Previous Symposia

Missouri Symposium on Felon Disenfranchisement

April 12, 2019
The Missouri Law Review and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, with support from the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, the University of Missouri Departments of History, Human and Environmental Science, and Political Science, and the University of Missouri Office for Civil Rights and Title IX, are pleased to announce the 2019 Symposium on Felon Disenfranchisement.

Protecting the Public While Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship: First Principles for Optimal Regulation

February 8, 2019
In modern, complex society, governmental restrictions on private conduct, beyond those imposed by the common law, are necessary and appropriate for protecting people and fostering social welfare. Yet, government regulation often stifles innovation and entrepreneurship and is frequently co-opted by incumbent firms to hinder competition that could benefit consumers. What substantive principles should guide policymakers as they craft rules to protect the public? And what institutional structures should constrain the process of regulating?
In this symposium, hosted by the law school’s Center for Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship and Business, Entrepreneurship, and Tax Law Review, a distinguished group of panelists will consider both substantive principles for regulating effectively in particular areas (e.g., financial markets, telecommunications, prescription drugs, network technologies) and broader procedural questions about how regulations should be crafted.

Family Violence: Multidisciplinary Solutions to Abuse

November 14, 2018
The Family Violence Clinic and the Women’s Law Association at the University of Missouri School of Law are pleased to announce three roundtable discussions on contemporary theories addressing family violence.
The purpose of these discussions is to explore multidisciplinary, evidence-based solutions to abuse because only broad-based, data-driven approaches can adequately respond to family violence.

Finding Footing in a Changing Landscape: The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017

November 9, 2018
Since its inception in 2014, the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic has directly assisted 70 veteran clients and referred many other veterans to other accredited attorneys or the Missouri Veterans Commission.
Each semester students, under the supervision of Angela Drake and Brent Filbert, review veterans’ military records and disability files, track down witness statements and work with doctors to secure medical opinions.
The clinic hosts an annual symposium focused on the issues facing today’s veterans, including traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scene Change: Innovation in Media and Entertainment Law

March 1, 2018
In the last three decades, there has been a tremendous amount of change in the way in which media and entertainment companies do business. Business models are changing ever more rapidly. Courts, legislatures and lawyers struggle to fashion legal rules to address these changing realities. This symposium brings together scholars, lawyers and entrepreneurs to discuss the business and legal implications of these changes.
What constitutes a media organization in today’s landscape? What are the rights and liabilities of individuals and corporations related to speech on global social networks? What new developments have occurred related to music streaming? How can we gain a cultural understanding of stock scenes and characters? These and other related topics will be the focus of this year’s symposium hosted by the University of Missouri School of Law’s Center for Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship, and its Business, Entrepreneurship & Tax Law Review.
The symposium concludes with a keynote address by Jim Spencer, the founder, former CEO and chairman of Newsy, an online video news site now owned by E.W. Scripps Company. Mr. Spencer will give an entrepreneurial perspective on modern media.

The First Amendment on Campus: Identifying Principles for Best Practices for Managing and Resolving Disputes

October 27, 2017
Although the free exchange of ideas is fundamental to every university’s mission, events on many of our nation’s campuses in recent years vividly demonstrate that operationalizing this principle in a university community presents enormous challenges.
The purpose of this symposium is to explore the complex intersection between free expression and conflict at universities. By bringing together free speech scholars, dispute resolution experts, and university leaders with experience with free expression conflict, we hope to advance our understanding of how university leaders can remain true to both the mission of the university and the values of the First Amendment.

Modern Warfare: Challenges Arising from the Gulf War and the War on Terror

November 10, 2017
The Gulf War (codenamed Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm) commenced on August 2, 1990, and concluded on February 28, 1991. Coalition forces from 35 countries were led by the United States, in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. During this time, the United States listed Iraq as a State sponsor of terrorism. 776 Coalition members were injured in the Gulf War; 145 Americans died. Many who served are disabled by previously unrecognized causes, such as burn pits, and suffer from diseases of unknown etiology, now called “Gulf War Illness.”
This year’s annual Veterans Clinic Symposium is dedicated to learning more about the challenges affecting those who served in the Gulf War and the War on Terror.

