Monday Morning Message 9.20.21 Faculty Focus

Posted 2021-09-20 10:17am

Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats

Nothing is more important to student success and the success of our great law school than the quality of our full-time faculty. Our faculty are teachers and scholars who offer a level of expertise, accessibility, support, encouragement, and interaction that many law schools don’t offer. They not only inspire our students, they inspire each other, and they inspire me. We are also very fortunate to have outstanding adjunct and emeritus faculty, and leaders-in-residence.

I am pleased to share an update on some of their recent excellent scholarship, presentations, teaching, and service. This Monday Morning Message is longer than usual so that I can highlight their work over the summer in some detail.


  • Professor Matthew Ahn was victorious in the Sixth Circuit, obtaining the reversal of a 96-month sentence on the grounds that the prosecutor violated his client’s plea agreement.   The opinion can be found here:
  • Professor Angelin Chang has been elected Chair of the International Political Science Association Research Committee on Asian and Pacific Studies and convened seventeen panels at the IPSA World Congress 2021. She was chief guest at an international webinar on Coping up with COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges before the Administration and Civil Society sponsored by the Department of Public Administration, Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, India. At the C|M|LAW Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium, she moderated the panel, Entertainment Law Today: A Snapshot of the Industry. Additionally, she was a featured speaker for the Cleveland International Piano Competition, presenter on Creating a 21st Century Piano Work at the Music Teachers National Association Conference, and speaker at the 2021 Women in Music Summit: Innovators and Trailblazers.
  • Professor David Forte’s article, “Originalism and its Discontents,” was published in the on-line journal, Law & Liberty. It can be accessed here:
  • Professor Doron Kalir was interviewed by Law360 regarding the Supreme Court’s Order in the Harvard Affirmative Action case seeking the opinion of the Solicitor General. Professor Kalir explained that, in general, asking the opinion of the Solicitor General - sometimes referred to as the “Tenth Justice” - is often a sign that the Court is heavily considering taking the case. He opined that with the new super-majority of conservatives on the Court, this case might spell the beginning of the end for Affirmative Action in Higher Education.  The article can be read here.  Professor Kalir’s Note entitled, “The Qualified Immunity Paradox and the Sixth Circuit Moderwell Opinion appeared in the Federal Bar Association Northern District of Ohio’s newsletter.  The Note can be found on pages 8-10 of the Newsletter.
  • Professor Christa Laser was featured in an extended interview on Cleveland 19 News to discuss the trademark issues involved in the new “Guardians” name selected by the Cleveland baseball team. Potential trademark problems have arisen due to the fact that there is a Cleveland roller derby team called the Cleveland Guardians.   The full interview can be viewed here.  Professor Laser is currently ranked in the top ten percent of all authors on SSRN for downloads in the past 12 months. SSRN, the Social Science Research Network, is a repository for preprints devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities.
  • Professor Karin Mika has published an article, “Stories Lived, Stories Told: The Significance of Survivor Stories in our Populist World,” in the International Journal of Arts, Humanity, and Social Sciences.  The article can be found here:
  • Professor Reginald Oh published an article entitled, “Black Citizenship, Dehumanization, and the Fourteenth Amendment,” in the University of Akron Law School’s ConLawNOW journal.  In the article, he argues that the dehumanization of African Americans throughout American history has been a central feature in the exclusion of Blacks from full citizenship.  He examines cases such as Dred Scott, Plessy, and Naim, and show how the courts openly and even enthusiastically dehumanized Blacks and POC to justify denial of citizenship, racial segregation, and bans on interracial marriage.  A copy of the article can be found here.  Professor Oh also published an article titled “An Academic Theory Has Become the 21st Century’s Willie Horton“ in the Washington Monthly. In the article, Professor Oh argues that “the Right is exploiting Critical Race Theory (CRT) to trigger explicit and implicit racial biases about what it deems to be dangerous, radical African American ideologies.”  Additionally, Professor Oh was featured in a radio interview on “Attitude with Arnie Arneson” on July 8. The show is hosted by New Hampshire’s WNHN and is broadcast nationally. Professor Oh discussed his recent article on Critical Race Theory published in the Washington Monthly.  A link to the recording is here
  • Professor John Plecnik completed the week-long Ohio Public Leadership Academy at the Glenn College at Ohio State University.  The Academy is a bipartisan program for rising public officials created by the Ohio General Assembly and Ohio State for leadership training.  Professor Plecnik serves as a County Commissioner for Lake County. 
  • Professor Brian Ray and Cybersecurity Center Advisory Board member Kirk Nahra each published articles in the most recent edition of the Seton Hall Law Review. Ray's article, Just Plain Dumb?: How Digital Contact Tracing Apps Could’ve Worked Better (And Why They Never Got the Chance), discusses how digital contact tracing apps failed in the US and recommends reforms to improve the use of digital tools in pandemic response. Nahra's piece, The Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Privacy Law, examines the brief history of US privacy law and identifies governing principles and key issues that any federal privacy law should address. Ray led with an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community partners, including the Future of Privacy Forum and Cuyahoga County, a $180,000 grant proposal to the Public Interest Technology Network too develop a Data Privacy and Equity Impact Assessment (DPEIA) Training Program and Clinic to assist local communities to evaluate the privacy and civil liberties risks posed by surveillance technologies. Ray also led a successful effort with the Internet of Things Collaborative (IOTC) and faculty from CSU and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to establish a joint CSU-CWRU-IOTC Ohio Cyber Range Regional Center of Excellence. This designation recognizes the cutting-edge research, education and training programs on both campuses and allows faculty to apply for funding to develop resources that use the Range. In July, Ray participated in a panel on Blockchain legal applications as part of the CWRU Ignite! Legal Tech 2021 Conference.
