October 30, 2014

Professor Krotoszynski Says Alabama I.D. Law May Be Difficult To Challenge

Professor Ronald Krotoszynski says recent Voting Rights Act decisions may make it more difficult to prove that Alabama’s Voter I.D. Law harkens back to Jim Crow.

In Shelby vs. Holder, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it more difficult to prove intent.

“The problem that litigation of this sort is likely to run up against is showing intentional discrimination by local officials with respect to this vouching system where two election officials can sign an affidavit saying that they know someone is a registered voter even if the voter doesn’t have a photo I.D.,” Krotoszynski told Alabama Public Radio. “In the absence of proof of a sort of systematic and intentional discrimination, the claim is unlikely to have much purchase, I’m afraid.”

For more, read “Election 2014 – Voter I.D. Law.”

October 20, 2014

Professor Horwitz Urges Alabama Voters To Vote ‘No’ On Amendment One

Professor Paul Horwitz recently wrote in The Tuscaloosa News that Alabama voters should vote “No” on Amendment One on Nov. 4.

The amendment is redundant, comes with a set of costs, and is based on religious hostility, he said.

“Earlier versions of this legislation were clearly targeted specifically at Islamic law, although their proponents had no examples of any Alabama court enforcing Islamic law at all, let alone using it to violate anyone’s rights,” wrote the Gordon Rosen Professor of Law and author of First Amendment Institutions. “Amendment One and its predecessors are copies of model legislation drafted by anti-Islamic activists from outside Alabama.”

For more, read  “Amendment One is useless, costly and wrong.”

October 16, 2014

Marsh: Athletes Have Right To Fair Process

As more college football programs become mired in player controversies, some schools are moving quickly to resolve the matters, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The University of Florida suspended quarterback Treon Harris from the team, after he was accused of sexually assaulting a female student in a residence hall, while the University of Kentucky suspended defensive end Lloyd Tubman from the team, after he was charged with rape. Tubman pleaded not guilty.

“An athlete has a right to a fair process,” said Gene A. Marsh, a retired UA law professor and former chair of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Committee on Infractions, ” but any athlete who chooses to be in this kind of high-profile world has to accept the scrutiny that comes with it.” For more, read “What You Need To Know About The Past Seven Days.”

October 16, 2014

Professor Rosen Travels To Geneva For World Investment Forum

Professor Ken Rosen recently traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, where he participated in the World Investment Forum.  The WIF is organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and brings together leading figures from the political, business, and academic communities to discuss how to improve global economic development.  Professor Rosen was invited to work with a group focusing on coherence and synergies in the investment and development system as part of a Multidisciplinary Academic Conference held at the Graduate Institute of Geneva.  He and other scholars worked with UNCTAD on its development of a new research agenda related to sustainable development.

October 10, 2014

Dean Brandon Delivers Founders’ Day Address

Dean Mark E. Brandon recently delivered the Founders’ Day address at the University of Montevallo, noting that he could not have predicted he would one day become dean of the University of Alabama School of Law.

“Whether we’re lucky or unlucky, life is unpredictable. What we hope for is that we have the resources to make the most of our opportunities and to overcome our challenges and limitations,” said Brandon, who graduated from Montevallo in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in history. “But we cannot fully know in advance what those opportunities and challenges and limitations will be. In the words of the Boy Scout motto, we need to be prepared.”

Montevallo University President John W. Stewart III said Brandon’s undergraduate education helped prepare him for the challenge he has accepted at the School of Law.

“Indeed, his scholarship at Princeton, Vanderbilt, and Michigan is validation of the caliber an undergraduate education Montevallo provides,” said University of Montevallo President John W. Stewart III. “We are very proud that Dr. Brandon is at the helm of the University of Alabama’s very fine law school.” For more, read “University of Montevallo Celebrates 118th Founders’ Day.”

October 9, 2014

New Law Clinic For Former Inmates Opens Its Doors

The University of Alabama School of Law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama, and the local office of the state’s parole board recently opened a new monthly law clinic for former inmates.

Student volunteers help run the clinic that is the first of its kind in Alabama. It is designed to help former inmates re-enter the community, Jeremy Sherer, community outreach coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, told The Tuscaloosa News.

About 10 students collect information about participants and refer them for legal and other services within Tuscaloosa.

“The needs determine how the students help them,” said Glory McLaughlin, assistant dean for Public Interest.

For more, read “New Clinic Provides Legal Services to Former Inmates.”

October 6, 2014

Professor Hill Examines Banking Regulations, Provides Recommendations

Professor Julie Hill discusses banking regulations and provides recommendations in a recent issue of Credit Union Times Magazine.