Implementing and Interpreting the Defend Trade Secrets Act

March 10, 2017
In a one-day conference, a symposium hosted by the Center for Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship and the Business, Entrepreneurship & Tax Law Review will explore the new Defend Trade Secrets Act, its origin, implementation and potential fallout. Many of the nation’s leading experts on trade secrecy law will join us in Columbia, Mo., for a high-level but practical discussion of these and many more issues.
Our dynamic keynote speaker, Professor Orly Lobel, is the Don Weckstein Professor of Labor and Employment Law at the University of San Diego School of Law. Her most recent book, Talent Wants to Be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free-Riding, was published by Yale University Press.

Works-in-Progress Conference: Issues in International Dispute Resolution

February 2-3, 2017
The Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law and the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Dispute Resolution and Midwest Interest Groups are pleased to announce a works-in-progress conference and student writing competition focusing on international dispute resolution.
The works-in-progress conference will take place on February 2 and 3, 2017, at the University of Missouri School of Law. The purpose of the conference is to help authors develop draft articles for publication, so authors will be required to submit a working draft before the conference takes place. Papers will be circulated in advance of the session, and all participants will be expected to provide detailed feedback on a limited number of other papers.

Traumatic Brain Injury 2.0: The Science, Treatment and Legal Considerations Behind One of Our Nation’s Most Pressing Issues

November 11, 2016
The Veterans Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Law is pleased to present its third annual symposium focusing on the legal and practical issues arising from traumatic brain injury, a very real concern for not only our nation’s athletes, but also for those who serve in our military.
This event will feature veterans who have lived through improvised explosive device (IED) explosions and other concussive events. Authoritative doctors will address the therapeutic and medical dynamics present in TBI cases. Experienced attorneys will address securing the best results for clients with TBI in order to assure the veterans’ receipt of maximum benefits.

The World According to Star Wars

October 21, 2016
Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.
In rich detail, Sunstein tells the story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and explores why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines a bright new light on the most beloved story of our time.

Evaluating Nudge: A Decade of Libertarian Paternalism

October 21, 2016
More than a decade ago, Professors Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler answered that question by proposing a regulatory approach they called “libertarian paternalism.” Under that approach, policy makers would harness the insights of behavioral economists and cognitive psychologists and craft “choice architecture” that “nudges” people toward “good” decisions, the choices they would make were they not afflicted with cognitive and volitional frailties.
Evaluating Nudge: A Decade of Libertarian Paternalism will bring together leading scholars in the fields of law, economics and psychology to assess how the libertarian paternalist approach is faring. In addition to a keynote address by Professor Sunstein, the symposium will feature presentations by nine scholars — some nudge enthusiasts, some skeptics — who will address what is working and what is not, and how, if at all, the libertarian paternalist project should be tweaked going forward.

Moving Negotiation Theory from the Tower of Babel Toward a World of Mutual Understanding

October 7, 2016
Modern negotiation theory is overwhelming. There is a wide range of concepts, issues, perspectives, and applications from different disciplines with little consensus in the field. Speakers will analyze this and other problems with negotiation theory and suggest possible solutions.
The goal is to help clarify negotiation theory and thus make it more useful for scholars, faculty, students, and practitioners as well as people in their everyday negotiations. The symposium should be of interest to people just learning about negotiation for the first time as well as those seeking to deepen their knowledge of the field.

