Friday, December 19, 2014

UAA is venue for round table hosted by UW School of Law to discuss legal education and Alaska

Roundtable participants share ideas for providing additional opportunities for students in Alaska.
Representatives from 13 invited law schools across the U.S., and representatives from UAF, UAA Justice Center, the Alaska Court System, the Alaska Bar Association, and the Federal Defender's Office, met for a legal education round table on October 15 at the Gorsuch Commons at UAA. University of Washington (UW) School of Law hosted the round table which was chaired by UW School of Law Dean Kellye Testy.

The goal of the event was to hear about current programs relevant to legal education in Alaska and to explore possibilities for cooperation in providing additional opportunities for students in Alaska. 

Justice Center representatives included Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies Program Coordinator; and Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Legal Studies faculty.

Prof. Periman presents at UW School of Law continuing legal education program

L to r: Paula Littlewood, Prof. Terry Price, Prof. Deb Periman,
and Prof. Betsy Baker.
Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies Program Coordinator, was a panelist at the December 12 "Limited License Legal Technicians: Lessons Learned from Washington State's Access to Justice Initiative," a continuing legal education program sponsored by the University of Washington School of Law at the Perkins Coie law firm in Anchorage.

Other panelists included Paula Littlewood, Executive Director of the Washington State Bar Association, and Prof. Terry Price of UW School of Law. Prof. Betsy Baker of UW School of Law coordinated the program.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Identity staffer speaks on LGBT domestic violence to Dr. Blumenstein's class

Billy Farrell, Youth Engagement Specialist of Identity, Inc., spoke to students in Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein's JUST 490 Domestic Violence course on October 30. He discussed the issue of domestic violence among the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgendered (LGBT) community.

Identity's website states that the organization's mission is to "advance Alaska’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community through advocacy, education and connectivity."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fall 2014/Winter 2015 issue of Alaska Justice Forum focuses on tribal courts

The Fall 2014/Winter 2015 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum is devoted primarily to issues related to tribal courts in Alaska, including how they function, measures of their effectiveness, and past and future issues regarding tribal court jurisdiction.The 20-page issue includes the following articles:

"Tribal Courts in Alaska"

An introduction to the this issue of the Alaska Justice Forum, which focuses on topics related to tribal courts in Alaska.

"Survey of Tribal Court Effectiveness Studies" by Ryan Fortson and Jacob A. Carbaugh

An examination of empirical studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of tribal courts, both in terms of reduction in recidivism and participant attitudes, and a look at some of the challenges to implementing a tribal court effectiveness study in Alaska. Includes a bibliography.

"Restorative Justice: Theory, Processes, and Application in Rural Alaska" by Jeff D. May

An exploration of the principles behind using restorative justice as an alternate form of sentencing in criminal cases, with a focus particularly on how restorative justice might be of benefit in rural Alaska. Includes a bibliography.

"Restorative Justice Programs and Sentencing"

A look at amendments to Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure 11(i) and Delinquency Rules 21(d)(3) and 23(f) which describe the requirements for referral to a restorative justice program as part of the sentencing process.

"Community Justice Initiatives in the Galena District Court" by Jeff D. May

An examination of a community outreach program in rural Alaska whereby an Alaska Court System judge uses restorative justice principles in village sentencing hearings.

"Key Acts and Cases for Alaska Tribal Court Jurisdiction" by Ryan Fortson

An annotated survey of Alaska and federal case law and statutes tracing the development of tribal court jurisdiction in Alaska.

"Current Issues Regarding Alaska Tribal Court Jurisdiction" by Ryan Fortson

An examination of some of the unresolved issues that will shape tribal court jurisdiction in Alaska in coming years.

"Rural Governance Report 2014" by Mara Kimmel

Highlights from the 2014 report of the reconvened Rural Governance Commission, with a focus on pathways necessary to ensure public safety for rural Alaskans.

 Hard copies will be mailed later this month. To be added to the early online email list for the Forum, please send a message to with Forum online in the subject field.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Prof. Brandeis appears in illustrated history of marijuana in Alaska published in The Atlantic

Cartoon panel from The Atlantic article showing Prof. Brandeis
commenting on individual rights and state constitutions.
Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was interviewed by Josh Kramer of The Atlantic magazine about Irwin Ravin and the history of marijuana in Alaska.  Kramer's article is done in cartoon panel style and features several panels of Prof. Brandeis.

The article quotes extensively from Prof. Brandeis' Alaska Law Review article,
"The Continuing Vitality of Ravin v. State: Alaskans Still Have a Constitutional Right to Possess Marijuana in the Privacy of Their Homes,"  published in the December 2012 issue of the Alaska Law Review.

Prof. Brandeis teaches courses on American government, constitutional law and civil liberties, and is a frequent speaker on constitutional law and other legal issues. Prof. Brandeis also maintains a private law practice through which he provided legal representation in administrative agency proceedings for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska. 

