WEB EXCLUSIVES: In the Winner's Circle | Alumni-Faculty Collaboration

In this issue of Res Ipsa, we look back at 16 years of success during the deanship of Steven R. Smith as we prepare to welcome Dean Schaumann to campus later this year. Plus, stories of alumni success, collaboration between alumni and faculty members, and more:

California Western and Dean Steven Smith
Over the past decade and a half, California Western School of Law has undergone one of the most remarkable transformations in the history of legal education. When Steven R. Smith was named dean in 1996, California Western was a solid law school ready and eager to advance to a higher level. Under Smith's leadership, the school's dedication to faculty scholarship and research increased dramatically. The school launched a host of innovative programs, accomplishing everything from freeing wrongly convicted prisoners and shaping national health care law, to creating dual advanced degree programs with San Diego State University and UC San Diego and helping reform legal systems in Latin America. Classrooms and other facilities were upgraded, including construction of a world-class law library.

Addressing the Serious Problem of Underinsurance
Rampant underinsurance is not an idiosyncratic consequence of mass natural disaster. The valuation experts serving the insurance industry estimate that well over half of homes in the United States are underinsured by on average over 20 percent of the value of the home. In Scripps Ranch, the average amount of underinsurance was over $100,000.

In the Winner's Circle
This year, California Western School of Law is delighted to congratulate our outstanding faculty and staff members for programs recognized with a number of recent awards, including President Obama's prestigious Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. These recognitions honor the many contributions to the law and our society from members of the California Western community.

Senior Partner at Global Law Firm Gives Back
Duane W. Layton '82 recently endowed to California Western School of Law the "Duane W. Layton Scholarship for International Law." This scholarship, focused on international trade law and disputes, is designed to support students following in Layton's footsteps. Layton leads the Government and Global Trade Group at Mayer Brown LLP, the ninth-largest law firm in the world, and has been named "Attorney of the Year" by the U.S. Department of Commerce and profiled for four consecutive years in The International Who's Who of Trade & Customs Lawyers. Layton's decision to give back to California Western aligns directly with the school's scholarship mission: give California Western students the opportunity to receive the highest caliber of legal education.

California Western values the consistent support we receive from our donors. With this support, we have increased scholarship opportunities, expanded clinical programs for students, and continue to enhance the quality of our legal education. This Honor Roll of Donors recognizes alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the law school whose contributions were received between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011.

Alumni-Faculty Collaboration Enriches Law School Experience
When she learned of a publishing opportunity, Patricia M. Fusco '98 called her former law professor with a proposal to co-author a book. "I thought he would be great as he has the perfect personality to make it humorous and informative," said Fusco, a prosecutor in the Special Crimes Unit of the California Attorney General's Office. Professor Glenn C. Smith was intrigued and some 14 months later "Constitutional Law for Dummies" was released in December.

Duane Fiedler: Pursuing Best Outcomes for Clients
When Duane Fiedler was looking for his first job as an attorney, he knew that he wanted to be a litigator, spending most of his time in court rather than sitting behind a desk. What began as "just" a first litigation job, however, grew into a distinguished career as one of the New York area's prominent attorneys specializing in medical malpractice litigation. As managing partner of his firm, Fiedler specializes in fighting for the rights of victims of medical negligence and helping them obtain fair compensation. Fiedler was selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2011 and by New York Magazine as one of New York's Super Lawyers. He was chosen as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Association of Trial Lawyers and included in Best Trial Lawyers in Westchester.

FACULTY PROFILE: Janet Bowermaster
When a highly effective educator is engaged in important work over a long period, the achievements can be so numerous and varied, it's sometimes difficult to gain a full appreciation for what has been accomplished. Such is the case with Professor Janet Bowermaster. Only by looking back through the lens of time does it become clear that Bowermaster's distinguished 25-year career at California Western has been among the most productive in school history.
As much satisfaction as Associate Professor Jessica Fink receives in watching her students acquire the fundamentals of law and ultimately passing the bar, she derives even more pleasure in seeing how well they're able to apply what they learned once they enter the legal profession. As a result, her teaching not only equips students with the academic rigor they will need as lawyers, but helps them develop practical abilities to connect their legal training with real-world situations.

Copyright © 2012 California Western School of Law.
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