Forrest Boone (’16), Mateo Forero (’16), and Irene Motles(’16) traveled to Las Vegas to represent the Law School in the Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court Competition. The team was the first Alabama Law team to participate in the HNBA competition, and the team performed exceptionally well. From a field of 31 teams, the UA team made the final 8— advancing to the quarterfinals. In addition, Motles won a second place overall oralist award and a $1,000 cash prize.
Students in the Civil Law Clinic, with the help of volunteer counsel in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, secured a victory in the Indiana Court of Appeals for a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, client who was sued in an Indiana court.
The Clinic’s client, who had never been to Indiana, signed up for on-line classes at an Indiana public university after being awarded a full-tuition scholarship as the daughter of a disabled Indiana veteran. Shortly after beginning on-line classes, the client’s scholarship was revoked by the university and she was sued in an Indiana court for the claimed tuition.
Civil Clinic students argued in written motions and briefs that the Indiana courts did not have jurisdiction over the Clinic’s client. The Indiana Court of Appeals ultimately agreed with the Clinic’s arguments and ordered the trial court to dismiss the claim.
Professor Yuri Linetsky supervised Stephanie Smith (’16), Caleb Christian (’16), and Lindsey Shepard (’15), who worked on the case from the fall 2014 semester until the appellate court’s decision in spring 2016.
Evan Miller and other juvenile offenders haven’t been resentenced nearly four years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws requiring juveniles convicted of murder to be sentenced to die in prison violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Miller was 14 in July 2003 when he and another teen beat and robbed 52-year-old Cole Cannon. In 2006, Miller was convicted of capital murder in his hometown of Moulton, Alabama.
Professor Jenny Carroll recently told the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange that attorneys for Miller and those representing the state of Alabama may be conducting their own evaluations of him in preparation for a hearing.
“How well has he behaved while in custody? What’s his record as a prisoner? Has he done things like further his education? Has he engaged in acts we would consider good acts, to suggest he has in fact been rehabilitated?” Carroll asked. “The more time Miller has to do that, the more likely he is going to able to make a claim that, ‘Not only does my sentence need to be revisited because of the Supreme Court decision, but it needs to be revisited because I was such a radically different person than I was at the time I was sentenced originally.’”
Two Law School teams won awards at the Sixth Annual L. Edward Bryant, Jr. National Health Law Transactional Moot Court Competitionin Chicago.
Austin Hagood (’17), Amanda Hamilton (’17), and Jennifer Huddleston (‘17) won third place for the best written submission, and Sheena Delaney (’16), John David Lind (’16), and Shalyn Smith (’16) won second place for oral presentation.
Each team prepared a written memorandum for a mock Board of Directors of a public hospital and provided advice about a proposed business transaction. The memo was submitted in advance of the competition. At the competition, the teams analyzed the client’s position and made recommendations on how the client should proceed.
Thomas Ksobiech, Associate Dean for Administration and Communication, was interviewed by WVUA 23 about the University of Alabama School of Law’s 96.4 percent bar passage rate.
The bar passage rate is an indication of how effective an institution is at preparing its students to become lawyers. Using data from the American Bar Association Standard 509 Reports from each school, StartClass identified the 25 law schools with the highest bar passage rates.
The Jessup International Law Moot Court team traveled to New Orleans and made a strong showing in the super regional competition. After two full days of rounds, Elizabeth Davis (‘16), Taryn Hull (‘16), Amy Miller (‘16), and Nick Theodore (‘16)advanced to the quarterfinal rounds of the competition before being eliminated. The team also won the award for third best memorial (brief) overall in the region, and Theodore won the award for fourth best oralist overall. The team was coached by Professor Dan Joyner and Professor Cameron Fogle.
Michael Stallings (’16), Ethan Wilkinson (’16), Travis Juneau (’17), and Aubrey Wakeley (’17), the Phi Alpha Delta National Mock Trial Competition Team, competed in Washington, D.C. Stallings was awarded runner-up for Best Advocate, and Stallings and Wilkinson were awarded runner-up for Outstanding Defense. The team was coached by attorneys Benjamin Jay Stuck (’06) and Julie Love-Templeton.
The Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Team participated in two competitions in as many weeks. Stephen McKitt (’16), Jessica Zorn (’16), and Fred Clarke (’16) competed in the regional CKP Cup at the University of Miami. The team performed very well and proceeded the following week to the national competition in New York, but McKitt was unable to accompany the team.
