Fall 2015

All Articles in This Issue

Geeti Faramarzi, LLM ’13 Geeti Faramarzi, LLM ’13

Class Note Fall 2015

Geeti Faramarzi, LLM ’13: Assisting with Australian Inquest into 2014 Lindt Café Siege

Long before American television viewers awoke to reports of a suspected terrorist attack in Australia, Geeti Faramarzi, LLM ’13, was watching the chaotic scene unfold live outside her Sydney office. “I was told that an armed robbery was taking place next door at the Lindt Café,” recalls Faramarzi, a solicitor at the Office of the State Coroner of New South Wales (NSW). 

Russell Smith Russell Smith

Class Note Fall 2015

Russell Smith, ’86: Ensuring There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Russell Smith’s clients are slimy. Really. They number in the billions, don’t communicate, and move constantly. He willingly allows many to get the death penalty. Smith, ’86, is deputy assistant secretary for international fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

Bakst, ’97: Advocating for Work/Family Balance Bakst, ’97: Advocating for Work/Family Balance

Class Note Fall 2015

Dina Leshetz Bakst, ’97: Advocating for Work-Family Balance

When the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) was reintroduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate in June, it was a personal victory for Dina Leshetz Bakst, ’97. Bakst helped to draft the legislation, which provides stronger legal protections for pregnant women in the workplace.

Daniel Matzkin, ’09, Photo: J. Albert Diaz, Daily Business Review Daniel Matzkin, ’09, Photo: J. Albert Diaz, Daily Business Review

Class Note Fall 2015

Daniel Matzkin, ’09: A New Perspective on Hearing Cases

According to Daniel Matzkin, ’09, his typical day as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida is just like everyone else’s in that same position. And if you ask whether law school was particularly challenging for him, he’ll tell you that it is equally challenging for nearly everyone.

Samuel Zhang, LLM ’85 Samuel Zhang, LLM ’85

Class Note

Samuel Zhang, LLM ’85: Facilitating Business Deals with Cultural Insights

Just as he has represented U.S. and European companies with investments and cross-border transactions in Asian countries throughout the past two decades, Samuel Zhang, LLM ’85, is now assisting companies from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan that seek to conduct business in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world.

Larry Elder Larry Elder

Class Note

Larry Elder, ’77: Filling the Conservative Airwaves

Larry Elder, ’77, has offered his wisdom on his talk radio show, now on the air for some 20 years. It would be difficult to find another U-M alum who can mix it up like Elder can. He represents a small category: black conservatives. Suffice it to say that the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have not been on Elder’s show.

Beauty images of the arches in the Law Quad Beauty images of the arches in the Law Quad

Impact Fall 2015

Recent Gifts: Fall 2015

Giving to Michigan Law is an investment in the future of legal education, and private support ensures that the excellence that has distinguished Michigan-trained lawyers continues for generations to come.

Kardashians Kardashians

Cover Story

Michael Kump, ’81, and Marty Katz, ’83: Hollywood Law

Some of the biggest names in the Hollywood legal universe attended Michigan Law. Two of the most well-known and well-connected are Michael Kump, ’81, who represents major stars, and Marty Katz, ’83, who represents top studios, producers, and other content providers.

Image for: So You Want to Work in Entertainment Law? Image for: So You Want to Work in Entertainment Law?

Cover Story

So You Want to Work in Entertainment Law?

As nearly anyone who works in entertainment law will tell you, there is no such thing as "entertainment law." Or, rather, many legal fields comprise entertainment law, and a diverse skillset is needed to achieve success. 

2015 Fiske Fellows 2015 Fiske Fellows

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

2015 Fiske Fellows Selected

The 2015 class of Fiske Fellows was selected in the spring and had the opportunity to meet Robert Fiske, ’55, during an April event at the Law School. 

Beauty image of the law school through lush green trees Beauty image of the law school through lush green trees

Briefs

News in Brief: Fall 2015

Michigan Law alum elected Ann Arbor mayor  |  NYT best-selling author alum  |  Michigan Law at a glance  |  and more...

