Celebrate and Learn about the Succah and the Sukkot Holiday


10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
In the Succah, on the patio behind the cafeteria.
Refreshments will be served.


U.S. Supreme Court Case Discussion by Judge Pratt

Please join us for a talk by the Honorable Robert Pratt, Southern District of Iowa, on Wednesday, September 19, at 12:30 p.m., in room 310 (closed circuit presentation of Judge Pratt’s live discussion with faculty in the Alumni Board Room).

Judge Pratt will argue Gall v. United States before the United States Supreme Court. Judge Pratt issued a sentence in this case and the Eighth Circuit reversed the decision. Judge Pratt will talk to us about his original decision, the 8th Circuit decision and dissent, and the briefs to the Supreme Court.

Below please find a summary of the case from www.Oyez.org.

Facts of the Case
While a student at the University of Iowa, Brian Gall was involved in a drug ring distributing ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA). He voluntarily left the drug conspiracy and moved to Arizona where he started his own business and led a crime-free life. When federal agents tracked him down, he turned himself in and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The government argued for a sentence of 30 months in prison, which was the minimum sentence in the range recommended for the offense by the federal sentencing guidelines. Taking into account the mitigating circumstances in Gall's case, the judge instead decided to depart from the guidelines and impose a sentence of 36 months of probation. (The Supreme Court in U.S. v. Booker had declared the sentencing guidelines to be merely advisory, but the guidelines range is still among the factors a court must consider before handing down a reasonable sentence.)The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rejected the below-guidelines sentence as unreasonable. The Eighth Circuit held that while the guidelines are not mandatory, sentences that fall outside of the recommended sentencing range must overcome a presumption of unreasonableness. Sentences varying from the guidelines must be justified based on the circumstances of the case, and larger variances from the guidelines require correspondingly more compelling justifications. The Eighth Circuit ruled that the district court had erred by using Gall's youth as a mitigating factor, by overweighing his rehabilitation, and by underweighing the seriousness of the crime. Since the "extraordinary variance" was not justified by a finding of extraordinary circumstances, the Eighth Circuit ordered a new sentence.

May Courts of Appeals apply a presumption of unreasonableness to sentences that fall outside the range in the federal sentencing guidelines, so that district courts must justify below-guidelines sentences with a finding of extraordinary circumstances?


Office of Student Services Brown Bag Advisement Sessions

The Office of Student Services has organized several "brown bag" advisement lunches and dinners with your professors for the fall semester. These sessions will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about a particular area of law, to ask questions about upper-level electives and course sequencing, and to learn a little more about some of your favorite professors. You bring your lunch or dinner; we'll bring your professors! All sessions will take place in room 307. Please click on the page on the left for the schedule.