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Wayne Law student research group receives award for work on Michigan Green Enterprise Zone Initiative

February 04, 2010

DETROIT (Feb. 4, 2010) – Wayne State University Law School is pleased to announce that four of its students will receive the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) Institute’s Distinguished Young Leaders Award for their work in helping to design a Green Enterprise Zone for the Detroit region. Students Kevin Kelly, Erika Monfette, Samantha Orvis and Julianna Rivera will be presented with the award at the ESD Affiliate Council Gold Awards Banquet on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010, at Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Mich.

“The ESD Institute would like to once again express our deepest appreciation for the dedication and hard work performed by the Wayne Law Research Group under the guidance of Professor John Mogk and Dean Robert Ackerman,” said ESD Institute directors David A. Skiven and Christopher J. Webb in a combined letter congratulating the students on their award.

“We are extremely flattered and honored by this award,” said Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman. “All credit goes to Professor Mogk and our four wonderful students. Our thanks to the ESD Institute for the award, and for letting us be a part of this endeavor.”

The ESD Institute launched the Michigan Green Enterprise Zone Initiative in winter 2009 as a call to action to address the economic decline in Michigan and develop solutions to rebuild the state’s economy. According to the ESD Institute, the Initiative “proposes the creation of a sovereign investment zone within Michigan that would utilize the large number of engineers and university educated citizens to attract new capital and investment and retain and build the state’s manufacturing base.”

The Wayne Law student research group was formed under the direction of Professor Mogk in June 2009. According to the group’s report, the students conducted “research with respect to studies and reports within various fields relating to business investment zones worldwide, as well as on the sovereign rights and business activities of American Indian tribes.”

Specifically, the group was charged with researching and answering 13 questions presented by the ESD Institute. Some examples of those questions:

  • What is the most competitive investment zone for manufacturing in the world?
  • Is there any example of an investment zone that limits or restricts legal liability such as class action exposure and exemplary or punitive damages?
  • Is there any example of an investment zone that employs alternative dispute resolution methods for disputes prior to or in lieu of litigation?

To uncover answers to the above and more, the students had extensive communications with federal and state agencies, tribal governments and private organizations.

"The student members of the Wayne Law Research Group are remarkably committed to helping address the problems facing Detroit and its metropolitan region, as are so many students enrolled at Wayne Law today,” Professor Mogk said. “They are deserving of this recognition for their hard work and appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the ESD Institute's creative Green Enterprise Zone Initiative."

The students’ findings and recommendations can be found in the full report online at http://law.wayne.edu/students/esdi.php. For more information on the Wayne Law student research group, please send an email to Kevin Kelly at dv6749@wayne.edu. For more information on the ESD Institute, please visit http://www.esdinstitute.net/.

About Wayne Law
Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 30 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities.

Above photo clockwise from top left: Kevin Kelly, Professor John Mogk, Samantha Orvis, Erika Monfette and Julianna Rivera.

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