We are pleased to announce that the Remington Center is Going Electronic!  In particular, the Frank J. Remington Center is adopting a new electronic newsletter emailing system that we hope will improve the quality of our communications with our students, alumni and friends.  If you would like to receive a copy of our electronic newsletter in future, please subscribe here.

In addition, the Remington Center now has a Facebook page available online.  The page will allow current students, alumni, and community members to receive Remington Center updates right on their Facebook news feed.  Updates will include news stories about the Center’s projects, information about Remington Center events, links to the systemic work and research of our clinical faculty, and other items of interest.  There is also a discussion section to discuss current legal topics and reconnect with your fellow Remington Center alumni from around the country.  If you would like to receive updates on your news feed, log in to your Facebook account and click on the “like” button at the top of the page.

Featured Articles

In Remembrance: Susan Remington

Susan Stone Remington, widow of Professor Frank Remington, died peacefully in Madison on June 21, 2011, surrounded by her family and friends.  She was 89.

Sue was a tremendous supporter of the Remington Center.  She served as a major donor to the Friends of the Remington Center Endowment, and maintained a strong interest in the activities of the Center throughout her life.  She will be sorely missed.

A full obituary for Sue Remington is available online

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Ken Streit Works on Grant to Improve Evidence-Based Decision Making in Milwaukee County’s Criminal Justice System

Milwaukee County has been selected as one of three sites nationally to participate in Phase III of an Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems (EBDM) grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, and Office of Justice Programs.  Clinical Professor Ken Streit has been working on the project with actors in Milwaukee’s criminal justice system.

Over the last several years, the many participants in Milwaukee's criminal justice system have met regularly as a coordinating council, and have devoted considerable time in documenting the need for, and identifying programs that could best benefit from, evidence-based decision making to improve public safety and reduce costs.

The Phase III grant will allow Milwaukee to take major steps in applying a tool called Universal Screening to arrestees.  Universal Screening is a computerized, evidence-based risk-needs assessment tool that is operated by a trained screener.  It results in a score which is then used by prosecutors, defense attorneys, and court commissioners to determine bail or other release conditions.

the project's second goad is to develop stronger capacity, in both quantity and quality, of diversion programs.  The goal is to address the needs of individuals who, based on their Universal Screening scores, do not necessarily need to stay in jail.

Finally, the project will allow Milwaukee to develop "dosage-based probation," as opposed to the typical duration-based probation terms.  Certain offenders will be selected for probation that is measured by completion of identified "dosage" of intervention in order to achieve specific court-ordered goals.  Once the offender achieves the goals, the court can terminate probation early.  Professor Streit proposed the goal-based probation idea and worked with judges, community corrections administrators, prosecutors, and defense counsel on this part of the grant proposal.

A full description of the grant project is available online.

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The Remington Center’s New Social Work Partnership

The Remington Center and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work have launched a new partnership for the 2011-2012 school year. Under this partnership, two graduate social work students will be housed within the Remington Center.  The students will assist Remington Center clinical faculty, students, and clients with a variety of issues, including individual and family therapy, job and housing support, and mental health assessments.

With supervision by social work professors Nick Yackovich and Steve Tupper, the program’s first students, Therese Wenzel and Amanda Gino, will provide services to the Remington Center’s corrections-based clinics, including LAIP, the Family Law Project, the Re-entry Project, and the Wisconsin Innocence Project.

The placement will continue the Remington Center’s tradition of recognizing that clients are human beings who operate within many systems, and further aims to illuminate the ties between social work needs and the criminal justice system.  For the pilot program this academic year, the participating social work students are also law students, earning a joint degree in law from the Law School and the School of Social Work.  In the future, all graduate social work students will be eligible to apply. 

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New Mediation Clinic at EJI

The Economic Justice Institute is pleased to announce the creation of a Mediation Clinic.  Eight exceptional second and third year law students have joined this exciting new endeavor.  The students will spend the fall semester engaging with the challenges of mediation through in-class training, learning mediation theory, and mediating actual disputes.  The Clinic is working closely with and receiving referrals from the Dane County Small Claims Court and STEM (Student Tenant Education and Mediation Program). 

Students began the semester with a training weekend in which they learned basic mediation skills. The session was led by Clinical Instructor Donna Erez-Navot, Director of the Mediation Clinic, and Ralph Cagle, Emeritus Clinical Professor and former Director of the Lawyering Skills Program.  Retired Judge Mark Frankel and local mediator Shirin Kestin were among the other faculty members working with the students. 

We hope that the Mediation Clinic will be able to provide mediation services on campus while building connections to and serving community organizations.  The Clinic has begun to reach out to possible referral sources such as the Division of Student Life, Associated Students of Madison and other organizations around campus.  For additional questions or ideas for possible mediation referrals, please contact Donna Erez-Navot at erez@wisc.edu.

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“True Grit”:  UW Law School Hosts Midwest Clinical Conference

In November, the UW Law School will host a three-day conference for clinical legal educators from the Midwest and around the country.

