Late Night in the Phog
Oct. 09, 12:00 am
Thodos in Residence
Oct. 09, 08:00 am
Jayhawk Day
Oct. 09, 09:00 am
Jayhawk Day
Oct. 09, 01:00 pm
Oct. 09, 05:30 pm

Late Night in the Phog
Oct. 09, 12:00 am
Soccer vs Baylor
Oct. 09, 07:00 pm
Soccer vs. Baylor
Oct. 09, 07:00 pm
Football vs Baylor
Oct. 10, 12:00 am
Volleyball vs Iowa State
Oct. 10, 12:00 am

Two top-20 rankings for KU Law emphasize affordability, value

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Law is the No. 18 Best Value Law School in the country and one of the top 20 law schools nationwide for students graduating with the least debt, according to National Jurist magazine and U.S. News & World Report. KU finished first in both rankings among law schools in Kansas and the Kansas City area.

The Best Value ranking highlights affordable law schools whose graduates perform exceptionally well on the bar exam and have had success finding legal jobs. National Jurist ranked the top 20 schools and assigned a letter grade to the other 45 honorees.

“We are pleased that we continue to excel in this ranking because we pride ourselves on delivering an affordable legal education that prepares our graduates for successful careers,” said Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school. “At KU Law, value isn’t just about reasonable tuition. Our graduates pass the bar exam at a rate that consistently exceeds the state average, and they secure quality employment at a rate that stacks up against the top quarter of law schools in the country.”

And law students reach those achievements while avoiding excessive student loans. U.S. News ranked KU Law 20th in the nation among law schools whose graduates finish school with the least debt.

“It’s a relief to know that I’ll have choices when I graduate that aren’t defined by financial burdens,” said Julia Leth-Perez, a third-year KU Law student. “I’m getting a great education at KU, and I know I’m prepared for my career in law.”

National Jurist gives employment success the greatest weight in the Best Value rankings. The magazine also looks at a number of other academic and financial variables, including price of tuition, student debt accumulation, bar passage rate and cost of living.

KU Law graduates in the Class of 2015 passed the bar examination in Kansas and Missouri at rates that far exceeded state averages. They also ranked first among all Kansas and Missouri law schools for performance on the Missouri exam. KU law tuition for the 2014-15 academic year for a first-year Kansas resident was $19,985. More than 75 percent of the incoming class receives scholarships.

See the complete list of honorees and learn more about ranking methodology

Law professor will argue death penalty, bank discrimination cases before Supreme Court

Monday, October 05, 2015

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas law professor will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court twice this week in a pair of cases: one involving the Eighth Amendment and capital punishment, and the other alleged discrimination in banking.

Stephen McAllister, the E.S. & Tom W. Hampton Distinguished Professor of Law, will appear before the court today, Oct. 5, in the case Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore. On Wednesday, Oct. 7, he will appear on behalf of the state of Kansas in Kansas v. Jonathan Carr and Kansas v. Reginald Carr Jr. These arguments will be McAllister’s eighth and ninth appearances before the high court, respectively.

The Carr case is centered on brothers Jonathan and Reginald Carr, who were convicted of capital murder for brutal quadruple murders they committed in Wichita in December 2000. They were sentenced to death, but the Kansas Supreme Court overturned their sentences in 2014, holding both that the jury instructions in the Carrs’ sentencing were inadequate and they should not have been tried jointly in the same proceeding.

“They are arguing the jury instructions were erroneous because they may have misled the jury into believing it could not consider some evidence in favor of imposing a sentence less than death,” McAllister said of representatives of the Carrs. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt will argue for Kansas on what the Supreme Court has labeled the “mitigation instruction” issue.

The second issue in the cases is whether it was constitutional error to determine the Carr brothers’ sentences in a single proceeding, rather than severing those proceedings so that each brother had his own sentencing proceeding. McAllister will be arguing for Kansas on this question, which the Supreme Court has labeled the “severance question.” He argues that the joint proceeding was consistent with the Eighth Amendment, is part of a longstanding tradition in the United States of joint trials and that jury instructions properly informed the jury to determine each brother’s ultimate sentence on an individual basis.

McAllister, who is also Kansas Solicitor General, will have 20 minutes to make his argument in the Carr cases, and Kansas is supported in its argument by the United States, which frequently conducts joint capital proceedings under federal law.

