Tessa L. Dysart

In March, we had only hours to transition from in-person teaching and law practice to remote options.  As many internet memes show, that led to some memorable court appearances sans pants, from closets and bathrooms.  Recently, we’ve been able to step back and assess our remote experiences to see what we can use for better practice and teaching, even as we return to in-person work.  I’ve attended several excellent sessions on online teaching, and I send kudos to William & Mary Law for its fantastic two-day Conference for Excellence in Teaching Legal Research & Writing Online.  (If you could not…
A few weeks ago I participated in CALIcon2020–an online conference on law school in the time of pandemic. My session was entitled “Moot Court + Pandemic = New Future.” You can view the session here. You can find videos of……
In 2017, Justice Thomas surprised some when he noted that current qualified immunity jurisprudence seemed to be straying from proper judicial inquiry and into the sort of policy balancing that is more appropriately left to Congress. Until that test is changed to a legal inquiry as to whether immunity existed at common law, he opined, “we will continue to substitute our own policy preferences for the mandates of Congress.” He concluded with a warning that “[i]n an appropriate case, we should reconsider our qualified immunity jurisprudence.” Zadeh v. Robinson, when it was first decided by the Fifth Circuit in 2019,…
Like so many of us, I have spent the last few months worrying.  I have been very worried about my law students’ physical and mental well-being.  As a parent, I’m losing sleep over concerns for my high-school and college-aged children.  But for the last two weeks especially, I have been incredibly anxious about the lack of justice in our country. As a teen, I loved the statement, “if you want peace, work for justice.”  I did not know then the phrase has roots in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, but I knew it made sense.  See, e.g., Ronald C. Smith, If…