As another holiday season approaches, the ABF community remains as busy as ever---releasing books about international juries, analyzing upcoming tax legislation, and receiving recognition for decades of high-level service in the legal profession. Read on to discover information about an upcoming Fellows reception, an episode of Whose Law is it Anyway? that covers the Supreme Court and civil rights, an essay that utilizes research from the ABF's After Tenure project, and a Fellows Spotlight featuring Illinois State Chair Michael J. Hernandez.
ABF Researchers in the News
ABF Research Professor Ajay Mehrotra Discusses Possible Federal Tax Changes with Talking Points Memo

On October 25, 2021, ABF Executive Director and Research Professor Ajay Mehrotra spoke with Talking Points Memo about the pending federal tax proposal. The article explores the possibility of an unrealized capital gains tax for people whose total capital assets exceed $1 billion or whose yearly income exceeds $100 million for three or more years in a row. Professor Mehrotra compared the proposed changes to those that occurred in the early 20th century, when Congress responded to Gilded Age inequality by creating income and capital gains taxes.

Read more here.
ABF Research Professor Laura Beth Nielsen Explains "Bro-Culture" and Sexual Assault for the Chicago Tribune

ABF Research Professor Laura Beth Nielsen wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune on November 2, 2021 entitled “We’ve studied male-on-male sexual assault. Here are some strategies to protect a young man.” The piece was written in light of the Chicago Blackhawks’ recent sexual assault case, and shares statistics that upend the common belief that men are generally safe from sexual assault. Professor Nielsen offers a series of approaches that can be used to encourage young men to look out for themselves--and each other--in male-dominated spaces that may provide a cover for predatory behavior.

Read the full article here.

Listen to Professor Nielsen talk about consent on college campuses here.
ABF Research After Tenure Project Referenced in Ms. Magazine Essay About Law Student Reactions to Legal Events

The American Bar Foundation’s After Tenure: Senior Status in the Legal Academy project, led by ABF Research Professor Elizabeth Mertz, was cited in a November 9, 2021 essay for Ms. Magazine, "What Happens When the Law Fails Those Who Are Learning to Protect It?" Former Southwestern Law School Professor Gowri Ramachandran used the project’s findings regarding a lack of diversity among constitutional law professors to emphasize the difficulty minoritized law students face when searching for a space to intellectually process constitutional and civil rights challenges that threaten to undermine their safety and the integrity of their chosen profession.
Read more here
Fellows in the News
Below are highlights from our Fellows news segment, Fellows in the News. You can view many more on our website here. Please send Fellows in the News submissions to
Sheila S. Hollis, D.C Patron Fellow, Wins WIPL’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

District of Columbia Patron Fellow Sheila S. Hollis has been at the forefront of energy and environmental law practice for more than 20 years, and in October, the Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) Network took notice. At an award ceremony hosted by and Corporate Counsel, WIPL presented Ms. Hollis with a Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledging her contributions to the field both domestically and abroad.

Read more here.
Colonel Linda Strite Murnane, Ohio Patron Fellow, Inducted into Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

Ohio Patron Fellow and retired U.S. Air Force veteran Colonel Linda Strite Murnane has been inducted into the Ohio Department of Veterans Services Hall of Fame in celebration of her post-military career as an international court administrator. After 30 years of active-duty military service, Colonel Murnane has taken on a variety of judicial leadership positions in the United States and abroad. She was a Section Chief and Independent Commissioner at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the Netherlands, a Judicial Bailiff for the Honorable Anne Taylor at the Franklin County, Ohio Municipal Court, and a Section Chief, Acting Head of Chambers, Acting Deputy Registrar, and Senior Legal Officer for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands.

Read more here.
William J. Mueller, Nebraska Patron Fellow, Begins Term as 2021-2022 NSBA President

After more than 35 years of service with the Nebraska State Bar Association, ABF Patron Fellow William Mueller has started his term as president of the organization. A mainstay in the Nebraska legal community, Mr. Mueller has worked with the NSBA’s Executive Counsel, Legislative Counsel, and Young Lawyer’s Section. The University of Nebraska College of Law graduate has also served as a board member for the Lincoln Bar Association and Nebraska State Bar Foundation. 