Price Sloan Symposium for Media, Ethics and Law

September 15-16, 2016
The University of Missouri School of Law and the Missouri School of Journalism are pleased to present a symposium on Free Speech on Campus, with a wide array of speakers offering a variety of perspectives on this important and timely topic. The symposium will begin with opening remarks by the Honorable Sylvester “Sly” James, Mayor of the City of Kansas City, and will include a keynote debate featuring nationally known media commentators Kirsten Powers and Sally Kohn. Speakers include law professors, journalism faculty, attorneys, social scientists and other commentators on media and culture. Panels will focus on legal issues related to free speech on campus, law and culture, social science perspectives and student press issues.
This symposium is approved for 6.0 hours of mandatory continuing legal education credit in the state of Missouri.

Should Ethical Rules Forbid Discrimination and Harassment in Law Practice?

April 4, 2016
Should states adopt an ethical rule forbidding lawyers in connection with law practice to knowingly discriminate or harass on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, marital status, disability, national origin or gender identity? The American Bar Association is currently debating whether to add such a statement to its Model Rules. The question is more challenging than it might first appear.
Among the issues are whether any such rule is needed, how to describe the forbidden conduct and whether such a rule would restrict effective advocacy, unduly interfere with legitimate practice choices or violate the First Amendment.

Patent & Trademark: Administrative Review Hearings & Symposium

March 1, 2016
Intellectual property litigation has transformed over recent years through the growing use of administrative review proceedings. This symposium, hosted by the University of Missouri Center for Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will provide an overview of the current patent and trademark review processes. Two panels will focus on strategy issues and policy concerns, and the experience will be capped by live hearings by the Patent and Trademark Trial and Appeal Boards.
The central importance of the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has risen greatly since passage of the America Invents Act of 2011 and creation of the new inter partes and post-grant review procedures. These review proceedings provide an alternative forum for third-parties (usually accused infringers) to challenge patent validity. The review trials are handled by three-member tribunals of administrative patent judges who have been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce after consideration of their training in both technology and the law. The review proceedings are now being challenged on a variety of procedural and constitutional grounds – with one case, Cuozzo v. Lee, to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this term.

“The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic”

March 22, 2016
The University of Missouri School of Law is pleased to host Professor Akhil Reed Amar as its James D. Ellis Distinguished Lawyer in Residence. Professor Amar will discuss his latest book, The Law of the Land, in which he argues that the U.S. Constitution looks slightly different in California than it does in Kansas. He will illustrate how geography, federalism and regionalism have influenced some of the biggest questions in American constitutional law, and how the U.S. Constitution also differs in Missouri.

A Future without The Administrative State?

March 3, 2016
Administrative law occupies a unique space in our republic. Dubbed the Fourth Branch, it wields unquestionable power and touches nearly every aspect of daily life. And yet its existence is not identified in our founding document, the Constitution. Now more than ever, the Supreme Court of the United States is questioning both the breadth of the administrative state and the deferential level of judicial review employed.
This symposium will explore three critical questions regarding the administrative state. First, does the administrative state represent a return to the prerogative power? Second, are there reasonable alternatives (or improvements) to Chevron deference? Third, what are the possible reform measures to the administrative state and do viable alternatives to the system exist?

Traumatic Brain Injury: Lessons Learned from Our Nation’s Athletes and Military

November 11, 2015
On May 19, 2005, the New England Journal of Medicine published Dr. Susan Okie’s article, “Traumatic Brain Injury in the War Zone,” which reported on the case of Sgt. David Emme, who was severely brain-injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) as part of a convoy transporting Iraqi volunteers for military training. Sgt. Emme was one of 450 service members treated at Walter Reed from 2003 to 2005 for traumatic brain injury (TBI). More than 30,000 service members suffer from TBI, with an estimated economic cost of $76.5 billion.
Kansas City Chiefs player Javon Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before killing himself on December 1, 2012. CNN reported that pathology reports found Belcher suffered from brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE was found in the brains of 87 of 91 deceased NFL players who donated their bodies for research, according to a study released on September 18, 2015. As explained by Dr. Ann McKee, one of the doctors involved in the study, this is not a matter of sensationalizing an issue to create controversy for football fans or the NFL, “this is a very real disease.”
Evidence of CTE has been found in the brains of veterans, just as it has been found in NFL players.
The Veterans Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Law is pleased to present its second annual symposium focusing on the legal and practical issues arising from traumatic brain injury, a very real concern for athletes and our military.