A film chair with the word attorney written on the back A film chair with the word attorney written on the back

Cover Story

Practicing Law in the Entertainment Age

Some of the biggest names in the Hollywood legal universe attended Michigan Law. Many alumni routinely appear in listings such as Variety’s “Legal Impact Report” and Hollywood Reporter’s “Power Lawyers.” Two of the most well-known and well-connected are Michael Kump, ’81, who represents major stars, and Marty Katz, ’83, who represents top studios, producers, and other content providers.

People Celebrating at a movie screening People Celebrating at a movie screening

Cover Story Fall 2015

Independents’ Day: Michigan Law Alumni Expand Indie Movies’ Reach

Fans of indie movies once had a difficult time getting to see the films they loved: they were shown at arthouse theaters in big cities, then released much later at some video rental stores. Today, by contrast, is a relative heyday for indies and the audiences that love them, thanks in no small part to Michigan Law alumni.

Reality TV star and former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, arrives at the United States Courthouse for a news conference. Reality TV star and former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, arrives at the United States Courthouse for a news conference.

Cover Story

Heather Dietrick, ’07 JD/MBA: Defending Gawker and the First Amendment

Whether it’s allegations of the Toronto Mayor’s crack habit or the publication of a Hulk Hogan sex tape, the legal issues that come to Heather Dietrick, JD/MBA ’07, at Gawker Media might tempt less ardent supporters of the First Amendment to toss their copies of the Constitution.

China on Broadway group photo China on Broadway group photo

Features

Broadway in China, and China on Broadway

Fifteen years ago, Robert Nederlander Jr., ’89, began exploring opportunities to take Broadway shows to China—something that had never been done at that time. Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, of which he is president and CEO, would go on to fulfill that promise by becoming the first foreign entity allowed to form a joint venture and operate in the Chinese performing arts industry.

David Guenther David Guenther

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

David Guenther, ’99, Named Director of International Transactions Clinic

One of the things that David Guenther, ’99, enjoys about teaching in the International Transactions Clinic is helping clients that are charting new territory. “The clinic is doing fascinating work in places all over the world that very few lawyers have done before,” says Guenther, who was named director in May. 

picture of detroit skyline picture of detroit skyline

Cover Story

Leonard M. Niehoff, ’84, and James E. Stewart, ’73: A 30-Year Partnership in Media Law

The blowtorch beautician. Libel by insinuendo. Justice hidden in the Motor City. With cases in their repertoire that read like mystery thrillers, suffice it to say that Leonard M. Niehoff, ’84, and James E. Stewart, ’73, have not lacked intrigue in their 30-year media law partnership.

Professor Gil Seinfeld Professor Gil Seinfeld

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

Seinfeld Searches Younger Doctrine for Answers in Google Inc. v. Hood

An authority on federal courts and jurisdiction, Professor Gil Seinfeld acknowledges that it is a rare occasion when the public’s attention is captured by a case that aligns with his scholarly interests. Google Inc. v. Hood was just such an exception.

A woman with a Michigan hat and a turtleneck stands arm-in-arm with a man in a blazer. A woman with a Michigan hat and a turtleneck stands arm-in-arm with a man in a blazer.

Impact

John Nickoll, ’60: Darrow Scholarship Endowment

John Nickoll, ’60, and his wife, Patty, of Los Angeles, have made a $1 million gift to the Law School to endow a Darrow Scholarship—which is given to a very select group of Michigan Law’s most accomplished admitted students and can cover as much as full tuition plus a stipend. 

Three people are talking sitting on sofas at the refugee conference Three people are talking sitting on sofas at the refugee conference

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

Scholars and Judges Convene to Develop Refugee Law Guidelines

The 1951 Refugee Convention defines a refugee as someone who has a well-founded fear of being persecuted based on one of five factors, including his or her political opinion. But what constitutes a political opinion? A group of judges and academics gathered at Michigan Law to develop guidelines for this unsettled area.

Stef Tucker, ’63, and his wife, Marilyn Tucker, ABEd ’62 Stef Tucker, ’63, and his wife, Marilyn Tucker, ABEd ’62

Impact Fall 2015

Stef Tucker, ’63, and Marilyn Tucker, ABEd ’62: “A Moral Commitment”

As a 2L, newlywed Stef Tucker, ’63, and his wife, Marilyn Tucker, ABEd ’62, returned most of their wedding gifts for cash in order to make ends meet. Through the Stefan & Marilyn Tucker Scholarship Fund, the Tuckers are now the gift givers.

