Our College of Law faculty inform, inspire, and extend their expertise to constituencies beyond the classroom on a daily basis. 

This week's edition highlights recent accomplishments by Professor Sergio Puig, in the realm of international trade and business law, and Professor Rob Williams, who was appointed to the UA president's Senior Leadership Team last month.

Until the footnotes,
Professor Sergio Puig is Shaping Human Rights Reform Around the World

As director of the International Trade and Business Law program at University of Arizona Law, Professor Sergio Puig's (above, left) teaching and scholarship focus on topics including business and human rights. Beyond campus, his expertise on international law is being called on around the world.
Sergio recently served on a committee to draft the Mexican Constitutional Reform on Indigenous Peoples Rights, which intends to expand protection for and empower indigenous peoples in Mexico. He was also part of the drafting team of The Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration, a set of rules for resolving disputes where businesses are implicated in human rights abuses.
Sergio says the role of the 25-person committee drafting the Mexican Constitutional Reform on Indigenous Peoples Rights was to oversee the technical aspects of the consultations with Mexican tribal members (including in Los Angeles, CA) and to then propose a draft for the reform based on the input received from the 69 Mexican and transnational indigenous groups. 
"As a committee member, my main role involves ensuring that the reform is consistent and takes into account international law, including the economic rights of indigenous peoples."
He says the reform will not only help indigenous peoples, but he hopes it can contribute to the creation of a more equal society in his home country and a better culture of human rights compliance. 

"It is perhaps the most ambitious project to make equality a reality in Mexico by this administration." 
The reform will be presented by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the Congress in the coming months. 
Sergio was also tapped by the Center for International Legal Cooperation to be part of The Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration's Drafting Team, where members were selected to provide expertise from major regions in the world. 
The Hague Rules provide a set of procedures for the arbitration of disputes related to the impact of business activities on human rights and are based on the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, with important modifications to address issues likely to arise in this complex context. 
The drafting team solicited views from more than 200 individuals from various stakeholder groups, including business, non-governmental organizations, governments, international organizations, human rights lawyers, judges, arbitrators, practicing attorneys, academics, and others with expertise in human rights, arbitration, operation of supply chains, and other topics relevant to the elaboration of the Hague Rules. 
The feedback informed the Hague Rules, which took nearly two years to draft before being finalized and launched in December 2019 at the Peace Palace, the seat of the International Court of Justice. 
Of his work, Sergio says, 

"These reforms are shaping the way that we think about human rights and the mechanisms available to make violators accountable." 

Around the College

Robert Williams Named to UA President's Senior Leadership Team

This January, University of Arizona Law Regents Professor Robert A. Williams, Jr. joined the University of Arizona Senior Leadership Team, an advisory body to President Robert C. Robbins that helps steer university-wide strategy and decision making. 
The appointment to the Senior Leadership Team is in recognition of Rob's longstanding service to Native students, faculty, and communities. Williams leads the University of Arizona Strategic Plan's Native American Advancement and Tribal Engagement Initiative, centered at the College of Law.
As one of the founding faculty members of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program at University of Arizona Law, Rob has greatly increased the representation of Native and indigenous peoples within the practice of law and legal academia and has led a number of legal advocacy projects to protect the rights of indigenous communities across Arizona and around the world. 
He is joined as a recent addition to the Senior Leadership Team by Karen Francis-Begay, assistant vice provost, Native American Initiatives, who will focus on a number of university-wide initiatives to enhance support and programming for Native students and faculty initiatives. Rob says,
"I'm honored to be asked by President Robbins to serve on the Senior Leadership Team, and I look forward to working with leaders from across the university community to further support Native students and faculty and to enhance our relationships and service to Native communities across the state. I am also excited to see Karen Francis-Begay appointed to the Senior Leadership Team. We've worked together closely on the Native American Strategic Plan over the past two years, and no one on campus has done more to advocate for strengthening and enhancing Native-serving initiatives at the university than Karen." 

The Law College Association, in partnership with the UA Alumni Association, will recognize three outstanding alumni at the annual LCA Awards Celebration.
Friday, March 6, 2020
5 - 7:30 p.m. 
At the  College of Law

This year's honorees are:  Kathy Brody ('07), Hon. Cecilia Castellanos ('72), and Brett Dunkelman ('80).  Read full bios of the honorees here.

Thank you to current event sponsors:  Carmichael & Powell PC, DiMeo Schneider & Associates LLC,  Hollingsworth Kelly Law Firm, Gammage & Burnham PLC, and Snell & Wilmer LLP.

Contact:  Corrina Eklund, 520-621-7409.

Meet Up with Arizona Law at the Pac12 Basketball Tournament

Are you planning to be in Las Vegas for this year's Pac12 Men's Basketball Tournament, March 11-15?  Ariz ona Law would like to connect with you. Let us know you'll be there and we'll be in touch!  Just fill out the form at this link.  Hope to see you there!
University of Arizona alumni are also invited to a reception with President Robert C. Robbins and Athletic Director Dave Heeke on Thursday, March 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. at NoMad, hosted by the University of Arizona Foundation. Find out more here.

Open to Practicing Attorneys: "Taking and Defending Depositions" Short Course Begins March 20

For the third consecutive year, we are delighted to offer a weekend intensive course on "Taking and Defending Depositions" to the legal community. 

The course is designed by Professor and Director of Advocacy Barbara Bergman and delivered in a two-weekend intensive format with law students and practitioners. It is lively and interactive -- and we've received great feedback from practitioners.

March 20-22 and April 3-5
At the College of Law
As you know, deposition skills constitute a critical part of successful lawyering, yet attorneys at all stages of practice frequently say they would like more practice and feedback.
Professor and Director of Advocacy Barbara Bergman

In this class you will learn how to:
  • Effectively prepare your witnesses for their depositions;
  • Defend the deposition;
  • Deal with obstreperous counsel;
  • Get the answers within time constraints;
  • Optimize information from expert witnesses;
  • Test theories; and
  • Close off avenues of escape. 
We have reserved eight spaces for attorneys who might be interested in taking the class. The registration fee for attorneys is $1,000, lower than many other programs of its kind.  Early registration is available until March 1 at the discounted price of $900. A flexible payment plan is available to those who need it.
If you know of other attorneys who might be interested in taking the class, please share this information with them. Registration is now open and we're looking forward to another great class.
Please contact Professor Bergman if you have any questions, at

In the News

LexBlog, analyzes findings of paper by professor Barak Orbach

Harvard Political Review, quoting professor Robert Glennon

USA Today, citing professor Christopher Robertson

With alumni like Kathy Brody, Cecilia Castellanos, and Brett Dunkelman, and with faculty members like Rob Williams, Sergio Puig, Diana Simon, and Barbara Bergman, the Letter of the Law this week is a window into what a special community we have. 





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