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College of Law

Administration Office: 208-885-2255
Dean’s Office: 208-885-4977
fax: 208-885-5709
Menard 101
711 S. Rayburn Drive

Mailing Address:
College of Law
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321


phone: 208-364-4074
fax: 208-334-2176
322 E. Front St., Suite 590
Boise, ID 83702

First Monday - June 4, 2012

In this issue:

Commencement 2012:  Law Graduates Urged to “Dream, But Stay Grounded in Reason”

On May 12, 2012, the College of Law celebrated the students who embarked upon their study of law in 2009, the College’s centennial year. The graduating class of 2012 totaled 107 students, including those who had graduated the previous December and two dozen graduates who chose to “walk the stage” during University of Idaho spring commencement ceremonies in Boise and Coeur d’Alene. At Moscow, the main College of Law commencement ceremony followed the University-wide commencement held earlier the same day. Both ceremonies were conducted at the ASUI Kibbie Dome. During the law ceremony, Provost and Executive Vice President Douglas D. Baker presented the Juris Doctor candidates, and President M. Duane Nellis conferred the degrees. Bill Goesling, member of the University of Idaho Board of Regents/State Board of Education, brought greetings and congratulations from the State Board.

Chief Justice Roger BurdickThe Honorable Roger S. Burdick (UI Law ’74), Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, presented the commencement address (see photo). The Chief Justice offered some tongue-in-cheek advice from poet/satirist Pamela August Russell’s, “A Beginner’s Guide to Mediocrity.” Russell’s poem urges those seeking mediocrity to “try not to dream,” and it concludes with the lines, “Don’t bother to get out of bed. The world is crowded enough without you and your big ideas.” Chief Justice Burdick then offered an alternative “Beginner’s Guide to a Remarkable Life.” Citing examples from his distinguished 38-year career, including moments of success and disappointment, he ultimately advised the class to “get used to being leaders,” and to “dream, but stay grounded in reason.” His address included insights on the core challenge of serving as a mediator, attorney and public servant. “Be honest to yourself and others,” said the Chief Justice. “There are two sides to every story, and rarely is there absolute evil and absolute right.”

Richard SeamonClass remarks were delivered by Ryan Sargent, outgoing President of the Student Bar Association. The faculty’s Award of Legal Merit, for distinction in the legal profession and public service, was bestowed upon U.S. Senator James E. Risch (UI Law ’68). Due to conflicting obligations in the Senator’s schedule, his State Natural Resources Director, Mike Roach, accepted the award on his behalf and read a letter of appreciation from the Senator. The faculty bestowed its Sheldon A. Vincenti Award for Exemplary Service upon Merlyn W. Clark (UI Law ’64), a senior partner in the Boise firm of Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley, for his years of service to the College as an instructor in the trial advocacy program and as an instructor of mediation and arbitration in the College’s Northwest Institute for Dispute Resolution. The faculty’s Award of Legal Achievement, recognizing the graduating student with the highest grade point average through the most recently graded academic term, went to Brandon T. Berrett. On behalf of the students, Mr. Berrett announced that Professor Richard Seamon (see photo) had been voted to receive the Peter E. Heiser Award for Excellence in Teaching.

At a celebration banquet held earlier in the spring, members of the the Class of 2012 received advice on maintaining integrity in the practice of law, and on striking the right balance between professional and personal lives, from College of Law Advisory Council President James C. Dale (UI Law “82), a senior partner in the Boise office of Stoel Rives LLP. During the banquet, the College bestowed its “Spirit of the Class” award and the “Outstanding Student Service Award” upon Zaida Rivera and the “Spirit of the Clinic” award upon Mackenzie Welch. The College also celebrated its pro bono program, noting the accomplishments of spring graduates who collectively compiled approximately 9,600 hours of pro bono service during their law school careers. Nineteen of the 2012 graduates performed more than three times the 40-hour pro bono requirement for graduation, and nine others performed more than twice the 40-hour requirement. The “Above and Beyond” award for extraordinary performance of pro bono service was bestowed upon Zaida Rivera.

Further information about the 2012 commencement ceremony and celebration banquet may be obtained from Anne-Marie Fulfer (, Director of Career Development. Further information about pro bono service by law students is available from Trapper Stewart (, Director of the Pro Bono Program.

Northwest Institute Attracts Distinguished Faculty, Reinforces Areas of Curricular Emphasis

Maureen LaflinFounded by Professor and Clinical Programs Director Maureen Laflin (see photo), the College’s annual Northwest Institute for Dispute Resolution marked its 16th year by offering four training programs in May, 2012. During the week of May 14, in Moscow, Bob Collins, Director of the Divorce Mediation Clinic at Cardozo Law School in New York City taught a basic 40-hour family mediation course. Joshua Stulberg, the John W. Bricker Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law, and Lela Love, Professor of Law and Director of Cardozo’s Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution, and former chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, team-taught the basic 40-hour civil mediation course. Judges, practitioners, and law students attended these courses. Each course counted toward fulfillment by law students of the requirements for certification in the College’s curricular emphasis on Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

To complement another College emphasis -- Natural Resources and Environmental Law – the Northwest Institute also offered a 20-hour course taught by Donna Silverberg, owner and principal of DS Consulting in Portland, Oregon. The course, “Facilitating Agreements in Environmental and Public Policy Disputes,” was delivered in Moscow on May 14-16. The course drew upon Ms. Silverberg’s experience in mediating and facilitating large, technically complex natural resource and public health issues in the Pacific Northwest during the past 15 years.

Finally, the United States District Court for the District of Idaho partnered with the Northwest Institute to offer a two-day course, “Arbitration Law and Practice,” to judges and members of the Bar, in Boise, on May 22-23. Merlyn Clark, a senior partner in the Boise office of Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley, taught the course and generously shared his forms, research and knowledge with the participants.

Further information about the Northwest Institute is available from Professor Laflin.

Hail and (Not Quite) Farewell to the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Michael StazProfessor Michael Satz (see photo) has been named by Dean Burnett, with the advice and consent of the faculty, to serve as the College’s Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, starting on July 1, 2012.A tenured member of the faculty, Professor Satz received his Juris Doctor degree cum laude from the University of Michigan, where he was an executive editor of the law review. Prior to law school, he was a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, completing two overseas tours of duty in Japan aboard amphibious assault ships. After completing his military service and graduating from law school, he practiced bankruptcy law and commercial litigation with the Dallas law firm of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman and Blumenthal. He later became an in-house counsel with Nissan North America, Inc., where his practice entailed consumer finance, bankruptcy, secured transactions and creditor’s rights, as well as arbitration. Since joining the University of Idaho law faculty in 2006, Professor Satz has taught Consumer Law, Creditors' Rights and Secured Transactions, Critical Studies, Contracts, Property Security, and an interdisciplinary seminar on Architecture and the Law. He recently completed the University of Idaho’s Leadership Academy for faculty and staff.

Elizabeth BrandtProfessor Satz will succeed Professor Elizabeth Brandt (see photo), who is completing six years of service as the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. Professor Brandt is not leaving the law school, however. She will remain on the full-time faculty with a scholarship and teaching portfolio that encompasses family law, children and the law, and civil liberties. She recently received one of the University of Idaho’s Athena “Woman of the Year” awards for excellence in outreach and service, as well as scholarship and teaching.

The responsibilities of the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs include development and delivery of the curriculum, administration of concurrent degree programs, collaborating with the dean on faculty personnel matters, and handling academic issues between the College of Law and other university entities. Further information about the Associate Dean’s position is available from Professor Satz, Professor Brandt, or Dean Burnett.