The Legal Minute October 2010

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Title

The Legal Minute October 2010

Subject

St. Mary's University School of Law

Description

Yale, St. Mary's, Columbia, St. Mary's Hosts Regional Competition, Campus News, President's Corner, Scholarships and Writing Competitions, St. Mary's in Defense of Animals, St. Mary's Flying Nun, Red Mass, Essence of Man, United We Speak, Concealed Guns o

Creator

St. Mary's University School of Law Student Bar Association

Publisher

St. Mary's University School of Law San Antonio Texas, St. Mary's University School of Law, Sarita Kenedy Law Library

Date

2010-10

Contributor

Blaise Regan, Holly Gonzalez, Arzoo Rajani, Sister Grace Walle, Kirsten Ruehman, William Knight, Clare Pace, Brandon Strey, Jonathan Watkins, Melissa Lesniak, Shekinah Hammonds, Amanda Schneider, Andrew Fields

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NULL

Relation

The Legal Minute

Format

RFC3778

Language

English

Type

Text

Identifier

STMULawTheLegalMinute_2010Oct

Coverage

2010

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al Minute
Yale, St. Mary's, Columbia
By Andrew Fields
Contributing Writer
~

What do Yale, Columbia, and St. Mary's
Law School have in common? They are one
of only a few law schools in the nation that
offer Chinese law programs and opportunities to study abroad. Thanks to the leadership of Dean Charles Cantu, and Professors
Robert Hu, Vincent Johnson, and Chenglin
Liu, St. Mary's kicked off its inaugural trip
to Beijing this past summer and had a very
successful start.
For four weeks, almost 30 law students
from Texas, Mexico, Europe, and China,
studied together at BeiHang University
School of Law with the St. Mary's program. The Institute on Chinese Law and
Business allows St. Mary's students the
opportunity to engage the world's second
largest economy in classes that are rarely
available this side of the globe. Classes are
designed to verse students in international
business, Chinese law, Chinese legal problems, and the ever-growing intellectual
property dilemma that only a country the
size of China could create. The courses are
taught by American and Chinese professors.
Kirsten Ruehman, a 3L from Bastrop, says
the class she enjoyed the most was "Intellectual property because it is such a hot topic
in the world today and it was taught by pro-

fessors with extensive, first-hand knowledge
of the field." Ruehman also commented on
Professor Liu' s Chinese Law class and said
"it was my favorite because I learned how
China's unique cultural background and ancient history has affected the legal system it
has today."
Outside of the classroom, students had

St. Mary's Hosts Regional
Competition
By Shekinah Hammonds
Contributing Writer
Founded in 1968, the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) is a national501(c)(3), non-profit organization created to articulate and promote the professional needs
and goals of Black law students. NBLSA is one of the largest
student-run organizations in America and has approximate:·. ly 200 chapters at law schools throughout the country. Hav~
ing a presence in almost every ABA accredited law school,
plus several non-accredited law schools, NBLSA chapters
represent over 6,000 Black law students in six regions that
encompass 48 states including Hawaii, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
NBLSA is unique in that every event, document, and
speech is constructed and implemented by its student members. It is an organization that prides itself on giving law
students an opportunity to build useful skills through practical experiences. NBLSA's societal impact is enormous and
its members represent many of the nation's future lawyers,
judges, politicians and diplomats.

the opportunity to explore the ancient city
of Beijing"'~ork at international law firms
in the business district, and travel the country on the weekends. This past summer
students traveled to Shanghai, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, and some were fortunate enough to
book layovers in Hawaii on their way home.
Gavin Utt~cht, a 2L from Houston, spent a

As a completely student-run nonprofit organization,
NBLSA and its executive board conduct all fundraising efforts. Accordingly, the organization solicits the support of
community groups, private corporations, law firms, and
federal agencies to support its programming.
The Rocky Mountain region of NBLSA serves 16 local
chapters in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico,
Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
RMBLSA serves as a resource to our local chapters by aiding
them as they implement national initiatives. RMBLSA also
holds an annual Job Fair and Academic Retreat, which was
held this year on September 3 and 4, 2010 at the South Texas
College of Law in Houston, Texas.
This year's regional convention will be held at the St. Anthony Wyndham Hotel and Saint Mary's University in San
Antonio, Texas, February 8-13, 2011. RMBLSA's Regional
Convention brings all of the region's chapters together each
year for competitions, community service, team building,
spiritual enrichment, and a host of networking events that
link professionals of diverse interest. The convention will
include events such as:
Regional Moot Court Competition where Saint Mary's
is preparing a team to compete for the first time in several
years.
Regional Mock Trial Competition where the Saint Mary's
BLSA local chapter has placed in the finals two consecutive

long weekend in Hong Kong and described
it as "the most beautiful modem city in the
world." He said his most vivid memory of
the weekend was "being on a ferry at night
on a harbor tour and seeing the city lit up
over the crystal waters of the harbor." He
described the lights [of Hong Kong and
Kowloon] at night as "seeming to duel each
other from across the harbor."
St. Mary's is envied for its enormously
successful Innsbruck program; students rave
about the European travel, the diverse food,
the pub crawls. With the success of the China
program in its inaugural year, it can only be
expected to match the reputation of its European counterpart. With so much to offer a
student interested in international business
or international law, St. Mary's Institute of
Chinese Law and Business is a must. It is an
opportunity that will enrich a student beyond what most law schools in America can
offer, even more than many Ivy law schools
offer. It's an opportunity that places St.
Mary's students at the forefront of the fastest growing legal market in the world. The
exotic Asian cities, the cultural cuisines, and
the opportunities of a lifetime are calling ...
For information on St. Mary's China
program, please follow the link available at
http://www.stmarytx.edu/law/, or seek out
the students who attended last summer for
first-hand accounts.

years in a row. On February 6, 2009, the Saint Mary's BLSA
Mock Trial Team won the 2009-2010 Rocky Mountain Region Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition in Colorado and placed second at the National BLSA Mock Trial
Competition in Irvine, California just weeks after. On January 16, 2010 the team competed at the RMBLSA Thurgood
Marshall National Mock Trial Competition in New Orleans, Louisiana and placed again as regional finalists.
College Student Division activities where undergraduate
students seeking to attend law school will have an opportunity to participate in exercises that will assist in preparation
for law school.
A Career Fair that will marshal a host of recruiters that
will benefit undergraduate students as well as law students
and graduates. Various Community Service Events that will
provide law students and lawyers the opportunity to link
hands in the community. Seminars for students and lawyers
from across the region on various topics related to the practice of law.
If you are interested in competing, please cont11ct the
Saint Mary's BLSA President, Christian Johnson at christian@thelibraryreading.com. If you are interested in volunteering or participating in this year's events, please contact
the RMBLSA Chair, Andre Bennin, at rockymountain@nblsa.org or Lavonne Burke, RMBLSA Vice Chair at ViceChair.
RMBLSA®gmail.com.

