Professor explores how cities can switch to low-carbon grid

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

LAWRENCE — Although many cities across the nation have pledged to improve their energy sources to mitigate climate change, they are often stymied by reliance on an electric power industry fighting new policies at the local, state and federal level. A University of Kansas law professor has authored an article detailing innovative approaches of cities and communities to cut carbon emissions and how the efforts will affect energy governance in years to come.

Uma Outka, associate professor of law, authored “Cities and the Low-Carbon Grid,” forthcoming in the journal Environmental Law. The article examines the evolution of cities and the modern electric grid, legal context for cities’ electric power, cites examples of cities making innovative transitions and argues that, increasingly, cities can influence the transition to a low-carbon energy sector.

Boulder, Colorado, is one such environmentally conscious town. More than a decade ago, the city was among the first in America to develop a local agenda for climate change mitigation and even offered support of the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even though the United States did not sign the international treaty. Yet in 2013 city leaders realized they were dependent on investor-owned utility company Xcel, which provided more than 75 percent of the city’s power through fossil fuels, primarily coal. To change that, the city is pursuing a public ownership model that would give it local control and flexibility in obtaining power from renewable sources.

"They have been totally dependent on the resource decisions Xcel would make,” Outka said of Boulder. “Reading about that situation made me want to dig deeper into what cities could do on energy use and climate change. It’s a varied landscape, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but I think this transitional moment for the electricity sector presents new possibilities that motivated cities can explore.’”

Boulder voters approved ballot measures in 2011 and 2013 to form a public utility. The city has since been in the process of acquiring generation and distribution infrastructure, while ending its partnership with Xcel.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, faced a similar situation when it realized its Climate Action Plan on cutting greenhouse gas emissions likely couldn’t be met because the city’s utility supplier generated the majority of its electricity from burning fossil fuels. The city determined for several reasons not to form a municipal utility, but it still found a way to make a change when it negotiated a new contract with provider Xcel, forming a City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership designed to be a clean energy collaboration between the city and private utilities. The partnership has been widely touted as a “first-of-its-kind” innovation, Outka said.

However, like Boulder’s approach, the Minneapolis partnership model will not necessarily be possible for every city to pursue.

“People will definitely be watching what happens in Minneapolis,” Outka said. “They took advantage of the expiration of their contract and re-negotiated in an innovative way. The fact that there was an option for the city had to have had an impact in bringing the utility to the negotiating table.”

Outka also shares examples of cities such as Burlington, Vermont, which has succeeded in securing 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources, and San Diego, a major city that has pledged to do the same within 20 years.

She also outlines strategies in use in other cities such as community choice aggregation. Under the approach, where authorized by state law, cities can choose electricity providers and are not limited to investor-owned utilities with territorial entitlement. Cities using the approach can leverage buying power by aggregating local load — possibly­ with other cities — to purchase electricity at lower rates. Depending on program design, cities may also be able to choose their generation sources while still receiving transmission and distribution services from their existing provider. Six states currently have community choice aggregation programs and at least six more are exploring the model.

Within five years of enacting its CCA law, Illinois had more than 600 communities participating, and average customers were saving 25 to 30 percent on electricity costs. By the end of 2013, more than 90 local governments in the state were using CCAs to purchase 100 percent renewable energy for their communities, Outka wrote. States such as Ohio have had similar successes. The study also details community solar and wind/shared renewable programs. Through the programs customers can subscribe with the utility to buy a set amount of their power from solar energy or own or lease a share of remote solar or wind installations.

Both CCA and community power projects also have unique legal hurdles that can make them difficult for certain communities to enact. But, given the success of various models used by cities to transition to low-carbon models, cities across the country are learning that it can be beneficial to explore new ways to reduce fossil fuel-reliant power, and where necessary, advocate for state law changes to facilitate their goals, Outka said.

Outka recently secured a starter grant from The Commons at KU, which is funding a collaboration with Rachel Krause, assistant professor of public affairs and administration, and Ward Lyles, assistant professor of urban planning, all of KU, to further explore energy, climate adaptation and social justice. The researchers will lead a symposium from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at The Commons featuring local and national speakers discussing social justice as it relates to the ongoing transition to low-carbon energy models.

