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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thinkers & Doers: Nov. 13, 2013

A regular feature of faculty, alumni, and students in the news.

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1L Alix Pisani & 2L Kyle Gertridge

Dorit Reiss

Professor Dorit Reiss spoke to NPR this week about a move by Gov. Jerry Brown that may that make it easier for parents to exempt their children from required vaccinations.

Professor Dorit ReissIn recent years the number of parents who request so-called personal belief exemptions has been rising. It's gotten to the point that public health officials fear that there could be disease outbreaks in parts of California.

Last week, the state's health department released the form that parents must use to request an exemption. It includes a box for a health care provider to sign, showing that the matter was discussed.

But the form also includes something else. Another box reads, "I am a member of a religion which prohibits me from seeking medical advice or treatment from authorized health care practitioners."

"It will give parents who want to get out of it an easy out," says Dorit Reiss, at University of California, Hastings College of the Law. That includes parents who in the past checked the exemption box just because it was easier than taking the kids in for shots. "I'm not sure it's good public policy to encourage people to lie."

Reiss sees another big problem with the new exemption — it's not part of the law. "With all due respect to the governor, he can't unilaterally change the law," she says.

You can read more from Reiss on the MomsWhoVax blog and in her op-eds, here.

Frank H. Wu

Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu continues his series of columns in the Huffington Post, including these posts on cutting law schools and the inability to get over your first motorcycle. He also writes regularly for Above the Law on the crisis in legal education, and for LinkedIn on management. 

James R. Lambden ‘75

Justice James R. Lambden ’75, retired from the California Court of Appeal, first Appellate District, will receive the Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award Dec. 12, 2013.

Lambden was selected for the award by the California State Bar, the California Judges Association, the California Commission on Access to Justice and the Judicial Counsel. Chief Justice Tani Canti-Sakauye will present the award.

Lambden was appointed an Alameda County Superior Court Judge in 1989 by Gov. George Deukmejian. He had been in private practice at Fitzgerald, Abbott and Beardsly 1975-1989. In 1996, he was elevated to the appellate court by Gov. Pete Wilson. He authored more than 900 opinions on his 17 years on the appellate bench, and has been a national leader in improving access to justice.

Jeff Adachi '85

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi ’85 was honored with the annual Access to Justice award from The Lawyers’ Club of San Francisco on October 29, 2013 at the group’s 66th Annual California Supreme Court luncheon.


David Lim ‘99
San Mateo Mayor David Lim ’99 was reelected to the San Mateo City Council Nov. 5. He first won election to the San Mateo City Council in 2009. He has worked as a deputy district attorney for 14 years, the last 13 with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

Lim has prosecuted a number of high-profile cases, including members of the notorious “Black Muslim Bakery” gang in Oakland, and a case in which a local pastor was defrauded of over $300,000 in a real estate fraud scheme.

2L Kyle Gertridge, 1L Alix Pisani

2L Kyle Gertridge finished in first place and 1L Alix Pisani finished in second place after a very close championship round of the Jeffrey S. Abrams National Mediation Competition at the University of Houston Law Center. 3L Kit Jones also finished in 9th place to round out three UC Hastings mediators finishing in the top 10 in this national competition. UC Hastings won the same competition last year, with 3L Eddy Mata taking top honors.

Nota Bene

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