Sep 14 2011

Student Corey Korinda Recounts the trip to Canberra, one of the major events every year.

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Sydney Australia Pin on mapsBy: Corey Korinda

We were very lucky to have a complete federal government experience as part of our abroad program!  Australia’s capital city is Canberra, which is about a three hour bus ride from Sydney.   We were joined by two UTS professors for the trip.  They graciously offered information and answered our questions about the socio-political climate of Australia.  On the ride down, one of the professors even provided us a rendition of “Waltzing Matilda!”

After a brief lunch upon arrival, we attended a session of Parliament.  Australia had a Westminster style of government, in which parliament composes both the legislative and executive branches of government.   The political party the majority of the popular vote becomes the ruling party.  This majority party then selects members to hold the cabinet positions of the executive branch.  For our visit, it was a particularly contentious time for the Australian government as there are a number of divisive issues currently in the forefront, specifically the institution of a carbon tax.  Moreover, we happened to be observing Parliament on the anniversary of the previous Prime Minister’s deposition with the controversial installation of Julia Gillard.  Needless to say, the parliamentary debate was hot!  The House Speaker repeated “ORDER” with varying inflections over and over again. At one point, the Speaker even asked a representative from the opposition party to leave the floor for one hour for disrespectful behavior! There is nothing like seeing a professional man, being essentially put on “time-out.”

Next, we took a special tour of the country’s High Court facility as we had been cordially invited by Australian Chief Justice, Robert French.  What an honor!  Like the United States, judges are appointed the High Court of Australia.  However, appointments are not nearly as public contested; perhaps because the position is not for life, rather High Court Justices hold the position until they reach seventy years of age.  A tour guide showed us the different federal court rooms.  She explained courtroom procedures, and mentioned notable cases and Justices throughout Australian history.   Afterwards we meet the Chief Justice.  Sitting around a large boardroom table, we each had a chance to introduce ourselves to him.  He then entertained our questions; a student asked how he came to fill the position of each Chief Justice.  Before leaving he gave us all a copy of a speech he had recently given at Washington University Law School comparing the United States and Australian systems of governance.  His kind time and consideration for our behalf, clearly demonstrates the strong relationship between our two nations as well as the Australian value for transparency in government.

Once back in Sydney, the professors and some students stopped at a pub to finish out the day.  In addition to catching some more Sydney ambiance, it was lovely to collectively reflect on all we had learned that day.

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Jul 22 2011

First few Days of the Program

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At the beginning of the Widener’s Sydney Australia program, I told my students that I had three main objectives for them: Learn and understand some basic differences in Australian and U.S. Law; embrace and experience the cultural and social aspects of Australia; and of course – Have Fun!
The students in the Sydney program received a variety of experiences for a lifetime. Beyond the classes covering the basics of Australia’s legal system, civil procedure, contract and commercial law and general international comparative corporate law, students had the opportunity though activities outside the classroom to explore the cultural, social, and political aspects of Australia.
The program began June 19th with a Sunday evening cruise aboard a ferry from the Darling Harbor in the Chinatown area to Sydney’s historical docks of Circular Quay. From the ferry we had fantastic views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the famous Sydney Opera house. We had dinner in the oldest section of the city called the “Rocks” and a quaint beer hall called the Lowenbrau.

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Jul 19 2011

Hello from Sydney

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Pollard300x266Faculty_hb2Randle Pollard blogging from Sydney Australia

Randle B. Pollard is an Associate Professor of Law on Widener’s Harrisburg Campus. Professor Pollard is a graduate of Hampton University where he earned a B.S. in Accounting, High Honors. Professor Pollard earned a J.D., from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was the Business Editor for Journal of Law and Technology. Professor Pollard earned an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.

Professor Pollard has over twenty years of legal experience in the private and public sectors. After graduating from law school, Professor Pollard worked for the Office of the Corporation Counsel in Washington, D.C. as a Tax/Bond/Bankruptcy Attorney. Professor Pollard later served as a Tax Manager for KPMG LLP before becoming Domestic Tax Counsel for Eli Lilly & Company in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Recently, Professor Pollard was Senior Counsel at Ice Miller in Indianapolis, Indiana for several years and in the summer of 2008, left his firm to become a Field Organizer for the Obama for America/Campaign for Change in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Professor Pollard taught Federal Taxation as an adjunct professor at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indiana and the David A. Clarke School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Professor Pollard is a member of the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association: Co-Chair, Tax Law Section. Professor Pollard is license to practice in the state of Wisconsin, Indiana, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Professor Pollard joined the Widener faculty in July 2009 and teaches Federal Income Tax, Business Organizations, and State and Local Tax.

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