Beyond the FAA: Arbitration Procedure, Practice, and Policy in Historical Perspective

November 13, 2015
The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), enacted in 1925, provides a framework for how we think about and practice arbitration in the United States today. Yet, the FAA is relatively new on the horizon, historically speaking. Prior to the American Revolution, arbitration flourished not only in England, but also in the English colonies in North America, where customary English arbitration practice and procedure were adapted to local circumstances. Following the American Revolution, new American state legislatures passed arbitration statutes that often encouraged arbitration as a matter of public policy, while also codifying the procedures for its practice. Yet, these state statutes did not eliminate the customary systems of arbitration already in use. Neither did they replace arbitration as it was practiced by distinct groups, such as religious communities. As a result, disputants wishing to utilize arbitration could choose from a diverse array of arbitration procedures.

Policing, Protesting, and Perceptions: A Critical Examination of the Events in Ferguson

February 26-27, 2015
On Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. The city was catapulted into the public consciousness. Questions arose about the demographics of the city as well as the racial makeup of the Ferguson police force; about racial profiling and interactions between law enforcement and communities of color; about disentangling peaceful democratic expression and protests marred by violence and looting; and about the militarization of local law enforcement agencies. After months of continued protesting and a lack of closure for some following the no bill from the grand jury, many of these questions remain.
The issues are complex and require an examination not only of the present conduct of the various stakeholders but also the context that served as the backdrop to these events. From the Earl F. Nelson Lecture, delivered by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project, to the panels – perceptions, policing and protesting – the symposium has assembled a collection of scholars, practitioners, legal experts and social scientists to critically examine the numerous issues that have been raised from the events in Ferguson.

IP and the University: Issues for Academics, Entrepreneurs and Lawyers

March 13, 2015
The university community is a vast and diverse academic environment where many are authors, artists, innovators and budding entrepreneurs. These activities take members of the community headlong into the sometimes frustrating world of intellectual property. This day-long symposium, hosted by the University of Missouri School of Law’s new Center for Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship, will focus on intellectual property law issues faced by the university community. The goal is to foster a better understanding of the systems in place and to facilitate the proactive use of the relevant legal roles. Speakers include faculty members from the University of Missouri School of Law as well as lawyers, academic administrators and business leaders from across campus and the state.

PTSD and MST Issues in Veterans’ Disability Cases: New Developments

November 11, 2014
Last year, 22 veterans a day died from suicide: one every 65 minutes. Female veterans experienced an 11% increase in suicides in 2013. Military sexual trauma impacted over 20% of females in the service and 1% of males.
There is a problem. Time is of the essence in addressing the issue. For these reasons, the Veterans Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Law looks forward to bringing together a strong group of knowledgeable professionals to discuss their views of PTSD and how we can bring about changes to these statistics.

Judicial Education and the Art of Judging: From Myth to Methodology

October 9-10, 2014
Judges and the judicial process have long been scrutinized by lawyers and legal academics. As a result, a large and ever-increasing body of literature has developed on matters relating to judicial appointments, judicial independence, judicial policymaking and the like. However, there is an extremely limited amount of information on how an appointee learns to be a judge.
Conventional wisdom suggests that judges arrive on the bench already equipped with all the skills necessary to manage a courtroom and dispense justice fully, fairly and rapidly. However, social scientists have identified a demonstrable link between judicial education and judicial performance, which suggests it is vitally important to identify and improve on best practices in judicial education.

