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April 27, 1995

Several events planned to commemorate law school centennial

A number of events have been planned over the next month to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pitt's School of Law, starting today, April 27, with a visit to the school by Drew Days, solicitor general of the United States.

Days will speak in the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom of the law school at 6 p.m. The subject of his talk will be:

"The Solicitor General and Federal Litigation: The View From the Top." The solicitor general's visit will be followed on Friday, April 28, at 3:30 p.m. by the re-arguing of a case originally heard by the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 1895. According to law school professor emeritus EdwardSell, the case involved a raid on a brothel in Reading during which police made a mistake in the address and ended up descending on the wrong house. Instead of a brothel, the police raided the home of a well-respected widow of a Civil War veteran. The local paper published a story about the raid and the widow sued for libel.

"We thought it would be a fun case and something that wouldn't require a lot of technical knowledge on the part of an audience," said Sell. "The public can come and enjoy it." After the case is presented to the court, which will be comprised of members of the current Pennsylvania Superior Court, a decision will be rendered. The judges will then go back and check the law books to find out if they reached the same decision as the court did a century ago.

Along with the Pitt law school, the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Bar Association also are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. In recognition of those milestones, Judge James Rowley, a graduate of the law school and president judge of the Superior Court, will speak on the history of the court and H. Reginald Belden, Jr., another graduate of the school, will discuss the history of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Following them, Sell will talk about the history of the law school.

Celebration of the law school's first century will culminate on May 25 with a centennial dinner featuring Abner J. Mikva, counsel to the president of the United States.

Copies of the law school's centennial history, "The Law-Down: A Century Remembered," by Edward Sell are available through the Pitt Law Alumni Association. Advanced orders received by May 20 are $23, plus $3 shipping and handling. Orders received after May 20 are $30, plus $3 shipping and handling.

All proceeds from the centennial history will be used to finance Alumni Association scholarships. Orders can be placed by contacting the Alumni Office, Room 226-A, Pitt Law School.

–Mike Sajna

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