Alumni E-Newsletter - March 2021


Friday, March 26, 2021

Dean Megan Carpenter

Dear Friends,

As we mark the one-year anniversary of the stay-at-home order this month, we celebrate the resilience and dedication of our students and faculty.  With zero transmissions of COVID-19 within the law school, we are beating the odds with our rigorous testing protocols. Students are enjoying being on campus, and this week, we gathered for donuts and coffee and yard games on the front lawn.

As I soaked up the sun and enjoyed my treats, my thoughts naturally turned to Professor Marcus Hurn, dearly beloved by the UNH Franklin Pierce family, who passed away last month. His absence is felt every day and especially during times of celebration, when I contemplate how many students’ lives he touched. 

In my pre-COVID travels, I would talk to many alumni, and one of the common threads we would always discuss—whatever their graduate date may have been—was what it was like to have Marcus as a professor. In fact, just a few weeks ago some current students got together with an alum from the ‘90s; they were having a conversation over dinner, and as I understand it, the conversation was significantly about Marcus and his contracts class. They were comparing notes (decades apart) on the experience of being Marcus’s student. I’m sure many of you have similar memories.  If you have not already done so, please stop by the Facebook Group [LINK] we created to share stories about Marcus and his life.

Thank you, to each and every one of you, for sticking by us through this most challenging year. We are so excited to have a light await us at the end of this tunnel. Until we reach that end, I hope you and your family stay safe and well and enjoy the warmth and light of the beautiful sunshine we have available to us right now.

With care and best wishes,

Marcus Hurn
Signature of Dean Megan Carpenter

Dean Megan Carpenter

P.S. We mourn Marcus’s passing but celebrate his remarkable life at a memorial for him in White Park on May 23. You will be receiving more information about the memorial in the coming weeks. We hope you can join us.

 

Alumni Relations Update: A Note from Ellen Musinsky

It’s an understatement to say this has been a challenging year. I know that many of us have been through difficult personal struggles and many of us are feeling alone, but having electronic communications with so many of you has made my year much easier. We’ve had a number of online events, starting with a Zoom reunion and, more recently, online Trivia. On February 24 we featured Stephanie Wickouski ’79 speaking about her book Bold Mentoring, and we have a packed schedule coming up: Click here to check out our ever-growing line-up of events.

Image of Zoom meeting from reunion

 A plus to our use of the web for events, is that we have seen so many of you who live and work all over the world. We plan to continue with online lectures and social events even after the coast is clear to get together again.

We are all hoping for the end of the pandemic and aiming for an in-person reunion on October 1 and 2. A list of hotels is available here. As plans finalize, we’ll have a schedule and place to register, but in the meantime keep watching as we’ll be posting information and you can let others know of your anticipated attendance as that will encourage others to come.  The reunion is for all classes and we plan to celebrate those milestone classes ending in 5, 6, 0 or 1. Please email me or Jess Place if you are in one of those classes and are willing to help organize a specific class event and encourage attendance. As it’s a fall weekend and NH will be busy, we recommend making hotel reservations early.

IPSI Returns May 24 – July 2!

The Intellectual Property Summer Institute (IPSI) at UNH Franklin Pierce is back and better than ever! Registration is now open for an enriching summer program featuring an all-star line-up of experts providing masterclasses on hot topics in the IP and tech fields. This is one professional development opportunity you won’t want to miss!

Legal professionals from around the world can learn something new, network with one another, and earn CLE credits (up to 12 for each course!). Classes are held virtually with an optional in-person networking event in June.

And don’t forget our exclusive series: the IP Colloquium, featuring key individuals in the industry and the judiciary speaking on today’s issues.

There are 8 different classes for you to explore—check out the line-up here.

A special discounted rate is available for legal professionals. Space is limited, so don’t wait to register. Enhance your career and broaden your network this summer.

We hope to see you at IPSI!

 

Rudman Center’s Event with Judge Garland

Judge Merrick B. Garland Featured Among Rudman Center’s Fall Online Events

The Rudman Center, together with the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education, presented “A Conversation with Judge Merrick B. Garland,” the first of several online lectures last fall made possible through the generosity of the William F. Treat Foundation. 

Maggie Goodlander, adjunct professor of constitutional law at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law, Rudman Center advisory board member, and former law clerk for the Judge, joined him in conversation.  More than 200 people attended the online event.

At the time, Judge Garland sat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He has since assumed the office of United States Attorney General. The conversation touched on several themes pertinent to his new office, such as the need for the Justice Department to be free from political influence, and the enormous responsibility prosecutors have to do justice.

