2019 Winners

First Place:  Walter Johnson, Governance Tools for the Second Quantum Revolution

Second Place:  Grant Frazier, Using Your Head: A Different Approach to Tackling the NFL's Concussion Epidemic

Second Place: Jack Milligan, Malmin v. State's Ipse Dixit: Arizona's Article II, § 8 Is Not of the "Same General Effect and Purpose" as the Fourth Amendment

The Ross-Blakley Law Library at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research. Walter Johnson is the first place award recipient for his paper Governance Tools for the Second Quantum Revolution.  Johnson is a third year student. Grant Frazier and Jack Milligan tied for second place. They are both second year law students. Frazier’s winning paper is titled, Using Your Head: A Different Approach to Tackling the NFL's Concussion Epidemic.  Milligan’s winning paper is titled, Malmin v. State's Ipse Dixit: Arizona's Article II, § 8 Is Not of the "Same General Effect and Purpose" as the Fourth Amendment. Their papers demonstrate sophistication and originality in the use of research materials, exceptional innovation in research strategy, and skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis.  A review panel comprised of librarians Beth DiFelice and Tara Mospan and Clinical Professor Kimberly Holst selected the winners from a number of very competitive entries.

Johnson’s paper was written as a Comment during his participation in Jurimetrics as an associate editor. He planned his research in three core sections, each with its own research questions:

1. What are the key technologies involved and what are authoritative predictions of their realistic implications over the next 10-20 years?

2. What nontraditional governance approaches may be useful for oversight in quantum technologies and what are their strengths and weaknesses?

3. What soft law tools may prove useful in governing quantum technologies and how successful were they in governing nanotechnologies?

Part one involved exploring the scientific literature and technology news. Walter Johnson dove deep into technology news to orient himself to the technologies and key industry/government actors. He used authoritative sites, such as, MIT Technology Review, Nature News, and The Conversation. He searched industry websites and press releases, setting Google alerts for search terms, following Twitter accounts, and broad Google searches. Search terms were then used to locate journal articles explaining the technology using Web of Science, Nature, Science, arXiv, and Google Scholar. Whenever possible, peer reviewed empirical/review articles from journals were cited rather than news, aiming to build credibility with sources technologists would find authoritative. Search terms were also used on government websites from the US, UK, EU, and elsewhere to explore government responses (e.g., congress.gov, govinfo.gov). Using authoritative sources put Johnson on a precise research track.

Part two involved a search of the regulation literature, focusing on more theoretically driven journal articles and books. This search began by reviewing landmark articles and books recommended by Dean Bowman, the faculty advisor for this paper and an expert in the area. Research proceeded by searching for articles related to these landmarks by reviewing other works by the same authors and other articles in the same journals (e.g., “Regulation and Governance”). Journal websites and Google Scholar were then used to find relevant papers which cited to the landmark articles. This initial research was also used to build governance-related search terms that were used to research further articles and books in HeinOnline, JSTOR, Google Scholar, and the ASU Library’s website. Some resources were requested through the ASU Law Library’s interlibrary loan program when they could not be found online. Johnson left no stone unturned during the second leg of his research. Consulting his faculty advisor, using breadcrumbs to find related research, and using Law Library materials and resources served Johnson well.

Research in part three was closely related to part two, focusing on journal articles and books applying regulatory theory found in part two to nanotechnology. Search terms were generated by combining “nanotechnology(ies)” with terms identified during part two pertaining to individual governance tools recognized by the regulatory/governance literature. Research was conducted in specific publications identified during part two and in Google Scholar, HeinOnline, JSTOR, and the ASU Library’s website. Further resources were identified by searching for relevant citations in the resources found. Johnson’s research strategies were well-thought out. His use of vetted and varied resources resulted in a well-written scholarly work.

Grant Frazier states his article provides a blueprint for the NFL's implementation of lawful genetic testing programs and advances traumatic brain injury (TBI) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)-related knowledge. His paper was inspired by observations made during his collegiate football and rugby careers and recent neurological advancements that reveal devastating consequences of head trauma. After learning about ASU law professor Betsy Grey’s research on tests used to indicate genetic predisposition to poor post-TBI outcomes, and objectively diagnose TBIs and CTE pre-mortem (collectively, “Neural Tests”), Frazier secured a position as her Research Assistant.

Frazier’s research traversed numerous disciplines, and therefore required a variety of legal and non-legal resources. After conducting a preemption check, he developed a foundation in the biology and neuroscience implicated by TBI and CTE by speaking with Professor Grey and several Alzheimer’s experts. He used science journal databases PubMed, Elsevier, and LILACS to investigate genetics-heavy research published between 2010-2018, related to advancements in Neural Tests. He synthesized his findings into memoranda and analyzed how recent developments could impact such issues as legal duties, liabilities, privacy issues, and employer rights. Frazier states the research was challenging and required significant self-teaching.

Finally, he conducted research into subjects which implicated business organizations, federal preemption of collective bargaining agreements under the NLRA, and federal employment and anti-discrimination laws—notably the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) and Americans with Disability Act (ADA). He solicited further input and information from Professors Zachary Kramer, Anne Tiffen, and Susan Chesler.  Based on suggestions, he conducted an in-depth review of relevant statutes, case law, regulations, agency guidance, restatements of law, and journal articles. Frazier points out, “While there were many cases and journal articles addressing employee-sponsored medical testing programs under the ADA, GINA is a recent law and therefore, related research relied on close readings of regulations and administrative guidance.”

Frazier’s article has 255 footnotes containing over 300 sources—including non-legal sources, such as biology, neuroscience, genetics, and economics-focused journals. Frazier says, “While the above discussed research was rigorous and time-intensive, it enlightened me to the panoply of resources available, as well as the importance of ensuring my sources stayed up-to-date through the paper’s publication.”  Of special note, Frazier’s article was selected for Spring 2019 publication in the Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law.

Milligan’s primary goal was to understand the contemporary meaning of the phrases “disturb,” “invade,” “private affairs,” and “authority of law" from Arizona's Article II, § 8. To that end, he used the BYU Corpus Project, which helped him understand popular meaning. He also read every old print source on the Arizona Constitution and the history of Arizona he could find. Milligan did comparative research on the Washington Constitution, which has an identical constitutional provision, and some on the US Constitution, especially Supreme Court litigation involving similar words or phrases. He used websites for the various state supreme courts as well as the Arizona Solicitor General's library resources. Finally, he met with judges, lawyers, professors, and law librarians to make sure he wasn’t missing any sources and to see if they could help him connect the dots when research was sparse.

Milligan states: “One thing I learned from this research process is that, although you can be precise in your search terms, nothing replaces sheer number of hours doing research- I may have done 99 hours of research and found nothing, but the amazing source I found in my 100th hour changed my entire paper, and so on. Many of my meetings were not productive, but the meetings that were changed the course of my research. In short, this project has made me a significantly better (or at least more creative) researcher, and I very much enjoyed the process.”  Milligan’s research tenacity, deft use of resources, and seeking the counsel of experts set his paper apart.