Category Archives: Uncategorized

Entertainment Law attorney John Mashni: Know the law. Know the industry.

Entertainment law attorney and WMU-Cooley graduate John Mashni gave law students important insights on how to break into the Sports & Entertainment law field during a recent conversation at the law school. “I think, for entertainment, there’s value in thinking about who do I want to spend time with, who’s my client, who do I want to represent, and start from there,” Mashni said. “You’re going to have to know the law, but more importantly, you’re going to have to know the industry.”

You should also know the “lingo” and the process that goes into film, music and literary projects. LISTEN to his talk.

WMU-Cooley Law School Sports and Entertainment Law Society hosted a discussion with featured speaker John Mashni, business and entertainment attorney for Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, on Tuesday, March 28.

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He spoke to WMU Cooley faculty, staff and students about his experiences in entertainment law and active career steps that can help attorneys break into the industry. In his career, Mashni worked as the manager of a media department for a large leadership development company and did freelance work on numerous film and video projects and completed coursework at the New York Film Academy.

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Filed under Alumni Stories and News, Student News, The Value of a Legal Education, Uncategorized

37 Honored with Juris Doctor degrees in WMU-Cooley Tampa Ceremony

WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus held its spring commencement ceremony bestowing juris doctor degrees onto 37 individuals April 15 at the University of South Florida School of Music. Graduate Ricardeau Lucceus was selected by his classmates to present the valedictory remarks and Judge Barbara Twine Thomas of Hillsborough County’s 13th Judicial Circuit Juvenile Division provided the keynote.

Ricardeau Lucceus presents valedictory remarks during WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus graduation.

Ricardeau Lucceus presents valedictory remarks during Tampa Bay campus graduation.

Judge Barbara Twine Thomas of Hillsborough County’s 13th Judicial Circuit Juvenile Division provides the keynote during WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus spring commencement on April 15.

Keynote Judge Barbara Twine Thomas during commencement on April 15.

WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc presents Erika Martinez with her diploma during WMU-Cooley Law School’s spring commencement.

WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc presents Erika Martinez with her diploma.

Left-right: Don LeDuc, WMU-Cooley president and dean; Hon. Barbara Twine Thomas, Hillsborough County 13th Judicial Circuit; Ricardeau Lucceus, graduate and valedictory presenter; and Ronald Sutton WMU-Cooley associate dean.

Left-right: Don LeDuc, WMU-Cooley president and dean; Hon. Barbara Twine Thomas, Hillsborough County 13th Judicial Circuit; Ricardeau Lucceus, graduate and valedictory presenter; and Ronald Sutton WMU-Cooley associate dean.

Lucceus spoke to his classmates about the current political climate and how lawyers are addressing many of the issues.

“As you have recently witnessed, attorneys are saving the day in this current zeitgeist by addressing injustice and by helping to maintain balance and respect amongst the three branches of our state and national governments,” said Lucceus. “These attorneys had to be not just educated, but they had to understand the complexity and the challenges they face when dealing with the community as a whole.  It takes a lot of focus and mental fortitude in order to do what they are currently doing; this is why investing in education, a solid education, is more than ever a necessity.”
During her remarks, Twine Thomas shared three life lessons for honorably and ethically meeting the challenges the next generation of lawyers face.  The three lessons she spoke about included being competent by concentrating on the craft of being an attorney, pursuing purpose with passion, and being honest.

Addressing the students, Twine Thomas said, “Take on every assignment as if the world is watching, even if you know they are not. It will be up to you to care for and ensure justice for everyone, not just the well-heeled client who can pay you generously.”

Before joining the bench, Twine Thomas was an attorney in private practice and has served as past president for the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, George Edgecomb Bar Association and the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation. Twine Thomas earned her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida and her J.D. from the University of Florida.

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WMU-Cooley Law School Names New Assistant Dean in Tampa

Katherine Gustafson

Associate Dean Ronald Sutton of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay has announced that Katherine Gustafson has been tapped to fill the role of assistant dean.

