News

March 27, 2015

Public Interest Institute, Student Board Organize Pro Bono Spring Break

The Public Interest Institute and Public Interest Student Board organized a Pro Bono Spring Break. Nineteen students participated in five pro bono legal clinics, in coordination with the Tuscaloosa Veterans Administration, Habitat for Humanity, Legal Services Alabama, Project Homeless Connect, the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association and the State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program.  In addition, 18 volunteer attorneys participated in the various clinics, and more than 85 low-income clients were assisted with a variety of legal needs.
March 27, 2015

Law School Students Visit Grand Cayman

Prof. Julie A. Hill and 19 University of Alabama School of Law students recently traveled to Grand Cayman as part of the offshore financial transactions course.  Students met with more than a dozen attorneys, accountants, bankers, regulators and finance professionals who work in  Cayman. Cayman has worked to move from a jurisdiction known primarily for financial secrecy to a jurisdiction known for its expertise in complex financial transactions. The course focused on captive insurance, catastrophe bonds, securitizations and investment funds. Student in both the J.D. and LL.M. programs learned how these financial products are structured, how they are regulated and why Cayman financial products might be beneficial to future clients.  The class, operated in conjunction with the Texas A&M School of Law, is the only law school program of its kind in the United States.
March 26, 2015

Register Now For Law School Reunion

Is this your reunion year? Next month, in conjunction with the University of Alabama A-Day weekend, we will celebrate the milestone classes of 1964 & 1965 (50 years), 1974 & 1975 (40 years), 1984 & 1985 (30 years), 1989 & 1990 (25 years), 1994 & 1995 (20 years), and 2004 & 2005 (10 years). Please join us!

Looking for a place to stay? Lodging is available at the brand new Embassy Suites located in downtown Tuscaloosa at the discounted rate of $135 per night. The deadline to book is April 3. For the group code, please email jgates@law.ua.edu.

For additional information, including the schedule, please click here.

register now

March 26, 2015

Professor Gross Writes Amicus Brief In Support of Hinds County Public Defenders Office

The National Association of Public Defenders recently filed an amicus brief to support the independence of the Hinds County Public Defenders Office.

Prof. John Gross wrote the amicus brief that says fairness in the criminal process and the accuracy of court judgments in Hinds County have been compromised by Circuit Judge Jeff Weill’s decisions to remove public defenders representing indigent clients and instead assign private counsel.

For more, read “NAPD Files Amicus In Support of Hinds County PDO.” 

March 24, 2015

Professor Joyner Says IAEA Is Not Qualified To Judge Credibility Of Intelligence Independently

Prof. Joyner recently told Fars News Agency that documents indicating the CIA attempted to mislead the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran’s nuclear program show that providing misleading information is the agency’s strategy and that the IAEA is not qualified to weigh the credibility of CIA intelligence.

“I think this incident does significantly undermine the idea that the IAEA should be relying for its assessments on intelligence information provided to it by third-party states, some of whom have proven that they have no compunction about falsifying documents, ambush-killing civilian nuclear scientists, using cyber attacks against civilian facilities, and generally doing anything within their power, including all manner of subterfuge, to frustrate Iran’s nuclear program,” Joyner said. “The IAEA is not itself an intelligence agency. It does not have the capability to independently assess the credibility of intelligence provided to it by third party states.”

For more, read “Prof. Joyner: IAEA Not Qualified To Judge Reliability Of Info Independently.”

March 23, 2015

Professor Fair Weighs In On Conflict of Interest Question

Prof. Bryan Fair says there are few fixed rules to guide judges when a conflict of interest question arises.

Factors other than a judge’s prior association could cause a judge to recuse himself from a case. For example, sometimes a judge may decide he will not to preside over cases in which litigants have spent a large amount of money supporting or opposing his campaign.

“It has to be a fairly egregious case,” Fair said. “I’m not aware of a clear standard. Judges have a fair amount of discretion.”

For more, read “Did Justice Tom Parker’s Past Affiliation With Gay Marriage Litigant Represent Conflict Of Interest?”

March 23, 2015

Professor Emens Says Prosecutors Have A Duty To Investigate New Evidence, Even If It’s Through Media

Prof. Steve Emens says prosecutors have a duty to investigate new evidence, even if it comes through the media.

“I think we have to keep in mind that the district attorney has an obligation whenever new evidence comes to their attention, to investigate it even if it came from a 20/20 (show),” Emens said. “It may seem strange, but they have an obligation when evidence comes to their attention.”

For more, read “How Much Influence Did ABC 20/20 Have In Baldwin County Murder Case?”

March 23, 2015

Professor Steinman Signs Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court To Review Lower Court’s Decision

A group of fourteen leading civil procedure scholars, including UA’s Prof. Adam Steinman, is urging the Supreme Court to review a lower court’s decision making it more difficult for workers to recover lost wages.

The scholars explained that lower courts have reached inconsistent results following a pair of Supreme Court pleading decisions handed down in 2007 and 2009. Because of the confusion that persists in the lower courts, amici curiae respectfully urge the Court to grant the petition for writ of certiorari to clarify the applicable pleading standard with respect to factual sufficiency.

For more, read “Leading Civil Procedure Professors Urge High Court To Grant Review In Case Implicating Workers’ Access To Courts.”

March 10, 2015

U.S. News Ranks Alabama School of Law Among Top 25 Law Schools

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama School of Law is ranked 22nd among the nation’s top law schools, both public and private, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Graduate Schools” rankings for 2016.

This is the third consecutive year that Alabama Law has been ranked among the top 25 law schools in the nation. It is tied for 22nd with law schools from George Washington University, the University of Iowa and the University of Notre Dame. The 2016 ranking is a move up from 23rd in 2015.

“We are pleased with this national recognition,” said Dean Mark E. Brandon. “The ranking is an indication that the faculty, administration, and staff of Alabama Law continue to attract outstanding students, provide them a first-rate education, and see them begin successful legal careers.”

The magazine surveys and ranks 198 accredited law schools based on a weighted average of 12 factors, including quality, selectivity and placement success. For more information on the rankings, contact U.S. News & World Report.

March 10, 2015

Professor Gross Weighs In On Prosecution’s Strategy

Prof. John Gross recently told AL.com that prosecutors often assert that defendants were well aware of their actions before committing a crime.

“I think the tendency is almost always for prosecutors to claim the defendants were aware of what they were doing and deny they have some kind of diminished capacity,” Gross said. “Just because they cognitively are aware of what was around them, that doesn’t mean their mental illness is not seriously impairing their judgment.”

For more read, “Mental Illness Issues Surface In Barbara Grice’s Defense Following Chaotic Gun Incident At Elberta Elementary School.”