Law Center Selects First Director of Equity, Community and Inclusion

Headshot of Judith Perez CaroIn an e-mail sent to Georgetown Law accounts on Thursday afternoon, Dean William Treanor revealed the long-awaited hiring of the school’s first Director of Equity, Community and Inclusion (DEIC).  The position was created “[i]n light of our mission to educate the whole person and our ongoing commitment to social justice and inclusiveness” and will be filled for the first time by Dr. Judith Perez Caro, Ph.D.

Dr. Perez Caro enters the position after a months-long job search.  The position was posted online on Oct. 27, 2015, amidst a nationwide discussion on race and inclusion, especially on campuses including Georgetown Law.

Born and raised in the Bronx’s famous Co-Op City, Dr. Perez Caro is a third-generation Puerto Rican.  She went on to attend Canisius College in Buffalo, NY for a degree in Communications.  She went on to acquire an extensive background in sociology, having received a Master’s degree in higher education from Columbia’s Teacher’s College, concentrating in multicultural student development.  She went on to receive a Ph.D. in sociology from Fordham University, concentrating in Diversity and Inequality as well as Latino Studies.

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2016 Commencement Speakers Announced

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Georgetown University unveiled the list of speakers for Commencement Weekend, running from May 19 to May 22.  Each Georgteown school has a separate speaker.  This year’s Law Center commencement speaker is Yuejiao Zhang, a 1983 Law Center LLM graduate and current member of the of the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body.  She will be joined by Eric Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International, who is receiving an honorary degree of law.

Zhang is a Professor of Law at Shantou University in her native China.  She also serves as an arbitrator in the Chinese International Trade and Economic Arbitration Commission, and as Vice President of China’s International Economic Law Society.  She served at the Asian Development Bank in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Prior to that, she held the position of Director-General of Law and Treaties with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Development, where she was an architect of many of China’s trade laws.

Commencement will take place on Georgetown University’s main campus, at 2:00 p.m. on May 22,on Healy Lawn.  Other Georgetown commencement speakers include current Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson for the School of Foreign Service, explorer and environmentalist Alexandra Cousteau for Georgetown College.  Humana, Inc. CEO and President Bruce Broussard will speak for Business graduates, National League for Nursing CEO Beverly Malone for Nursing and Health Studies graduates, and Agency for International Development Administrator Gayle Smith will speak to graduates of the Public Policy school.

Alumni Spotlight: Plato Cacheris

Plato CacherisPlato Cacheris sits in his office at Trout Cacheris & Janis, overlooking Connecticut Avenue in D.C.’s Dupont Circle.  His walls are decorated with photographs of the now 86-year-old lawyer during his most notable trials. At first glance, these framed pictures look like stills from a Sidney Lumet courtroom thriller.  Indeed, Cacheris’ legal career reads like a movie script.  The Georgetown Law alum’s trial history is a Hollywood producer’s dream come true: Aldrich Ames, Monica Lewinsky, Edward Snowden, Ana Montes and the representation of former attorney general John Mitchell during the Watergate prosecution.

Today, Cacheris is a white collar criminal defense attorney with no signs of slowing down.  As he sits in his office, he draws his attention to a sharp black-and-white framed photograph.  “That’s Fawn Hall testifying before a congressional committee about Ollie North in ‘88 or ’89,” he says.  The photo shows a serious-faced Cacheris sitting with his hands resting on top of his counsel bench during trial.  Beside him is Fawn Hall, then-secretary to Lieutenant Colonel Oliver (“Ollie”) North and prominent figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.

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Vice President Joe Biden speaks on campus

 

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Photo courtesy of 3L Phil Druss

Students were starstruck Wednesday afternoon as the Vice President Joe Biden paid a visit to campus to deliver remarks about the ongoing Supreme Court confirmation battle.  The Sports and Fitness Center was unrecognizable, transformed into a speaking stage with seats and standing room for hundreds and Secret Service agents performing security checks.

While Biden did not speak until 12:30, his influence was felt well before his arrival.  The Tower Green was closed off by caution tape and posted, uniformed officers, and access to the Hotung building was limited.  These closures remained well into the afternoon.

However, these access restrictions were nothing in comparison to the excitement among students.  Georgetown Law is no stranger to big-name speakers; the late Justice Scalia spoke to 1Ls last Fall, and Justice Alito visited campus earlier this semester.  As the students chatted in anticipation of the Vice President’s arrival, they would collectively quiet down when the music playing through speakers stopped, but laugh and continue when the music resumed.

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Professor files defamation grievance against Dean in wake of Scalia e-mails

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On Monday, March 21st, the Law Weekly obtained a Notice of Grievance filed by Law Center Professor Gary Peller against Dean William Treanor with the Georgetown University Grievance Committee.  The Notice of Grievance alleges that Dean Treanor defamed Peller in retaliation for his criticism of Treanor’s public statement issued in the wake of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last month, and demands a public apology and retraction.  The grievance is available in full here.

The grievance comes a few weeks after the flurry of emails that students received in the days following Scalia’s death.  During this exchange, Peller, joined by Professor Mike Seidman, criticized Treanor’s tribute to Scalia, instead offering that “…the unmitigated praise with which the press release described a jurist that many of us believe was a defender of privilege, oppression and bigotry, one whose intellectual positions were not brilliant but simplistic and formalistic.”  

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In Support of Austin Tice

During the Student Bar Association meeting in the evening of March 15, 1E delegate Ata Akiner proposed a resolution in support of Austin Tice.  The resolution passed unanimously.

Tice is currently registered as a 3L at Georgetown Law, and a 2002 alumnus of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service as well as a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he rose to the rank of Captain.  A photojournalist, Tice traveled to Syria between his 2L and 3L years to cover the emerging conflict in that region.  His work was published across many prominent news outlets, like CBS, BBC and the Washington Post.

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PSA: Metrorail shutdown impacts Wednesday commute

In an “unprecedented” move, WMATA’s Metrorail will be shut down system wide for all of tomorrow, March 16.

The closure is sure “to affect commutes for all Georgetown Law students, staff and faculty who do not reside in the vicinity of campus, as road congestion will likely increase.  Metrobus, the DC Circulator, the new H Street NE Streetcar, Capital Bikeshare, ride-sharing services and good old-fashioned sidewalks will all remain open.  Commuters should nonetheless plan for a longer commute due to increased congrestion.

The system will close on schedule tonight at midnight, and not reopen until Thursday morning.  During the closure, hundreds of “jumper cables” will be inspected.  A fire Monday morning shut down the McPherson Square station, and the Blue, Orange and Silver lines between Federal Triangle and Foggy Bottom Monday evening.  Metro CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld stated that the emergency inspections are to remedy conditions that are eerily similar to those that precipitated last year’s fire at L’Enfant Plaza, which killed one woman and injured 86.

Wiedefeld also stated that there may be more service impacts after Wednesday – area residents will be informed as neccesary