Past Symposia

Emerging National Security Issues in 2020 and Beyond

2020

 A pandemic, an election, mass protests, Middle East conflicts, cyber warfare, and more: national security is dire to our country now more than ever. Experts in the field discuss the origins of national security law, how it has transformed following traumatic events such as 9/11, how it has developed in the world of cybersecurity, and what threats we've seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fighting Back: A Legal Framework for Defeating the Opioid Crisis 

2019

Despite the decrease in opioid deaths Ohio in the last year, experts predict death from opioids will continue to rise in the next decade.  The University of Toledo Law Review is pleased to host a symposium that will feature scholars and practitioners from across the region who will analyze the past efforts made towards defeating the opioid crisis.  The Symposium will foster discussions focused on these realizations and address the legal implications from a variety of perspectives: the criminal justice response, implications on public policy, regulating the medical field, and unintended consequences of the crisis.  Presenters’ scholarly contributions will appear in Volume 51, Issue 3 of The University of Toledo Law Review.

Role of Technology in Professional Advice

2018

The development of new technology has a disruptive impact on the human experience that requires individuals to adapt and reimagine the ways in which they interact with the world. The disruptive impact of technology is felt profoundly in the practice of law because law touches all aspects of life. Lawyers must understand and embrace technological advancements to remain competent in their work and to remain competitive among their peers. The intersection of technology and professional advice creates many novel and cutting-edge issues. 

The University of Toledo Law Review’s 2018 Symposium will explore how recent technological innovations have impacted the dispensing of professional advice. Panel topics will include:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Professional Advice

  • The Intersection of Legal Ethics and Technology  

  • Robo-Advisors and Investment Advice

  • The Evolving World of Electronic Discovery

Gender Equality: Progress & Possibilities

2017

Discussions of gender in American society have been ongoing since the suffrage movement began in the 19th Century. Today, “feminism” is a controversial term. Intersectional critiques of the historic whiteness and privilege of the feminist movement have likewise challenged feminism’s relevance. The recent divisive political climate has further catalyzed dialogue about this topic, suggesting a retrenchment of traditional perspectives on gender and highlighting serious patterns of ongoing discrimination that may increasingly render feminism relevant.

The University of Toledo Law Review’s 2017 Symposium will explore the ways in which gender equality has been achieved or remains aspirational in nature. Four panels of experts will discuss gender as applied to various areas of life and law. 

Panels will include:

  • Sex Inequality in the Workplace;
  • Gender Equality in Education;

  • Gendered Violence; and

  • Reimagining Family Law

Creating Compliance: Exploring a Maturing Industry

2016

Bear Stearns. AIG. Lehman Brothers. The recent financial crisis, and the ensuing economic downturn, once again made corporate governance failures into household names. A possible silver lining — the financial collapse of 2008 intensified corporate America’s focus on risk management and compliance. Mistakes provided lessons, and the resulting adoption of best practices not only in the finance industry, but in countless economic sectors, may improve the detection and prevention of excessively risky, and even fraudulent, conduct. 
Compliance is now a booming industry, and business entities have come to understand that in regards to complying with the law, the best defense is a good defense. The University of Toledo Law Review’s 2016 Symposium will examine how this industry has matured to enable corporate and organizational actors to build sufficient institutional knowledge and monitoring systems to reduce risk and limit liability.

Discretion Realized?: Federal Sentencing Ten Years After United States v. Booker

2015

Ten years ago, the Supreme Court decided United States v. Booker, making the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines advisory. This has given distrct judges the discretion to sentence according to their own individual policy views.  However, Congress has limited this discretion by enacting numerous mandatory minimum laws.  These laws allow prosecutors maintain a firm grasp over sentencing by charging offenses carrying mandatory minimum sentences.

This year, our symposium will be an anniversary review of Booker and its aftermath in order to assess whether judicial discretion has been realized. 

Our panels will cover four topics:

  • an overview of the state of sentencing post-Booker;

  • the effect of mandatory minimums on judicial discretion;

  • views of federal judges on their discretion; and

  • the future of sentencing reform, including proposed amendments to the Guidelines.