“Cities have been leading forces for demanding change in the area of low-carbon energy, even though electricity is still one of the hardest issues for cities to influence,” Outka said. “That is appropriate in an era when the majority of our population lives within cities and the success of those leading in the low-carbon transition offers examples for other cities that want to do more to drive change locally.”

Photo: View of Boulder, Colorado. Picture by user Hustvedt, via WikiCommons.

NHL Players’ Association executive to speak at Media & the Law Seminar

Friday, April 22, 2016

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI — Media and legal professionals in Kansas City will be able to hear one of the most prominent figures in professional sports law during the 29th Annual Media & the Law Seminar, which will be Friday, April 29, at the InterContinental Hotel at the Plaza.

Donald Fehr is the current executive director of the NHL Players’ Association and formerly was executive director of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association. He is scheduled to speak during the seminar’s luncheon.

“Don Fehr is one of the leading figures in American sports law,” said Bryan Clark, an associate at law firm Vedder Price. “He has been involved with some of the largest sports stories of the last few decades, including the arbitration decision that created free agency in Major League Baseball, a successful challenge to MLB owner collusion, the 1994–95 MLB strike and the 2012 NHL lockout.”

The Media & the Law Seminar is an annual continuing legal education event hosted by the University of Kansas School of Law and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Media Law Committee.

The seminar theme in 2016 is “Fair Play or Out of Bounds? The Use and Abuse of the First Amendment in Sports, Entertainment and Popular Culture.” In addition to Fehr’s speech, the seminar will feature sessions addressing right-of-publicity issues for NCAA athletes in video games and creative works, lessons to be learned from celebrity defamation and copyright cases, and protecting free speech rights in the era of internet lynch mobs and online harassment.

A Thursday pre-conference session, “Lights! Action! Insurance! – Insuring Sports, Stars and Super Events,” is also offered.

The event website, http://law.ku.edu/media-law-seminar, provides additional information, including registration details for those in the legal and media professions as well as educators, students and the general public.

Nine hours of CLE credit will be available for legal professionals, including one hour of Legal Ethics and two hours of Insurance CE in Kansas and Missouri. A registration discount is offered for Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association members.

Law professors honored for work that freed innocent man from prison

Thursday, April 21, 2016


KU Law Professors Alice Craig, Elizabeth Cateforis and Jean Phillips

LAWRENCE – Three University of Kansas law professors were recognized this week for demonstrating “compassion, dedication and tenacity” through nearly a decade of work to free an innocent man from prison.

Jean Phillips, Elizabeth Cateforis and Alice Craig of KU Law’s Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies received the Sean O’Brien Freedom Award from the Midwest Innocence Project during its annual Faces of Innocence benefit Tuesday evening in Kansas City, Missouri.

The three were singled out for their leading role in winning the exoneration of Floyd Bledsoe, who spent 16 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit. Students and faculty in KU Law’s Project for Innocence worked on Floyd’s case for nearly a decade before new DNA evidence and a suicide note confession from his brother cleared his name.

“The best feeling a lawyer can have is walking out of court or prison with an innocent client who is finally being freed after a decade or more of wrongful incarceration. Everybody would love to have that feeling, but few lawyers are willing to do what it takes to get there,” said Sean O’Brien, associate professor at the UMKC School of Law and the award’s namesake. “The work of Jean, Beth and Alice reminds me of something Mother Teresa said: ‘There are no great deeds, only ordinary deeds, done with great love.’ That’s what these lawyers are all about.”

Through its partnership with KU Law, the Midwest Innocence Project provided funding for new DNA testing in Floyd’s case.   

“The MIP working with KU Law is a model of what legal partnerships can be,” said Oliver Burnette, executive director of the MIP. “Since the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence is such a recognized source of expertise and dedication, MIP’s resources and legal team can act as a force-multiplier for the good work already being done.”

All three honorees graduated from the KU School of Law in the 1990s and worked on the Project for Innocence – then known as the Defender Project – during law school. Phillips has served as director of the project since 1999. She hired Cateforis as a supervising attorney that same year, and Craig joined the team in 2004.  

