2013 Review and Preview: United States Supreme Court

Event Recap:

Video coverage is available from WisconsinEye of our 2012-2013 US Supreme Court Review and Preview.



The Federalist Society

For Law & Public Policy Studies


Madison Lawyers Chapter Presents:

United States Supreme Court

Review & Preview


Join Dr. John Eastman, Judge Pat Fiedler, and

Chuck Curtis to discuss the SCOTUS 2012 and 2013 terms

Moderated by Judge Michael Brennan

Milwaukee County Circuit Court (Retired)


Thursday, October 17, 2013

11:30 a.m. – 12:55 p.m.

Lunch available at 11:15 a.m.

Program begins at 11:45 a.m.

Madison Club

5 East Wilson Street

Madison, WI

$15 Federalist Society Members

$20 Non-Federalist Society Members

(lunch included)

CLE Pending

                                          Please RSVP by Sunday, October 13th to:


About this event:

The U.S. Supreme Court continues to play a critical role in determining the shape of our laws and the course of our Constitution. Our expert panel of scholars will address the merits of cases from the 2012 term and foreshadow cases from the 2013 term.  The expert panel will address several major cases decided during last term including: Windsor v. OPM (Defense of Marriage Act) and Perry v. Hollingsworth (Proposition 8); Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society (Free Speech); and Missouri v. McNeely (Fourth Amdt).  Panelists will also cover cases that the Court has already accepted cert. on for the October 2013 Term including: Town of Greece v. Galloway (prayer before public meetings); Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius (HHS mandate); and Elmbrook School District v. Doe (Establishment Clause).  Video coverage provided by WisconsinEye.

Panelist Biographies:

Dr. John C. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University School of Law, and also served as the School’s Dean from June 2007 to January 2010, when he stepped down to pursue a bid for California Attorney General. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a public interest law firm affiliated with the Claremont Institute. Prior to joining the Fowler School of Law faculty in August 1999, he served as a law clerk with Justice Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court of the United States and with Judge J. Michael Luttig at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. After his clerkships, Dr. Eastman practiced with the national law firm of Kirkland & Ellis,specializing in major civil and constitutional litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. He earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School,where he graduated with high honors in 1995. He was selected for membership in the Order of the Coif and was a member of the Law Review, a Bradley Fellow for Research in Constitutional History and an Olin Fellow in Law & Economics. Dr. Eastman also has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School, with fields of concentration in Political Philosophy, American Government, Constitutional Law, and International Relations. He has a B.A. in Politics and Economics from the University of Dallas. Prior to law school, he served as the Director of Congressional & Public Affairs at the United States Commission on Civil Rights during the Reagan administration and was the 1990 Republican Nominee for Congress in California’s 34th District.

Patrick Fiedler is a trial lawyer and partner at Axley, a Wisconsin law firm. He focuses his practice on complex civil litigation including professional liability, tort defense, insurance defense and products liability. In addition, he provides mediation and arbitration in all types of cases including professional malpractice claims, civil rights issues, condemnation (eminent domain), reinsurance issues, family disputes and personal injury. He also offers representation in select complex criminal matters.  In addition to 18 years as a Dane County Circuit Court judge, Mr. Fiedler has been U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, a Waukesha County prosecutor and a private practitioner. He has tried over 60 jury cases and many trials to the court, and presided over hundreds of trials as a judge.  In 2012, lawyers both within and outside the state elected him president of the State Bar of Wisconsin for a term that will run from 2013 to 2014. In 2008, the Wisconsin Victim/Witness Professional Association selected Mr. Fiedler to receive its Victim Advocacy Award, and in 2007 the American Board of Trial Advocates honored him as ‘Judge of the Year’ for his thorough preparation, breadth of knowledge of the law, decisive rulings and courtesy to litigants, jurors and members of the bar.

Charles Curtis is a business litigation attorney at Arnold& Porter, LLP.  He has over 25 years of experience in counseling and litigating in a diversity of areas, including constitutional, appellate, administrative, antitrust, intellectual property, telecommunications, environmental and natural resource, and general commercial law. He focuses his practice on the briefing and argument of complex issues at the agency, trial, and appellate levels. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter LLP, Mr. Curtis was a founder and Co-Chair of two law firms’ national appellate practice groups. From 1982-83, he served as law clerk to Senior Judge David L. Bazelon of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and in 1984-85 to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. of the US Supreme Court.  Mr. Curtis is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and in Chambers USA; America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School.

Michael Brennan joined Gass Weber Mullins LLC as a litigation attorney in December 2008. He tries cases and handles appeals in federal and state courts, primarily in the area of commercial litigation. He is also a mediator and a AAA certified arbitrator. Brennan returned to private practice with the firm after serving 9 years as a judge on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court where he presided over nearly 300 trials and thousands of motions. He was the presiding judge of the Civil Division of that court. In 2005 he was affirmed more often than any other judge in the State of Wisconsin. He continues to serve as a reserve judge in Wisconsin. Brennan has published more than 40 articles on federal practice and procedure, criminal sentencing, and other topics in a variety of law reviews, newspapers, and other periodicals including The Wall Street Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, National Review, New Republic, Wisconsin Lawyer, and the Illinois Bar Journal. Those articles have been cited numerous times in the Wisconsin Statutes, various legal treatises, and other law review articles. Brennan obtained his Bachelor of Arts cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, and graduated from Northwestern University School of Law where he served as an editor on the law review and was the moot court champion. He served as a law clerk to the late Chief Judge Robert Warren of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and as a law clerk to Judge Daniel Manion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Brennan also served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office where he prosecuted felony and misdemeanor cases and first-chaired approximately 50 trials. During this time he was also staff counsel to a committee that rewrote Wisconsin’s statutes to implement Truth-in-Sentencing. In 2002 The Milwaukee Business Journal named Brennan one of its “40 under 40” professional leaders. He received a special Commendation from the U.S. Department of Justice for his service as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. He also served as a public member of the Wisconsin Legislative Council’s Special Committee on Crimes against Children.

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