Two days prior to his appearance regarding capital punishment, McAllister will argue on behalf of the bank at the center of Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore. The case is a test of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, designed to prevent discrimination in lending against women based on gender, marital status and other factors. The plaintiffs in the case originally sued because they claimed female spouses were required to sign guaranties for loans to their husbands’ business. The federal statute, however, allows only the “applicant” for  credit to bring a claim against the bank, and lower courts held that the spousal guarantors are not applicants and thus could not bring a claim, although the business itself that received the loan could do so. McAllister is arguing for the bank and defending the holding of the lower courts. Allowing extra parties, who did not receive the credit, to bring suit would “open Pandora’s box” in terms of banking litigation.

“Bottom line, the statute makes clear that it is only the person who applies for the credit and is denied, or who receives credit on discriminatory terms, who has the claim and should be able to bring suit,” McAllister said.

McAllister said that while two appearances before the court in three days may be unusual, it will provide both unique professional experience and invaluable teaching material he can bring to his classes. Both cases involve issues he teaches and writes about, including federal constitutional law.

The cases are both scheduled for argument the first week of the Supreme Court’s term, and decisions may be issued anywhere from a few months to several months after the arguments, although certainly by the end of June 2016.

Editor’s note: McAllister is in Washington, D.C., this week arguing cases before the Supreme Court and not available for interviews. Elizabeth Cateforis, clinical associate professor of law and supervising attorney in the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies in the KU School of Law, is available to speak with media about capital punishment, the Carr brothers and Gleason cases and Kansas death penalty statutes. To schedule an interview with McAllister upon his return or with Cateforis, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

Trans Pacific Partnership 'largest free trade agreement in human history,' professor says

Monday, October 05, 2015

LAWRENCE — Trade negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries finalized agreements on the Trans Pacific Partnership in Atlanta over the weekend. The controversial free trade proposal is intended to expand trade and establish trade rules among the nations that China would eventually have to follow.

Raj Bhala, associate dean for international & comparative law and Rice Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, is available to speak with media about the TPP, its ratification, what it will likely mean for the 12 countries, the process of negotiations, issues of contention in the partnership and related topics. An international trade law expert, Bhala has closely followed the TPP negotiations and can comment on issues that drove the heated negotiations, including importation of auto parts in the United States, dairy imports in Canada and others.

Bhala said the agreement is a landmark that will have ramifications throughout the world and across the spectrum of business and law.

“This is the largest free trade agreement in human history. It’s the most important event in international trade since the birth of the World Trade Organization in 1995,” Bhala said. “It has enormous economic, political and national security consequences. No matter what one’s specialty area in business or in law, the TPP will affect that specialty. It’s one of the instances where the word ‘game changer’ is not overused. It’s actually quite surprising that so little attention has been paid to it in the United States.”

Bhala has a global reputation in the scholarship of international trade law and Islamic law. He is the author of the book “Understanding Islamic Law (Shari’a),” published by LexisNexis. He has also written an acclaimed two-volume treatise, “Modern GATT Law” and recently published the fourth edition of International Trade Law: An Interdisciplinary, Non-Western Textbook, which includes coverage of the TPP. Bhala practiced international banking law at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before entering academia, and he currently serves as a legal consultant to Cheniere Energy and other prominent organizations and firms. He has worked in 25 countries, including TPP nations such as Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and New Zealand.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

University of Kansas law graduates outperform peers on bar exam

Friday, October 02, 2015

LAWRENCE – University of Kansas School of Law graduates in the Class of 2015 passed the bar examination in Kansas and Missouri at rates that far exceeded state averages. They also ranked first among all Kansas and Missouri law schools for performance on the Missouri exam.

KU graduates taking the Kansas bar exam for the first time in July 2015 achieved a 91.6 percent pass rate, surpassing by a staggering 10.6 percent the state pass rate of 81 percent.

Alumni performed even better in the state of Missouri, where 94.7 percent of KU test-takers passed the bar on their first attempt. That showing outpaces by 8 percent the state average of 86.7 percent. With this outcome, KU ranked No. 1 among all law schools in Kansas and Missouri whose graduates sat for the July 2015 bar exam in high numbers, including the University of Missouri, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, St. Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and Washburn University.