Environmental Law 4.0: Adaptive and Resilient

February 14, 2014
Environmental law in the United States has been continually evolving since the “first generation” of commandand- control regulatory statutes in the 1970s to the emerging fourth generation. This new generation of environmental law is under pressure to develop a framework that is more adaptive and resilient. Yet the institutional arrangements to protect the environment and manage natural resources generally have been unimodal (“one-sizefits- all”) and fragmented, resulting in a current framework that is ill-suited for today’s pressing environmental issues.

The Art, Craft, and Future of Legal Journalism: A Tribute to Anthony Lewis

January 31, 2014
Media coverage of the law and the courts is a cornerstone of democracy and the rule of law, but the balance is delicate.
The media provides the public oversight that assures the proper functioning of our governing institutions. It facilitates the dialogue that is necessary for democracy to evolve and grow. And it provides daily proof of the efficacy of the rule of law. It is for this reason that the media is sometimes considered The Fourth Estate.
Yet the factual and legal issues are often complex, arcane, and difficult to translate to popular audiences. Both legal and media institutions also operate under significant and often competing constraints. Legal processes are often slow, cumbersome, and highly nuanced, while the media must do its work in the face of enormous time, space, and other pressures. Other issues further complicate the task: contrasting institutional obligations; clashes of personality, ego, and ambition; politics that may be felt but are not immediately apparent; and the natural tension between the watcher and the watched.

Resolving IP Disputes: Calling for an Alternative Paradigm

October 4, 2013
Patents now pervade the American business culture and marketplace. The number of issued patents continues to increase as does the intensity of enforcement. Most new products and services are covered by one or more patents — only some of which are owned by the manufacturer or service provider.
Patents have the potential of serving as tools for business transactions — a legal mechanism for capturing and transferring the value of innovation while allowing the resulting information to be spread widely. However, patent enforcement through litigation is incredibly expensive and time consuming. Litigation costs regularly exceed $10 million in contested cases and lasts for years.

Promoting Sustainable Energy Through Tax Policy

April 5, 2013
Renewable energy and sustainable development are valuable means of combating climate change and of reducing the nation’s reliance on foreign energy sources. Recognizing the importance of sustainable energy, state and federal policymakers have employed aggressive tax incentive programs to stimulate unprecedented growth in wind energy, solar energy, biomass, green building, and related industries in recent years. Unfortunately, shortfalls in many state budgets and growing concerns about the national debt are now creating pressure for governments to extinguish these tax programs — a move that could bring progress in the nation’s fledgling sustainable energy sector to a grinding halt.

Bombshell or Baby Step?

March 8, 2013
Last year in Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Eighth Amendment prohibits mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles convicted of homicide.
This year’s Missouri Law Review Symposium will focus on constitutional, practical and policy matters, regarding juveniles and sentencing more generally, that now challenge courts, legislatures and attorneys in the opinion’s wake. On the constitutional front, in what ways are adult offenders who are subject to mandatory sentencing schemes asking lower courts to extend Miller, and how are those courts replying? The Miller opinion extends the Court’s “death is different” doctrine to mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles: should that doctrine, requiring individualized sentencing, apply in other contexts? How are state legislatures and Congress responding — and how should they respond — in designing sentencing procedures for juvenile homicide offenders? What special challenges will attorneys face when representing a juvenile in a life-without-parole sentencing trial? Morally, to what extent, if any, do recent discoveries in developmental psychology and neuroscience shed normative light for courts and legislatures on juvenile.

Overcoming Barriers in Preparing Law Students for Real-World Practice

October 19, 2012
There is a growing consensus that American law schools need to do a better job of preparing students to practice law. Teaching students to “think like a lawyer” is still important but it is not enough for students to be able to act like a lawyer soon after they graduate.
Training lawyers is especially difficult because lawyers work on many types of problems, both when handling disputes and negotiating transactions. Some legal disputes are resolved at trial or on appeal, but most are resolved through other processes in the “shadow of the law.” Although legal education has evolved in recent decades, the legacy of the Langdellian system makes it hard to combine instruction in legal doctrine, practical skills, and clinical experience.
Recognizing the general problems of legal education is fairly easy. Solving them can be quite hard. Law schools serve many constituencies that have demanding and diverse interests. Needed time and money are scarce and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Environmental Justice Issues in Sustainable Development

March 9, 2012
Renewable energy and sustainable development strategies are increasingly viewed as valuable tools for addressing climate change, thereby helping to protect vulnerable groups across the globe from flooding, famine and other possible catastrophes. At the same time, renewable energy and sustainable development themselves can sometimes raise environmental justice issues because of their potential adverse impacts on neighboring residents or certain socioeconomic groups.