The title of the 2011 conference is “True Grit:  The Grit of What We Do.”  Recent legal scholarship has turned to the importance of stories in the law.  Much of this scholarship has focused on narrative theory.  We believe, however, that unlike other parts of the legal academy, clinics are valuable precisely because they allow for a deep and nuanced understanding of the “grit” of the on-the-ground experiences of clients, clinicians, and students. 

The conference will examine how the “grit” of experience leads to understanding in three areas:  clinical pedagogy; client stories (including barriers to understanding or articulating those stories); and translating on-the-ground experience into advocacy for systemic change.

The Remington Center’s clinical faculty have been deeply involved in planning the conference, and many of them will be presenting as well:

  • Clinical Assistant Professor Rosa Frazier, along with Law Student Julia Putinsev (whose article appears in this newsletter) will reflect on the rewards and challenges of working with clients in a new immigration clinic;
  • Clinical Associate Professor Byron Lichstein and Clinical Assistant Professor Kim Alderman will co-present at a session entitled “Down to The Wire:  How Popular Narratives about the Criminal Justice System Influence Client and Student Experiences in the Clinical Context”
  • Clinical Professor Keith Findley and Clinical Associate Professor Mary Prosser will moderate a workshop on using clinical work to address systemic change; and
  • Clinical Professor Michele LaVigne will lead a panel discussion entitled “’He Got in my Face So I Shot Him’:  When Your Client Doesn’t Do Stories.”

Finally, clinicians and law students at the conference will have an opportunity to make short “storycorps”  voice recordings in which they reflect on meaningful experiences.  We hope to be able to post these recordings on line, so that our friends and graduates can enjoy them as well.

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Wisconsin Innocence Project Receives $1 million in Federal Grants and Names Advisory Board

In the past two months, U.S. Department of Justice has awarded two new grant to the Wisconsin Innocence Project at the Remington Center.   Together, the grants total more than $1 million for the program.

The most recent grant, a part of the Postconviction DNA Testing Assistance Program sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, awards $778,329 to the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance to disburse to the Wisconsin Innocence Project. The previous grant, awarded in August, provides $249,901 through the Bureau of Justice Assistance Wrongful Conviction Review Program.

"This money reflects both the Department of Justice's commitment to determining the accuracy of criminal law outcomes, and its trust in the Wisconsin Innocence Project's effectiveness as a program," says Clinical Professor Keith Findley, who co-directs WIP with Clinical Professor John Pray.

In particular, the funding will permit the Wisconsin Innocence Project to continue the work of clinical faculty and staff who were all first hired in 2009 under a previous Department of Justice grant.  The new funding also allows the project to expand, by placing a new WIP attorney in the State Public Defender's Office to help public defender staff attorneys screen cases for potential new sources of DNA evidence that can be used to prove innocence early in the litigation process. The funding will also cover the costs of consultation with DNA experts and DNA testing of biological evidence, as well as travel costs and other office expenses.

WIP has also announced the creation of a new advisory board.  The board will advise WIP on case selection criteria, evaluate difficult cases, strengthen advocacy in individual meritorious cases, and evaluate and promote policy initiatives to improve the criminal justice system.

The new board will include such prominent and respected experts as retired Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann and retired Assistant District Attorney Jon Reddin; retired Dane County prosecutors Judy Schwaemle and John Norsetter; Manitowoc County Assistant District Attorney Michael Griesbach; Port Washington Police Chief Richard Thomas; Madison Police Department Capt. Vic Wahl; Marquette law professor Daniel Blinka; State Public Defender Kelli Thompson; and attorneys Stephen Hurley, Dean Strang, Stephen Glynn, Stephen Meyer, Gordon "Chip" Davenport III, James Friedman, and Rebecca Mason, and former exonerated client and now attorney Christopher Ochoa. Additional members may be added to the board.

As Professor Findley explains, "The work we do advocating for the wrongly convicted can have profound impact on the lives of the wrongly convicted, victims of crime, and the functioning of the criminal justice system," he says. "To help us chart an effective and appropriate course, we thought it best to bring in experienced and respected actors from across the criminal justice system to ensure full and balanced consideration of the issues we confront."

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New Trial Ordered for Brian Avery

By Clinical Professor Keith Findley

Years of work by several generations of Wisconsin Innocence Project students finally paid off on October 4, 2011, when the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District I, reversed Brian Avery’s armed robbery convictions (read decision online). Mr. Avery had been convicted in 1995 of two counts of armed robbery in Milwaukee, despite strong alibi evidence, and served approximately 12 years in prison before he was paroled in 2007.

The court of appeals reversed Mr. Avery’s conviction both because of newly discovered evidence and in the interest of justice.  The decision was based primarily on new scientific evidence—photogrammetric analysis of digitally enhanced surveillance video—that indicated the perpetrator in the video was several inches shorter than Mr. Avery.  Both a defense expert and the State’s FBI expert measured the suspect as several inches too short to be Mr. Avery, but the State’s expert opined that, due to potential errors in the measurements, he could not rule out the possibility that the suspect might have been as tall as Mr. Avery (or also might have been considerably shorter than Mr. Avery).  The court of appeals ruled that this new evidence could lead a jury to acquit.

