This week we tell you about an out-of-the-ordinary opportunity for learning and engagement experienced by a group of students working alongside Professor Ellen Bublick.

Until the footnotes,


Students Contribute to Amicus Brief Filed in Federal Court

Under the guidance of Ellen Bublick, Dan B. Dobbs Professor of Law, a group of Arizona Law students helped research an amicus brief that was filed in the DC Court of Appeals in the fall.
Professor Bublick, along with professor emeritus  Dan Dobbs and Paul Hayden, together the authors of the treatise  The Law of Torts (2ed 2011), were approached by the Washington, DC, firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, LLP, with a request to write a brief in support of plaintiffs in Owens v. Sudan

The plaintiffs in the case are hundreds of family members of the victims of the  1998 Al Queda bombings of U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salam, Tanzania . The current proceedings address whether the presence requirement for claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress applies to family members of terrorism victims.

When Professor Bublick put out a call for a few volunteers to help her research the brief, more than 20 students showed up. This was despite the fact that the brief was due just before Thanksgiving -- a very busy time of year for 1Ls.

Students worked tirelessly on the research and final production of the brief. Among the 20 who helped (see below), Professor Bublick credits Lori Bable (1L) with creating an online platform to allow each member of the group to collaborate on the brief. Maritza Black (1L) did some of the key research on the presence requirement in other states and Darrah Blackwater (1L) worked late into the night editing and polishing the brief before the deadline. 

Lori, who is a student in one of Professor Bublick's Torts sections, explained,

"What was most fulfilling about this process was that we had the opportunity as 1Ls to apply the research and writing skills we had just learned in class in a real world context. In a nutshell, we witnessed and participated in the research and drafting process from beginning to end."

Of the brief-writing effort overall, Professor Bublick notes that what impressed her most was the passion and work ethic of our students, saying:
"The future of our college, and our world, is in good hands with these kind and committed students."
She also is grateful to George Anhang at Cooley, LLP, who represented them pro bono in the proceeding. And, Maureen Garmon of the Cracchiolo Law Library added to the research.

The amicus brief submitted to the court centered on the question of presence. Professor Bublick explains the issue:
"One controversy in the law of intentional infliction of emotional distress is whether families of terror victims can recover for severe distress if they were not present at the scene of the terrorism-in this case, at the truck bombing of U.S. embassies." 

In their treatise, she and Professors Dobbs and Hayden have taken the view that: 

"If the defendant's conduct is sufficiently outrageous and intended to inflict emotional harm upon a person who is not present, no rule, nor any essential reason of logic or policy prevents liability." 2 Dan B. Dobbs, Paul T. Hayden & Ellen M. Bublick, The Law of Torts § 389 (2d ed. 2011). 

She says:

"A number of courts have expressly endorsed this view, and we were pleased to file an amicus brief supporting that view, and the terror victims, in Owens v. Sudan."

1L students who assisted with the brief were:
Lori Bable
Maritza Black
Darrah Blackwater
Blaine Boles
Andy Davis
Stephen Fong
Brian Fullmer
Yesenia Gamez Valdez
Ryan Hammond
Maura Hilser
Jordan Paul
Elise Phalen
Mackenzie Pish
Benjamin Richards
Tess Rogers
Molly Rothschild
Margaret Rowe
Harris Rubin
Jocelyn Tellez-Amado
Michael Victor


Around the College

Presidential Powers and Its Limits Series Open to the Public
On Monday of this week, the first session in a new lecture series on "Presidential Powers and Its Limits" was held at the College of Law. The lectures are part of a course for Arizona Law students, taught by professors
David Marcus and Toni Massaro .
The series will bring lecturers, including leading lawyers and distinguished scholars from around the country, to discuss topics ranging from the President's executive orders to investigations into presidential misconduct. They decided to hold the lectures in front of a broader audience, given the timeliness of the topics covered. 
On Monday, Professor Marcus and Professor Massaro provided an introduction to the law of presidential power. 
All lectures in the series take place in Room 160 at the College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway Blvd., beginning at 3:15. Attendance is free, and CLE credit is possible.
January 29: The President, Congress, and Foreign AffairsToni Massaro, Univ. of Arizona
February 5: The President, Congress, and the Contest Over the Federal BureaucracyDavid Marcus, Univ. of Arizona
February 12: Presidential Power in Historical PerspectiveHarold Bruff, Univ. of Colorado
February 19: The President and the CourtsDavid Marcus, Univ. of Arizona
February 26: The President's War PowersKristine Huskey, Univ. of Arizona
March 12: Presidential Administration: An Insider's PerspectiveHoward Shelanski, Georgetown Univ., and former Head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, White House
March 19: The President and the Courts: Executive Orders and Judicial Review, Kathryn Watts, Univ. of Washington
March 26: Impeachment and ResignationRobert Glennon, Univ. of Arizona

Arizona Law in the News
The Oregonian, commentary from professor Christopher Robertson


Our students benefit every day from our lively and diverse learning environment -- including the chance to work a brief in federal court during the first year of law school and to learn in-depth about our federal executive branch and the balance of powers.



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