 Read the article:
Tundra Green - "How Alaska Became America's Marijuana Capital: An illustrated history of legalization on the Last Frontier" by Josh Kramer. The Atlantic, December 2014.

Prof. Fortson's LEGL 487 students present mock oral arguments to Alaska Court of Appeals Judge Robert Coats (Ret.)

Judge Coats (on left behind podium) and Prof. Fortson (on right behind podium) pose for a photo with the
first and second student teams before the mock proceedings begin - (l to r) students Cheng Vang, Paige Pirie, Abby Charles,
Jennifer McGuffey, Estelita Mayac, Benjamin Dunaway, and Marcus Phang.
Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Ph.D., Justice Center Legal Studies faculty, held mock oral arguments in his Legal 487 - Trial and Advanced Litigation Processes course as the final project of the 2014 fall semester.  Students participated in a  moot court  - a mock appellate court proceeding which involves the presentation of oral argument before a judge or a panel of judges.

Students prepared arguments for two hypothetical cases.  Their arguments were presented before Alaska Court of Appeals Judge Robert Coats (Ret.) who rendered a decision after each case was presented.

Prior to the oral arguments, students prepared briefs on their cases and submitted them to their opposing counsel team and to Prof. Fortson and Judge Mannheimer. Earlier in the semester, the students also participated in a simulated trial, conducting opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments.

The first team presents (l to r): Paige Pirie, Jennifer McGuffey,
Cheng Vang, and Alicia Steere.
Team 2 begins their oral arguments (l to r): Caroline Lee,
Abby Charles, and Estelita Mayac.
The last team readies for oral argument (l to r): Jory Knott,
Alysha Shaginoff, Marcus Phang, Benjamin Dunaway.
Judge Coats (center) asks a question of Cheng Vang ( at podium),
while his co-counsel Alicia Steere (r) and Prof. Fortson (far left) listen.

Dr. Myrstol and Dr. Rosay present at the 14th National Indian Nations Conference

L ro r: Dr. Myrstol, Katie TePas, and Panu Lucier
after their presentation.

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center, co-presented at the recent pre-conference institute for 14th National Indian Nations Conference on the reservation of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian, California on December 10. The event is sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice.

Dr. Myrstol, Panu Lucier of Crane Song Consulting, and Katie TePas, Director, Statewide Services, Alaska Department of Public Safety, discussed "The Importance of the Question and Context in Developing Your Research Methodology."  Their session was part of the National Institute of Justice Indian Country Research Initiatives Track.

Dr. André Rosay, Executive Visiting Research Fellow with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and Director of the Justice Center, spoke at the conference about "The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Findings on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men." Dr. Rosay conducted the analysis of the data from the survey. He also presented on the topic of "Crime and Violence in Indian Country: The Myths, the Facts, and the Importance of Research."

Dr. Rosay, at podium, discusses how research impacts policy and practice.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dr. Everett and Prof. Periman welcome students at the UA Scholar Night reception

Dr. Everett at the Justice Center
exhibit table.
Dr. Ron Everett, Justice faculty, and Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies Program Coordinator, attended a UA Scholar Night reception to welcome high school students who are eligible for an $11,00 scholarship from the UA Scholars Program.  Students in the top 10 percent of their graduating class in each qualified high school may attend any UA campus, and were invited with their parents to come to talk to faculty about registering at UAA. The event was held November 20 at the UAA Student Union.

The Justice Center had an exhibit table, and Dr. Everett and Prof. Periman discussed the various Justice and Legal Studies program options available to students.

Students and parents enjoy music at the event.

Prof. Fortson elected president of the Anchorage Bar Association

Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Ph.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was elected president of the Anchorage Bar Association this week.  Prof. Fortson has served on the Board of Directors of the association for over 10 years.

He is also the chair of the Alaska High School Mock Trial Competition, an annual event sponsored by the Anchorage Bar. This event presents teams of statewide high school students with the chance to learn about individual liberties and the legal process and to explore law career opportunities by participating in a simulated trial against other teams.

Justice Center welcomes students at fall 2014 Preview Day

At the Justice Center exhibit table, (l to r) Prof. Periman and Dr. Rivera await students.
Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Undergraduate Program Coordinator; Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies Program Coordinator; and Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, met with high school students and their parents at the November 14 Fall Preview Day at the UAA Student Union.

Justice and Legal Studies faculty also presented "Justice For All: Explore Dozens of Careers and Academic Possibilities in Law and Justice" at 3 sessions during the day.

Preview Days are designed specifically for high school juniors and seniors and their guests and helps students get ready to attend UAA. The event offers students and their guests the opportunity to experience firsthand all that UAA has to offer.

"Spirit," the UAA mascot, waves a Legal Studies pencil
in the shape of a judge's gavel.
Students attend a mock class, workshops on admissions and financial aid, and speak with current students about campus life as well as UAA faculty about academic programs. Guests speak with UAA administrators and also attend workshops on admissions and financial aid.