phoenix, Arizona, and Kellogg, Idaho.
Northwest Institute Attracts Large Gathering for Mediation Training
Forty judges, lawyers and other professionals from Idaho and Washington, together with 28 law students from the College of Law, gathered in Moscow on May 14-18 for the eleventh annual Northwest Institute for Dispute Resolution. The Institute, founded and directed by Professor Maureen Laflin, is devoted to enhancing the expertise of mediators as well as practitioners representing clients in mediation and other non-litigation methods of resolving conflicts. This year’s Institute provided training in basic and advanced civil mediation as well as basic family mediation. The Institute featured a nationally recognized faculty, including Bob Collins, founder of The New York Mediation Group and recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Ackerman Institute for the Family; Kimberlee Kovach, of Austin Texas, past chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, and author of leading publications in the field; Professor Lela Love, Director of the Mediation Clinic and of the Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City; and Professor Joseph (Josh) Stulberg, director of the Comprehensive Program on Dispute Resolution, and a former vice president of the American Arbitration Association. Further information about the Northwest Institute is available from Professor Laflin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Faculty Member Earns Tenure
Upon unanimous recommendation of the law faculty and dean, Associate Professor Russell A. Miller has been approved for tenure by the Provost and President of the University. The personnel action will become effective in the 2007-08 academic year. Professor Miller’s teaching includes public international law, constitutional law, and criminal procedure. He is a co-founder of the University of Idaho International Law Symposium and of the German Law Journal: Review of Developments in German, European, and International Jurisprudence. Further information about international law at the University of Idaho is available from Professor Miller.