News

Thomas Olohan, ’01 J.D. Receives Highest Honor from FBI

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FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Thomas Olohan, received the FBI’s highest honor of the Director’s Award for Excellence in 2015 due to his work in a sensitive human source operation run jointly with the Department of Defense. Additionally, Olohan was honored with an Anti-Defamation League 2015 SHIELD Award for his role in an investigation that resulted in the incarceration of a US-based individual. The SHIELD Award recognizes major success in the fight against hate crimes, terrorism, and the protection of civil rights.

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Donald W. Ward, ’54 J.D. Receives the 2015 Legendary Lawyer Award

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Donald Ward, partner at Ward & Ward in Indianapolis was named the 2015 Legendary Lawyer by the Indiana Bar Foundation. The annual Legendary Lawyer Award recognizes an attorney who demonstrates adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession throughout a career of 50 years or more. Ward has practiced for 60 years and currently practices with his son at Ward & Ward. Attorney Richard Eynon commented that, “Perhaps no other individual attorney has had a greater impact over the past 50 years in maintaining the integrity of the Appellate and Supreme courts, while putting aside self-interest for the best interests of Hoosiers’ justice, than Don.” Ward was humbled and honored by the award stating, “It is hard for me to believe that I can receive an award for doing the thing I have enjoyed doing for the past 60 years – going to the office and practicing law.” Read more.

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Thomas Ahearne, ’81 Finds Meaning in a Fight for Education Funding in the State of Washington

Thomas Ahearne, a graduate of Notre Dame and University of Chicago Law School, had risen at a powerful Seattle firm by working for business clients who took on insurance companies, often winning millions of dollars. Ahearne, upon the suggestion of a colleague, decided to put his litigation skills to work in fighting the state of Washington over education funding. Read more in the Boston Globe.

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Religious Liberty and the Free Society: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae

The Notre Dame Law Review will host its annual Symposium on Nov. 5-6, 2015 in the Patrick F. McCartan Courtroom at Notre Dame Law School. This year’s Symposium is titled Religious Liberty and the Free Society: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae. The event will celebrate and examine the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom and is part of the 2015-16 Notre Dame Forum.

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Professor William Kelley Appointed to Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure

Chief Justice John G. Roberts has appointed William Kelley, associate professor of law, to the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (the “Standing Committee”). The Standing Committee coordinates the work of the Advisory Committees on the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, Criminal Procedure, and the Rules of Evidence. Kelley was appointed to a three-year term in September.

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The Honorable Michael Gotsch, Sr., '79, '87 JD Receives ISBA Outstanding Judge Award

gotsch_isba_award Judge Michael G. Gotsch Sr. (right)

Judge Michael G. Gotsch Sr., who has served on the bench in the St. Joseph Circuit Court since 2004, was recently honored as the recipient of the Outstanding Judge Award from the Indiana State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Young Lawyers Section at the ISBA’s annual meeting. Over the years, Gotsch has been appointed to serve on numerous national and state committees and task forces. Additionally, Gotsch is an adjunct faculty member at Notre Dame Law School. Read the full news release.

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Supreme Court Could Improve on its Selection of Cases, Law Scholars Argue

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In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court decided some 150 cases a year, nearly twice the number it annually decides these days. Legal scholars and practitioners of law have criticized, lamented and even denounced this “docket shrinkage,” but while much attention has been paid to how the Supreme Court decides its cases, far less attention has been paid to the question of which cases the Court chooses to decide — and which cases it chooses not to.

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Notre Dame Law School Hosts Meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure

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This week, Notre Dame Law will host the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure at its Chicago facilities. Professor Amy Coney Barrett, Diane and M.O. Miller, II Research Chair in Law, is a member of the committee. The committee will meet Thursday and Friday Oct. 29-30 at the Notre Dame Law Suite on Michigan Ave.

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Professor Snead and Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture Hosted Discussions for the Synod on the Family

David Bender, chairman of the CEC advisory board, left, with Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Carter Snead at the Synod on the Family

The three-week-long Synod on the Family, which formally closed with a Mass Sunday (Oct. 25) in Rome, brought 270 cardinals, archbishops and priests from around the world for what may have been the most significant and consequential such church gathering since the Second Vatican Council half a century ago.

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Edging Out a Patent with Notre Dame Law Students

When Jeff Ballard, president of Design Align Landscape Edging in South Bend, knew he had developed a product for the commercial landscaping industry, he wanted to see what legal recourses he had to protect his intellectual property and ultimately bring it to market.

He turned to the South Bend Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advisory Group who recommended that he seek a patent for the product, which he calls a “Gap Lock” connector. However, he was not prepared to spend the thousands of dollars or the significant investment it would take to obtain a patent.…

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Marijuana Policy: Who Should Decide?

When most people frame the debate about regulating marijuana for recreational or medical use, they only consider two options: legalize the drug or ban it. But Robert Mikos, professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School, argued this week that there are actually a variety of options between the two extremes. At a Notre Dame Law School forum, he questioned evaluating the stigma and punishment doled out to low-level marijuana users and expanding the types of conditions permitted for medical use.…

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