Hill’s new 83-page study, “When Bank Examiners Get It Wrong: Financial Institution Appeals of Material Supervisory Determinations” provides in-depth analysis of the appeals process among financial regulatory agencies.

“In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, I was practicing law [in Washington] and started hearing from banks that they were unhappy with their examination ratings,” Hill said. “I realized that it had been 20 years since the Congressional mandate for an appeals process was passed and thought it might be a good time to see what kind of progress had been made.”

For more, read “Blaine, Renz React to NCUA Appeals Record.”

October 2, 2014

Law School Enrolls First J.S.D. Student


Joey Chbeir enrolled as the first Doctor of Juridical Science student at the Law School this fall.

Chbeir was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and earned his law degree at the Université La Sagesse in 1998. He received an LL.M. from the University of Minnesota in 1999 and a second LL.M. from The University of Alabama School of Law in 2005.

Chbeir began searching for J.S.D. programs several years ago, before Alabama developed its own program. At the time, the closest program was at Duke University and would have required him to move from his Birmingham home.

He applied to the School of Law because the degree will allow him to contribute in a scholarly way to an important practical problem. His dissertation will examine how U.S. constitutional principles could be used to improve nascent democracies in the Middle East.

“It will provide me with the ability to use my multicultural perspective to teach future lawyers in the Middle East,” he said. “I want to use my experience in the U.S., particularly the emphasis on the relationship between the rule of law, fundamental rights, and democracy, to help people understand its importance so that one day they can peacefully coexist.”

Chbeir is an attorney with Maynard Cooper & Gale PC in Birmingham. He focuses on matters involving international law, immigration law, and general litigation. Professor Bryan Fair is supervising Chbeir’s studies in Constitutional Law and International Public Law.

Applicants must submit a plan of study and a description of the topic of a proposed dissertation. For more information on the application process, please contact

October 1, 2014

Law School Selects Judge David Crosland As 2014 Profile in Service


The University of Alabama School of Law is pleased to announce Judge David Crosland is the 2014 Profile in Service.

Each year during Pro Bono Celebration Month, which is recognized nationally in October, the
Law School honors outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to public service.

Crosland, a 1966 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, has led a distinguished career in public service — beginning with his time as a law student.

While in law school, Judge Crosland conducted research on election procedures in Greene County, Alabama, to assist the national Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He also served as president of the University’s Young Democrats, and in that capacity, invited the first African American speaker ever to address a student organization.

In his early career in the 1960s, Judge Crosland served with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He was part of a team of lawyers that investigated and tried cases involving the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi, including one case against Klansmen accused of killing three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi. During that time, Judge Crosland also monitored voting discrimination and desegregation in schools, and observed civil rights demonstrations where there was a heightened threat of Klan violence. He was sent to Detroit during two major riots in 1967 and 1968, and was involved in the prosecution of a white Detroit policeman and National Guardsman for killing three people. Judge Crosland went on to direct the Atlanta Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, organizing lawyers from Atlanta’s biggest firms to take on pro bono cases involving discrimination.

He later served as General Counsel and Acting Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and created the Special Litigation Unit, which prosecuted Nazi war criminals. He headed the agency during the Iranian hostage crisis, and created a special program to assist members of religious minorities fleeing Iran after the revolution. In addition, he directed the INS during the Cuban boat lift in 1980, when more than 125,000 Cubans landed in Florida over the course of just six weeks, and supervised the opening of camps to assist in processing the newly-arrived immigrants.

Today, Judge Crosland sits as an immigration judge with the U.S. Department of Justice and hears cases in Baltimore, Maryland.   He has previously served as a judge in San Diego, California; Miami, Florida; and Arlington, Virginia. Through his exemplary career in public service, Judge Crosland has worked to ensure that justice and the rule of law prevail in turbulent times, and that equality is upheld as an ideal for all Americans.

The School of Law is proud to count Judge David Crosland among its distinguished graduates.

September 26, 2014

Fox6 WBRC Features Law School, Legal Clinic

More than 40,000 low-income residents in Tuscaloosa County need help coping with civil legal challenges, Glory McLaughlin, Assistant Dean for Public Interest, recently told Fox6 WBRC. 

Each month the clinic is held at the main branch of the Tuscaloosa Public Library. “What we found is the majority low income people in Alabama that have legal needs are not getting them met,” McLaughlin said.

The clinic lawyers answer questions about divorce, custody and visitation, landlord and tenant issues, wills and estates, debts, bankruptcy, foreclosure and domestic violence. It is sponsored by the Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, working in cooperation with the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association, the University of Alabama School of Law and Legal Services Alabama.