What's

INSIDE
Campus News
Catholic Identity
Commentary
Travel

SCHOLARSHIPS

CATHOLIC IDENTITY

GUNS ON CAMPUS

FLYING NUN

Do not miss the deadlines for
scholarships and writing competitions. Pg.3

St. Mary's School of Law's annual
Red Mass has arrived. Pg. 5

Two law students debate the
merits of concealed handguns on
campus. Pg. 7

A glimpose into the life of St.
Mary's globe trotting nun, Sister
Grace.Pg.S

Page Two

Campus News

October 2010

NEWS IN BRIE,F
LONESTAR CLASSIC

PRO BONO/COMMUNITY SERVICE

St. Mary's Law School is hosting the 2010 Lone Star Classic® October 14th, 15th,
and 16th. The Classic is an annual national invitational mock trial tournament. This
year, we are hosting teams from sixteen law schools. The preliminary rounds will
be held on Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, and Friday afternoon at the Bexar
County Courthouse. The semi-final rounds wifl be held in the classroom building
on Saturday morning, October 16, at 9:00 a.m. The final round will be held on Sat~rday ~t 2:00p.m:~ the law school's co~rtr~om. If you are interested in assisting
m servmg as a baihff or marshal, or helpmg m any other way, please contact Sina
Ellis Griffith or Professor Dave Schlueter.

The Pro Bono/Community Service Program provides current law students with
opportunities to work with licensed attorneys and other professionals committed
to serving members of the community with free legal information and services.
In addition to helping fill a great need, students gain first hand practical experience while establishing professional ties with the Iegal community. Students who
volunteer and report at Ieast 50 hours of qualified work are eligibfe for a Pro Bono
Achievement Award Certificate during their graduation ceremony. For more information visit the Pro Bono TWEN site or contact the Pro Bono Services Division
Research Assistant, Cristina Zambrano, at czambrano@mail.stmarytx.edu.

BOARD OF ADVOCATES

ANIMAL RELIEF DONATIONS

Attention. 2Ls and 3Ls: th~ Board of Advocates is ca~ling for students to judge the
Fall Evenmg Student portion of the second annual Lmda and Dave Schlueter First
Year Moot Court Competition. The round will be held the evening of Friday, November 5, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. If you are interested please contact Ben Zimmerman at
benjamin.t.zimmerman@grnail.com or Brian Cromeens at bcromeens@gmail.com.

St. Mary's University School of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Association. (SALDF) is collecting dry and canned dog food, as well as newspapers for a
family who rescued a dog off the streets of San Antonio. The Ramirez family took
in the abandoned dog, now named Daisy. They are willing to care for and love
her. However, three days later Daisy had five beautiful puppies. The Ramirez's are
able to physically care for the puppies, but they cannot financially afford them. The
puppies are only four weeks old, not old enough to go to a shelter or find homes.
Please donate any dry or canned puppy or dog food you can to help raise the puppies until they are 8 weeks old and can be placed in loving, caring homes. A donation box has been placed in the Law Classroom building for your contributions.
Thank you.

FINGERPRINTING
L1 Identity Solutions will conduct the fingerprinting for all first-year law students
for the Declaration of Intent for the Board of Law Examiners (BLE). Fingerprinting will take place Wednesday and Thursday, November 10-11, 2010 from 10:00
a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on botJ:t days ~ LF20~. Students must regi~ter online in advance
of these dates. L1 Identity Solutions will NOT accept walk-ms. The FAST Form is
pri~~ed with the Declaration of Intent when t.hat form is completed and printed for
m~Ihng to the BLE. Students can pay by credit card only when scheduling their appomtment or by check or money order on the date of the appointment. Cash is not
accepted. Please check your St. Mary's Student Email account for more details on
the 1L Fingerprinting process.

MED/MAL MIXER
After reviving the annual tradition last year, a Med/Mal Mixer has been planned
for November. Med/Mal is a traditional social event bringing tosether the future
lawyers of St. Mary's with the future doctors of the UT Health Science Center. For
more information contact Andrew Fields.

VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program needs your help! The VITA
Program offers free tax help for low-to-moderate-income people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers, trained by professors and students
at the Bill Greehey School of Business, will prepare tax returns on Saturdays during
the tax season at the Center for Legal and Social Justice. If you are interested, please
contact Rachael Bernstein at rberstein@stmarytx.edu. Training will begin in early
January.

For more information about these and other
events please read the Witan.

Campus News

Page Three

October 2010

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
By Shelly Enyart
SBA President

SCHOLARSHIPS AND
WRITING COMPETITIONS
These and additional scholarships are posted
in the Witan. For a copy of detailed information regarding the below writing competitions
and scholarships, please email Bebe Gonzales
at bgonzales@stmarytx.edu.
• The National Law Review (NLR) is pleased
to announce they are accepting submissions
for the NLR 2010 Law Student Writing Cornpetition. Deadline for a Labor & Employment
Law topic is October 25, 2010. For information
and submission guidelines, please visit http://
www.natlawreview.com/NLR-law-studentwriting-cornpetition.
• LThe Texas Young Lawyers Association
(TYLA) is offering a $1,000 scholarship to
one minority law student at each of the AHAaccredited law schools in Texas. Applications
are available at http://www.tyla.org/index.
cfrn/resources/law-students/scholarships/.
Applications must be postmarked no later
than October 15, 2010.