“I had the good fortune to learn from David Gottlieb, and he taught me the dangers of passing judgment and failing to see that human beings are worthy of respect and compassion. I left that experience knowing that I was put here to battle against simply putting people in prison and forgetting about them,” Phillips said. “We look forward to a time when we actually work ourselves out of a job. One client at a time – one Floyd Bledsoe at a time – we get a little bit closer to that goal.”

The Project for Innocence was founded by former KU Law Professor Paul E. Wilson as the Defender Project in 1965 to help prisoners who otherwise might not receive legal representation. Working under the supervision of faculty attorneys, students in the clinic represent state and federal prisoners in appellate and post-conviction litigation in state and federal courts. The program has won more than 40 direct appeals, constitutional challenges and actual innocence cases since 2008.

The Midwest Innocence Project, a member of the national Innocence Network, is dedicated to the investigation, litigation and exoneration of wrongfully convicted men and women in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa and Nebraska. The MIP partners with KU Law’s Project for Innocence and other regional innocence organization by providing legal and financial support to enhance local exoneration efforts.

Law professor calls for 'risk-related activism' to avoid new financial crisis

Thursday, April 21, 2016

LAWRENCE — Since the financial crisis of 2008, debate has raged over how to prevent the next one. A University of Kansas professor has published a study arguing that institutional investors, like mutual funds and pension funds, need to be part of the solution.  

Virginia Harper Ho, associate professor of law, Docking Faculty Scholar and Webb Hecker Jr. Teaching Fellow at the KU School of Law, has published “Risk-Related Activism: The Business Case for Monitoring Nonfinancial Risk” in the Journal of Corporation Law. The article calls for leading investors to engage in risk-related activism — the use of shareholder power to promote firm management, mitigation and disclosure of risk.

Harper Ho argues that there are potential economic payoffs to investors, firms and capital markets when leading investors pay closer attention to nonfinancial or “environmental, social and governance” (ESG) risks, like those associated with executive compensation practices, global supply chains and climate change. Financial risks are typically hedged, but many of these nonfinancial risks may not even be on companies’ radar screens.

A recent example of risk-related activism cited in the paper is the “boardroom accountability” campaign kicked off in 2014 by New York City ’s public pension funds. The campaign targeted 75 major public companies and pushed for proxy access — corporate bylaw changes that would open certain corporate board seats to candidates nominated by shareholders. Its backers hoped shareholder nominees might take their concerns about ESG risks more seriously, and the campaign has been a clear success. During the 2015 proxy season, more than 70 percent of proxy access proposals were approved, creating momentum for more companies to adopt proxy access this year. 

Although large institutional investors haven’t played a real monitoring role historically, Harper Ho argues that New York City’s campaign and others like it show that they can and many already do. In fact, Harper Ho says, asking whether investors should play a role or not in monitoring corporations is the wrong question. The reality is that in “the post-financial crash landscape, investors have more power to influence corporate practice not just because of their voting power but because Congress has given them more of a voice,” she said. “The real question now is how investors should use that power.”

Her article goes on to argue that more investors should push for better risk management and oversight from the firms they invest in. As Harper Ho writes, enterprise risk management, known as ERM, and risk oversight is already a top priority for publicly traded firms, and many recognize the importance of looking at risk broadly, but she notes “investment advisers and the legal community will remain skeptical, or even hostile, toward risk-related activism and related responsible investment practices so long as they believe them to be value-depleting, risk-enhancing or otherwise at odds with investors’ fiduciary duties and economic interests.”

Harper Ho’s article responds by countering potential objections from conventional finance theory and presenting evidence that institutional investors can improve and protect portfolio value if they pay more attention to nonfinancial risk. For example, she points to a wide range of studies showing that lowering ESG risks can lower companies’ cost of capital and also protect portfolio value in volatile markets. The business case for ESG investment strategies, she argues, also explains why more investors might reap financial rewards from engaging in risk-related activism or voting in favor of those who do.

Harper Ho also outlines steps institutional investors and policymakers can take to reorient how corporate boards address nonfinancial risk, but she acknowledges that market-driven investor oversight alone cannot prevent excessive risk-taking by corporate managers. She argues instead that a sustainable financial system, in every sense of the word, will also mean taking seriously how institutional investors’ own behavior contributes to excessive risk-taking by corporate managers and may even pose systemic threats to modern financial markets.  

