WEB EXCLUSIVES: Amazonia Conference | Novel Market Regulation | Exploring Intellectual Property

In December we celebrated our 100th commencement exercise, and this past year marked the 45th anniversary of the Law Review. Accordingly, in this issue we look back at some of the milestones in the history of California Western. Highlights include:

COVER STORY: Broad Perspective
Nothing makes the practice of law more exhilarating than when issues of national importance are at stake. California Western School of Law is proud that a number of alumni - thanks to their skills, circumstances, or both - find themselves working in areas that attract the spotlight, and which potentially could affect thousands, if not millions of lives. Just scratching the surface, it is easy to find alumni deeply involved in everything from major government financial reform and legal battles over the BP Gulf Oil spill to technology, health care, and the treatment of imprisoned terrorists. In every case, these alumni rely on many of the skills they acquired at California Western in combination with what they learned in rising to the top of their respective legal fields.

An Innovative Approach to Market Regulation
While Associate Professor Jeff Schwartz sees some value for consumers in President Obama's financial reform package passed last year, he argues that the legislation doesn’t go far enough to protect investors from unforeseen disasters in the marketplace. Schwartz, the UC Berkeley-trained lawyer who left the world of private corporate and securities law in Los Angeles to join the California Western faculty in 2009, acknowledges that the new law achieved a handful of key goals, but is concerned that it leaves average American investors as vulnerable as they were before the onset of the global financial crisis. "The whole area of fund management regulation needs to be rewritten," he argues.

Law Review, Journal Celebrate Anniversaries
For the past 45 years, high-achieving second and third-year students have honed their skills and demonstrated their legal acumen as authors and editors of the California Western Law Review. A sister publication, the International Law Journal, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year as one of the oldest international law journals in the nation.

PHOTO GALLERY: California Western's 100th Commencement Ceremony
On December 20, 2010, families and friends gathered to celebrate the transition from law school to rewarding career as California Western marked its 100th commencement exercises. The first commencement dates back to the early days of Balboa Law School, San Diego’s first law school, which combined with California Western in 1952. Explore the tradition of California Western's commencement ceremony through the years.

Exploring Intellectual Property
The furious pace of advancement in medical research provides John Prince '97 with one of the most complicated and challenging legal jobs in the country. As Functional Patent Head for the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Prince and his team carry responsibility for protecting intellectual property.

Amazonia Conference Tackles Latin American Environmental and Legal Challenges
The agenda at ECO ACCESO's Amazonia Conference 2010 covered such diverse, transnational issues as globalization, conservation of the Amazon, hemispheric politics, and U.S. policy in Latin America. California Western Professor James Cooper offered an account of the Yasuní Initiative in Ecuador, which in August 2010 became the first deal of its kind made between the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Ecuador to protect a biosphere reserve from oil drilling and fight climate change, while Associate Dean Aceves detailed the latest developments in international legal legislation and the ongoing battle between Amazon peasants and Chevron, a company they accuse of generating environmental pollution.

The generosity of our donors in the past year has helped California Western continue to provide quality legal education in a down economy, without cutbacks or a reduction in quality of service to our students. The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of California Western whose contributions were received between August 1, 2009 and July 31, 2010.

Irina Axelrod-Angres: From Russia with Law
As a young girl in St. Petersburg, Russia, Irina G. Axelrod-Angres '99 dreamed of one day coming to the United States. Axelrod-Angres not only made it to America, she achieved heights even she could not have envisioned. "California Western," she says, "was a great school for combining a quality legal education with one's passion for public service." After graduating from law school, Axelrod-Angres, now an American citizen, clerked for two Nevada district court judges before entering private practice specializing in property rights and domestic violence with her husband. In 2005, she joined the Nevada Supreme Court as a staff attorney and last year received the high honor of being selected as a United States Supreme Court Fellow.

For those who would seek to understand, let alone navigate the complex, often byzantine world of biomedical policy, it would be helpful to enlist the aid of professionals from two completely different disciplines: a highly trained medical scientist and a skilled lawyer. California Western School of Law is fortunate to have both of those professionals in one person: Assistant Professor Joanna Sax holds a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology as well as a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
FACULTY PROFILE: Richard J. Finkmoore
If Professor Richard J. Finkmoore's love of the outdoors, his talent for teaching environmental law, and his passion for protecting the world's natural resources have brought him to one of the most satisfying and productive periods in his life, his enjoyment is tempered by feelings of frustration and worry. Finkmoore is deeply troubled that the human race is not doing enough to reverse the fast-moving global climate disruption he believes threatens life on the planet as we know it.

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