With only a few days to prepare, Zorn and Clarke did a splendid job of picking up two new arguments and competing among the nearly 60 teams in the national rounds in New York. Although Zorn and Clarke turned in strong performances against opposing teams from Syracuse, the University of Florida and Loyola, none of the teams in the bracket advanced to the octofinals. The team was coached by Professor Gary Sullivan and Mark Williams.
Just a few months ago, Charles Fry (‘99) represented Dr. David Kimberlin, a UAB Medicine and Children’s of Alabama pediatric infectious disease physician, as he testified before the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging about the effects of a price increase of Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill.
Dr. Kimberlin testified that a pediatric patient diagnosed with toxoplasmosis needed Daraprim, the drug acquired by Turing Pharmaceuticals, but the patient had difficulties obtaining the drug because of the dramatic price increase of nearly $60,000 for the year-long course of treatment and new restrictions Turing placed on its distribution.
“This was an instance where a UAB physician was on the cutting edge of a critical healthcare issue that was directly affecting patients all over the country,” Fry said. “By testifying against the unfair pricing of Daraprim, it brought to light the dangers of dramatic increases in drug prices for patients, doctors and hospitals.”
Fry practiced at Johnston Barton Proctor and Rose LLP for 14 years before stepping into his current role two years ago as General Counsel of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C., the faculty practice plan for UAB Medicine. He represents the 1,200 physicians of UAB Medicine and nearly 1,300 other employees who work with them.
The idea to make a change from private practice first took root when he was participating in Leadership Birmingham about three years ago. Other leaders in the class continued to tell him throughout the year that they saw a different calling for him. They urged him to step outside of the box. Fry started thinking about how he could use his legal skills to provide a different service and shortly thereafter the opportunity at UAB Medicine became available.
The position is much more diverse than that of most lawyers in private practice, and it requires that Fry approach several wide-ranging areas of law, including but not limited to medical malpractice, employment, HIPAA, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, contracts, finance, physician peer review and medical staff credentialing, and corporate governance.
“I never know what the next meeting will bring. Every day is a new adventure. Healthcare is the most rapidly changing area of the law right now. My mind must be open at all times. I must be prepared to advise my clients – any one of the 2,500 of them – on how to manage a certain issue or situation,” he said. “I hire a lot of great help from the outside, but there are many times when I have to make quick calls.”
Those who have watched Fry make the transition are impressed.
“That’s a hard transition to make and not many people are able to do it because it takes a whole new set of management skills,” said Bob MacKenzie, a partner at Starnes Davis Florie LLP in Birmingham. “The ability to manage and oversee physicians, that’s an incredibly different responsibility.”
Judge Scott Vowell, the retired Presiding Jefferson County Circuit CourtJudge, wrote a letter of recommendation for Fry.
“I thought it would be a good match,” Judge Vowell said. “His manner is a great help in accomplishing the goals that he has. He’s persuasive, and he doesn’t use a heavy hand to get people to agree with him.”
Fry, a native of Birmingham, wants to see the city continue to grow and develop. He lives in the city and is a member of the board of directors for REV Birmingham, an economic development organization that helps stimulate business growth and improve quality of life.
As the Secretary-Treasurer for the Birmingham Bar Association, Fry is also helping develop the legal community. He has taken the lead on several important projects, most notably, making improvements to the Birmingham Bar Building. Fry has taken the lead on the renovation of the building’s courtyard. At the same time, Fry and other lawyers are taking deliberate steps to improve and enhance other parts of the building, MacKenzie said.
While at UA Law, Fry learned about the value of hard work. Success, he said, requires a tremendous amount of hours, and there’s no easy way to be a lawyer. Every day is a challenge, and clients expect their attorneys to meet those challenges.
As a recruiter for Johnston Barton, Fry would sometimes hear criticism about UA Law for its intense competition, but Fry said that competition made people stronger lawyers and provided a better landing for them when they entered private practice.
“As hard as law school was, the practice is 10 times harder,” Fry said.
Congratulations to Samuel N. Crosby (’78), the recipient of the 2016 Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumnus Award. Crosby received the award at the Farrah Law Alumni Society Banquet Friday at the Law School. The award is given to an outstanding alumnus of the University of Alabama School of Law who has distinguished himself or herself through service to the bar, the University of Alabama and the School of Law.
It was an evening marked with achievement. Dean Mark E. Brandon (’78) announced that alumni have raised more than $130,000 in contributions and pledges for the Thomas L. Jones Fund, and Elizabeth Huntley (’97), Chair of the Farrah Law Alumni Society, recognized Camille Wright Cook (’48) for her commitment to teaching and accomplishments while at the University of Alabama.