  • Professor Heidi Gorovitz Roberton published a book, Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Environmental Law, as part of a Wolters Kluwer law book publishing series on law teaching (which is edited by Legal Educator-in-Residence Howard Katz).  Professor Robertson was selected to produce the volume on environmental law based both on her past Columbia Environmental Law Review article, “Methods for Teaching Environmental Law: Some Thoughts on Teaching Law Students to Practice” and her experience in the field.  Additionally, Professor Robertson’s letter titled “Erosion in Ohio home-rule rights hurts citizens, helps monied interests” appeared in the June 13, 2021, print edition of the Sunday Cleveland Plain Dealer. Her letter highlights the benefits of home rule related to oil and gas law.  The letter is available here
  • Professor Christopher Sagers’s friend-of-the-court brief was cited in the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling that NCAA’s amateurism regime violates antitrust law.  The brief co-authored with Professor Mike Carrier, submitted on behalf of 65 other law professors was cited on page 25 of the opinion.  You can read the full opinion here.  Professor Sagers was featured on a recent episode of Growing Democracy, a podcast produced by the Growing Democracy Project at Kent State University. Hosts Ashley Nickels and Casey Boyd-Swan, policy scholars at Kent, discussed with Professor Sagers how federal antitrust might fit as a component of improving American democracy and political participation.  He also spoke with the Wall Street Journal on the background of Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who oversees a closely watched antitrust case against Apple brought by Epic Games, maker of the popular game Fortnite and he spoke with the tech industry news magazine Protocol about new claims against Apple in Europe, and how they might affect the Epic Games case.  He also spoke with prominent international media about Amazon’s $9 billion bid to acquire the MGM movie studios, a deal that caught many by surprise, especially given the high price tag and what the case may portend for video distribution. Professor Sagers spoke about the deal with the Financial TimesYahoo Finance, and Bloomberg.  Professor Sagers spoke with the Financial Times, the prominent French news organ L’Express, and the Japanese business magazine Nikkei, on Amazon’s surprise effort last week to remove new Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Kahn from antitrust investigations of the company.  He was also was quoted in a deep-dive analysis in Fortune magazine of the failed merger of Visa and Plaid, a fintech combination that raised very interesting and uncertain antitrust issues and was successfully opposed by the Trump administration.
  • Professor Milena Sterio’s article, “Darryl Robinson’s Model for International Criminal Law: Deontic Principles Developed Through a Coherentist Approach,” was published by the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal (Volume 35, No. 1, Spring 2021.  Professor Sterio’s article is available here: .  She also contributed a book review on Professor Timothy William Waters’ book, “Boxing Pandora: Rethinking Borders, States, and Secession in a Democratic World,” in the Israel Law Review. Professor Sterio moderated a webinar titled “Libya-Access to Justice for Vulnerable Groups in Times of Covid-19.  Additionally, she moderated two panel discussions.  The first was convened by the International Criminal Moot Court competition and centered around developing the ICC Moot Court program.  The second panel discussion entitled, “Practicing and Teaching in the New Normal” was convened by the International Bar Association and centered around issues regarding the practice of international law and international criminal law during the pandemic.  Professor Sterio co-authored an op-ed with Dean Michael Scharf (Case Western Reserve University School of Law) and Professor Paul Williams (American University Washington College of Law) on June 1.  The op-ed, titled “Why the US Should Recognize the Rohingya Genocide,” argues that the Biden Administration should be willing to label the atrocities committed against the Rohingya ethnic group as genocide.  The op-ed is available here: Why the US Should Recognize the Rohingya Genocide – The Diplomat.  Professor Sterio was selected to contribute a chapter to the book project, “Reimagining Judging in International Criminal Courts: A Gendered Approach.”  Professor Milena Sterio attended the first round of peace negotiations between the Government of Sudan and one of the Sudan rebel movements, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)-North, in Juba, South Sudan.  Professor Sterio provided legal expertise and guidance for the ongoing negotiations, as an academic expert and representative of the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG).
  • Professor Mark Sundahl published an op-ed in SpaceNews entitled “The Success of Artemis Hinges on NASA’s Commitment to Competition.” Professor Sundahl argues that NASA should not rely solely on one company to implement the Human Landing System (HLS) but should grant a second award for the HLS program to ensure ongoing healthy competition. He states, “Our capitalist system, defined by healthy competition, is the greatest advantage that the United States has as other countries, including China and Russia, jostle in space for geopolitical supremacy.”  Professor Sundahl, Director of the Global Space Law Center was quoted extensively in an article by Forbes entitled, “Russian Space Junk Slammed into a Chinese Satellite, Says U.S. Space Force.”  He addressed whether one country can sue another for damaging its spacecraft. The article can be found here.  Forbes.
  • Dean Lee Fisher wrote an article about leadership and law in the Baylor Law Review. See article hereDean Lee Fisher, Change at the Speed of Leadership, Baylor Law Review, Winter 2021 Edition. He recently wrote a column for Community Leader, a publication of Cleveland Magazine, offering some advice to Cleveland’s next mayor. See column hereAn Open Letter to Cleveland's Next Mayor. On August 11, 2021, Dean Fisher moderated a United Way panel discussion on the Cleveland Consent Decree and search and seizure issues. The Consent Decree mandates that the Cleveland Police Department conduct all investigatory stops, searches, and arrests fairly and respectfully. Dean Fisher was a charter member of the Cleveland Community Police Commission. See panel discussion hereUnited Way Panel Discussion on Search and Seizure. On September 1, 2021 Dean Fisher moderated a panel discussion at the William K. Thomas Inn of Court meeting with Terry Gilbert ’73 and Adjunct Professor Gordon Friedman, about Terry Gilbert’s book, Trying Times. Dean Fisher co-chaired the successful Search Committee for a new CSU Provost. He was interviewed several times by WKYC TV 3 on the 11th District Congressional race. See here.