Her article points to steps the United Kingdom, the European Union and other leading markets are taking to improve investor monitoring of portfolio firms, and she calls for regulators in the United States to adopt similar policy guidelines. Such measures could encourage institutional investors to monitor the companies they invest in and would also have the added benefit of requiring greater accountability from investors for how they use their power.

“Although this article offers starting points that could facilitate risk-related activism, ESG integration and better institutional monitoring, the real barriers to these reforms are not regulatory, but conceptual,” Harper Ho writes. In the end, simply realizing that nonfinancial risks are real, and that they matter to investors, might be a great place to start.
 

Law school will honor 3 with Distinguished Alumni Award

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

LAWRENCE — An attorney, a legal scholar and a federal judge will be recognized with the University of Kansas School of Law’s highest honor.

Great Bend attorney Larry Keenan, Class of 1954; KU Law Professor John Peck, Class of 1974, and U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil, Class of 1975, will receive the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, which celebrates graduates for their professional achievements, contributions to the legal field and service to their communities and the university. The awards will be presented at a private dinner April 16 in Lawrence.

After completing his joint undergraduate and law degree in 1954, Larry Keenan served for three years in the U.S. Army JAG Corps. He returned home to Great Bend in 1958 to practice with his older brother at the Keenan Law Firm, where he still practices today. Keenan served as Barton County Attorney for four years and is a past chairman and member of the Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors. He currently serves as president of Globe Exploration Inc. in Great Bend. Keenan is an avid supporter of his alma mater and a past president and lifelong member of the KU Law Board of Governors.

John Peck received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University in 1968. After working for three years for the U.S. Public Health Service and the EPA in Washington, D.C., he began law school at KU, where he was an articles editor for the Kansas Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif in 1974. Peck practiced for four years with Everett, Seaton, Peck in Manhattan, then joined the KU Law faculty in 1978. A recognized authority on Kansas water law, Peck teaches contracts, land transactions, water law and family law and has received numerous teaching accolades. He is a member of the KU Law Dean’s Club and a past Medallion recipient and serves as chair of the Rice Scholarship Committee. In addition to his tenured faculty position, Peck is special counsel to Foulston Siefkin LLP, where his focus includes water and real estate law. He has been listed in the Best Lawyers of America in the areas of natural resources law and water law since 2003.

Judge Kathryn Vratil graduated from KU with an American studies degree in 1971. She completed law school in 1975 at KU, where she served on the Kansas Law Review and was named to the Order of the Coif. Following graduation she clerked for Judge Earl O’Connor for three years on the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, then practiced commercial and business litigation law for 14 years with Lathrop & Gage, serving as municipal judge for Prairie Village for two years. In 1992, Vratil was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas by President George W. Bush, becoming the first woman to serve on the court. She was named chief judge in 2008 and served in that capacity until she assumed senior status in 2014. Vratil is an active member of the legal community and devoted supporter of her alma mater. She has served two terms on KU Law’s Board of Governors, was named to the KU Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013 and has served on the advisory board for the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center (now the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity) since 2009.

View previous Distinguished Alumni Award recipients on the law school’s website.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will be honored along with James Woods Green Medallion honorees and members of the Dean’s Club. Named after the school’s first dean, the Medallion recognizes the school’s major financial supporters. This year’s honorees include:

  • Bion J. Beebe, Class of 1976, and Vicki Storm Beebe
  • The Belin Foundation
  • Judge Daniel D. Crabtree, Class of 1981, and Maureen Mahoney, Class of 1984
  • Steve Davis and Kim Bowen Davis, Class of 1978
  • Jeanne Gorman, Class of 1978
  • Ross Hartley, Class of 1974, and Christine Ness Hartley
  • Mark Hegarty, Class of 1990, and Janelle Hegarty
  • Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer LLP
  • S. Lee Meigs Taylor, Class of 1982
  • Patrick Stueve, Class of 1987, and Janna Stueve
  • James Walters, Class of 1975, and Mary Clayton Walters.

 

Law school ranked among best in nation for practical training

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Law ranks 21st in the nation for offering the best practical training for future lawyers, according to National Jurist magazine.

The rankings, which recognize “schools that go above and beyond in preparing law students for the real world,” appear in the spring 2016 issue.

