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In Brief
Winter 2003

• “I didn’t perceive the bar to be very accommodating to African Americans...When I was born, I couldn’t have joined because of my race,” says Harry Johnson on why he was reluctant to join the Maryland State Bar Association. This summer Johnson becomes the Maryland Bar’s first African American president.
“A Change at the Top: Diversity among State Bar Presidents,” an article in the March-April issue of Bar Leader, takes a look at the history in bar associations and also discusses mentoring and support, key bar efforts, and how, despite gains and increased diversity efforts, bar leaders of color say that hurdles still remain.

What did Chief Justice William Rehnquist call “the most famous case ever decided by the United States Supreme Court”?
A special themed Winter issue of Experience commemorates the bicentennial of Marbury v. Madison. The magazine features four articles on the case: In the Beginning: Marbury v. Madison; The Marbury Mystery: Why Did William Marbury Sue in the Supreme Court; Who Was William Marbury; and “Hither Shall You Go, But No Further”: George Wythe and the Origin of Judicial Review.

• According to many involved with legal education, April 7 may be the real April Fool’s Day for those who place too much stock in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual law school rankings. Do employers take these rankings seriously? Do they even really matter? Can you change your schools ranking? These and other questions are addressed in the article “The Ranking Game” in the March issue of Student Lawyer.
“Qualities that make one kind of school good for one student may not be as important to another...Prospective law students should consider a variety of factors in making their choice among schools,” state the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools.

Despite two centuries of periodic market panics, the number of investors has grown steadily. According to an article in the March/April issue of Business Law Today, stock markets remain an integral, and often thriving, part of out national life.
“The Buyers Keep Coming Back” takes a look at the history of investor confidence in the face of disaster. Learn how some firm-wide directives or practices can be intended to mislead or take advantage of customers, and how the reason for continued investment is that crashes and breaks have never killed the market.

• On July 30, 2002, President Bush signed into law the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. An article in the Winter issue of The Construction Lawyer discusses what the law broadly covers and what it may have in store for contractors, sureties and others in the construction industry.
The article explains some major provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley, including limitations on non-auditing work performed for auditing clients, analysts’ independence and their avoidance of conflicts, and prohibition against insider trades of company stock during employee blackout periods.

In the mid 1980s, state chief justices throughout the country began appointing blue-ribbon task forces to examine gender bias in their court systems. These task forces agreed that gender bias in child custody cases disadvantages both sexes and that a source of the bias is the wide variety of individuals involved in making custody recommendations to the courts.
An article in the Winter issue of the Judges’ Journal examines this topic and explains how “outside non-neutrals” often can blindside judges with flawed recommendations that are not in the best interests of the child.


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