Hello St. Mary's Law Students and
Welcome to the very busy month of October! In an effort to help you manage all of
the events during this month, please check
out the Student Bar Association's Universal Calendar on our TWEN page. This calendar will keep you "in the loop" with important events going on at St. Mary's Law
and the surrounding legal community.
And let's be honest, NOW is the time
to take advantage of some great opportunities. It's difficult to avoid issues that
recent law graduates face in searching for
a job and to ignore the media's focus on
our economy. But what can you do about
it? It's simple: Reach out and ENGAGE
yourself with your student organizations,
professors, lawyers, and judges. It doesn't
matter if you are starting your first semester or finishing your last semester; there
are always opportunities to engage yourself with legal professionals.
And even if you absolutely don't have
time, sign up to be a member of the ABA,
State Bar of Texas, San Antonio Young
Lawyers Association, and/or any type of
legal organization that sends out reading
materials and networking information.
All of these memberships give student
discount rates and provide a multitude of
legal resources for law students.
Concerned about what is going on
at St. Mary's Law? Let SBA hear your

• Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP is pleased
to announce the 2010-2011Diversity Scholars
Awards of $3,000 to one deserving secondyear law student in each region. For more
information and to download an application,
please go online to http://www.constangy.
corn/f-4.html. Completed applications must
be received by November 15, 2010.
• The Association of Securities and Exchange
Commission Alumni, Inc. (ASECA) is pleased
to announce their 2010 Securities Law Writing
Competition. First place prize is $5,000, second
place is $3,000 and third place is $2,000. The
topic may be any subject in the field of securities law. For rules, please go to http://www.secalurnni.org/content.asp?contentid=4. Deadline to apply is November 15, 2010.

P.S.
Students, please check your mailboxes
for a sweet treat from the Student Bar Association! As an incentive to check your
mail, we are randomly placing gift cards
and goodies in your mailboxes in the Law
Classroom building. Look this week to see
if you have won!

Sincerely,
Shelly Enyart

Please Recycle The Legal Minute.

St. Mary's in Defense of Animals
By Melissa Lesniak

• Banner & Witcoff is proud to offer the Donald W. Banner Diversity Scholarship for law
students. This scholarship is part of Banner
& Witcoff's commitment to fostering the development of intellectual property lawyers
from diverse backgrounds. Please visit www.
bannerwitcoff.corn/diversity for details of this
scholarship. Applications will be accepted
through November 1, 2010.

voice at our Student Town Hall Meeting
on Wednesday, October 20 at 4:30p.m6:30p.m in LC 101. Please come voice
your concerns, suggestions, and/or questions that you have about SBA or the law
school. Many students are unaware and
misinformed about what SBA does for the
law school. However, this doesn't mean
we can't do more or change these perceptions. We are determined to serve the
students and to do what's best for our law
school.
Continue working hard and if you ever
have any questions, please feel free to
stop by the SBA office at anytime. All of
our Executive Board members have office
hours and these hours are posted on the
SBA office door.

Contributing Writer

San Antonio - St. Mary's
University School of Law has
partnered with the Animal Legal Defense Fund to create a
student chapter of the national
non-profit group, whose mission is to protect the lives and
advance the interests of animals through the legal system.
With the Animal Legal Defense
Fund's support, students at the
school's new chapter will join
the ranks of hundreds of other
student chapter members nationwide, taking on projects
such as: advocating for the addition of animal law courses to
curriculums; hosting speakers,
debates, panels, and conferences; writing law review articles for journals dedicated to
animal law; tabling on campus
to raise awareness about animal issues; and volunteering
to do legal research and writing for local law firms.
The first Student Animal
Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)
chapter was established in
1992 at Lewis & Clark Law
School; 15 years later, there are
more than 150 chapters at law
schools throughout the U.S.

and Canada, at top schools
including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, NYU, and Northwestern.
Students interested in joining
St. Mary's University School
of Law Student Animal Legal

teet and advance the interests
of animals, and to recognize
that, despite animals' legal
categorization as "property,"
there are special relationships
between humans and animals

Source: stock.xchng
Defense Fund chapter should
contact chapter president Melissa Lesniak at rnlesniak@
rnail.stmarytx.edu.
What is animal law?
More and more law students and attorneys are looking to use their degrees to pro-

that the law should account
for.
Animal law is a combination of statutory and case law
in which the nature - legal,
social or biological- of nonhuman animals is an important
factor. Animal law encorn-

passes companion animals,
wildlife, animals used in entertainment and animals raised
for food and used in research.
Animal law permeates and affects most traditional areas of
the law - including tort, contract, criminal and constitutionallaw.
"SALDF chapters are an
instrumental part of a growing national movement towards recognizing the important body of law known as
animal law," explains Animal
Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells.
"An SALDF chapter can be a
powerful forum on campus
for education and scholarship
aimed at understanding this
area of law and the impact it
has on animals. Most importantly, SALDF chapters are in a
unique position to powerfully
advocate for changing laws to
better protect animals."
The Animal Legal Defense
Fund was founded in 1979
with the unique mission of
protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system.
For more information, please
visit www.aldf.org.

St. Mary's Sc ool of Law Stlident Newspa er
Win Two

San Antonio

Spurs Tickets!
Best Article for the November Issue
.

I

Deadline: November 6, 2010
Submit to: t~elegalminute@gmail.com
/

Note: A one page condensed version of your writing requirement
paper may be submitted

i

.