Students being lectured to and learning in the classroom at Law School Students being lectured to and learning in the classroom at Law School

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

Curriculum Changes Better Serve Student Needs

The Michigan Law faculty has adopted a set of changes to the Law School’s curriculum that will address new American Bar Association regulations and increase flexibility for students in a way that will better prepare them for an ever-evolving legal industry.

Beautiful image of the law school reading room windows from when you're walking up from the underground library Beautiful image of the law school reading room windows from when you're walking up from the underground library

Impact Fall 2015

Cause and Effect: A Donor and a Scholarship Recipient Reflect on Their Connection to Michigan Law

“The Adelman Scholarship meant the chance to attend Michigan Law. Period. Had I not had the scholarship, there’s no way I would have thought that Michigan was a practical choice for me.”

Bob Woodruff, ’87 Bob Woodruff, ’87

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

New Veterans Legal Clinic Will Serve Those Who Serve Us

They’ve risked their lives, incurred long separations from loved ones, and suffered injuries to serve their country. When they return home, military veterans often face legal barriers to basic needs. A new clinic at Michigan Law is committed to reversing that troubling pattern. 

May Liang, ’89 May Liang, ’89

Impact

May Liang, ’89: “I love the vibrancy of the Law School.”

May Liang, ’89, sees the value of her Michigan Law degree in black and white. “Now that I’m established in my career, I really appreciate my time at Michigan,” she says. “It was an impressive education that provided incredible opportunities, and I’m proud to give back.”

Mini-Seminar Brings Marijuana Law into the Classroom Mini-Seminar Brings Marijuana Law into the Classroom

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

Reefer Madness: Mini-Seminar Brings Marijuana Law into the Classroom

When a mini-seminar on marijuana law is offered at the Law School, you can bet that a showing of the campy cautionary tale Reefer Madness will be used as a learning tool. What you might not expect is a syllabus that includes both marijuana court cases and a ranking of the top 25 pot songs of all time.

Michigan law student standing with individual letters that spell out: Thank you. Michigan law student standing with individual letters that spell out: Thank you.

Impact

3L Challenge Celebrates 20 Years

Twenty years ago, the Law School faced two problems: declining state funding and a declining percentage of recent graduates who were becoming donors to the Law School. So John Nannes, ’73, came up with an idea: He would donate $250 to any Law School organization or activity that a 3L student chose, if the student agreed to make a gift to the Law School in each of the first three years after graduation. 

Margo Schlanger Margo Schlanger

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

Prof. Margo Schlanger Launches Civil Rights Education Initiative for High Schoolers

A new project called the Civil Rights Litigation Schoolhouse is helping high school students understand civil rights and the litigation process, and their importance in a democratic society. The Schoolhouse is an extension of the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, an online repository of court documents and information related to more than 7,000 civil rights cases dating back to the 1960s.

Two alumni talking to a law student at a law school event Two alumni talking to a law student at a law school event

Impact

Southeast Michigan Scholarship Dinner Highlights Student-Alumni Connection

The best indication of the impact of one’s gifts is to meet those who directly benefit. At the Southeast Michigan Scholarship Dinner on April 21, 2015, beneficiaries and benefactors had the chance to get to know each other, share stories about their Michigan Law experiences, and talk about why they give and what those gifts mean.

Beauty image of azaleas in the courtyard Beauty image of azaleas in the courtyard

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

Kauper, Yamakawa Honored as Distinguished Alumni

The Law School honored two outstanding alumni with the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards, presented at a September 25 ceremony. This year’s recipients are Professor Emeritus Thomas E. Kauper, ’60, and Yoichiro Yamakawa, MCL ’69.

Tom Washing, ’66 Tom Washing, ’66

Impact

Tom Washing, ’66: Support for the Veterans Legal Clinic

As a venture capitalist, Tom Washing, ’66, is a savvy investor. And when he learned details of the Law School’s new Veterans Legal Clinic, Washing saw a winner.

Joan Larsen Joan Larsen

@UMICHLAW Fall 2015

Prof. Joan Larsen Appointed to Michigan Supreme Court

Joan Larsen, special counsel to the dean and adjunct professor at the Law School, has been appointed a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Snyder for a term ending January 1, 2017.