Cyberbullying: Emerging Realities and Legal Challenges

February 9-10, 2012
As Internet usage among elementary and secondary school students skyrockets, so too have instances of cyberbullying, i.e. using online media to target and harass classmates. As schools adjust their policies to this new form of bullying (often by legislative command), important questions emerge: What are the effects of bullying, especially Internet-based bullying? How can schools best implement effective, appropriate regulation of cyberbullying in particular? Are legislation and the schools’ new cyberbullying policies constitutional? If not, can they be rewritten to satisfy constitutional requirements?

Evolving the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and its Patent Law Jurisprudence

February 25, 2011
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is approaching its 30th anniversary as the focal point of patent law policy in the United States. Many praise the Court for its role in unifying and strengthening patent law doctrine. Others challenge the Court’s formalism and argue that a doctrine-specific solitary circuit leads to systematic failures in the development of the law.
In many ways, the Court is operating in a power vacuum, with the U.S. Patent Office denied authority to substantively develop the law and Congress regularly withholding its guidance. Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has taken a more active role in deciding patent cases, but will that increased interest alter the jurisprudence of the Federal Circuit beyond the doctrinal holdings of the High Court?

Border Skirmishes: The Intersection Between Litigation and International Commercial Arbitration

October 21, 2011
Once upon a time, international commercial arbitration and litigation were considered mutually exclusive means of resolving transnational disputes. However, those days appear to be gone forever. Instead, the existence of an arbitration agreement in a transnational dispute seems to be nothing more than an invitation for lawyers to engage in extensive (and expensive) tactical maneuvering in a variety of venues, both arbitral and judicial.
Some may see creative strategizing as the natural by-product of the significant amounts of money that are often at issue in these sorts of disputes. However, the border skirmishes between international commercial arbitration and litigation can also be attributed to the uncertainty that arises when the substantive and procedural laws of different jurisdictions collide.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and The Rule of Law: Making the Connection

October 15, 2010
On the face of it, the Rule of Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution seem fundamentally at odds.
The Rule of Law, after all, compels the use of formal rules to decide disputes. ADR, on the other hand, calls for the resolution of disputes through processes that do not depend upon the application of formal rules, such as negotiation and mediation. The two could not seem to be farther apart.
But a closer look suggests that ADR and the Rule of Law are not mutually exclusive. Judicial and administrative dispute resolution programs are common throughout the state and federal courts and governments. Increasingly, too, ADR processes such as town halls, study circles, and citizen juries, are being used to facilitate community dialogue on a wide range of public issues, from neighborhood blight to national health care. Moreover, many of our most established ADR processes – arbitration, mediation, even negotiation – are dependent upon the law to secure such crucial functions as enforcement, confidentiality, and legitimacy.
So, just what is the relationship between the ADR and the Rule of Law? Are they simply incompatible? Can they be mutually supportive? What do we know about this relationship, and what do we need to fine out?
To date, little consideration has been given to such questions. It is time, now, to have that discussion. Domestically, judicial and administrative ADR programs have become institutionalized, but serious questions about their legitimacy remain. Internationally, promotion of the Rule of Law remains a hallmark of U.S. foreign policy, but implementation remains a challenge in the face of traditions of graft, corruption and violence. Can ADR help?
This symposium is a first-ever convening of scholars and practitioners from across the globe to consider this relationship more deeply.