This was the second time that the Wisconsin Innocence Project won an appeal for Mr. Avery in this case.  In 2008, the circuit court had summarily denied his motion for a new trial without holding a hearing.  In 2009, the court of appeals summarily reversed the circuit court order and remanded for a hearing on Mr. Avery’s new evidence.  On remand, the circuit court again denied relief, leading to the appeal and decision vacating the conviction.

Since his release from prison, Mr. Avery has been working in Milwaukee, and he and his fiancé are expecting a child.  There is no word yet on whether the State intends to seek further review of this decision or retry him.

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Cody Vandenberg Update

By Clinical Professor John Pray

As reported in previous newsletters, WIP client Cody Vandenberg was released from prison in 2010 after the court of appeals vacated his 1996 convictions of attempted homicide and armed robbery (read decision online).  In January of 2011, the State announced its intention to retry the case.

The Public Defender appointed Attorney Rick Meier to represent Mr. Vandenberg at trial.  Attorney Meier was happy to have the assistance of the WIP, so students and attorneys for the project dug in and prepared for trial which was to take place in August of 2011.

Several days before trial was to begin, the State made a plea offer to Mr. Vandenberg:  Under the offer, Mr. Vandenberg would not return to prison.  The reduced charges offered by the State carried a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.  Since Mr. Vandenberg had already served 14 years, this would mean that he had completed any sentence that could result.  The State’s offer also allowed Mr. Vandenberg to maintain his innocence and enter an Alford plea.

Although the offer was seemingly generous, Mr. Vandenberg agonized over whether to accept it.  On the one hand, it seemed completely unacceptable to plead to a crime that he didn’t commit.  On the other hand, there was no way to guarantee that he would win at trial.  After all, he knew from past experience that an innocent person could be convicted.  And if convicted, he could be sentenced to the maximum 80 years in prison, which was his original sentence.

In the end, Mr. Vandenberg took the deal, and walked out of court a free man.  For the first time in 15 years, the ordeal was over, and he could finally turn his attention to how he would spend the rest of his life.  As always, Mr. Vandenberg offered his heartfelt gratitude to the 25 WIP students that worked on his case.

Mr. Vandenberg is now living in Green Bay.  An article in the Green Bay Press Gazette is worth reading, and is available online

Clinical Professor John Pray was the lead attorney in the Vandenberg case, and was assisted by law students Kelsey Morin, Marie Bahoora and Andrew Pippin (2011); David Blinka and Jamie Yoon (2010),     Sarah Anderson and Amanda Riek (2009); Crystal Banse, Claire Taylor, and Kristin Shimabuku (2008); Dana Lesmonde, Jessica McNamara, and Vic Yanz (2007); Adam Loomans, Eric Weiss, and Noel Spencer (2006); Andy Twietmeyer and Jessica Martinez (2005); Patrick Harrigan, Pete Foss, and Jason Farris (2004); Adrian Renner and Nathan Kipp (2003); Sarah Kolodziej (2002); and Chris Beese ( 2000). 

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Growing Pains

By Valyncia Raphael (2L)

When I was offered a position in the Family Law Project for the summer after my first year of law school, I was excited and relieved. I was excited because I would be able to take a step closer to a career in family law. I was relieved because I had secured “employment” for the summer by the start of the spring semester.  For me, that meant I could focus more on my studies.

At the moment I committed to work in the Family Law Project, I assumed that my work in the Family Law Project would confirm my desire to pursue a career in family law. Before law school, I worked briefly at a group home with juveniles in transition between protective services, the court, and home with their guardians. In that context, I had experience with family and juvenile law, and was drawn to it.  I assumed that I would do that kind of work for the rest of my career.  By the end of the summer, however, I knew that would not be the case.

While I was a student-athlete in college, I was introduced to the art of juggling classes, practice, weight training, competition, travel, work, and a social life.  As I matured through college, I became quite adept at balancing all of these obligations. Ultimately, I believe that talent helped me to do well enough to apply to and be accepted at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

In the beginning of my first year course work, I assumed my juggling experience would serve me well. However, as the year progressed, I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that law school balancing was a completely different act to master. Nevertheless, despite my first impressions and mid-year struggles, I triumphed at the completion of my last final exam of 1L.  Little did I know that another, more difficult test was ahead of me.  Now, in reflecting on my summer in the Family Law Project, I can honestly say that I finally—REALLY—learned how to prioritize and multi-task.

The Family Law Project started just two weeks after my last exam of the spring semester. Semi-rested, I was overwhelmed the first day. Between keeping pace with the required readings and wanting to prove that I could work without micromanagement, I dove into my caseload of six different clients, all expecting me to work miracles. With little family law training and infantile legal research and writing skills, I felt like I was in way over my head. In fact, I was so taxed from the workload that I began to make mindless mistakes, such as hole punching an original court document and misfiling important papers, prompting me to completely trash my newly-organized desk in an effort to recover them.

My experience in the Family Law Project exposed a need to improve my organization skills. But more than that, it challenged my emotional toughness. I was scared. The stakes were high. Every morning I woke up thinking about my work at the Family Law Project. I was worried about whether my clients would understand the letters I had sent them; whether I was arguing the right issues and finding the right statutes and case law to support my arguments.