Insider’s View

Having clerked for the Judge, Professor Goodlander brought an insider’s view to her questions. The conversation touched on the rule of law, transparency in government, service, civility, and integrity.

They discussed his education, which was funded, in part, by selling his prized comic book collection; his decision to choose law over medicine; and his advice to law students: to take the basic law classes and choose good professors who can be lifelong mentors.

Other topics included his approach to judging and opinion-writing, the value of his private-practice experience, and his role as an attorney in Motor Veh. Mfrs. Assoc. v State Farm Mutual (1983), a landmark Supreme Court decision that has helped to set the standard in defining reasonable agency behavior. 

High-Profile Cases

Professor Goodlander noted that the Judge’s service to our country goes well beyond the 23 years he spent on the bench. It includes his service at the US Department of Justice, where the was lead attorney on some of the most complicated and significant cases that the department ever faced. They discussed two of those cases in detail: those against Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; and Theodore Kaczynski, aka, the Unabomber, who pleaded guilty in 1998 to a 17-year bombing campaign. Judge Garland outlined his lead role in each of these complex investigations, highlighting the importance of prosecutor transparency in addressing the nation’s collective fears.

Attorney General Merrick Garland

Devotion to Public Service

The event concluded on an emotional note, with the Judge explaining that his grandmother was able to leave Belarus for the United States, while two of her siblings left behind died in the Holocaust. “The reason that I and my siblings and my parents tried to do as much public service and as much community service as we could is to pay the country back for the sanctuary that it provided my family,” he said.

The entire event is posted on the Rudman Center website at https://law.unh.edu/rudman

New Hampshire Bar Association Awards

John Garvey and Lucy Hodder

The University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law dominated the awards presentation at the Annual New Hampshire Bar Association meeting. Professor Lucy Hodder received the award for her Outstanding Service in the Public Interest/Public Sector. For those unfamiliar with Lucy, she has been instrumental in helping New Hampshire shape the legal aspects of the public health response to COVID-19. Retired Professor John Garvey was honored with the L. Jonathan Ross award for his contribution to providing legal services to the poor.  Amongst the many reasons for presenting John with this award was his leadership at the school in encouraging our graduates to participate in pro bono representation.  Recent graduates were honored with Pro Bono Rising Star awards.  Leif Becker ‘18 and Cassandra Brown ‘14 were honored for their commitment to Pro Bono service and willingness to accept many clients in need.

Not Just A Game – Inventor’s Legal Expertise – As Well As His Imagination – Inspire Scholarship: A Story About Mark W. Baer ’88 by Michelle Morrissey ’97

There is reason to believe that Mark W. Baer ’88 and his brother James were the very first children to play the very first video game (Mark gladly points out he beat his older brother, every time).

Mark Baer sitting next to a statue of his father, Ralph H. Baer.

Mark Baer sitting next to a statue of his father, Ralph H. Baer.

Their father, Ralph H. Baer, is credited with being the inventor and patent-holder of the first system for home video games which gave rise to the modern video game industry. Mark recalls sitting at home with older brother in the late-1960s, goofing around with a gaming system prototype plugged into a little black and white TV. The simple games they played back then would lead to the $120 billion video gaming industry that we know today.

The senior Baer first thought of using televisions interactively in the 1950s while working at a television manufacturing outfit in New York. A few years passed and the idea evolved, leading Baer to sketch out the idea while waiting for a bus in September 1966. Ultimately his employer, Sanders Associates (now BAE Systems in Nashua, New Hampshire) supported the plan, and, after years of development and fine-tuning, Baer, his team and Sanders were granted the first video-game patents in 1973. They specifically covered products that included any apparatus that would, in combination with a television receiver, generate “dots” on the screen that could be manipulated by the user — the basis for all games of that era.

For much of the rest of his five-decade career, Ralph Baer would be a key player and sometimes legal witness in successful efforts against patent infringement attempts by such big names as Coleco, Fairchild, Atari and more. At the same time, he would go on to acquire more than 150 patents, for everything from talking doormats to a submarine tracking system to the most successful ever stand-alone electronic game, Simon, according to his 2014 obituary in The New York Times. Ralph received several awards including the National Medal of Technology and the IEEE Edison Medal, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2010.

To honor his father’s legacy of patent expertise and foster that passion in current law students, Mark helped create the Ralph H. Baer Family Patent Scholarship, which supports students studying patent law, ideally with a focus on electronics.