“We are thrilled by the extraordinary success of our hard-working 2015 graduates,” said Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school. “Our students have consistently exceeded the state average when it comes to passing the bar exam – the essential first step for any graduate seeking to practice law.”

Twenty-two out of 24 first-time test-takers passed the Kansas bar, while 71 out of 75 passed the Missouri bar. While in most years the majority of KU students sit for the bar exam in Kansas, the 2015 class opted for the Missouri exam at a higher rate. This anomaly was driven by Kansas’ pending adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam, which will allow graduates who took the bar in Missouri to become licensed in Kansas by transferring their scores.

The bar examination is a test intended to determine whether candidates are qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction. The bar exam is administered twice a year, in February and July. Most students graduate in May and take the summer exam.

The Kansas Board of Law Examiners does not provide details about the performance of other law schools.

International law scholar to reflect on debt crises at KU’s Casad lecture

Monday, October 05, 2015

Richard BuxbaumLAWRENCE — Since the Greek debt crisis began in 2010, the country has grabbed international headlines with its staggering unemployment and plummeting GDP, international bailouts and strict austerity measures, and speculation that Greece may leave the eurozone. While noteworthy, Greece’s experience is not new. The country’s path is reminiscent of Germany’s attempts to rebuild after World War I, and considering German history may shed light on how leaders can restore growth in Greece.

The University of Kansas School of Law will welcome Richard Buxbaum, the Jackson H. Ralston Professor of International Law (Emeritus) at the University of California-Berkeley, to discuss the parallels at the third Robert C. Casad Comparative Law Lecture at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in 107 Green Hall. The public is invited to attend the free lecture and reception to follow.

Buxbaum’s presentation, “Twentieth-Century Sovereign Debtors: From Germany to Greece,” will explore the effects of the Treaty of Versailles on the German Reich after World War I. The Versailles terms required Germany to repay steep war debts, resulting in depression and instability. Germany defaulted on its debts, unleashing an economic crisis that helped usher in Hitler’s rise to power, led to war and economic collapse, and instigated the country’s division.

Buxbaum practiced law in Rochester, New York, and with the U.S. Army before joining the Berkeley Law faculty in 1961. He studies corporation law and comparative and international economic law and is a past editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Comparative Law. Buxbaum has also served as chair of UC Berkeley’s Center for German and European Studies and Center for Western European Studies and as dean of international and area studies. He holds an LL.M. from UC Berkeley and an LL.B. and bachelor's degrees from Cornell University.

The Casad lecture series is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Robert C. Casad, who was on faculty at the KU School of Law from 1959 to 1997. Casad is internationally known for his scholarship in comparative civil procedure. The inaugural Casad lecture was held in 2008, featuring George A. Bermann of Columbia Law School. H. Patrick Glenn of McGill University delivered the second Casad lecture in 2012.

KU Law to host Midwestern Law and Economics Association Conference

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Law will welcome legal scholars to Lawrence this week for the annual meeting of the Midwestern Law and Economics Association. Scholars will explore the economic aspects of current issues in contract law, tort law, corporate law, tax law and health care law, covering topics ranging from executive compensation to IRS reform to inequality and family law.

“This is the second time we've hosted MLEA at KU, and we are looking forward to having the group back this year,” said conference organizer Christopher Drahozal, associate dean for research and faculty development and John M. Rounds Professor of Law at KU. “The conference provides KU faculty and students the chance to interact with law and economics scholars not only from the Midwest but from all over the United States and the world.”

The conference will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2-3, at Green Hall on the Lawrence campus.

MLEA is a group of scholars who study the intersection between economics and the law. Members have gathered annually since 2001 to share their work and exchange ideas.

Drahozal’s work focuses on dispute resolution with an emphasis on arbitration. He has written multiple books and articles on commercial arbitration and has presented on the subject in Europe, Asia, Canada, and before Congress and state legislatures.

 Visit the KU Law website for a complete schedule and list of presenters.

Environmental law professor wins interdisciplinary starter grant

Monday, September 14, 2015

LAWRENCE – The Commons, a partnership at the University of Kansas that encourages cross-disciplinary research and learning, awarded $30,000 to KU faculty research groups in the spring 2015 cycle of its Interdisciplinary Starter Grant.

Each research team was awarded $10,000 to launch its interdisciplinary projects in 2015-2016.