Catholic Identity

Page five

The Legal Minute

St. Mary's Flyi_ g Nun
n

Editor-in-Chief

By Sister Grace Walle

Bialse Regan

Campus Minister

Managing Editor
Hotly Gonzalez

Commentary Editor
Arzoo Rajani

Contributing Writers
Sister Grace Walle
Kirsten Ruehman
William Knight
Clare Pace
Brandon Strey
Jonathan Watkins
Melissa Lesniak
Shekinah Hammonds
Amanda Schneider
Andrew Fields

Letters to the Editor

The Legal Minute welcomes
letters to the editor. Please
e-matl a41 submissions to
thelegalrrnnute@gmail.
com

October 2010

It was a bumpy ride. I clutched the sides
of my seat, closed my eyes, took a deep breath
and said a quick prayer. What had I gotten
myself into? Why had I agreed to leave the
peaceful, soaring mountains of my beloved
Innsbruck to travel to the din and bustling
of Beijing, China - a city of over 22 million
people who speak a language I don't understand a word of?!? "Psst," I waved over the
flight attendant, "Uhmm, can you tell me is it
always this bumpy and rough?" She tried to
reassure me but in the end resorted to offering
me something to calm my nerves. Fortunately, the plane soon evened out and we landed
safely in Beijing.
Emerging from the confines of the cramped
plane cabin into the world's largest airport terminal is an awe-inspiring sight. It has to be
one of the biggest, most open, soaring spaces
in a building. That is, till you look around and
realize you are only one tiny ant, shoulder to
shoulder with all the other tiny ants, being

jostled along through the customs queue. It's for 'law,' as I learned from sitting in with the
hard to imagine what it must have been like students in Professor Hu' s Chinese Intellecduring the Olympics when people from re- tual Property class, is falu. Also, I learned a
mote countries all over the world walked these lot from the students about the development
same corridors just as I am walking them now. of CQina's legal culture from their class with
After surviving the customs queue and Professor Gary Liu. Fortunately, ordering dinfighting my way through the crowds, another ner is a bit easier as most Chinese menus come
wave of panic hit me. What would I do if there with pictures. Unfortunately and despite the
wasn't someone there to meet me outside the pictures, as even Professor Vincent Johnson
airport? How would I communicate enough who has traveled extensively in China can atto find my way to the university where StMU test, there are still a few surprises when the
students were taking classes? I didn't have any food shows up the table. But always trying
Chinese money! Did anyone here speak Eng- to be polite, you do your best and say xiexie
lish? The doors to the receiving lobby swung 'thank you.'
open and I scanned the line of Chinese faces.
Then my eyes landed on Kirsten Ruehman and
Professor Robert Hu. What a welcome relief to
see friendly faces! I was safe and everything
was going to be fine.
July in Beijing is HOT and dry! So I was
more than happy to settle into my nice, airconditioned room for a nap before heading
to dinner with the faculty and students. Professor Hu did a wonderful job of picking out
some interesting new Chinese dishes, as well
as some 'safe' standbys like Kung Pao Chicken. The students were all too happy to introduce me to Yanjing Beer and teach me to say
ganbei which is the Chinese word for 'Bottoms
The Great Wall
Up.' Josh Sisam, a pilot, even allayed my flyNo trip to China is complete without a trip
ing fears some by explaining the aerodynam- to The Great Wall. Mythologized as being able
ics of turbulence. I felt so welcomed by both to be seen from outer space, The Great Wall is
faculty and students. Now if I could just get actually a composition of smaller walls built
these chopsticks to work.
by various dynasties to protect themselves
Language Lessons
from northern invaders. Earliest construction
Wherever I travel, I try to learn a few po- began during the Qin Dynasty (221 - 207 BC)
lite words. My first Chinese word was nihao, and evidence of the wall now stretches from
which means 'hello.' One of the guards at our the east coast of China to the Gobi Desert some
hotel took great delight in our daily exchanges . 31,000 miles away. What a daunting task to
of words for the English he was studying and take on that construction project!
the Chinese I was trying to learn. The word
Continued on Page 8

Red Mass
By Amanda Schneider
Contributing Writer

People of all faiths are invited to participate in the 58th annual Red Mass, which will
be Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
at the San Fernando Cathedral in downtown
San Antonio. The Most Rev. Oscar Cantu,
DD, Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio, will
be the principal presider, and Chief Justice
Catherine Stone, 4th Court of Appeals, will
give reflections. Following Red Mass will be
a reception at the Plaza Club, located inside
the Frost Bank Building, 100 W. Houston
Street. Red Mass is sponsored by St. Mary's
University School of Law and San Antonio
legal organizations, in conjunction with the
Catholic Lawyers' Guild.
The custom qf a special Mass for the
Bench and Bar arose principally in England,
France and Italy in the early 13th Century to
mark the opening of the courts of law and to
ask guidance on all the doctors of the law.
It became known as the Red Mass from the
color of the vestments of the priests and the
robes of the judges and the red fire .of the
Holy Spirit For the last 57 years, Red Mass
in San Antonio has been sponsored by St.
Mary's University School of Law in conjunction with San Antonio legal organizations
and the Catholic Lawyers Guild. The judicial, legal, paralegal law school, and legislative communities gather to offer prayer for
strength and guidance on this noble profes~

sion.
T h e
Supreme
Court participates in
this ancient
tradition
on the first
Monday
of
October,
and
this is your
chance to
participate
locally.
R e d
Mass is attended by
all
members of the
legal community. Here are a few things that
they enjoy about this event Tonya Thompson, a paralegal that has participated in Red
Mass for a number of years, said, "I love Red
Mass and learn so much about the legal community as well as the Catholic traditions."
Victor Negron, recently appointed judge
of the 438th Civil District Court had this to
say about Red Mass: "Members of the legal community do not regularly gather as
a group. While they see each other periodically in the courts and in other forums, the
Red Mass is a special opportunity to unite
as a profession, and to pray for the guidance

conto
out
vocain a

our patron,
St. Thomas More: "Give me the grace, good
Lord, to set the world at naught; to set my
mind fast upon Thee, and not to hang up on
the blast of men's mouths. To be content to
be solitary. Not to long for worldly company
but utterly to cast off the world and rid my
mind of the business thereof."
Chief Justice Catherine Stone of the 4th
Court of Appeals " active in St Luke's parish and the civic and legal community in San
Antonio Red Mass will share her reflections
at the end of Red Mass. It is a tradition for
a member of the legal community to comment on the meaning of Red Mass. Justice

Stone is married to Tom Stone and has three
children. She believes her first calling is to
her family and in regards to her work in the
legal community she remarks. "We lawyers
can be a voice to the voiceless and use our
gifts and talents to do the right thing." Jenee Gonzales, a graduate of St. Mary's University School of Law, had this to say about
her experience with Red Mass: "This year
will mark the lOth year I have attended Red
Mass, my first was as alL at St. Mary's. As a
student I was drawn to the tradition of Red
Mass, the blessings that are bestowed on academia, and the camaraderie of the San Antonio community. As a legal professional I
continue to participate in Red Mass because
I believe it is another way I have been called
to serve and continue my spiritual journey
to Christ. I am always encouraging students
and other legal professionals of all faiths to
attend Red Mass, it is truly a celebration we
should all experience."
At a recent planning lunch for Red Mass,
21 members of different legal organizations in San Antonio discussed what their
calling is to participate in Red Mass. The
overwhelming theme throughout all of the
answers was a call to service, to be a voice
for the voiceless, for those not able to defend
themselves. Of all other professions, we
[lawyers] are the most able to make a difference in our communities.

