Category Archives: The Way We Were

Stories from our law school days.

Memories From Law School

Contributed by Diane Chermely

-Attending a welcoming party for our class with the Law School Dean, administration and faculty when the campus police showed up due to open containers of beer.  You would have thought somebody at the “law” school would have considered that when hosting an outdoor party.

-Cleaning a bath room at a temporary housing location with Sue Ellen Swift despite being told we did not have to because we just could not shower in a “green” tub.

-The all night euchre tournament at the law school dining area and Pat Brown’s euchre dance.

Rugby Fan-The “Malpractice Bowl” rugby game against the UC medical school’s team.

-“Law Aerobics” with Kathy Boller-Koch.

-The game room at the library during exam weeks.

-Having Cris Collinsworth in our classes.

-Regina Alberini going out with Jimmy Buffett.

-Going to Professor Alphonse Squillante’s contracts class on the first day when he had two upperclassmen secretly there to argue a case while wondering “how did they do that” and “I hope he does not call on me next”.  All the former “Cubs” should appreciate that.

-The dreaded blue books.

-Enjoying the pepperoni pizza lunch special at Papa Dino’s with Kim Saylor, Jim Weinandy, Steve Callejas and Bruce Squillante.

-The fish statute in the law library.

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The Tortfeasors

Is that a hornbook, or Vince Lombardi's playbook?

Is that a hornbook, or Sam Wyche’s playbook, that Coach Kevin is studying?

“The Tortfeasors” was a team formed by Kevin McMurray from members of our class to compete in the UC intramural no-contact touch football league.  The other team members were (as best I remember) Julian Bell, Joe Brooker, Greg Claycomb, Ken Kreider, Troy Morris, Andy Natale, Sean Organ, Don Rafferty, Tom Stachler, and, most surprising of all, your pathetically unathletic humble narrator.  Jeff Pyatt was also on the team during our first season.

Despite intense efforts, we were unable to acquire a cheerleading squad.

Don was easily the best athlete of the bunch, having actually played quarterback in college.  Early on, he had to learn to take a little of the zip off his passes so that the rest of the guys could catch them.

Most of our games were at night, in one of the fields next to Sander Hall. As far as I know the only photos taken of the team in a game were those published in the October ’88 Restatement.

Our fortunes mirrored those of the Cincinnati Bengals.  In the 1986 season, we had a respectable record but missed the playoffs.  In 1987, we sucked like a shop vac.  In 1988, we were a powerhouse, going unbeaten until we met the “Magnetic Healers,” a team of 1Ls and 2Ls organized by D. Orlando Ledbetter, in the postseason.  Like the Bengals against the 49ers in the Super Bowl a few months later, it was an epic battle that could have gone either way and wasn’t decided until the last seconds of the fourth quarter.

The 1988 season was also notable because Ken Kreider blocked a punt during one of our regular season games–what may have been the first (and only?) blocked punt in the history of UC intramural no-contact touch football.  It was a situation not covered by the rulebook, and it took the referees about ten minutes to figure out where to spot the ball.

The Mooters

Moot Court TeamContributed by Betsy Heintz Wood.

Far from the hallowed, cite-checking domain of the illustrious Law Review, in a darkened upper corner of the law school building, lay the lair of that “other” group, the Moot Court Board. Originally, I signed up for this course for the legal writing credits, but it turned into one of the most enjoyable of my law school experiences. Although it solidified my knowledge that I had no interest in ever becoming a litigator, the skills I picked up in persuasive speaking and thinking on my feet still serve me well today in my practice.

Here are some of my memories of “the Mooters”:

  • Our absent friend, Greg Claycomb teaching Jay how to sound out syllables by clapping his hands.
  • Bouncing John Jackson’s son, baby Zach in the moot court office–the first exposure many of us had to a baby!
  • Being called “haughty” by one of the judges after Regi Alberini and I were sure we had just won the competition.
  • Jay Clark and Cheryl Carson winning the national tax competition.
  • My Section 3 pal Tom Jacobs discovering that he spent his entire oral argument flipping the judges the bird with both hands as he made his many valid points with hand gestures.
  • Cathi Kelly’s obsession with Michael Jordan.
  • Having to plan ahead to get access to one of the computers, then saving our competition briefs on floppy disks.
  • Our 2L competitors arriving at their 7 am Saturday practice argument in bathrobes and hair curlers to protest its early time.
  • Learning that addressing a judge “with all due respect, your Honor,…” is really just a preface to insulting the judge.
  • Late night trips to the Dalton Street Post Office to make sure briefs were postmarked by the deadline.
  • Many other late nights of slap happy exchanges with teammates finalizing arguments and briefs.
  • Being amazed by Michael Pettry’s and Colin Connor’s impressive water skiing and kneeboarding skills during our group houseboat trip to Lake Cumberland in the days between the end of classes and our hooding ceremony.

I am sure there are many more than I remember, but great friendships and memories from a great law school experience!

Professor Samuel Wilson, 1924-2014

Prof WilsonProfessor Samuel Wilson, who taught Property, Trusts & Future Interests, and Real Estate, died on June 24 of this year.  He was probably best known to Cincinnatians of our generation as  “Judge Paul Trevor” on the locally-produced TV series Juvenile Court, which ran on Channel 9 from 1975 to 1983.  Professor Wilson may not have been an actor by trade, but he played one on TV well enough that, to this day, many people (including a journalist or two) believe he really was a judge, and his name really was Paul Trevor.

There will be a memorial service for Professor Wilson on July 18 at Knox Presbyterian Church in Hyde Park.  Visitation starts at 10:00 am, and the service itself at 11:00.

Please share your memories of Professor Wilson in the comments.

The Spuds

Remember the Spuds, the all-women team (named after the Budweiser spokes-dog?) that played in the law school intramural basketball tournament?  As team founder, general manager, head coach, offensive coordinator, general counsel, and promotions director Judy Levy describes it:

Only short people were drafted to play on our team. Never having played basketball, we even had scheduled practices before the tournament so we could learn some plays. We were like the short, untalented version of the Globetrotters!

Spud shirtWhat the Spuds lacked in vertical reach and basketball ability, they made up for with jazzy team uniforms (photo at right) and an unorthodox style of play.  The team’s most successful offensive tactic was the “Spud Swarm,” where Spuds on the bench spontaneously joined their teammates out on the court in the ultimate “flood the zone” maneuver.   They also frequently threatened to pull their opponents’ shorts down.

I may not remember the score (as if we actually might have made any baskets), or everyone that was on the team, but I definitely remember the wonderful time we had.

Share your Spud memories in the comments.