I had never been challenged like that before. I was consumed. For example, leading up to a full-day, contested divorce hearing, I sacrificed sleep for almost three consecutive weeks, gathering and synthesizing documents and information to create exhibits that we never had to use because we settled the case on the day of trial.

I have discovered that I can persevere and perform in ways that were unknown to me before I started the Family Law Project.  Ironically, I also have discovered that family law may not be my career path.  Nonetheless, my experience at the FLP has been invaluable. I have been humbled, realized areas of personal strength and weakness, and have grown in ways that cannot be measured. In reflecting upon my experience, I truly appreciate the way the Family Law Project has challenged and changed me. I honestly believe that no matter the legal career I choose, I will carry with me the lessons and skills I gained from my time in the Family Law Project.

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The Special Investigation Unit: My Summer as a Hayes Police-Prosecution Intern

By Don Olsen Jr. (3L)

Repeat offenders are by definition persistent criminal actors in our society. Studies demonstrate that a small percentage of such offenders are responsible for the majority of criminal offenses. This population continues to offend at high rates despite being subject to the same criminal justice system responses as other offenders. For the most part, police and prosecutors treat this population as all others – cases are reviewed and prosecuted one at a time, even though traditional responses have not been effective. This raises the question of whether a different response could yield more promising public safety results.

This was the issue I was assigned to work on as an intern in the Hayes Police-Prosecution Project at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Named after UW Law School alumnus Gary Hayes, a prominent figure in police administration before his untimely death, the project is co-directed by Professors Michael Scott and Ben Kempinen.

Students enrolled in the project meet with the district attorney and police in a Wisconsin community early in the spring semester to select a local public safety issue for which traditional responses have not been satisfactory.  During the spring semester, the intern enrolls in Professor Scott’s “Selected Problems in Policing Seminar” to examine how similar communities have tried to address the selected problem. At the same time, Hayes interns enroll in Professor Kempinen’s “Prosecution Function” class to understand the potential and limits of traditional approaches to public safety. At the end of the semester, the Hayes intern prepares a paper and power point presentation examining the problem and possible responses. The interns’ summer internships are spent working in the community with system shareholders to seek to implement new responses to the selected problem.

I was chosen to work with the Madison Police Department (MPD) and the Dane County District Attorney in connection with the implementation of their response to the problem of the persistent offender – the Special Investigation Unit (SIU).

When my internship began, the MPD was already in the process of developing its SIU program.  A decision was made to focus on repeat violent offenders and use a more proactive approach to this population.

Generally, the primary police approach to criminal behavior is reactive. Police respond to calls, observe traffic violations, and investigate crimes that have already been committed.  Another way to protect the public is by attempting to prevent a crime before it occurs. To be sure, it is difficult to expect officers to know the who, what, when, where, and why of a crime before it occurs.  However, the SIU will focus on the who, believing that by doing so future crime will be prevented.

The SIU first targets individuals it believes are likely to reoffend. This is based on evidence of a long unabated criminal history and the failure of traditional interventions to prevent reoffending.  Selected offenders are brought into a “call-in” meeting attended by police, prosecutors, probation officers, family members, and other community shareholders, where they are given an ultimatum :  “Quit offending or face more direct and severe consequences.” The “call-in” is not only a threat of future prosecution.  It also offers each of the targeted individuals access to social services to aid in their reintegration that they would otherwise have difficulty taking advantage of.

The “call-in” seeks to use focused deterrence to dissuade the repeat offenders from committing new crimes.  This approach has been referred to by MPD Chief Noble Wray and Lt. Tom Woodmansee, the head of the SIU, as a “carrot and stick” approach. The “carrot” is the range of support services made available to the individual; the “stick” is a promise to prosecute members of this population more aggressively with more severe punishment than they had previously received.

The MPD’s SIU model is based in part on a similar program in High Point, North Carolina. The High Point model uses the “call-in carrot and stick” approach, and focuses on targeted persons recently released from custody. Data from the High Point Initiative has been promising, showing a reduced recidivism rate compared to high-risk individuals not involved in the program.  In fact the High Point model has reported a recidivism rate of less than 35%, compared with the average recidivism rate for a repeat offender of 68%. This suggests that the model has promise in dealing with this difficult population of offenders.

My summer internship involved assisting with a variety of aspects in implementing the program. First, the SIU had to determine which individuals would be targeted by the new unit. After getting started with a list of 188 potential targets, the unit began to pare down the list, ultimately arriving at roughly 20 individuals. As the list was pared down there was constant communication between the District Attorney, assistant prosecutors with felony caseloads, and members of the Madison Police Department’s SIU to determine which individuals should be excluded or added to the potential target list.   Finally, 8-10 individuals from the 20-person list will be selected as the actual targets for the SIU.

The program plans to have the selection committee meet and determine the final list of targeted individuals in mid- October, 2011.  The call-in is scheduled to occur two weeks later.

