Category: Legal News/Opinions

Finals advice from your new Academic Achievement team

Your new Academic Achievement team consists of Imran Malik, Assistant Director of Academic Achievement, and Kiyana Kiel, Assistant Dean of Academic Achievement. Both of them started working at Cal Western over the summer.

Luda Malik
Cute puppy alert: Prof. Malik’s dog, Luda

Prof. Malik grew up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, where he did his best to avoid the sweltering heat. Determined to live somewhere with snow, Prof. Malik attended Pennsylvania State University for undergrad where he graduated with a BA in Political Science and a BA in History with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. After a couple of years advocating for policy change at think-tanks and working for Congress in D.C., he moved to the West Coast to attend law school at Seattle University. After law school, he moved to San Francisco to work for Kaplan Bar Review, and most recently he worked as an Academic Director of Academic Support Programs at another law school. Prof. Malik is a political junkie, regularly practices yoga, and has been a vegetarian since high school. He is also very happy to show you a picture of his little puppy named Luda.

Dean Kiel earned her undergraduate degree in American Literature & Culture from UCLA and her law degree from UC Berkeley. Her prior law school administration experience includes working as Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs at University of San Diego School of Law. In addition to working in legal education, she also has worked as an attorney, focusing on real estate, land use, and environmental transactions. Her passion for environmental law stems from her upbringing on her family farm in Compton, California, where she grew up riding horses, climbing avocado trees, and collecting eggs from the chicken coop.

Here’s the advice Prof. Malik and Dean Kiel have for finals prep: Continue reading “Finals advice from your new Academic Achievement team”

A look at the upcoming Supreme Court docket

By Oliver Fredrickson

Back at full strength with the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court began its new term on October 1.  Although this term’s docket does hold the same high-profile cases that we saw last term, it will nonetheless provide valuable insight into the trajectory the court will take in the coming years. The confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh entirely recalibrated the ideological make-up of the Court, leaving the traditionally conservative Chief Justice John Roberts at the Court’s ideological centre. To give context of what a Court with Chief Justice Roberts at the center looks like, some of his notable decisions include: Continue reading “A look at the upcoming Supreme Court docket”

3L earns prize in national FDA law writing contest

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

Tyler_MarquezTyler Marquez was caught by surprise when she finally found out that her scholarly article, which she had submitted to the Food and Drug Law Institute’s annual competition months earlier, had won an award!

Marquez placed third in the Institute’s national Austern Writing Competition, which solicits articles about the legal implications of FDA-regulated industries, including food, drugs, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and medical devices. She submitted her article back in early June.

“From June to October, time passed and I assumed I was not even being considered, so the news was a shock but also a nice surprise,” Marquez said.

Her paper, titled “The Phenomenon of Financial Toxicity: Health Care’s Insatiable Disease,” discusses the negative effect that rising pharmaceutical drug costs have on overall patient health. Continue reading “3L earns prize in national FDA law writing contest”

Current events recap: Kavanaugh panel & environmental rally

A Discussion of the Era of Kavanaugh -- Oday Yousif, ACS Vice President

More than 60 students attended a panel discussion Oct. 30 on the repercussions of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s recent appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hosted by the American Constitution Society and Women’s Law Caucus, the panel discussed how Kavanaugh’s confirmation will impact the Supreme Court and women’s rights. (For background on Kavanaugh, his views, and his confirmation, see our Kavanaugh coverage.) Additionally, the panel discussed the issues of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

“Kavanaugh’s lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court will have major implications for generations to come,” said Melissa Owens, president of the Women’s Law Caucus. “The discussion conducted through the partnership of ACS and WLC was truly invaluable for staff, students, and attorneys in the community.”

ACS_panelists

Continue reading “Current events recap: Kavanaugh panel & environmental rally”

Finding a sense of my people — my first 1L networking event

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Brandon Birungi-Sengendo, back row, second from left

By Brandon Birungi-Sengendo

On November 10, I attended my first networking event as a law student, the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation’s 42nd Annual Scholarship & Awards Gala. My main motivation for going to this event was to develop a relationship with the black legal community in San Diego. On the night of, I made sure to arrive somewhat early so I could maximize the number of people I could talk to. Plus, there was a hosted wine bar I wanted to get to before the selection thinned out — seeing as I don’t often have a choice of wine options outside of the cheapest bottle I can find, after a long week of hoping not to get cold called.