Read more here.
ABF Event Spotlight

Cooperation without Submission: Coordinating Native and Non-Native Governmental Powers and Authorities at the Tribal, National and International Levels

University of Colorado Law Professor Kristen Carpenter, ABF Executive Director and Research Professor Ajay Mehrotra, ABF Faculty Fellow Justin Richland, Hopi Appellate Court Associate Justice Patricia Sekaquaptewa
On November 9th, 2021, ABF Executive Director and Research Professor Ajay Mehrotra moderated a research panel discussing the United States’ unique legal relationship with Native tribal governments. ABF Faculty Fellow Justin Richland, University of Colorado Law Professor Kristen Carpenter, and Hopi Appellate Court Associate Justice Patricia Sekaquaptewa conversed about the challenges that sovereign Indigenous nations face when it comes to coordinating and negotiating with non-native governments. The researchers explored the fact that, despite the United Nation’s affirmation of tribal rights to self-determination, political participation, equality, and resources, non-native governments still tend to approach tribal consultations with a spirit of authority, rather than interdependence and cooperation.

Watch video here
Register Now:

ABF Fellows Cocktail Reception
in Conjunction with the 2021 NAPABA Convention
The ABF Fellows will be hosting a free cocktail reception at the 2021 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Convention on December 10, 2021. All NAPABA attendees are invited to listen to remarks from California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin Liu. The event will take place from 5:00pm - 6:00pm ET in the Scarlet Oak Room at the Marriott Marquis.

Register here.
ABF Research Professor Shari Seidman Diamond Launches Co-Edited Book: Juries, Lay Judges, and Mixed Courts
ABF Research Professor Shari Diamond has released a new book entitled Juries, Lay Judges, and Mixed Courts. The book was co-edited by Michigan State University Professor Sanja Kutnjak Ivković, Cornell University Professor Valerie P. Hans, and Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor Nancy S. Marder. The ABF celebrated its publication with a book launch reception on November 11, 2021, where Professor Diamond expounded on the concept of citizen participation in legal systems throughout the world.

Read more about the book here.

Episode 6: Courting Civil Rights

ABF Research Professor Christopher Schmidt, Campaign Legal Center Vice President and Georgetown Law Professor Paul M. Smith
The United States Supreme Court has gone through many changes in its 200+ year history, all while playing a key role in defining America's ever-evolving views surrounding the rights of its people. In this episode, we discuss the Supreme Court and the pursuit of civil rights—What is the Supreme Court’s purpose? How has it evolved over time? And is the Court really an effective tool for moving civil rights forward?

To get a better handle on these huge subjects, we speak with Christopher SchmidtABF Research Professor, Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Co-Director of the Law Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States; and Paul Smith, ABF Life Fellow, Professor from Practice at Georgetown Law, and Vice President for Litigation and Strategy at the Campaign Legal Center.

Listen here.
Fellows Spotlight:
Illinois State Chair and Franczek P.C. Partner Michael J. Hernandez is a Chicago-based leader in employment law and educational advocacy. In addition to his past work on the Illinois State and Chicago Boards of Education, Mr. Hernandez has made a local and national impact through his involvement with organizations like the Illinois Counsel of School Attorneys, the National Hispanic Leadership Summit, and others that prioritize community enrichment and educational equity. Mr. Hernandez co-chairs the Labor and Employment Practice Group at his firm, and became its first Diversity Officer in 2006. He has received professional recognition from a number of publications and organizations, including the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Crain’s Chicago Business.
Michael J. Hernandez
Q: What does being a Fellow mean to you? 
A: It means working on long-term impact issues of social justice for our country.
Q: Where were you born and raised? 
A: I was born and raised in the inner city of Chicago.  I have also had the opportunity to live in Rome, New York, and Ann Arbor.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in law? 
A: I was always independent in my thought and scholarly pursuits.  Being a lawyer allowed me the freedom to shape my own research and career in my professional practice.
Q: If you hadn’t pursued a career in law, what would you have done? 
A: I am a historian by trade.  I would have been a history professor.
Q: What do you do in your free time? 
A: I volunteer for not-for-profit organizations to bring equity to job training and the arts.  I have served on the National Latino Education Institute in Chicago’s Board for over 15 years, and I am the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Arts Alliance Illinois.  I am also a big Michigan University Football fan.  Go Blue!
Q: Anything else you'd like to share with us? 
A: My work as the Illinois Chair of the Fellows has been an outstanding professional experience.  The ABF Team has been excellent, Ajay has been an effective leader, and the Board has been very supportive. I have learned much from our professors and enjoyed the cerebral challenges.  

Welcome New Fellows!

We have had the pleasure of welcoming more than 100 New Fellows to the ABF community since August 1, 2021. Click here to see a list of our newest members.
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