Commentary

Page Six

October 2010

Essence of Man
Brandon Strey
Contributing Writer
Selfishness is a dirty word today, a
word that stirs up the connotations of a
Mr. Scrooge or someone in an ivory tower
locked up all by their self. The mindset that
we are encouraged to be today is not selfish,
but selfless: to constantly be searching and
working for the betterment of others and
the betterment of "the public good". But the
question needed to be asked is "By whose
standard?" What standard has been set out
to us to work for others with no regards for
our own personal welfare? Whose standard
says that you must give to others in order
to find personal gain? This standard, this
code of morality is a complete contradiction
to human existence and the essence of the
human spirit.
The human spirit is a selfish one. The
word selfish, however, has been manipulated into meaning such a deplorable code
that people have begun to forget what a
genuinely selfish person encompasses. To
be selfish is to have concern for one's self.
If I am a truly selfish person I will work for
my own goals values and desires in all that
I do, but I will only take what I have earned
and never take from another the unearned,
which is not mine.
Bernie Madoff, the man who swindled
people out of their money for his own profit, is one most people with the manipulated
view of selfish would say that he is a supremely selfish man. Mr. Madoff took from
others and made it his own while lying to every person along the way. His only interests
were his own and he cared nothing for anyone else. He would be convicted by modem
society as committing a crime of selfishness.

But Mr. Madoff is not the definition of self- selfishness.
ishness in its true form. Selfishness calls for
The code of selfishness calls for the best
man to work towards his wants and desires within each of us. It requires that you attain
by productive work of his own hands. Mr. your goals and desires only through proMadoff did not work toward his goals and ductive work of your own efficacy. If one
desires by productive work of his mind;, truly values serving the poor, that is not selfhis goals and desires required the work of less. That is a selfish pursuit through their
others. This is not "selfishness" in its true work with the poor, but it is not something
form. This manipulation of a selfish indi- that is required. It is a choice that one makes
vidual is the doctrine of selflessness rearing and acts accordingly with their ability. If
its ugly deplorable head. In his work Mr. one values education in youth, they work as
Madoff only cared about what others could a teacher or in the school system. That is
give him, what others had to offer him, and not selfless, their ability to help students is
what he could take from others. At no time something that they value and they act acwere his thoughts ever "What can I earn for cordingly. If one values industry, he is not
selfless. Their value is found from work of
myself?"
Selflessness calls for one to be disinter- their own mind, work that calls for them to
ested with personal interests. The virtue of be compensated with greater or equal value
selflessness requires forced sacrifice of your in return for the product being traded with
goals and desires for the goals and desires of other men.
The idea of selfishness is the essence
all other men. The most akin society to this
is any communist society of the last century. of the human existence. In America we enIn its essence selflessness is the antithesis dure "the pursuit of happiness", the pursuit
of American idealism. If I work in a field of our values for our use. The purest phrase
that I own for 6 months tending to a crop ever uttered by civilized society is the "purin which I put in the water (irrigation), fer- suit of happiness" because it tells us we are
tilizer, protection of land, and then harvest to pursue that happiness with our own abilmy crop, is it right for another person to ity, it is not a given. In our lives we are in
have dominion over my work? Obviously pursuit of many things. It could be a family,
the answer is no, but a life of selflessness re- it could be comfort, or it could be peace of
quires that another person lay claim to any mind. But it is a pursuit whose values can
productive work that another man creates. only be ascribed by one person: the person
Mr. Madoff took from others with no justi- in pursuit of those values and it is only the
fication, merely because he wanted to. At seeker who has the ability to attain them
no time was his thought process ever akin through productive work of his mind. This
to thinking what he could earn for himself. is "selfishness" in it purest and most real
This mindset cannot be the view of selfish- form; the pursuit of self-chosen values to be
ness as defined above because it does not gained by one's motive power. The person
at all factor into what Mr. Madoff was ever who requires taking from others to attain
able to accomplish by his own actions. This their goals is a coward and cannot be called
is not congruous with the true definition of selfish.

Selfish pursuits are the essence of relationships. Friendships are chosen not because of collegial allegiances, political alignments, or by geographical location. They are
chosen and maintained because one values
the presence and companionship of another.
Friendships created are maintained because
one values the time spent with another. A
romantic relationship is maintained because
one values the mere existence of another
as the affirmation of own personal code of
morality. A selfless person cannot pursue
a true relationship because any relationship they enter requires an automatic yield
to the other person for any value; they have
no choice because if they are selfless than
they must give up their wants for the wants
of others. A selfless person does not make
choices because they want to make those
choices; they make choices because they are
required to by a disgusting code of ethics.
Truly selfish individuals are the producer of
their emotions. They choose relationships
because they value them, a field of work because they value their efficacy, and a romantic relationship because of an affirmation of
their own moral code in another.
Two mindsets, and two mindsets alone
dominate the thinking of man today. One
views humanity as decrepit and requires
that each person yield to the next. The other
views humanity as pure and understands
that any dealings are done out of choice
because they value them. Selfishness demands the best within each of us . Those
who fear the power of true selfishness have
bastardized its meaning.
The essence of
the human spirit is incapable of being submerged. The essence that requires humanity
show its amazing ability to produce, create,
and push forward through all adversaries.