“Since KU Law offered its first clinic more than 50 years ago, hands-on learning opportunities that allow students to represent real clients or practice the skills of a working lawyer have continued to grow,” said Stephen Mazza, dean and professor of law. “We are pleased that this ranking recognizes our ongoing efforts to expand opportunities for students to prepare for the practice of law and proud of the many ways our students have helped their clients and communities in the process.”

A few success stories:

  • Students in KU Law’s Project for Innocence helped free a man after 16 years in prison for a murder his brother eventually confessed to committing. They also earned the exoneration and release of a woman unconstitutionally convicted of murder through a coerced confession.
  • A student in KU Law’s Medical-Legal Partnership helped a victim of human trafficking obtain a T visa, providing her with a foundation to begin a new life in the United States, free from fear of retribution.
  • A student in the Legislative Clinic conducted legal research, wrote memos and presented his findings to the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee – work that contributed to the passage of legislation that increased penalties for drunk drivers whose actions injure victims.

KU Law offers 12 clinics and externships in a variety of practice areas, a robust moot court and mock trial competition program, and simulation courses that teach students the art of taking and defending depositions, examining expert witnesses and performing due diligence in business transactions. The Best Schools for Practical Training rankings measure which schools have the greatest percentage of students participating in such programs.

KU Law also rose two spots in the 2017 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook, ascending to 65th among all law schools and maintaining its 36th-place rank among public schools. KU has increased its standing for four consecutive years.

KU Law’s innovative simulation courses are also featured in the guidebook’s article on “Law Schools that are Breaking with Tradition.”

There are roughly 200 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association.

KU Law climbs in US News rankings for fourth straight year

Thursday, March 17, 2016

LAWRENCE — U.S. News & World Report has ranked 49 graduate programs at the University of Kansas in its 2017 edition of the magazine’s “Best Graduate Schools” rankings, more than any other school in the state.

Ten KU programs are ranked in the top 10 among public universities nationally, and 42 are in the top 50.

“Our students and scholars should take pride in this recognition of our graduate programs,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “As we celebrate our successes, we also remain focused on ways we can continue to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world while continuing to improve the quality and reputation of our programs relative to our peers.”

The School of Education increased its overall graduate ranking into a tie for eighth among public universities, and KU’s special education program climbed one spot into the top overall ranking.

KU’s city management and urban policy program also earned a No. 1 ranking among all universities. The city management program has maintained its top ranking since 1998.

The KU School of Law continued its positive momentum in the rankings, increasing two spots among all universities to 65th while maintaining its 36th place rank among public schools. The school has increased its standing for four consecutive years.

KU’s social work program jumped three spots among public schools into 12th.

The graduate programs at KU ranked in the top 50 among public universities include:

1. City Management and Urban Policy
1. Special Education
3. Public Management Administration
4. Occupational Therapy
5. Speech-Language Pathology
8. School of Education
8. Environmental Policy and Management
9. Petroleum Engineering
9. Physical Therapy
10. Public Affairs
11. Medicine – Family Medicine
12. Clinical Child Psychology
12. Social Work
13. Public Finance & Budgeting
14. Curriculum and Instruction
14. Nursing – Midwifery
14. Nursing – Anesthesia
20. Audiology
20. Pharmacy
21. Clinical Psychology
22. Medicine – Primary Care
23. Psychology
25. Healthcare Management
27. History
28. Nursing Practice (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
30. Aerospace Engineering
31. Nursing (Master’s)
31. Political Science
33. Civil Engineering
36. English
36. School of Law
37. Medicine – Research
37. Fine Arts
37. Earth Sciences – Geology
38. Biological Sciences
41. Mathematics
43. Sociology
44. Chemistry
45. Economics
46. Chemical Engineering
46. Part-time MBA
49. School of Business (MBA)

Additionally, in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of online programs, KU’s nursing master’s degree program ranks 20th among public university programs.
 

KU Law team crowned national champions at Indian law moot court competition

Monday, March 07, 2016

LAWRENCE — March Madness hasn’t even started, and KU has already won a national championship. A KU Law team brought home first-place honors from this year’s National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition.  

