This week, Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies authorities said were born alive before having their spinal cord snipped with scissors.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams called the case "arguably the most gruesome" he's seen. "I will not mince words, Kermit Gosnell is a monster.”
Last week, three young women were rescued from a Cleveland home after being held captive for nearly ten years by Ariel Castro. The women were allegedly sexually assaulted, physically abused, tortured and at least one woman was beaten and starved in order to terminate multiple pregnancies.
"The first thing I said was, 'I knew it, I knew it,' " Fernando Colon, Castro’s neighbor, told the Los Angeles Times, "He's a monster. He's the opposite of what people thought he was."
These guys aren’t just criminals, they’re monsters -- no punishment is adequate -- extermination is the only recourse…right?
Two Duquesne law students appeared and argued Verde-Rodriguez v. Faber, an immigration case, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, on Tuesday of this week. In addition, another Duquesne law student argued Washington v. Secretary, PA Department of Corrections, a criminal case, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Wednesday.
Second-year day student Jesse Drumm and third-year day Stephanie Noel argued before the court Tuesday, and third-year evening student Charles P. Sapienza, III, argued before the court Wednesday.
In announcing their appearances, the university noted it is a rare opportunity for law students to argue before the appeals court.
Drumm , Noel and Sapienza are part of Duquesne’s Federal Practice Clinic, in which students, under the supervision of licensed attorneys, provide legal representation in civil rights matters for inmates and other indigents with appeals that the federal courts deem potentially meritorious. The clinic is part of the School of Law’s Clinical Legal Education program aimed at providing the students with court room experience before they even leave law school.
(Image: (L-R) Charles P. Sapienza, III; Duquesne Law School Dean Ken Gormley; Stephanie Noel; Jesse Drumm; Adjunct Law Professor Adrian N. Roe and Law Professor Laurie Serafino, director of clinical legal education. Duquesne University photo)
The Post-Gazette Business/law package starts the work week with a report by the PG's Tim Grant about a new, emerging category of personal property known to estate planners as "digital assets."
The Legal Intelligencer's Amaris Elliott-Engel and Zack Needles look in on the prospects for action by Gov. Tom Corbett on the vacancy on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the wake of former Justice Joan Orie Melvin's conviction and sentencing on political corruption charges.
And from the weekend, the Panic Street Lawyer's Jay Hornack offers his views on the Pittsburgh mayoral contest.
Who were the four members named to partner level at the Pittsburgh office of Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott? Who was the associate at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz elected to a three-year term on the Board of Governors for the Duquesne Law Alumni Association?
Discover the details and more in our notes on career moves and news in Western Pennsylvania's legal community in this week's On the Docket.
And here's how to share career news from your practice:
I am writing this final posting in Pittsburgh. It is hard to accept that the semester has come to a close. We had a great adventure and an unforgettable semester--amazing! (I’m still buzzing with all that we learned, all that we saw, and all that we did.) And I’m grateful to everyone who helped to make this trip such a success—our 14 remarkable students (brave, patient, funny, smart, eloquent, resourceful); my colleagues, Michael Goodhart, Clara Heck, and Joyce Bartholomae, who helped to define the trip’s ambition and character; and the faculty and staff at Pitt who created and who manage this remarkable program (with a special nod to Vanessa Sterling and Nancy Condee).
The PittMAP concept is brilliant. Provide a focused curriculum to insure that the trip is truly a study trip. In our case, we were studying the politics (and not just the economics) of poverty, looking at efforts by governmental and non-governmental agencies to address the needs of the poor in these three major, emerging economies: Brazil, India, China. Provide a focused curriculum, and put the group on a university campus long enough that they can become more than tourists. With four or five weeks in each city, we got to know people and neighborhoods. The students could follow their interests in politics, sports, culture, and the arts; they found soccer games, favorite beaches, running trails, museums, clubs, and concert venues. They created side trips and had private adventures. They made friends, some of the them lasting friends, and partied with students from every corner of the globe. Over the course of our 120 days, we were offered a rare and precious opportunity to enter into the life and rhythm of three great cities: Florianopolis, Hyderabad, and Beijing.
The long line of blog posts preceding this one has told the story of our travels. As you have seen, much of what we learned, we learned off campus--in the cities and through the excursions (or field work) enabled by our local support groups. We visited clinics, schools, villages, government offices and NGOs. We met with writers, social service providers, activists, and corporate executives. And we found our way to the prime tourist sites: out of the way beaches on the island of Florianopolis, the Taj Mahal in India, and China’s Great Wall.
The highlights for me include our visit to a Guaraní village on the mainland of Santa Catarina, our meeting with the journalist and Dalit activist, Mallepalli Laxmaiah, the trip to Burgula, a rural village outside Hyderabad, an evening with Evan Osnos, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and our visit to the Longhai School, a school for children of migrant workers in Daxing District, Beijing.
I’ve been working with undergraduates since 1973. And I’ve worked with study abroad programs in Spain and England. PittMap has provided the most memorable and important and productive semesters of my teaching career. I’ve very grateful to have had the opportunity of spending this semester with this program, these colleagues, and these fine students. To our readers: please help spread the word. There will be new PittMAP groups forming every spring semester—each with a different faculty, a different focus, and a different itinerary. The program provides a once in a lifetime opportunity and you can find it through the Study Abroad Office at Pitt.