United We Speak
By Jonathan Watkins
Contributing Writer
What is the first letter of the first word of this sentence?
The question may appear silly, or rhetorical, but know that
there are people among you who could not answer successfully.
Call it a cultural desire, or an American wish, but I postulate that every person in the U.S. should be able to speak
English fluently. According to the data from the Central
Intelligence Agency, English is the predominant language
in the U.S. Furthermore, literacy rates in America are near
100%. Deductively, as a general rule, everybody should be
able to speak, read and write in English.
What alerts me is a seemingly relentless problem -namely, through the discourse of foreign language-an inherent
expectation that I will accommodate to the linguistic needs
of one unfamiliar with English. There are many instances in
which this has occurred, and despite their "everyday" manner, this must be addressed. For example, a waitress takes
my order at a restaurant in Spanish, asks me about my day
in Spanish, and says goodbye in Spanish. Is that de facto
tolerable just because I live in San Antonio, Texas? Location
aside, the principle is off. If you are here, and English was
not your primary language, learning it may be a great idea.
Given that America was built up by immigration, it is
reckless to be opposed to the presence of foreign speakers in
the States. But I find it diligent to be opposed to a foreigner's
apathy regarding learning English. I find no room for this
form of ignorance. In a society where communication and
expression are valued as fundamental rights it should clearly follow that picking up on a country's language is ideal,
albeit only for visitation purposes.

Nestled in the depths of South Texas where immigration
reform remains a very pertinent issue, I believe that literacy

ing ... to a fault. Yet, the language barrier they come across
surely prevents their own advancement in certain respects.
I address this issue not for their sake alone, but for the
sake of our people. Not very long ago, America had something which is slowly disappearing. That something is
called unity. Although today's America is a melting pot,
there is still one unified national language, and it begins
with an "E." I believe it to be fundamental and focal that
everyone in the U.S. can clearly and unequivocally relate to
one another, and it all starts with communication.
Language barriers can be minimized with federal and
state-level administrative remedies, and more governmental fund allocation towards ESL programs, and literacy proficiency programs. I am not against the influx of varying
cultures and languages. In a time when talk of government
spending turns heads, and inflames spirits one can easily
ignore the issue. Yet being united, and united with one language should be effected in the U.S. I strongly feel that in
America, where we deal primarily in English, every persor
here should be able to understand.

Please recycle The Legal
Minute.

requirements should be founded. The immigrants and resident aliens I have come to know are extremely hard-work-

Page Seven

Commentary
Concealed Guns on Campus Debate

William Knight
Contributing Writer

There are those who believe that allowing concealed carry on campus is
dangerous because having more guns
surely means more crime. At first glance,
this seems logical. However, it is easy to
see why "gun free zones" are actually
much more dangerous than areas where
concealed carry holders can carry weapons.
In Texas, those twenty-one or older
are issued a concealed handgun license
upon request after passing an FBI background check, attending a 10 hour training course, and paying the appropriate
fees. What I am arguing in favor of is allowing concealed handgun license (CHL)
holders to be able to carry on campuses.
One of the main arguments presented
against allowing concealed carry on campus is, "We don't want people to have
guns on campus, period." Typically this
argument comes from school officials
who think having fewer guns would create a safer environment. Well, that sounds
like a great idea, except for one problem,
criminals do not follow the laws. That is
why they are criminals. Gun laws that
create "gun free zones" only prohibit law
abiding citizens from carrying weapons
because dangerous criminals could not
care less about following the law.
It is important to understand that if a
person wants to murder a group of students at their school they certainly do not
need a concealed handgun license to do it
and gun laws are not going to stop them.
An unfortunate example of this is the Virginia Tech shooting everyone remembers
so well. The gunman at Virginia Tech shot
and killed thirty-two people. Did he have
a concealed handgun license? No. Did
the threat of thirty-two life imprisonment
sentences or thirty-two death penalties
prevent Cho from slaughtering thirtytwo of his classmates? No. So how could
a person think that a sign at the front
door of the school prohibiting firearms
on campus would prevent a shooting?
The point is that signs cannot stop violent
gun crime, armed citizens can. If just one
armed student had been there that day at
Virginia Tech maybe fewer people would
have died. We will never know, but one
thing is for certain, an armed student
would have given those victims a fighting chance.
Another argument I have heard
against allowing concealed carry holders to carry on campus is that there is
no evidence that allowing CHL holders
to carry at school (or generally) would
prevent violent crimes. Let us say for the
sake of argument that this is correct. I argue that if CHL holders would not stop
a significant amount violent criminal acts
in progress, they at least would not make
schools more dangerous. To prove this
point, there are currently 258,162 people
in Texas who have active CHLs and the
odds of them being involved in a crime
are extremely low. 0.05 percent to be exact. Out of those 258,162 only 140 were

convicted of either a misdemeanor or a
felony. This is about 1/7 the conviction
rate of the general adult population (Lott,
More Guns, Less Crime). Even if there is
a study that shows CHL holders were in
a position to stop violent gun crimes at
schools and could not or would not, this
study could not account for the violent
crimes that never occurred just because
of the mere threat that a student might be
carrying. Finally, if CHL holders make no
positive difference or no difference at all
in preventing violent crimes then what is
the problem with allowing those already
licensed to carry at school?
The fact is, concealed carry laws have
helped to decrease crime rates in many
jurisdictions and so I disagree with the assertion that CHL laws have not made an
impact on crime generally. Basically the
debate boils down to a simple question, if
someone comes to class with a gun looking to kill you and your friends, would
you rather have
a Glock or an
iPhone? You can
use your iPhone
to call the police,
but even in a
best case scenario like at the recent UT shooting
where the police
arrived quickly,
they are minutes away. An
impressive five
minute response
time by your
campus police
would still be
ample time for
an armed killer
to ruin many lives.
Dr. John R. Lott, Jr. (Ph.D. in economics from UCLA) published a great book:
More Guns, Less Crime. This book has
all the relevant statistics regarding CHL
laws and gun laws in general. One interesting statistic shows that the violent
crime rate in Washington, D.C. fell after
the Heller decision. Why? He argues, and
I agree, that criminals are more fearful of
committing crimes when it is likely that
citizens are armed. Gun control activists [particularly the Brady campaign]
prefer to place the blame of increasing
gun violence on the guns themselves
because it is more convenient than placing blame on the appropriate sources,
the violent offenders themselves. Placing
the blame on guns and not on criminals
is illogical because guns kill people like
pencils misspell words. The human user
is to blame and not the firearm. The supposed "safety" purpose of gun-free zones
produces an untenable argument that
banning guns for all citizens will significantly reduce crime, ignoring the fact that
law abiding citizens are generally not the
criminal perpetrators. Creating gun free
zones at schools leaves only criminals
and law enforcement armed, rendering
the law abiding students virtually defenseless .