Broke and Broken: Can We Fix Our State Indigent Defense Systems?

February 26, 2010
Across the country, systems for providing legal services to indigent criminal defendants are facing crises on a number of fronts. Stagnant or declining state appropriations are leading to oppressive caseloads for indigent defense systems. These caseloads, coupled with low compensation and difficult working conditions are driving lawyers out of the indigent defense system and into more lucrative and less stressful areas of practice. Indigent criminal defendants bear the true costs of these crises when they are represented by exhausted attorneys who are unable to adequately serve their clients.
While these challenges are well known, seldom have academics and practitioners gathered to discuss affordable yet effective solutions to the problems. The objectives of this symposium are to explore the causes of the crises facing state indigent defense systems, discuss potential solutions, and consider the impact of legal and ethical considerations on the systems.

The Creeping Legalism Labor Arbitration

October 9, 2009
As a method of dispute resolution, labor arbitration falls somewhere in between non-binding forms of dispute resolution and more formal dispute resolution processes. This “in-between” status has made it difficult at times for the participants in labor arbitration to decide what role the law and legally related constructs should play in labor arbitration.
For many years, practitioners and scholars intensively debated the extent to which labor arbitration was becoming too legalistic. While little attention was paid to this issue in the 1990s, recent developments have made the “creeping legalism” issue particularly relevant. First, the increased regulation of the employment relationship has placed labor arbitrators in a position to interpret issues of external law when deciding collective bargaining disputes. Second, the proliferation in the use of individual employee rights arbitration, which by nature is more legalistic, might have affected the practice of labor arbitration. To the extent that some of the same players participate in both, labor and employee rights arbitration, one would expect the legalistic character of individual employee rights arbitration to spillover to labor arbitration, and perhaps other forms of alternative dispute resolution. The recent United States Supreme Court’s decision in 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, which holds that a bargaining contract provision requiring employees to arbitrate age discrimination claims is enforceable and thus precludes later litigation of such claims, accentuates the importance of this issue.

Mulling over the Missouri Plan A Review of State Judicial Selection and Retention Systems

February 27, 2009
Increasingly politicians, academics, and attorneys passionately debate the systems of selecting and retaining state judges. The Missouri Plan was originally conceived and adopted by many states to eliminate, or at least reduce, the role of politics in judicial selection and decision-making. Yet, the recent debate has been almost entirely political and has led to new special interest groups, expensive media campaigns, and legislation promising reform.
The intention of “The Missouri Plan,” also known as a “merit selection plan,” is to provide for the selection of judges based on merit, rather than on political affiliation. Under the plan as applied in Missouri, a nonpartisan judicial commission made up of attorneys appointed by the bar, lay citizens appointed by the governor, and the Missouri Chief Justice, nominate a pool of judges from which the governor selects. Since its inception, the Missouri Plan has served as a national model for the selection of judges and has been adopted in various forms in more than 30 other states. As such, the debate over whether to preserve, repeal, or reform the Missouri Plan in its mother state will have national implications.

Collaborative Governance:The Future of Regulation: An Interdisciplinary and International Review

April 2-3, 2009
President Obama recently emphasized that government should be both participatory and collaborative. Collaboration, when properly executed, expands the information and insight that is available to agencies, and the focused deliberation can result in policies that would be difficult to achieve otherwise. The essence of collaboration is the bilateral nature of the discussions, with the agency engaging in a give and take, instead of simply informing itself to make the decision alone.
Collaboration can take many forms and be employed throughout the regulatory process: it might be a scoping session to develop the issues that need to be taken into account in a new rule; it might be a policy dialogue or roundtable in which the science or other important components are discussed; it might be recommendations to the agency concerning a proposed rule; or, indeed, the collaboration might be entirely within the private sector to establish a policy in lieu of mandatory regulation. While these are certainly helpful in informing the agency, they stop short of securing the ultimate benefit of collaboration: an actual agreement on the major provisions of a new policy.