Scalpel to Gavel: Exploring the Modern State of Health Law

2014

Health law is among the fastest changing areas of law in our nation today. With the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health law and the state of the country's health care system are regular fixtures of headline news. And, as the Affordable Care Act rolls out, attorneys and physicians are on the front lines interpreting and implementing the new law's provisions. The University of Toledo Law Review Symposium will explore the intersection of law and medicine and recent developments in health law. Four panels will discuss important areas of health law that are quickly shaping the modern legal landscape: (1) the quality and delivery of health care services, including the influence of provider liability on the administration of health care; (2) public health and various approaches being used to address the overall health of the nation; (3) the ethical considerations that accompany clinical decision making and treatment decisions; (4) the problem of fraud within the health care industry and the work being done to combat it. Presenters' scholarly contributions will appear in Volume 46, Issue 3 of The University of Toledo Law Review.

From Kindergarten to College: Brainstorming Solutions to Modern Issues in Education Law

2013

In the wake of the recent economic downturn, a great deal of attention has turned to education, forcing Americans to consider how well our country prepares its students to enter the workforce. President Obama has lamented the current state of the American education system and called for reform on a federal level.

The University of Toledo Law Review Symposium will address the legal and practical challenges facing our nation’s schools today. In her keynote address, Justice Judith French of the Supreme Court of Ohio will discuss Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, a case upholding an Ohio school voucher program that she argued before the United States Supreme Court, and school choice issues facing educational institutions today.

Four panels will discuss salient legal issues in education. These include:

  • the development of modern disability law and the legal requirements of IDEA,Section 504, and the ADA

  •  affirmative action, desegregation, and fundamental rights

  • legal issues surrounding school safety

  • the successes and failures of the conventional education model and its alternatives 


In addition, a video presentation discussing religious educational institutions and issues in employment will screen during the lunch hour. Presenters’ scholarly contributions will appear in Volume 45, Issue 3 of The University of Toledo Law Review.

Votes and Voices in 2012 - Issues Surrounding the November Election and Beyond

2012

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. That decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and the subsequent ruling in SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission, paved the way for the creation of Super‐PACs. As a result, political parties and outside interest groups spent a record $3.98 billion on the 2010 elections. Although the impact from these decisions directly affects the life of every American, relatively few practitioners specialize in election law.
The University of Toledo College of Law symposium addressed—and answered—fundamental questions related to how we finance and monitor elections. The Symposium was held in the newly renovated Richard and Jane McQuade Law Auditorium on October 19, 2012.
Consisting of four panels, topics under discussion included: redistricting, political gerrymandering and voter identification in the first panel; election law and election litigation in panel two; Citizens United v. FEC, and its impact on campaign finance reform in panel three; and the symposium concludes with a panel discussion that will help practitioners and public officials navigate the complex campaign finance regulatory environment.