Ashley Akers, of Casper, Wyoming, and Maureen Orth, of Prairie Village, won the competition and received the best brief award. Orth was named the second-best oral advocate and received the first-ever G. William Rice Advocate Award for the highest cumulative points in the competition. Corey Adams of Wichita and Nathan Kakazu of Madison, Wisconsin, placed third and received the second-place brief award. Nick Hayes of Lawrence and Jason Vigil of Las Cruces, New Mexico, also represented KU at the competition, held March 5-6 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

The NNALSA competition tests students’ knowledge of Indian law by evaluating their legal writing and oral advocacy skills. Students submit written briefs and participate in a simulated courtroom experience.

“This year’s competition involved a hypothetical conflict between a state and tribe related to the growth and sale of marijuana on the tribe's reservation,” said Professor Elizabeth Kronk Warner, team coach and director of KU’s Tribal Law and Government Center. Students considered whether the state could apply laws prohibiting some forms of marijuana against the tribe. Akers and Orth argued on behalf of the state in the final round, defeating the University of Oklahoma to win first place.

Team members prepared for the competition by researching and preparing briefs and participating in practice rounds judged by KU Law faculty, alumni and peers.

“Our experience at the NNALSA competition was nothing short of amazing,” Akers said. “Nearly every professor at the law school took the time to judge one or more of our teams as we prepared for this competition. It's an honor to bring home this recognition for our school after it has provided so much time, energy and resources to help us succeed.”

“It feels amazing to win, but the best thing to come out of the competition is how much we learned from our coaches, the KU faculty and each other,” Orth said. “We had so much support from the whole team.”

The final rounds were judged by a panel of esteemed Indian law scholars and practitioners, including tribal judges, tribal law professors, a Michigan Supreme Court justice and a D.C. circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals.

“The competition is an excellent way for students to learn federal Indian law, which is especially valuable given the close proximity of so many tribes to Kansas and the important relationship between tribes, the federal government and states,” Kronk Warner said. “Students learn and improve upon their legal research, writing and oral advocacy skills.”

This is the second year in a row that KU Law advanced to the final round of the NNALSA competition. A KU Law team brought home second place from last year’s competition at the University of Arizona.

Tribal law conference to explore American Indian sports mascots

Monday, March 07, 2016

LAWRENCE — American Indian law scholars and advocates will gather in Lawrence this week to discuss legal issues surrounding the use of images of American Indians as sports mascots.

The 20th annual Tribal Law & Government Conference, Examining and Reconsidering Indian Mascots in the 21st Century, will runTribal Law and Government Conference Poster from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Friday, March 11, at the University of Kansas School of Law. The conference is open to the public, but registration is required.

“Advocates have been challenging the use of Indians as mascots for decades, and there have been some notable recent developments in the last few months – such as court decisions related to the Washington, D.C., NFL team,” said Elizabeth Kronk Warner, director of KU Law’s Tribal Law & Government Center. “By exploring this topic, KU Law hopes to make a valuable contribution to the nationwide debate surrounding the appropriateness of such mascots.”

Suzan Shown Harjo, president of the Morning Star Institute, a national Native American rights organization, will deliver the keynote address. A poet, writer, lecturer, curator and policy advocate, Harjo has helped Native people recover more than 1 million acres of tribal lands. She served as congressional liaison for Indian Affairs during the Carter administration and later as president of the National Council of American Indians. Since the 1960s, Harjo has worked to convince sports teams to drop names that promote negative stereotypes of Native Americans. In 2014, Harjo received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor.

Harjo’s address will be followed by a panel considering mascots from a Native perspective. A second panel will explore intellectual property and sports law perspectives on Native mascots. The program will conclude with a panel exploring ethical considerations when representing tribal nations.

Panelists include:

  • Cornel Pewewardy, professor and director of Indigenous Nations Studies, Portland State University
  • Rebecca Tsosie, Regents’ Professor, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; vice provost for inclusion and community engagement, Arizona State University
  • Dan Wildcat, director, Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center; dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences, Haskell Indian Nations University
  • Marc Edelman, associate professor, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York
  • Jasmine Abdel-Khalik, associate professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  • D. Michael McBride III, director, Crowe & Dunlevy

Two-and-a-half hours of CLE credit, including one hour of ethics, are approved in Kansas and Missouri. Register and preview the schedule on the conference website.

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  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks and treatises
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 34 conviction reversals since 2009
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