  • Jurist-in-Residence Ronald Adrine’s experience on the former U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations is highlighted in a new Ohio Supreme Court video.  The committee was formed to investigate the killings of Dr. Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy.  Judge Adrine was selected as a committee investigator.  The video entitled, “Crying for Answers” can be viewed here
  • Leader-in-Residence Sonali Bustamante Wilson and Sheryl King Benford and were among only 19 general counsels chosen by Crain’s Cleveland Business to their list of Notable General Counsels. 
  • Legal Educator-in-Residence Howard Katz made two presentations at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) annual conference. As part of the Newer Law Teachers Workshop, Howard spoke about "Teaching Law: The Essentials." As part of the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop, he met with aspiring candidates to review their CVs. Professor Katz also was a participant in the discussion group on "How to Assure Effective Formative and Summative Assessment." He presented his draft article Teaching Legal Analysis Using the "Unified Field Theory", focusing on how this method of teaching legal analysis in first-year courses (which he has developed with the help of Professor Kevin O'Neill), incorporates formative assessment into daily class discussion.  He also gave a presentation on Course Design at the AALS Workshop for New Law Teachers on June 3. The conference, normally held in Washington D.C., was on zoom this year. The session, conducted with Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz of McGeorge School of Law, addressed such topics as transparency, sequencing of material, decisions about coverage, assessment, and coursebook selection. Professor Katz also facilitated two small group discussions with attendees and hosted a session for new Contracts professors.