Public Sector Labor Law at the Crossroads

2011

Public sector labor and employment policy is one of the most highly publicized and hotly disputed topics of the past few years. The controversy surrounding recent state-level legislation has elicited debate on whether reform is necessary while major changes in public sector labor law are being considered in a growing number of states. The 2011 Toledo Law Review Symposium will examine the real and perceived problems that face public sector labor law and collective bargaining.  
The program will consist of four panels. The first panel concentrates on the constitutional issues surrounding public sector labor law, collective bargaining and those associated rights. The panel will speak on the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Duryea v. Guarnieri and the potential consequences of that decision. Panelists will also address the tension between First Amendment rights and public sector labor law. This panel consists of both legal academicians and practitioners who specialize in public sector labor law with a constitutional focus.
The second panel arguably focuses on the heart of these debates: the compensation, pension, and benefits of public sector employees. The panel will compare public and private employee compensation and further examine the budgetary impact of many of the proposed changes. This panel will consist of economists who have studied the relationship between collective bargaining and state budgets and also local practitioners who have spent a great deal of their careers negotiating the specific details of terms like pension, compensation, and health care in union contracts.
The third panel assembles legal academicians and practitioners to speak on recent reforms and trends in public sector labor law. Over the past decade many states, including Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, have made major legislative changes in public sector labor law. These reforms serve as models for other states that may adopt similar changes in the future. The panelists in this segment will address the pros and cons of those reforms as well as the trends in public sector labor law, specifically privatization and the increasing limits being placed on collective bargaining organizations.
The final panel focuses exclusively on Ohio Senate Bill 5. Ohio is one of few states that has drastically reformed public sector labor laws and collective bargaining. SB5 will have a significant impact on the lives and careers of every public sector employee in the State of Ohio. According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Senate Bill 5 will affect 42,000 state workers, 19,500 higher-education employees and about 298,000 employees of local governments such as counties, municipalities, townships and school districts—that totals 359,500 employees. On June 29, 2011, referendum petitions to repeal SB5 produced over one million signatures and were submitted to the Ohio secretary of state for verification. These efforts to repeal Ohio’s anti-collective bargaining law have successfully resulted in the placement of a voter referendum on the November 2011 ballot, just weeks after this symposium
In sum, the 2011 Toledo Law Review Symposium seeks to address–and answer–some fundamental questions: How will public sector labor reform affect the careers, health care benefits, pension plans, and salaries for public sector employees? How will these changes impact state budgets? What are the motivations for these changes, and what are state legislatures’ options when crafting a solution to those problems? This relevant and timely symposium will inform attendees about issues surrounding Senate Bill 5 and similar legislation in others states. Panelists’ papers will appear in Volume 43, Issue 3 of the University of Toledo Law Review.

Ohio's Sentencing Policies and Practices, Costs, and Consequences

2011

Ohio has more than 50,000 inmates confined in more than thirty penal institutions. The average cost per inmate year is more than $25,000. Even in robust economic times asking whether the budgetary impact is bearable would be worthwhile. In times of economic distress and unprecedented scarcity of fiscal resources, it is imperative to ask whether Ohio’s taxpayers can continue indefinitely to bear the costs and consequences of incarceration of so many inmates—especially those who have committed non-violent offenses and are demonstrably low-risk. The 2011 Toledo Law Review Symposium will address this and related questions, including what alternatives may exist to provide safety to Ohio’s citizens while making more resources available for other crucial public needs.
The program will consist of four inter-related segments. It will begin with an overview of how and why we are where we are in terms of sentencing and incarceration. The second segment, with speakers familiar with trying to manage the fiscal consequences at the state, county and municipal level, will examine the direct and indirect budgetary impact of the financial costs of keeping more than 50,000 persons in prison year in and year out.
The third segment will examine options for reform. Are there feasible and fiscally responsible alternatives that we can implement while keeping our communities safe?  What have other states and governmental entities tried, and how well have they worked. What other options might work, and how well, and at what reduction in costs?  This panel will include the Council of State Governments presenting their recommendations based on their recent thorough review of the sources of Ohio’s prison overcrowding. It will also include perspectives from civil-rights advocates, prosecutors, and crime-victims groups.
The final segment will include state legislators directly involved in making the decisions that will seek to respond to the fiscal and other consequences of imprisoning so many, often for lengthy periods. What lies ahead in the General Assembly? What is politically possible and what must become politically possible in light of current and anticipated budgetary constraints. In sum, the 2011 Toledo Law Review Symposium will seek to address–and answer–some fundamentally crucial questions: What have Ohioans gained from our State’s past and current sentencing policies and practices; what are we losing? Most importantly, can we gain as much, or more, in terms of community safety, while spending less, and, if so, how can we do so?

Climate Change and the Future of Energy

2010

As our nation becomes increasingly aware of the effects of climate change, the future for renewable energy will only grow. As the demand for renewable energy sources grows, so will the need to develop a sustainable legal framework, one that supports and encourages renewable energy development. Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are critical to ensuring a clean energy future for our nation – and our world.
Participants in this symposium will discuss several aspects of the current legal framework and make suggestions for the future development of legal standards that support the development of renewable energy. Panels will discuss topics ranging from the patchwork of legal standards inherent in our federal system of government to SmartGrid technology and its effect on existing notions of privacy to whether the United States possesses the institutional competency to effectively combat climate change. Participants’ papers will appear in Volume 41, Issue 4 of the University of Toledo Law Review.