The University of Miami Law Review Symposium Leading From Below Brings Together Top Judges and Scholars


The University of Miami Law Review will host its 2014 symposium “Leading from Below” on February 14 and 15 at Miami Law to explore the role and procedural tools of the federal district court judge.

The keynote speaker, Judge Jack Weinstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, is one of the most controversial and impactful trial court judges of the 20th century. Judge Weinstein has been described by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and many others as a “living legend.” His career on the bench has challenged the normative perceptions of the role of the judge, reminding us that the individuals who serve can approach decision-making with an independence tailored to justice in their own community.

Judge Weinstein’s keynote will kick off a series on the scope and limitations judicial discretion with panels composed of world renowned scholars and judges with over a century of courtroom experience collectively, who will share their experiences and philosophies to bring the discussions to life.

The four panels which highlight distinct contexts where judges apply and affect public policy in their courtrooms are Access to Justice, Structural Reform Litigation, Criminal Procedure, and Judges and the Facts and will feature judges from across the nation who has made some of the most impactful decisions of past two decades. These include: U.S. District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, who presided over New York’s controversial “Stop-and-Frisk” case; U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, instrumental in California’s Proposition 8 ruling; U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton, whose decisions have impacted California prison reform; and New York University School of Law Professor Arthur R. Miller, a leading American civil procedure scholar will participate in the symposium.

A final roundtable will bring together all the judges for an open discussion. The Symposium will conclude with an informal roundtable where judges will discuss limitations on judicial decision-making, and the future role of the federal district courts in ensuring justice in our communities.

Other participants who will join Miami Law faculty at the two-day symposium are: Judge Kathleen Williams, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida; Emery Lee from the Federal Judicial Center; Margo Schlanger, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan; James Greiner, Professor of Law at Harvard; Myriam Gilles, Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University; Jeffrey Morris from the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and author of Leadership on the Federal Bench: The Craft and Activism of Jack Weinstein; and Seth Stoughton, a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School; Kenneth Feinberg of Feinberg Rozen, LLP; and Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The event is free and open to the public with registration. Nine CLE credits will be awarded to registrants. The conference will take place at the Student Activities Center on the Coral Gables campus.