Emeritus Faculty

  • Professor Emeritus David Barnhizer’s paperback “Un-Canceling” America was published in August.  The Amazon link can be found here
  • Professor Emeritus Gordon Beggs is writing an inmate in Ohio and another in South Carolina for the University of Arizona Poetry Center to help them improve their writing skills. The center has a competition offering prizes for the best poetry and prose - both nonfiction and fiction.
  • Professor Emeritus Brian Glassman was a co-presenter at “Voting Legislation Update: Developments in Other States,” a CLE hosted by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association on June 24, 2021. At a public hearing of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, Prof. Glassman gave oral testimony on August 23, 2021, and at the request of the Commission’s co-Chair, provided supplemental written testimony. On September 3, 2021, Prof. Glassman was a co-presenter at a press conference organized by Fair Districts Ohio, a coalition of organizations working to create a more equitable representative democracy. Finally, as a member of the Fair Districts Mapping Competition Advisory Committee, Prof. Glassman will help to select winners from among the maps that have been submitted, proposing how Ohio’s voting districts should be redrawn.
  • Professor Emerita S. Candice Hoke was one of 8 election security national experts who wrote a letter to the California Secretary of State, recommending a rigorous post-election audit be conducted as part of the current election determining whether California’s Governor will be recalled.   Because of some recent technical security lapses in other States that use the same voting and tabulation technologies as in parts of California, scientifically sound extra steps need to be taken to assure that the election results accurately report the voters’ choices. 
  • Professor Emeritus Stephen J. Werber was honored by the William K. Thomas American Inn of Court by creation of the “Professor Stephen Werber Professionalism Award.”  This award will be given annually to an outstanding Associate member, the youngest of our members.  It is complemented by three additional awards going to more experienced members and judges.  Each award is named for an Inn member who has made a significant contribution to the creation and/or development of the Inn.

Adjunct Faculty 

  • Adjunct Professor and Center for Cybersecurity & Privacy Protection Board Member Kirk Herath led a small group of experts, including Center Director Professor Brian Ray and two other Center Board members, Tim Opsitnick, and Spence Witten, in drafting Ohio’s landmark privacy bill, the Ohio Privacy Protection Act, that was announced at a July 13 press conference by Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted and several lawmakers.
  • Adjunct Professor Karen Rubin received the Eugene R. Weir Award from the Ohio State Bar Association at its annual meeting on May 14. The award recognizes the demonstration of exceptional professional responsibility among Ohio lawyers.  Professor Rubin’s article “Non-Lawyer Ownership of Law Firms is Trending – But is it a Good Idea?” was published in the Jan-Mar. 2021 issue of Ohio Lawyer Magazine.  Her article, “Excellent Lawyers are Civil – And if You’re Not, You Might Pay for It” was published in the May 2021 issue of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Bar Journal.
  • Adjunct Professor Edmund (Ned) Searby won a significant appeal in a case he argued in the Fifth Circuit regarding search warrants executed on five locations of a multi-state healthcare provider.  The Reuters article regarding the ruling in Harbor Healthcare Systems LP v. United States can be found here:


  • Professor Eric Tucker, Professor of Law Osgood Hall Law School, and Affiliate at Cleveland-Marshall published “The Trilemma of Canadian Migrant Worker Policy: Facilitating Employer Access while Protecting the Canadian Labour Market and Addressing Migrant Worker Exploitation?” in Catherine Dauvergne, ed., Research Handbook on the Law and Politics of Migration (Cheltenham, UK: Elgar, 2020) (with Sarah Marsden and Leah Vosko), 63-82 and “Flawed by Design?: A Case Study of Federal Enforcement of Migrant Workers’ Labour Rights in Canada” (2021) 23:1 Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal 71-102 (with Sarah Marsden and Leah Vosko).  Additionally  he was quoted in an article in the Toronto Star (24 Aug. 2021) on teacher work refusals during COVID: ( that led to interviews on radio stations in Ottawa and Toronto.


Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.

 Have a great day. Have a great week.

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My best,


Lee Fisher

Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law


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