Rachel Krause, School of Public Affairs and Administration; Ward Lyles, School of Architecture, Design & Planning, and Uma Outka, School of Law, received funds for their research, which looks at how local energy transitions can be leveraged to advance local social justice objectives. This research project Localized Energy and Climate Adaptation: Advancing Community-Scale Social Justice Goals is situated at the nexus of two approaches to climate change research — mitigation and adaptation — and explores their intersection through a social equity lens.

Michael Vitevitch, psychology, and Arienne Dwyer, anthropology and Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, will examine how the emerging field of network science can be applied across disciplines. Using the principles of network science, researchers examine complex systems and the relationships that exist between individuals in that system (e.g., people in a social group, animals in an ecosystem, etc.). A two-day workshop in spring 2016 will bring leading researchers to demonstrate how network science has been applied to examine language, the arts, the humanities and the sciences. Participants can also learn how to apply these analysis techniques in their own work.

Mary Anne Jordan, visual art, and Caroline Chaboo, ecology & evolutionary biology and the Biodiversity Institute, will launch a study on indigenous dyes in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Jordan and Chaboo will expand their collaboration with Nilda Callañaupa, a master weaver and director of the Center for Traditional Textiles, to document the biodiversity of the region as it relates to traditional dyeing practices and investigate the biological and cultural implications for teaching and preserving traditional practices.

The Commons will host the next round of Starter Grants in Fall 2015 with an information session for all interested KU faculty at 2 p.m. Sept. 23.

The Commons is a collaboration of the Biodiversity Institute, the Hall Center for the Humanities, and the Spencer Museum of Art. Its mission is to bring together scholars and students from the sciences, humanities, and arts to explore the reciprocal relationships between natural and cultural systems. Interdisciplinary Starter Grants are made possible through the support of the Office of Research.

Kansas Court of Appeals to commemorate Constitution Day with session at KU

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Kansas Court of Appeals in session at KU

LAWRENCE — A three-judge panel of the Kansas Court of Appeals will hear five cases Sept. 22 at the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas as part of the court’s observance of Constitution Day.

The court will hear cases at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Alderson Auditorium.

Judges Patrick D. McAnany and Michael B. Buser of Overland Park and Judge Steve Leben of Fairway will hear the cases. Leben has been designated the presiding judge for the hearings.

“The cases we will hear at KU were chosen because we think they present interesting constitutional issues for students,” Leben said. “The constitutional rights we all share are tested daily in America’s courts in cases like these.”

Several of the cases involve disputes about a defendant’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment guarantees our freedom from “unreasonable searches and seizures” and provides that search warrants be issued only on “probable cause.” Under what courts call the exclusionary rule, evidence that was obtained illegally — in violation of the Fourth Amendment — is generally excluded from the trial, although there is an exception to that rule when police officers had a reasonable, good-faith belief they were acting legally.

Attorneys for each side will have an opportunity to present arguments to the judges, and the judges will have a chance to ask questions. After the hearings, the court will take each case under consideration and will issue a written decision at a later date, usually within 60 days.

After each session, the judges will be available to talk to students. The KU School of Law will also host a one-hour “Ask the Judges” open forum for students and the public at 12:30 p.m. in Alderson Auditorium. The judges will provide some background about the U.S. Constitution and the court system and will answer questions.

The Kansas Court of Appeals hears cases throughout the state, with monthly hearing dockets regularly scheduled in Topeka, Wichita and Kansas City. During 2015, the court has also had hearings in Beloit, Chanute, Garden City, Lawrence, Overland Park and Paola, and it will have hearings in Hutchinson in November. 

As part of its observance of Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution by a majority of delegates to the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787, the Kansas Court of Appeals schedules September dockets at Kansas colleges and universities. In addition to the panel at KU, the court this year will have three-judge panels hearing cases at Wichita State University and Kansas State University.

There are 14 judges on the Kansas Court of Appeals. In 2014, the court resolved appeals in 1,861 cases, including 1,295 in which the court issued a formal written opinion.

The five cases to be heard at KU:

9 a.m.

