Author: Sarah Katz

Parental Visitation Rights and Tragic Outcomes

The outcry over a decision that let a child have a weekend visit with her father, an action that led to the child’s death, includes cries for the judge’s removal and a call from the Governor for an inquiry by the Judicial Conduct Board. As we show below, this response misses the boat in two regards – the protection of judicial independence and the need to change the law.   Professor Jules Epstein addresses the former; Professor Sarah Katz the latter. JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE We live in a world where the judiciary is under attack, with cries that “our legal system is broken” and that judicial decisions put our country “in peril.”  But we want and need judges to make tough decisions without looking over their shoulders.  And we want lawyers to be able to go into court on new cases without fearing that the judge will make a harsh decision to ‘look tough’ and appease the critics. Judicial misconduct warrants sanctions.  Lying, stealing, doing favors; not showing up for work; or being racist, sexist or otherwise hostile …

On Temple Lawyers, Mentorship, and Starbursts: Notes from the Breakfast of Champions

Before law school, I was a community organizer for the Children’s Defense Fund, a national child advocacy organization founded and directed by the extraordinary and inimitable civil rights lawyer Marian Wright Edelman.  In her book, Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors, Edelman writes of “the crucial influences of the natural daily mentors” in her life, whom she refers to as “lanterns” who lit her path from her small hometown in Benettsville, South Carolina, to Spelman College, to Yale Law School, to the front lines of the civil rights struggle, to the founding of the Children’s Defense Fund.  Like Edelman, the path of my own career has been lit by mentors, who showed me what was possible and bolstered my confidence along the way.  I would not have decided to attend law school or pursued a public interest career were it not for my own mentors.  And I have done my best to light the path of others.  I am grateful that my role as a clinical professor at Temple Law affords me an ongoing opportunity to …