By Clare Pace
Contributing Writer

Tuesday left a chill in Texas as we were
all Tuesday, September 28, left a chill in
Texas as we were all faced with the horrible truth that gun violence can happen just about anywhere. These chilling
events eerily coincided with a visitor to
the campus, who had a scheduled speaker later that evening at the University of
Texas, Mr. John Lott. Mr. Lott's theories
on gun violence have garnished national
attention as he proposes that stricter gun
laws, including the well known "gun free
zones" that exist on school campuses, do
not promote safer environments.
Though Mr. Lott is referring to a general view of gun restriction and civilian
safety, an issue that continues to capture
the national media's attention is gun violence on school campuses. I have heard
advocates of repealing gun restrictions

Source: stock.xchng
argue the rash of school shootings correlates to the fact that schools offer an "easy
target" for those seeking to inflict maximum harm on multiple victims because
guns are not allowed on school campuses. At first blush, this premise makes a lot
of sense to people. Proponents of repeal
or reform argue the premise that if the
citizenry were armed, then they would
be able to take down one of these shooters themselves.
To consider this premise, I decided to
look at other instances of spree killings
and shootings. The important thing we
must remember is that there are statutorily three "Gun Free Zones" in Texas: hospitals, schools, and bars. So, I decided to
look at shootings that occurred at any of
these other three places. If the premise is
to be followed, then shooters should also
be targeting these areas because they also
are gun free and offer an "easy target" for
those seeking to inflict maximum harm;
however, the evidence simply did not
fit his argument. Out of the top 10 spree
killings in the United States, 3 happened
at schools. None occurred in hospitals or
bars. Of the remaining seven, the citizenry struck none of the killers down; the
shooters either killed themselves or were
killed by police officers.
Therefore, outside of the Gun Free

October 2010

Zones, where citizens with concealed
handgun licenses are allowed to carry, an
armed citizen did still not stop these gunmen. If we are to believe that abolishing
Gun Free Zones would make our campuses safer, then why has this not made
our lives outside of these zones safer?
Legislation is now being considered
that would allow students with a CHL
to carry into the classrooms. If we were
to allow individuals to carry weapons
everywhere on campus, this does not ensure that the students would either use
these weapons or use them effectively, or
that the students would even choose to
carry their weapons on campus.
We allow individuals to apply for their
concealed handgun licenses but many
people choose not to or are unable to take
advantage of this freedom. If individuals
are choosing not to carry outside of the
Gun Free Zones, then it fails to reason
that allowing students to carry on campus would result in an armed society that
could protect us from attacks. As the law
stands today, students with a concealed
handgun license can carry outside of the
classrooms on campus yet many of them
choose not to exercise this freedom.
The fact is that gunmen target what
they know, the places that frustrate them,
and the people that get in their way.
Though on-campus shootings shock the
conscience and frustrate the national
identity, it is best to consider the logic
and experience that we have around us
to remember that we do have an armed
law enforcement that have been able to
effectively do their jobs and bring these
individuals to swift justice.
Allowing for more freedoms to carry
on school campuses, or abolishing the
gun free zones entirely, does not equate
to a safer environment.. The argument
simply cannot be supported. So, though
my heart goes out to the Longhorns who
were frightened for their lives that cold
Tuesday morning, I have to remember
that we have gun freedom and we have
gun limits in our society; neither of which
is going to stop an individual with an
AK-47 and a score to settle.

Please Recycle The Legal Minute.

Page Eight

Flying Nun, Continued from Page 5
And daunting task is just what I thought
as I stood at the bottom of the steps to The
Great Wall and looked around for a cable car
to take us to the top.
As Lane Greer put it,
"Sister Grace looked
a little discouraged by
the number of steps
to the top." Unfortunately, the. cable car
never materialized.
So up I went, with a
friendly Chinese man
at my side.
The Great Wall was
absolutely impressive
and breathtaking. It was a misty day but the
view was unbelievable, gorgeous green' tolling hills and stunning trees all around: The
Wall itself is a work of art, all these pieces intricately fitting together. We took numer.o us
pictures, but like most things, I don't think
the pictures do it justice.. The Great Wall·;w as
definitely a highlight of this entire trip. :..
Well, what goes up, must come down.
Fortunately for me, I got to go the "easy
way" down. The Chinese man that walked
up with me was
kind enough to offer his hand to help
me get down again.
And one of our Chinese law students,
LuLu, and her boyfriend took my other
side and held the
umbrella.
While
the students trekked
further afield, I enjoyed a cold refreshment and some shopping at the bottom of
the wall and waited on their return. The
man who helped me turned out to be a local shopkeeper, so I had fun shopping at his
stand in appreciation for all his help.
It turns out that the Chinese do recycle.
Before getting on the bus, one man kept following me around. Leslie Lewis was kind
enough to explain that they wanted my
bottle back before I got on the bus. When
interviewed about her trip to the wall with
Sister Grace, Leslie indicated it was great
fun, "How often do you get to tell a nun to
chug beer?"

Peking Opera
After the trip
to The Great Wall
and a two hour bus
ride, we returned to
the city to have dinner and watch Peking Opera still in
our hiking clothes.
(Note: Beijing and
Peking are actually
the same city. The
difference is just in the way Westerners Romanized the name over time.) Peking Opera
is difficult for even some Chinese to listen to
and understand. However, the costumes are
beautiful and the inclusion of some martial
arts and acrobatic movements makes it truly
a national treasure.