The selection committee includes many of the community representatives who will be present at the “call-in,” including representatives from the United States Attorney’s Office, the Dane County District Attorney’s Office, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections,  the United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Community Against Violence community organization, and the Madison Police Department.

My internship ended with a combination of excitement and frustration--excitement to be part of a new and innovative program, and frustration that my work ended without seeing all parts of the program implemented.  Both my classroom and field work demonstrated the potential value in collaboration between agencies to explore new responses to old problems, as well as the practical challenges of developing and implementing new programs between agencies in a time of limited resources.

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Special Immigrant Juvenile Status:  My Clinical Experience

By Julia Putintsev (3L)
Last year, as a student enrolled in the Economic Justice Institute’s Domestic Violence Immigration Clinic, I had the opportunity to assist a client with her petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). 

SIJS is a form of federal immigration relief available to unaccompanied alien children who are under the age of twenty-one; unmarried; under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court; and who, for reasons of abuse, abandonment or neglect, cannot be reunified with a parent in their country of nationality.  A minor can obtain SIJS relief by submitting a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service pursuant to Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 101(a)(27)(J). 

There are several components to the petition, the most important of which is the submission of a juvenile court order reflecting the eligibility requirements in INA § 101(a)(27)(J).  If the child is able to obtain legal assistance and convince the juvenile court to issue this order, the child can then file the SIJS petition with immigration service.  If the petition is granted, the child can then be considered for lawful permanent residence (a “green card”). 

Once an individual obtains a green card, he or she is authorized to live and work in the United States and may later apply for U.S. citizenship.  Thus, for undocumented, abused, and abandoned children, SIJS is a complicated but extremely important step in the process of obtaining legal status in the United States.

My client, “D.E.” was an undocumented minor born in Mexico.  D.E. came to the U.S. at the age of five.  Throughout her childhood, D.E. suffered from abuse at the hands of her mother.  At the age of fourteen, D.E. became pregnant, and was subsequently abandoned by her mother, who returned to Mexico.  D.E. and her infant were homeless for almost two years before they came to the attention of child protective services and were placed in foster care. 

Fortunately for D.E., her foster mother sought immigration assistance before D.E. “aged out” of SIJS eligibility.  In Wisconsin, a juvenile court typically terminates its jurisdiction over a minor once he or she reaches 18 years of age.  Without the juvenile court’s jurisdiction, a child is unable to obtain the required court order and, consequently, unable to apply for SIJS.

Obtaining SIJS for D.E. was a challenge in many ways.  The most significant barrier was obtaining the required order from the juvenile court.  Under the supervision of Clinical Professor Marsha Mansfield from the Family Court Assistance Project, I filed a motion requesting that the court issue the required order. 

In doing this, I confronted two challenges.  The first challenge was to educate the judge about SIJS and convince him to issue an order finding that it was not in D.E.’s best interest to be reunited with her mother in Mexico.  Despite the enormous benefits that SIJS can bestow on a child, judges rarely, if ever, come across a motion for an SIJS order.  Child protective services are either unaware of SIJS or unable to obtain pro bono counsel to assist a child with a petition.  Consequently, judges are unfamiliar with SIJS and need to be educated about the immigration system, the status itself, and their role in issuing the order. 

The second challenge involved a lack of cooperation on behalf of child protective services and corporation council.  CPS and corporation council refused to support D.E.’s request for SIJS because they believed that it would go against the judge’s permanency plan, which required D.E.’s reunification with her mother in Mexico. 

Fortunately, I was able to persuade the judge that the SIJS order would not interfere in any way with the permanency plan.  As a result, D.E. obtained the required order, and we were able to file her SIJS petition with the immigration service. 

D.E. became a permanent resident last summer, only months shy of turning 18 years old.  D.E. will now be able to live and work legally in the U.S.  She’ll be able to provide for her U.S. citizen child and does not have to fear returning to Mexico.  It is extremely rewarding to have had the opportunity to participate in a clinical experience that had such a direct and positive impact on a client’s future.

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Students Thank All Who Have Donated to the Friends of the Remington Center Endowment

We want to express our thanks to all of you who have donated to the Friends of the Remington Center Endowment, Inc. (FORCE).  As you may know, the primary purpose of FORCE is to provide supplemental stipends to students enrolled in our summer clinical programs.

In the summer of 2011, 93 “in house” clinical students in the Remington Center and the Economic Justice Institute, along with an additional 37 prosecution, defender, and policing externs, received supplemental stipends from FORCE.

The FORCE stipends--$150 for each in-house clinical student and $350 for each extern—supplemented the support provided by the Law School and by the externs’ placement offices.  Although the amount provided to each student was modest, it clearly made a difference.

Below are just a few of the comments we received from some appreciative students.  They demonstrate that your donations to FORCE make a real different in the lives of our students.  For this, we thank you.

From a Prosecution Project student: 

The additional $350 . . . meant a lot to me.  I greatly appreciate any additional funding that others provide.  I will remember their generosity and this reminds me that I, too, would like to give back once I’m in a position to contribute.