Return to Missouri v. Holland A Symposium on Federalism & International Law

February 15-16, 2008
In the 1920 case Missouri v. Holland, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously declared, “We must consider what this country has become in considering what [the Tenth] Amendment has reserved.” The Supreme Court upheld the federal government’s ability to regulate, through exercise of the Treaty Power, activity that otherwise would be reserved to the states. During the era when the Court adopted an expansive view of Congress’ ability to regulate through the Commerce Clause, the import of Missouri v. Holland receded. But as the Court has increasingly cabined the scope of the Commerce Clause, and in a world where everything from the death penalty, to greenhouse gas emissions, to access to medical care has become the subject of multilateral treaty regimes, the ability of the federal government to invoke the Treaty Power in regulating the states is once again central to discussions of federalism in the United States.

A Festschrift in honor of Dale A. Whitman

April 13-14, 2007
In his long and distinguished career as a scholar, teacher, colleague, dean, AALS president and reporter for the Restatement of Property (Third) – Mortgages, Dale A. Whitman has made immeasurable contributions to law teaching, the legal profession and law reform. Please join the University of Missouri School of Law, and these distinguished property scholars, in celebrating Professor Whitman’s contributions through this conference exploring current topics in the law of property and real estate finance.

Innovative Models of Lawyering: Collaborative Law and Other Processes

October 12, 2007
The Center sponsored a symposium entitled “Innovative Models of Lawyering: Collaborative Law and Other Processes.” David Hoffman, the founding partner of the Boston Law Collaborative, LLC, and a former chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, gave the keynote presentation entitled, “Practicing Law as Form of Dispute Resolution: Towards a Unified Field Theory of ADR.” Prof. John Lande presented the results of his empirical study of Cooperative Practice in Wisconsin and Center Director Robert Bailey and Prof. Stephen Easton moderated discussions. Articles based on the presentations will be published in the Journal of Dispute Resolution, including an article by Lawrence P. McLellan (LLM ’06).

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Bankruptcy Reform

February 24-25, 2006
On April 20, 2005, President Bush signed into law the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, the most sweeping bankruptcy reform legislation to be passed by Congress in over a quarter of a century. This legislation has become the subject of contentious debate among academics, bankruptcy judges, and practitioners. Some argue that this reform legislation threatens to undermine the bankruptcy system itself. This symposium examines bankruptcy reform by gathering experts from various fields, including law, psychology, and the judiciary. Addressing topics ranging from the role of race in bankruptcy reform, to using social science research to test the assumptions underlying bankruptcy reform, to the impact of means testing on the bankruptcy system, the goal of this symposium is to afford greater insight into the future of bankruptcy.

Reflections on Judging: A Discussion Following the Release of the Blackmun Papers

February 25-26, 2005
This symposium examines the role of judges in our constitutional order and the factors that influence judicial decision-making by gathering experts in various fields, including law, political science, psychology and journalism, as well as members of the judiciary. Discussing topics ranging from Justice Blackmun’s legal legacy, to the public’s perception of the courts, to the role of politics, judgment and psychology in judicial decision making, the symposium hopes to provide greater insight into the act of judging.

Fear and Risk in Times of Democratic Crisis

February 20-21, 2004
The events of September 11, 2001, and the recent war with Iraq have sparked renewed interest in questions pertaining to decision-making in times of crisis, including issues such as the balance between security and liberty, executive authority and separation of powers, increased government secrecy and public health responses. Much of this renewed debate focuses on constitutional and democratic theory and doctrine without examining broader influences on the creation and application of those theories and doctrines. Specifically there has been minimal discussion of the effects of fear and risk perception on law in times of democratic or constitutional crisis. This symposium will bring together interdisciplinary perspectives from specialists in the fields of history, political science, psychology, and law and will explore social science perspectives on law during constitutional or democratic crises and engage in historical analyses of various crises or judicial responses to crises.