Continue reading “Finding a sense of my people — my first 1L networking event”

Attorney Q&A: Gayle Blatt, Board of Trustees member

By Jules Copon

blatt_gayleOn the corner of First and Laurel St. sits the law office of Casey Gerry, one of the most prominent plaintiff’s firms in San Diego. The ornate Mediterranean exterior eases you to the marble and mahogany of the reception area where awards nearly wallpaper the room. Multiple standing plaques displaying “The Best Lawyers in America,” emblazoned in gold, affirms the standard of this powerhouse firm.

Casey Gerry partner Gayle Blatt, our very own CWSL 1985 alumna and member of the CWSL Board of Trustees, gleefully briefs The Commentary on her legal career and various law school memories. Continue reading “Attorney Q&A: Gayle Blatt, Board of Trustees member”

Opinion: What’s the deal with Brett Kavanaugh?

By Oliver Fredricksonbrett_kavanaugh

After a historically chaotic confirmation process, Brett Kavanaugh was finally sworn onto the Supreme Court on Saturday, Oct. 6.  Kavanaugh’s confirmation hung in the balance for 89 days amid concerns about his strongly conservative beliefs and later allegations of sexual assault. Nevertheless, the Senate confirmed his nomination by a vote of 50-48.

President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to fill the seat left by the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Since 2006, Justice Kennedy had been the decisive “swing vote” on a number of important issues. Replacing this seat with the unapologetically conservative Kavanaugh entirely reconfigures the composition of the Court. With a loyal five-man conservative bloc, future decisions on women’s rights, gay marriage, voting rights, the environment, and affordable health care will lie in the balance. Continue reading “Opinion: What’s the deal with Brett Kavanaugh?”

Youth sue U.S. over climate change

MattBy Matthew D. Batista

Little substantive action is being taken in the United States to combat the grave challenges that climate change is clearly presenting. This summer, two massive Northern California wildfires burned, raining ash and spreading smoke as far as New York. The Carr fire burned over 220,000 acres in Redding, CA, and the Mendocino Complex fire burned over 410,000 acres across Colusa, Lake, and Mendocino counties. California is not alone in dealing with historic heat and wildfires: across the United States in the last 30 days, there has been over 2,000 new daily record high temperatures and over 5,000 new daily highest minimum temperatures established. Internationally, wildfires in Greece have killed at least 91 people, and Japan recorded its highest ever temperature on July 23, 2018 at 106 degrees. Sweden is experiencing the worst drought on record, with wildfires burning into the Arctic Circle.

These serious problems have led to a rise in climate and environmental litigation in U.S. courts. October will see a novel case heard in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Juliana v. United States.
Continue reading “Youth sue U.S. over climate change”

SBA President: Welcome to 2018-19!

edgar_lopez3By Edgar Lopez, Student Bar Association President

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! I hope you had a great summer.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Edgar Lopez, and I am currently a 3L student at CWSL. I grew up in Beaumont, CA and attended undergrad at Cal State San Bernardino. I ran for SBA President because I enjoy being part of something that benefits the greater good. As President, I want to continue hosting and supporting great events, both on and off-campus. I am also excited to bring new ideas to the CWSL community.

Now let me tell you a little about who we are and what you can expect this upcoming year. Continue reading “SBA President: Welcome to 2018-19!”

Student ABA Rep Reflects on Summer Conference

By Nick Aliquo, SBA American Bar Association Representative

nick_aliquoHello everyone, my name is Nicholas Aliquo, and I am your returning American Bar Association (ABA) student representative for the upcoming school year. From August 1-5, I had the pleasure of attending my second ABA annual meeting, held this year in Chicago.

Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities, and this trip proved to be no different. Per the ABA, combining pleasure with business was a must. The ABA reserved seats at the Tony award-winning play “Hamilton” and a night at Wrigley Field watching the Chicago Cubs. Due to finals (boo) I had to unfortunately miss the play, but I was able to catch a Cubs game, and the Cubs just so happened to be playing the Padres (we won). Continue reading “Student ABA Rep Reflects on Summer Conference”