Mark came to UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law following an undergrad career at Bates, and says attending UNH Law was actually quite a bit of fun — not the normal description for the typically grueling years it takes to earn a law degree. But at UNH, there was a strong sense of camaraderie, he says, among the students, and with the faculty as well. The law school held firm to a belief in setting up its students to succeed and prosper, he recalls, which was not always what his friends at other schools experienced.

He spent the majority of his legal career as a prosecutor, including more than 20 years in the Utah (his wife’s home state) state attorney general’s office as a white-collar crime prosecutor, pursuing cases involving multilevel marketing fraud, tax fraud and more — “prosecuting some really bad people who destroyed other people’s lives financially,” he explains — adding that it sometimes involved anti-government groups as well as myriad individual scofflaws.

For Mark, the scholarship is a great way to honor his dad’s legacy, something he’s been working on for many of the later years of his father’s life and continuing to work on today.

With the scholarship, he says, “we want to pay it forward to people who will create the new industries, new products and new and better ways of living our lives in the future. If we don’t lead as a country, and as a state in New Hampshire, then someone else will pick up that mantle, and then we will be behind the eight ball. My dad impressed that upon me,” says Mark, who is an avid supporter of STEM education, and sees patent and IP law as the legal aspect of that education.

As a member of the advisory board at UNH Law, Mark says he’s extremely pleased with the changes and new momentum he’s seen there under Dean Megan Carpenter, and hopes that future recipients of this scholarship find their passion for patents — and the school — through this and other similar support.

“The ideal recipient of this scholarship is someone who is dedicated to the area of law that deals with patents and other related areas of intellectual property, in a way that they want to help people succeed, and help people shape the future with new technologies.”

— Michelle Morrissey ’97

Click here to make a gift to the Ralph H. Baer Family Scholarship Fund. Gifts to the Ralph H. Baer Family Scholarship Fund will be matched up to $2,500.

New Edition of IDEA

John Cavicchi is happy to announce that IDEA: The Law Review of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property recently distributed the first issue of volume 61 to subscribers around the world as well as commercial online database platforms. Congratulations to Meredith Foor, Editor in Chief, and the entire editorial staff. 

IDEA is published three times a year by the students of the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law. As the oldest dedicated IP law review, for more than 50 years, IDEA has provided practical articles relating to patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, unfair competition, general intellectual property, and law and technology issues from around the world.

Graduate Law Scholarship

As part of UNH Franklin Pierce’s commitment to our international students and alumni, the school is offering a generous Alumni Referral Scholarship for Fall 2021. Accepted applicants to any of our residential graduate programs who were referred by an alumni will be awarded a tuition scholarship of $5,000!  

We have reserved funds that allow us to award both merit- and need-based scholarships to graduate students. It is our hope that that these scholarships will help attract the best and brightest students from abroad who might otherwise not have been able to study at a leading U.S. law school, renowned for its scholarship and research and ranked in the top 10 for IP law. We are committed to making our education affordable to international students!

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Update

One of the results of the Student Bar Association (SBA)/Dean’s Task Force on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion recommendations was the establishment of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Subcommittee made up of members from both the Dean’s Advisory Council and the task force.  This committee has been meeting regularly over the past several months to identify how we will execute the recommendations of the task force.  The group is discussing various ideas on what the school might implement, and who it may partner with, to affect change and better create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. 

Through the generosity of several alumni, particularly Doug Wood ’76 and Peter Nieves ’98, we were able to establish two funds, the DEI Fund and the DEI Scholarship Fund, to support our efforts.   As a result, we have hired a DEI fellow,Amber Ezzell, Class of 2021, who will report to the Dean, to create and deliver related programming and facilitate the implementation of short-term and long- term goals.  Additionally, we will be able to provide meaningful scholarship support to attract and retain students enrolled at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law who, by their backgrounds, life experiences, and viewpoints, will advance the university’s goal of enhancing the educational experience through enrollment of a diverse student body.

We will continue to update each of you on our progress.  If you would like to get involved, contact Maria Gudinas, Director of Development, at maria.gudinas@law.unh.edu or Amber Ezzell, DEI Fellow, at amber.ezzell@unhlaw.unh.edu.To make a gift to one or both of these funds, click here—thank you!