Travel
It seemed like three hours and a harrowSummer Palace
ing bus ride later, we arrived at the market
On our second day of touring, we went shortly before it closed. If that "wasn't that
to the Summer Palace (pronounced Yee~her­ far away" I shuddered to think what was.
yuan). Built on 4400 acres in the Haidan Fortunately, Heather Haywood, who evidistrict of Beijing, the royal gardens were dently had already mastered Chinese subconstructed by Emperor Qianlong in 1750. way school, was with me and helped guide
Kunming Lake me safely back to campus.
is situated in
the center of the
Tiananmen Square & The Forbidden
grounds. One City
of the most inA few days later, LuLu, our vivacious
famous attrac- Chinese law student, offered to take me
tions of the park and Robert Gunn to Tiananmen Square and
is the Boat of The Forbidden City, as we had missed the
Purity & Ease. earlier trip. As I
A beautiful, but walked across Ticoncrete
and ananmen Square
immobile, boat with Robert
that is eternally LuLu, and her
anchored at the boyfriend, I vivedge of the lake. Empress Dowager Cixi idly recalled the
(aka Power Mother), had the boat construct- famous picture
ed as a lakeside dining room in 1888 with of a lone profunds that were supposed to have been used · tester stopping
to fund a new navy. Ironically, a decade lat- the procession of
er foreign troops, that may have been com- four army tanks
bated by the Chinese navy had it been fund- in
Tiananmen
ed, descended on the Summer Palace and Square.
While
burned it. It was later restored, but remains best known for the 1989 pro-democracy
an example of why China's long history of movement that ended with the deaths of
foreign invasions has understandably given thousands of demonstrators, Tiananmen torise to distrust and skepticism of foreign day is a much less somber sight. Now the
governments at- place crawls with tourists posing for photo
tempting to con- opportunities and children running around.
trol China.
Visiting The Forbidden City immediately
Happily there to the north of Tiananmen Square makes
were some more for a strange juxtaposition between impemobile
boats rial Chinese traditional architecture and the
floating around more modem concrete Communist style.
the lake that pro- Robert and I finished the trip through the
vided a welcome cobbled courtyards and gabled roofs of The
break from the Forbidden City in record time. It was fun to
Beijing heat. One think that this was where many of China's
type of boat was emperors lived,
powered by a few people peddling and the but I agreed with
other type is a grand dragon boat that sails Robert who said
blissfully across the lake powered by a mo- he,
"preferred
tor. When given the opportunity by Prof the Summer PalJohnson which boat to choose, I told him, ace."
"that this 'Power Mother' did not peddle,"
and chose the dragon boat instead. We all
Peking Duck
had a good laugh about that.
& Tea Ceremony
One
day
The Olympic Park
Kirsten, who had
We left old traditional China and the been to China beSummer Palace that morning to time-warp fore, took Joseph Guajardo, Lane Greer, and
into the futuristic Olympic Park of modem I back to one of her favorite restaurants to
Beijing that afternoon. While it recalled for have world-famous Peking duck. We were
me the events of the Olympics, the grandeur provided a Peking duck dinner with all the
of the Bird's Nest trimmings, which is nothing like turkey dinOpening,
the ner with all the trimmings! I was surprised
fireworks pour- when the duck arrived all cut up, then
ing out and the dipped in hoison sauce, and rolled up with
eight gold medal scallions in something similar to soft tortiswimming
ac- lla shells. After lunch we went to a Chinese
complishments teahouse where we were given a traditional
of
Michael Chinese tea service. It was very peaceful
Phelps in the Wa- experience when compared to the rest of
ter Cube, Olym- China.
pic Park is now
largely
abanStMU Banquet
doned.
With all the new experiences, I couldn't
wait to throw the students and faculty a little
The Silk Market (or was that Lost in party as a way to get to know each other betTranslation?)
ter and celebrate all these new friendships
· While the tour officially ended with the at Beihang University in China. Chang
blympic Park, our tour guide kindly of- Huafeng (Nancy) and Cao Jian (Jefferson),
fered to take some of us to the Silk Market, two Chinese LLM graduates of StMU Law
which she assured us wasn't that far away. who now live in Beijing, were even able to

October 2010

join us for a reunion. It was flattering to
hear Andrew Fields say, "It is amazing how
social and hospitable Sister Grace is. She
remembered all the former China LLM students who had attended StMU in the past.
It seemed like she just picked up where she
left off with them, only on the other side of
the world."
The dinner seemed to be a great success!
All the students looked so nice and everyone
was chatting so pleasantly. We had many
good Chinese dishes and even some steak.
I reminisced with Jefferson who stayed
with Brother Cletus while he was in San
Antonio and set up
a visit with Nancy
at her office in the
Ministry of Commerce the next day.
Having graduated
eight years ago from
StMU' s LLM program, Nancy made
a generous donation
to our Dean Cantu
China Pioneer fund,
established by the
Ruehman
family
with contributions from the fundraising efforts of the Asian Pacific Law Student Association (APALSA).
Overall, everyone had a good time.
could tell because Francis Nathan later told
me, "Thank you Sister Grace! We had good
food and meat, Meat, MEAT, once you came
to see us! Professor Hu was just feeding us
mushrooms and pickled veggies." Although
I think this may have been an exaggeration.
My Departure
I agree with Robert Gunn, "Attending
the St. Mary's Institute on Chinese Law and
Business in Beijing was one of the greatest
adventures of my
life." So I was sad to
say zaijian or goodbye to all my new
friends in Beijing.
China turned out
to be more fun than
I could ever have
imagined and was
such a meaningful
experience as I got
to know students in
a unique and mystical country. I can't thank
Dean Cantu enough for his support in sending me to Beijing to see his dream of a China
program come true. Thank you to Professors Hu, Johnson and Liu for all their help
in this new country. I would have loved to
have spent more time with the StMU Law
School family in China as they were preparing to visit Shanghai and the World Ex~
But then again, I was looking forward to the
Marianist retreat at Chaminade University
in Hawaii. I just hope the plane ride isn't
too bumpy.
-As told to Kirsten Ruehman by Sister
Grace Walle

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Citation

St. Mary's University School of Law Student Bar Association, “The Legal Minute October 2010,” St. Mary's Law Digital Repository, accessed December 17, 2017, http://lawspace.stmarytx.edu/item/STMULawTheLegalMinute_2010Oct.

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