State of Kansas v. Michelle Canfield, Appeal from Shawnee County
Police entered Michelle Canfield’s Topeka home uninvited to arrest her on a warrant that called for her arrest. They found methamphetamine on her person, and she was convicted of a possession charge. She appeals the district court’s denial of her motion to suppress the evidence found on her that day. She alleges that no recognized exception to the requirement for a search warrant authorized the police to enter her home when a man answered the door and said he wasn’t sure whether she was at home. The state of Kansas contends that the officers had authority to enter the home both because they had been called to check on the welfare of Canfield’s children and because they had probable cause to believe that Canfield, for whom they had an arrest warrant, was in the home.

State of Kansas v. Cornelious Jones, Appeal from Labette County
After police in Parsons made a traffic stop, a passenger in the car ran away on foot. Officers arrested him, took a cell phone from his pocket and then looked on the phone for texts without obtaining a search warrant. The information found led to charges against Cornelious Jones for possession and intent to sell illegal drugs. The district court ruled that the warrantless cell-phone search was illegal under a 2014 United States Supreme Court ruling, Riley v. California, which determined that the data on a cell phone of a person arrested cannot be searched without a warrant. The state of Kansas has appealed. It concedes that the search was illegal but argues that the evidence found should still be allowed in the case against Jones because the search occurred before the Riley decision and the officers acted in good faith.

10:30 a.m.

State of Kansas v. Justin Rice, Appeal from Shawnee County
After Justin Rice pled guilty to several crimes committed in Topeka, including solicitation to commit aggravated robbery, the district court found that the crimes involved the “use” of a deadly weapon, which made Rice subject to a requirement that he register under the Kansas Offender Registration Act. Rice claims on appeal that the district court violated his constitutional right to a jury trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He cites a 2000 United States Supreme Court case, Apprendi v. New Jersey, which said that “any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” The state argues that offender registration is for public safety, not part of a defendant’s punishment.

2 p.m.

State of Kansas v. David Wasylk, Appeal from Lyon County
In a case from Emporia, David Wasylk was convicted of four counts of manufacture of methamphetamine and several other drug offenses based on evidence found in a residence by officers who had a search warrant. The district court found that the search warrant shouldn’t have been issued because the information in it came primarily from a single informant without sufficient corroboration. But the district court allowed the evidence to be used against Wasylk anyway because the court found that the officers acted in good faith. On appeal, along with several other issues, the defendant claims that the good-faith exception to the rule that normally excludes illegally obtained evidence should not have been applied.

State of Kansas v. Tiffany C. Hubbard, Appeal from Douglas County
Lawrence resident Tiffany Hubbard appeals her conviction for distribution of cocaine and other offenses. The charges were based on four drug buys and evidence found in her home. At trial, as proof that she lived there, the state presented her license to operate an in-home daycare facility. Hubbard contends that this evidence was irrelevant and prejudicial to her, leading the jury to convict on weak and circumstantial evidence because of concern that children were present when drug transactions may have taken place. She also argues that the prosecuting attorney made improper and prejudicial statements to the jury in closing argument; that the district court violated her constitutional right under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution to present a complete defense in her jury trial (she wasn’t allowed to present some negative information about a witness who was cooperating with the state); and that the district court violated her constitutional right to be present at her own trial by holding a pretrial hearing without her presence.

Read the complete case briefs and judges' bios on the KU Law website

University mourns death of law student Jimmy Gorman

Friday, September 04, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is mourning the death of a second-year School of Law student, James Gorman. He died Sept. 2 at his home in Lawrence. Gorman was 23.

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of one of our talented and promising law students,” said Chancellor Bernadette-Gray Little. “On behalf of the entire university community, I extend my sympathy to James Gorman’s family, friends and those in the School of Law who knew him as a student, classmate and colleague.”

Gorman, originally from Leawood, was a Rice Scholar attending the KU School of Law on a full-tuition scholarship awarded to students with outstanding academic credentials and proven leadership abilities.

He was a staff editor on the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy and was active in the Student Bar Association. Gorman also served as an International Dissertation Writing Fellow, assisting KU’s doctor of juridical science candidates. He spent the summer as a legal intern with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“The KU Law community offers its deepest sympathies to the friends and family of this accomplished young man,” said Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school. “Jimmy was an outstanding student with strong leadership skills and a promising future in the law. He had also exhibited a caring spirit in service to others through volunteer work in his community.”

Services will be noon Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Church of the Nativity, 3700 W. 119th St., in Leawood. 


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  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks used at U.S. law schools
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 33 conviction reversals since 2009
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  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
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