Faculty Updates

  • Courtney Brooks
    • Key Speaker at The International Forum on Modern Technologies and approaches in Legal Science and Education on August 27, 2020, in Kaliningrad, Russia (via Zoom) through the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University. Prof. Brooks presented on the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program during a session on “Modern Trends and Challenges of Legal Education.”
    • Plenary Speaker at the Externship X Conference on October 23, 2020 at the Syracuse University, College of Law (via Zoom). During the session, Prof. Brooks collaborated with Zachariah J. DeMeola, of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System and Kristen Uhl Hulse, of Sturm College of Law, to present on IAALS’s Foundations for Practice Project and methods of teaching the “Foundations” through experiential education.
  • Megan Carpenter
    • Panelist, The Future of IP Investment, IPBC Connect 2021, Mar. 24, 2021
    • Plenary Speaker, Post-Covid Rule of Law and Sustainability: Intellectual Property and Innovation, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, India, Mar. 12, 2021
    • Presenter, ​Trademarks and Ethical Issues​, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC, Jan. 21, 2021
    • Podcast Interview, ​What’s Her Story​, McLane Middleton, Jan. 15, 2021
    • Discussant, Post-Covid Online and Hybrid Learning Best Practices, American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Jan. 5, 2021
  • Jon Cavicchi
    • Prof. Jon Cavicchi will attend the 42nd Annual Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program (PTRCP) Training Seminar, which will be held Monday, March 22 through Thursday, March 25, 2021.
  • ​​​​​​​Sophie Sparrow
    • ​​​​​​​Presented in two panels on teaching at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) annual summer conference (all conducted on Zoom). This year she has also given multiple online workshops on effective writing to judges, agency attorneys, administrative appeals judges, and administrative law judges at the US Dept. of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Medicare Appeals Council, Utility Commissions, and the Ukrainian judiciary. In January, she co-taught a two-day online intensive course on effective and engaged teaching to instructors at the Naval Justice College.
    • Prof. Sparrow also wrote a book chapter entitled “The Importance of Building Community in Online and Blended Courses” for Law Teaching Strategies for a New Era: Beyond the Physical Classroom, Tessa Dysart & Tracy Norton, Eds. (Carolina Academic Press 2021).
  • ​​​​​​​Ryan Vacca
    • ​​​​​​​Appointed to a three-year term on the editorial board of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Quarterly Journal.
    • Published a copyright casebook, Copyright Law: Protection of Original Expression (4th ed. Carolina Academic Press).
    • Published Revisiting and Confronting the Federal Judiciary “Crisis”: Charting a Path for Federal Judiciary Reform in the California Law Review.
    • Spoke as a panelist on Trade Secrets, Transparency, and Paycheck Protection Program Loans During a Pandemic at UNH Law.
    • Quoted in Bloomberg IP Law News story Federal Circuit Was Untouched by Trump Judicial Nominationsabout President Biden’s appointment of judges to the Federal Circuit.
    • Quoted in Sportico story Randy Orton’s Tattoos Divide Courts as Gamers Prepare for PS5 and Xbox Series X about copyright protection for tattoos and infringement when used in videogames.
    • Quoted in Sportico story Bill Murray Could Face Legal Bogey in Doobie Brothers Dispute about Bill Murray’s use of the Doobie Brothers’ song in a commercial.
    • Quoted in Reader’s Digest story Why Do Supreme Court Justices Serve for Life? about lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court.
    • Quoted in Bloomberg IP Law News story Top Patent Court Urged to Tackle More Full Bench Do-Oversabout the Federal Circuit hearing cases en banc.​​​​​​​

Don’t Forget the (603) Challenge!

Join Fellow Law School Alumni and Friends

The (603) Challenge is back in less than a month – so mark your calendar now and join us from April 9 through April 13. UNH’s signature annual fundraiser offers the opportunity to have your gift matched, up to $200 per donor, until the $200,000 in matching funds provided by its generous underwriters runs out. There will also be several bonus challenges announced throughout the five days that can help your gift go even further, and you can help us achieve our donor goal to unlock our own challenge. Last year we saw record participation and generosity. With your help, we can make this year the best yet! 

Give any amount online to any area of the law school during the challenge and find more details at: unh.edu/603.

Faculty/Staff “Meet Our COVID Additions”

A wonder of life is that even in dark times, there is joy.  After years of assuming I did not like cats, I said yes to the addition of a four-week old feral kitten now named Princess Honey Bear and she is now firmly in charge of the house, including our two dogs.   Pictures of other “Covid Joy” from our community are shared here.

Click here to see pictures of pets, babies, and hobbies the faculty and staff of UNH Franklin Pierce added to their lives during COVID-19.

— Ellen Musinsky