It was a good week for …
Serving a pro bono deanship, after trial lawyer Tom Keefe Jr., the interim dean at Saint Louis University School of Law, announced plans to donate his dean salary back to the law school.
Saint Louis University does not publicly disclose its salaries, but the median 2010 law school dean salary was $278,454, according to a report by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. Keefe accepted the one-year deanship after the school’s former dean, Annette Clark, resigned following a public dispute [link] with the university over the autonomy of the law school.
Keefe is a uber-successful personal injury lawyer who has won more than $150 million for his clients, according to his website. Keefe, his father, four brothers and two of his children attended Saint Louis University’s School of Law, as well as several of his nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Illegal immigrants who want to become U.S. attorneys, after a 35 year-old immigrant who passed the California bar exam received the support of Democrats in a state resolution backing his cause.
Sergio Garcia was brought across the Mexican border illegally by his family as a child and eventually worked his way through college and law school. He graduated from Cal Northern School of Law, an unaccredited law school in Chico, CA, and passed the bar on his first try in 2009. The California Supreme Court will decide his fate later this year.
Rallying around Garcia, Democratic lawmakers introduced the State Bar DREAM Resolution, arguing that “simply being undocumented should not be a determining factor on whether or not you should get your law license," said California Assemblyman Luis Alejo.
California’s attorney general and the state bar filed briefs in support of giving Garcia his license. Opponents argue that if a person’s status in a country is illegal, they should have no right to practice law. President Obama sides with the opponents, arguing that to give an undocumented immigrant a California law license violates a federal law that denies giving "public benefits" to illegal immigrants.
It was a bad week for …
Law schools involved in child custody disputes, after Liberty University School of Law was named in a civil suit stemming from a case where a Vermont pastor was convicted of helping a woman flee the country with her daughter in an ongoing child custody battle with her former lesbian partner.
Lisa Miller, who renounced homosexuality, chose to leave the country rather than give her former partner, Janet Jenkins, visitation with her biological daughter. Jenkins filed the civil suit on behalf of herself and the daughter, who is now 10 years old.
The suit alleges that Liberty law school is liable because a part-time student worker in 2009 allegedly sent an email to co-workers “requesting donations for supplies to send to Lisa Miller to enable her to remain outside the country.” The suit also claims that the law school’s dean, Mathew Staver, and an associate dean at the school “routinely instructed their Law School students that the correct course of action for a person in Lisa Miller’s situation would be to engage in ‘civil disobedience’ and defy court orders.” Staver said the allegations are outrageous and not true.
Liberty Counsel, a pro-Christian public interest firm founded by Staver, represented Miller in the custody dispute. Staver denied all allegations, saying that he always advised Miller to comply with the court’s orders and discussed the consequences of defying the orders. He called the allegations “laughable.”