From a student in EJI’s Family Court Assistance Project:

[M]y experiences to date have been immensely rewarding.  I have had the opportunity to assist a variety of disadvantaged individuals transition through difficult moments in family life.  I have also had the privilege of being introduced and welcomed into a community of professionals, leaders and volunteers who have dedicated their careers to stemming injustice.  I believe these experiences will have a long-lasting effect on my professional identity and I am grateful for FORCE’s generous contributions and continuing support to our program.

From an Innocence Project student:

Thank you for making it just a little bit easier on my finances—it goes a long way, and knowing we have your support means a whole lot.  All my best, and all my gratitude.

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Remington Center Grad Updates

Editor’s note:  A couple of months ago, we sent an email to our graduates, asking them to update us on where they are and what they are doing.  Below are the responses we received.  We hope to make “Grad Updates” a regular feature of our newsletter.

Stanley Adelman (UW 1967) As a business litigator I served as chairman of the litigation department and on the management committee of my law firm, which is now known as DLA Piper LLP (US), for approximately 10 years. After 44 years I retired from my practice as a business litigator and became Senior Counsel at the end of 2010.

Nevertheless, I continued doing my pro bono work which, among other recent cases, has included representation of a defendant in the Jena 6 cases; representing the NAACP and individuals in a discrimination case against a national restaurant chain; representing defendants in post-conviction matters in Illinois trial and appellate courts; challenging the constitutionality of Nebraska's foster care system, filing amicus briefs in the 7th Circuit in civil liberties, civil rights, and constitutional case; and working with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and USAID in drafting legislation for Kosovo's civil and criminal code and training its attorneys. Among the recent pro bono awards I have received are my law firm's pro bono partner of the year award, Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice's Unsung Hero Award, and Nebraska Appleseed's Seeds of Justice Award. I currently serve as President of the Board of Chicago Appleseed.

Ramon Alvarado (LAIP 2003) I've been selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star for Criminal Defense and I am a faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon (NCDC) and also a faculty member of the Bill Daniel's Trial Advocacy Program for criminal defense in Georgia.  I've been practicing since 2005.

John Bjelajac (LAIP 1972) I have now been practicing law in Racine, Wisconsin, for over 38 years, and attended the UW Law School 1970-1973. Throughout law school and the intervening summers, I had the honor of being hired by Professors Frank Remington and Herman Goldstein (along with their loyal secretary Lucille) for work on their then-pending publications and legal projects. That experience was invaluable, and is responsible for many fond memories of Frank, Herman and Lucille and my law school days.

Lynn Bodi (LAIP 1985) reports that she was selected as a 2011 Angel in Adoption award recipient for her commitment to improving the lives of children in need of permanent, loving homes. She was nominated by Congressperson Tammy Baldwin and honored at a Congressional Gala in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Brody (CAP 2006, Defender 2007) reports that in September he will be starting his 4th year as an Assistant DA at the New York County District Attorney's Office.  Daniel is a felony assistant assigned to the Trial Division.  He is also a member of the Identity Theft, Domestic Violence and Public Assistance Fraud Units.

Katrina Christakis (LAIP 1995) My time at LAIP was one of my favorite experiences in law school.  I worked with terrific attorneys and the best group of law students.  Three years ago, together with three colleagues, I opened a boutique law firm in Chicago specializing in financial services litigation.  We represent all kinds of consumer lenders, services, debt buyers and debt collectors in individual and class action cases, as well as inter-creditor disputes.  What I’m most proud of, however, are my two fabulous boys, Ronan (age 8) and Maddox (almost age 6).

Sean Clancey (LAIP 1983) Upon graduating from UW Law School in '85, I moved to Phoenix, AZ along with my wife (Mala DasGupta Clancey, also an '85 Law School Grad). I was an attorney with the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office through '86, then went into private practice in Scottsdale, AZ, where I still focus on real estate, contract and transactional matters.

Winn S. Collins (WIP 2001, Prosecution 2002) reports that he presently serves as president of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association (WDAA) and as District Attorney (DA) for Green Lake County.  Later this year, he will begin work as an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Paul Conrad (LAIP 1979) reports that he serves as the Senior Ethics Attorney for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  He served as an LAIP student attorney at Oxford FCI from 1979-1981 representing clients before the U.S. Parole Commission.  Paul retired from the Army JAGC as a Colonel after serving as appellate defense counsel for convicted military felons at the USDB, serving as a military prosecutor, and as a Law Professor at the Army JAG School. If you are ever in Washington, DC please look me up.

John Curtin (LAIP 1985) reports that he has practiced in Phoenix, Arizona for (almost) 25 years. He focuses on medical malpractice and catastrophic injury cases.  John just finished his term as president of the Arizona Association for Justice.  He is married to a Stanford Law grad who is much smarter than he is, but none the less has stuck with him for 23 years.  Go figure.  

Rory Dilweg (LAIP 1995) reports that he has recently joined with Mark Tilden and Padraci McCoy to form Tilden McCoy + Dilweg LLP, a national law firm that focuses on representing Indian tribes and tribal interests.  Tilden McCoy + Dilweg LLP represents tribes and businesses working with tribes in 10 states throughout the country.