Gustafson started her career at WMU-Cooley in 2008 as a visiting professor and coordinator for academic resources.  In 2012, she joined the Tampa Bay campus full-time faculty, teaching legal research and writing, skills seminars, and introduction to law classes.  She was appointed to the post of campus auxiliary dean in 2016. Before joining the law school, she was an attorney with Mahjoory, Mahjoory, and Beery, PLC, located in Lansing, Michigan.

“Since joining the law school’s Tampa Bay campus, Kathy has played an integral role in the education of law students both in and out of the classroom,” said Sutton. “In the classroom, she is a dedicated educator who is valued by both her students and colleagues. Outside the classroom, she has helped our students grow by coordinating many of the law school’s philanthropic events designed to help those less fortunate in the Hillsborough County community. I am honored and proud that she has agreed to fill the role of assistant dean.”

Gustafson begins her new role when the law school’s summer term begins in May.

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Distinguished Student and Leadership Awards Presented at Convocation

WMU- Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus held its Honors Convocation recently, recognizing students for top course grades, Dean’s List and Honor Roll designations, and for leadership and skills competition achievements.

Peter Mancini and Dr. Ryan McKennon received the Distinguished Student Award for their academic success, participation and leadership in student organizations, professionalism and service to the community.

The recipients of the Leadership Achievement Award were Monica Carson, Deirdre Armstrong, and Brandon Ferguson. The award acknowledges students who have consistently, comprehensively and effectively provided leadership in a variety of capacities.

Peter Mancini receives the Distinguished Student Award.

Dr. Ryan McKennon receives the Distinguished Student Award.

Left-right: Leadership Achievement Award recipients Monica Carson, Deirdre Armstrong, Brandon Ferguson.

 

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Filed under Knowledge, Knowledge, Skills, Ethics, Student News, Student News, Achievements, Awards, Uncategorized

Go on an Adventure! Study Abroad in Australia/New Zealand Unforgettable Experience.

Law students from Michigan, Texas, and Montana took full advantage of WMU-Cooley’s study abroad program in Australia and New Zealand. The adventure started on a flight taking them to the other side of the world and ended with many unforgettable and amazing experiences, meeting new people and learning new ideas and new laws.

Students  jumped out of a plane, surfed Australia’s beaches, dived and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, climbed the Grampian Mountains, and fed koalas and kangaroos. They explored rainforests and the grand rock formations along the Great Ocean Road, affectionately called the Twelve Apostles. They traversed the bustling city of Melbourne from Saint Kilda beach, to Williamstown, to the legal district, to the Mornington Peninsula, to the heights of the Eureka Tower. They enjoyed Footy games, beach gatherings, and festivals.

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The law students also learned what it means to be an Australian lawyer. They visited a student-staffed legal aid office where law students offered advice to clients about ordinary legal matters. They visited a barrister who explained the world of litigation. They even got to try on his wig and robe! They listened to hearings in the Magistrate’s Court.

In the classroom, law students studied Comparative International Laws ranging from Business Law, to Torts, to Equity & Remedies. Guest speakers made the experience real by exploring an actual Australian equity case. They studied in the iconic Victoria State Library and visited the impressive Victoria Parliament.

Go on an adventure! WMU-Cooley Study Abroad law students will tell you it’s an experience you will cherish for the rest of your lives.

WMU-Cooley Law School Professor Kimberly E. O’Leary directs the term’s Study Abroad program in New Zealand and Australia. She and her students share their experiences.

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WMU-Cooley Associate Dean Michael C.H. McDaniel Inducted into U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame at St. Bonaventure University

Retired Brigadier General and current WMU-Cooley Law School Associate Dean and Professor of Law Michael C.H. McDaniel was inducted into the alumni ROTC Hall of Fame for the Seneca Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at St. Bonaventure University, located  in Olean, New York, on April 1, 2017. Following the induction ceremony McDaniel presented the keynote during the University’s annual ROTC Military Ball.

On April 1, Brigadier General (ret) and WMU-Cooley Law School Associate Dean and Professor Michael C.H. McDaniel was inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame at his alma mater St. Bonaventure University.

Brig. General (ret) and WMU-Cooley Associate Dean and Professor Michael C.H. McDaniel was inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame at his alma mater St. Bonaventure University.

