In February 2017, USD School of Law hosted a reception at the San Diego Bar Association to honor the life and work of the late Harvey Levine and celebrate the newly established Harvey Levine Scholarship Fund. Bill Shernoff, Levine’s former law partner and founding partner of Shernoff, Bidart, Echeverria, LLP , was the keynote speaker. Shernoff is credited with pioneering the bad faith cause of action—one of the few new torts established in the 20th century. He spoke on his experience in the field and future trends in bad faith litigation, as well as his experience as a longtime partner and friend of Levine. The Harvey Levine Scholarship Fund was created by David S. Casey Jr., ’74 (JD); Adam and Rennie Levine; Judy Levine; Gabriel and Alyssa Mass; Virginia C. Nelson, ’79 (JD); and Jeffrey D. Phair, ’80 (JD). The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student with a commitment to advocacy and demonstrated financial need.
In January 2017, the Honorable Carolyn M. Caietti, ’86 (JD), ’83 (BA); Reginald Dwayne Betts; and David Tanenhaus gave the Jane Ellen Bergman Memorial Lecture, which this year commemorated the 50th anniversary of In re Gault, a landmark 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held juveniles accused of crimes must be afforded many of the same due process rights as adults, such as the right to timely notification of the charges, the right to confront witnesses, the right against self-incrimination and the right to counsel. Judge Caietti was appointed to the San Diego Superior Court in 2006, and has presided over dependency and delinquency matters since 2008. She has been a Juvenile Court presiding judge since 2013. A member of USD’s Law Alumni Board, Caietti received the 2016 Wilmont Sweeney Juvenile Court Judge of the Year award in December 2016. Betts was convicted of a serious offense at the age of 16 and served more than eight years in prison. He went on to graduate from Yale Law School and wrote A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison. Tanenhaus teaches at University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law, where his scholarship focuses on legal justice and juvenile justice. He is a co-editor of A Century of Juvenile Justice and author of Juvenile Justice in the Making and The Constitutional Rights of Children: In re Gault and Juvenile Justice. The Jane Ellen Bergman Memorial Lecture Series on Women, Children and Human Rights is the result of a gift from Dr. Barbara Yates, a professor at the University of Illinois and a friend of the late Bergman. According to Dr. Yates, Bergman “chose to devote her professional life to public service. As a nursing administrator, public health educator and family therapist, she developed an abiding interest in the human rights of common people.” This series is a lasting tribute to Bergman and an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and community members to hear distinguished lecturers speak about issues concerning women, children and human rights.
In January 2017, Community Defenders presented a seminar titled “How to Avoid/Void Wrongful Convictions.” Speakers included the Honorable Christopher J. Plourd, presiding judge of the Imperial County Superior Court, who spoke on errors and omissions in forensic science that lead to wrongful convictions; Richard Leo, professor of law and psychology at University of San Francisco School of Law, who spoke on false confessions; Scott Sanders, Orange County deputy public defender, who spoke on snitches; and Mitchell Eisen, California State University, Los Angeles professor, who spoke on mistaken eyewitness identification.
In November 2016, Michael Ledeen (left) gave the Joan E. Bowes-James Madison Distinguished Speaker lecture and spoke on his new book, Field of Fight: How to Win the War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies. Ledeen is a Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and is an internationally renowned expert on Iran, Iraq, terrorism and international security. Continuing a family passion for learning, longtime La Jolla resident and civic activist Joan E. Bowes established the Joan E. Bowes-James Madison Distinguished Speaker Series through the School of Law to inspire law students and other members of the San Diego community and promote the open exchange of ideas. Bearing the name of James Madison—fourth president of the United States and “Father of the Constitution”—this annual series brings distinguished speakers from the fields of law, diplomacy, government and politics to USD .
Robert A. Stein, the Everett Fraser Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, spoke on the future of capital punishment in the United States at the 33rd Nathaniel L. Nathanson Memorial Lecture in September 2016. This lecture series was established in 1984 to honor Nathaniel L. Nathanson, an esteemed law professor who devoted his life to the law and legal education. The series brings distinguished speakers to the University of San Diego to discuss issues of national significance. Stein was a close friend and colleague of Professor Carl Auerbach, who taught at and served as dean of University of Minnesota Law School prior to joining the faculty at USD School of Law in 1985. Auerbach passed away on April 6, 2016, at the age of 100. Prior to this year’s Nathanson Memorial Lecture, a memorial service for Auerbach was held, which was attended by many of his colleagues, family, friends and former law students. Speakers at the service included Stein, who succeeded Auerbach as dean, and USD School of Law professors Jack Minan, Larry Alexander, Mike Devitt, Laurence Claus and Roy Brooks, who remembered Auerbach’s commitment to his students and contributions to the legal profession.