Nadia Elnagdy (LAIP 2008) I've been lucky enough to find myself a place in the Community Prosecution Division of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office in Minneapolis.  Not only did I get to move back to the city that I love, but I also get to work in an amazing office, with unbelievably talented people who have no trouble remembering that it's never about them.  Despite switching sides (sorry guys), I have no doubt that I'm doing Michele, Ben Kempinen and the rest of the RC crew proud.

Sarah Erlinder (FCI 2007) reports that she joined the Coconino County Public Defender's office in Flagstaff, Arizona.  She appears on behalf of criminal defendants in Justice Court in Flagstaff and Page, Arizona, and defends civil mental health commitments in Superior Court. Sarah has enjoyed a number of successes including a jury trial acquittal and a dismissal of a case on First Amendment grounds. In addition to her duties as a Deputy Public Defender, Sarah is the vice president of the National Lawyers Guild Southwest Region.

Courtney (Reed) Fein (LAIP 2004) After graduating from UW Law I spent four years in Los Angeles at the L.A. County Public Defender's Office.  I then moved home to Sacramento and am now with the Federal Defender's Office, representing the indigent accused in federal court.  The Remington Center definitely helped me decide on my field of law.

Irene B. Katele (UW 1999) reports that she has served, since 2002, as Associate Director of the Legal Studies Program in the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches an undergraduate course, "Criminal Justice in America," during the Fall Semester, and in the Spring Semester, she teaches a lecture of "Trusts and Estates" at the Law School.

Luca Fagundes (IP 2008)
reports that he opened his law office in January of 2011. His areas of legal practice include immigration, criminal defense, and criminal appeals.  He has offices in Sturgeon Bay, WI and Green Bay, WI.  He has litigated cases all over Wisconsin and in Immigration Court in Chicago, IL.  Luca's cites his time with the Wisconsin Innocence Project and the Criminal Appeals Project as vital in preparing him to practice as a solo practitioner.  http://www.fagundeslaw.com

Hector Gonzalez-Velez (LAIP 2000)
reports that he was formerly with the Chief Counsel's Office of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in Madison, WI, and has been in private practice in Stamford, Connecticut and White Plains, NY.  Hector focuses his 6-year immigration law practice on the litigation of removal cases and facilitating family immigration and legalization.  Now, his Stamford, Connecticut office client base is mostly Spanish speaking from CT, NY and NJ. 

Elisabeth (Howard) Shea (LAIP 2006)
reports that she is currently an attorney at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP in Madison specializing in municipal and business law.  She and her husband, Jake, welcomed their first child, a daughter, in April of this year.

Bob Landry (UW 1949) After more than 40 years on the bench in Milwaukee I retired to Egg Harbor.  The two most outstanding personalities in my class of '49 were Frank Remington (number 1) and Professor Herbie Page. 

Paul Lehman (Prosecution 2001) I was a U.S. Coast Guard Judge Advocate on active duty from 2003 to 2008 in Miami, Florida.  While there I was a Special Assistant United States Attorney for a year at the Southern District of Florida.  I then left active duty in 2008 and remain in the Coast Guard Reserves.  In 2009 I accepted civilian employment with the U.S. Coast Guard and currently work on environmental policy and compliance matters for them in DC.  Thanks and really enjoyed my experience at UW.    

Katherine Lingle Schaefer (LAIP 1977) reports that she has helped create Kenosha County Restorative Justice, Inc., which is believed to be the first "virtual office" Restorative Justice Program.  The program management system can be copied to enable other programs to start up quickly or survive a period of dramatically reduced funding.  See kenosharj.org for more information.  Suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Wayne Logan (UW 1991)
research assistant to Professor Remington from 1989 to 1991, reports that he is the Gary & Sallyn Pajcic Professor of Law at Florida State University College of Law, where he continues to be inspired by Frank and writes on a broad variety of criminal justice-related issues.

Wayne Maffei (LAIP 1978) has been selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.

Randolph P. McGrorty (LAIP 1987) reports that he serves as the Executive Director of Catholic Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami (CCLS).  He has served as the Director since the inception of the agency.  In that capacity, he supervises a staff of 32, including nine staff attorneys. More than one thousand individuals seek the services of CCLS each month: individuals seeking to reunite with their families; political and religious refugees seeking safety and security, many of whom have experienced persecution and torture; battered spouses and their children; and long-term residents of the U.S. with significant family and community ties who face deportation.  Of particular note, CCLS maintains a strong relationship with South Florida’s Haitian Community, a traditionally under-served population.  The agency is one of the largest providers of immigration services to the Haitian migrant community in the country.

Mr. McGrorty received his B.A. from Harvard University, magna cum laude, and his J.D., as well as his M.S.S.W., from the University of Wisconsin. He is a frequent speaker on asylum issues and immigration law.  He is the recipient of the Adalsinda Lomangino Award for outstanding contributions to the field of immigration law, the Saint Vincent DePaul Award from the Archdiocese of Miami “in recognition of … faithful and compassionate service to those who seek sanctuary, shelter and security in a new land” and the Community Advocacy Award presented by Legal Aid of Broward County, Inc.