During his remarks McDaniel advised the audience of cadets, alumni and guests that what makes our military great is still our people, the men and women in uniform, and always will be.

“It is because of the values not just instilled in us but required of us, as students of St. Francis, here, at St. Bonaventure University, because we take an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, not a loyalty oath to the Commander in Chief​, and because our Army values are based on that legacy,” he said.  “The oath to the Constitution is in the Constitution, significantly placed at the end of the body and before the Bill of Rights. The oath then is to defend both the system of co-equal republican government and the rights of the individuals. And so we fight, voluntarily, for the principles in the Constitution and because of the promise to all Americans embodied in the Constitution.”

McDaniel, a 1975 St. Bonaventure graduate, earned a bachelor’s degree in history, then earned his Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1982.  Having been an active participant in the Army ROTC program for two years as an undergraduate student, he applied for and received a direct commission from the Michigan National Guard as a Judge Advocate General Corps officer in November 1985.

He began his career as the staff judge advocate for the Camp Grayling Joint Training Center, then served as trial counsel and then staff judge advocate for the 46 Infantry Brigade, 38th Infantry Division, and  as detachment commander (Mich.) for the 38th Inf. Div. He served as a military judge, then, upon promotion to colonel, as state judge advocate.

His civilian career as a trial attorney with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office began in January 1984. From 1998 to 2003, he was the assistant attorney general for litigation in the Executive Division of the Michigan Department of the Attorney General. His duties included the review of all civil and criminal actions proposed to be initiated by the department in state or federal trial courts, and evaluation of all proposed settlements of every court case.

Appointed by the governor as Michigan’s first Homeland Security adviser in 2003, he served in that capacity until July 2009. In this position, McDaniel was the liaison between the governor’s office and all federal, state and local agencies for homeland security, with responsibility for developing statewide plans and policy on homeland security preparedness. During this assignment, he served concurrently as the assistant adjutant general for homeland security in the Michigan National Guard.

From August 2009 to January 2011, McDaniel was the deputy assistant secretary for homeland defense strategy, force planning and mission assurance at the Department of Defense.  He advised the DOD secretary, undersecretary of Defense for Policy, and assistant secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs on all homeland defense-related strategies (quadrennial defense review, homeland defense & civil support strategies, the mission assurance strategy, and domestic counterterrorism and counter-narcotics strategies, among other efforts).

McDaniel graduated from the U.S. Army War College and earned a Master of Strategic Studies in 2005. He also earned a master’s in security studies (homeland security) from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2007. He was promoted to brigadier general in 2007 and his final military assignment was as assistant adjutant general for Army Future Missions, Michigan National Guard, from January 2011 until October 2012. He retired in December 2012.

Professionally active, McDaniel served as a member of the National Governors Association’s Homeland Security Advisors Council, where he was elected to the Executive Committee in 2006 and 2008. He was named by the Office of Infrastructure Protection, Department of Homeland Security, as chair of the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council in 2007. He joined the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School faculty as a full-time constitutional law professor in 2011 and was promoted to associate dean in 2016.

McDaniel’s military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (1 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (with 2 devices) and the Michigan Distinguished Service Medal (Fifth Award).

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Filed under Achievements, Awards, Faculty Scholarship, Latest News and Updates, Military Feature, Uncategorized

Law graduates take Florida Bar’s Oath of Admission, along with Law Professor

The  Hon. Christopher C. Sabella of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court administered The Florida Bar’s Oath of Admission to WMU-Cooley Law School graduates this week, along with one of WMU-Cooley’s professors. International Law Professor Paul Carrier adds Florida to the states he now can practice in. The Oath contains important principles to guide attorneys in the legal profession.

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Carrier, who has taught at WMU-Cooley’s Michigan campuses since 2003, recently joined the law school’s Tampa Bay campus. He has been a member of the Michigan bar since 1991 and hopes to use lessons from the Florida Bar Exam while teaching. Carrier also plans to begin doing pro bono work at the law school’s debt relief clinic, which serves the Hillsborough County community.

In addition to Professor Carrier being approved for admission, other new admittees to The Florida Bar participating in the ceremony included WMU-Cooley graduates Eric Nelsestuen and Marisol Perez.

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