Todd Nova (LAIP 2003) reports that he is currently an Associate at the Milwaukee office of Hall Render, where he has practiced since the summer of 2005.  Todd's practice areas include regulatory, reimbursement, technology and corporate issues for health care clients including hospitals, health care systems and physician organizations.   In particular, Todd focuses on health care licensing and certification, pharmacy, government reimbursement, billing and payment, and corporate compliance, with an emphasis on rural health care issues.

Rebecca Oettinger (FLP 2005, RJP 2006) reports that she is practicing family law at Boardman Law Firm, with offices in Madison, Baraboo, and Prairie du Sac.  Rebecca was a part of the Family Law / Restorative Justice Project of LAIP in 2005 and 2006.  Rebecca represents individual clients in collaborative divorce, traditional divorce, child custody, guardianship, adoption, and private termination of parental rights cases.  She also is a guardian ad litem in family court and mediates financial issues in divorce.

Ian Polumbaum (LAIP 1991) I wasn’t sure where my path would lead from LAIP.  Turns out I have been a prosecutor for almost 17 years, most of them in the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office in Boston, where I currently handle homicide cases.  I’ve been fortunate to serve under two DAs who took the lead not just in aggressive prosecutions, but in correcting some past wrongful convictions and striving to prevent future ones.

Christopher Shannon (LAIP 1993) The year I spent in LAIP as a law student, especially the successful appeal I worked on with Prof. Kate Kruse, propelled me into a career as a criminal defense attorney in Boston, MA.  My LAIP experience helped me join the list of private attorneys who handle the bulk of criminal defense cases in Massachusetts.  The knowledge I gained at LAIP helped to shape my career.

Mary E. Sheridan (LAIP 1987)
Class of 1989, reports that she is the Director of Teamsters Local 237 Legal Services Plan.  Local 237 is the largest Teamsters Local, representing over 24,000 New York City workers.

Paul Sicula (UW 1964)
I have used your services, and I was very happy.  I graduated in 1964, and was in the Legislature for 10 years (1967-1976).  I practice in Milwaukee, and do lobbying as well.  I have tried many cases including several homicides to a jury.

Mara (Johnston) Spring (LAIP 1997) reports that after serving two terms as Taylor County District Attorney immediately after graduation, she has been practicing with Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C. in Elkhorn, WI for the past 8 years.  She spends the rest of her time chasing her two little girls.

Penelope Strong (LAIP 1978) Since my law school experience, I’ve practiced criminal law in Wisconsin and Montana, in state and federal court.  I’ve been a public defender and in private practice. I’m very privileged to be in my second term as a board member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. I also serve on our newly formed committee on restoration of rights for felons. My LAIP experience primed me for a career in defending criminal litigants and assisting them in many other aspects of their lives.

Erica Sweitzer-Beckman (RJP 2009)
reports that she is an attorney with the Disabled Offenders Economic Security Project at Legal Action of Wisconsin.  She works with social workers, community corrections agents and other Department of Corrections staff to ensure that once released, ex-offenders with disabilities will receive all of the benefits for which they’re eligible, including SSI/SSDI, healthcare -- including medications -- FoodShare and W-2 or other employment training programs.

C. Thomas Sylke (UW 1985) reports that he has been appointed by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to the board of directors of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which has replaced the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and is responsible for job creation and economic development in Wisconsin.  The board is chaired by Governor Scott Walker and includes several directors from the private sector.  Sylke is the principal of Sylke Law Offices, LLC, specializing in patent and other intellectual property in the Midwest, Silicon Valley and Europe and working primarily in the fields of applied mathematics, physics and digital communication technologies in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Elise (Becchetti) Tincher (LAIP 2005) Since graduating from UWLS in 2007, I've worked as a Staff Attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation in Chicago, representing people living in poverty (for free!) in family law and consumer cases.  My work in LAIP solidified my commitment to work in public interest law, and I have been blessed to have a job I love where I am able to make a difference in people's lives every day.

Sean M. Vicente (LAIP 1998, Defender 1999) Class of 2000, reports that he is working as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in St. Louis.  He had previously worked as a public defender in Philadelphia.  If any law students are interested in pursuing similar work in those regions please feel free to give him a call at 314-241-1255.

Benjamin Weinberger (Prosecution 1992) I have recently left my position as CIO of Lathrop & Gage in Kansas City and started as the Director of IT and Facilities for Bond Pearce in Bristol, England.

Sir Williams (FLP 2009, Prosecution 2010) reports that he recently accepted a full-time position with the Dane County District Attorney’s Office in Madison, Wisconsin.

Vic Yanz (IP 2007) I am working as a prosecutor with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in Chicago.  After spending my first year in misdemeanor court, I now am in the Child Protection Division of the Juvenile Justice Bureau. Our division handles cases where kids have been abused and/or neglected, and we work with DCFS to get the kids out of the home, with the eventual hope that the family can be reunited once the parents address the issues that brought the case in. Overall, it's great experience, and I'm really enjoying what I'm doing.  I look forward to reading up on my fellow alums! 

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