May 2, 2015

Crosswhite Delivers Commencement Address, Law School Confers 152 Degrees

Mark Crosswhite, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alabama Power Company, challenged The University of Alabama School of Law’s graduates to work in Alabama, take advantage of opportunities and enjoy the legal profession.

“Develop yourself for the service of Alabama,” he said, borrowing words from Riverboat Captain and Alabama Power Company Founder William Patrick Lay. “Regardless of where you go to work – or what you do – or where you live, you can serve our state. You can work to make our state a better place. You’ve already shown your leadership qualities. People expect you to do great things, and I know that you will. Consider doing those things right here in Alabama because we need you here – to help Alabama grow and flourish.”

Crosswhite, ’87, said the graduates shouldn’t be afraid to take a “left-hand turn.” He said he didn’t think he would be a “power company” lawyer but instead thought he would have a general practice in his hometown of Decatur.

After his first year at Alabama, he spent the summer clerking at Balch and Bingham in Birmingham and was assigned to work in the utility section. He clerked at the firm a second summer and asked to work in the utility section. By the time he was invited to join the firm, he made it a condition of his employment to work in the utility section.

“My point is that it was absolutely not what I had envisioned. It was a left-hand turn, an unforeseen opportunity. And left hand turns have happened time and time again in my career,” he said.

Crosswhite’s final piece of advice: “Wherever you go, whatever you do, enjoy it. You’ll have days when you don’t win, and when you put in lots of hours, and when you’re exhausted. We all do. But if you enjoy what you do, it won’t seem like work.”

After Crosswhite’s address, the Law School conferred 152 law degrees. Fifteen students received the Public Interest Certificate for completing the program’s academic and externship requirements, while 34 students received the Order of the Samaritan honor for performing 50 hours of pro bono legal service and 40 hours of community service during Law School.

Degree candidates were hooded by Kimberly Boone, Director of Legal Writing Program; Bryan Fair, Thomas E. Skinner Professor of Law; and Susan Lyons, Ira Drayton Pruitt, Sr. Professor of Law.

A reception honoring graduating students was held immediately following the ceremony on the Camille Wright Cook Plaza in front of the Law School.

May 1, 2015

Judge Colquitt Receives Pillar Of The Bar Award

2014-06-19 01.08.23

The Tuscaloosa County Bar Association recently awarded the Pillar of the Bar award to Judge Joseph Colquitt. The award recognizes bar members who have practiced law for more than four decades in Tuscaloosa County. Judge Colquitt was a Circuit Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Alabama from 1971 to 1991. He is the Jere L. Beasley Professor of Law and director of trial advocacy. He teaches criminal law, capital litigation, criminal procedure and criminal sentencing.


April 27, 2015

Professor Krotoszynski Weighs In On Gay Marriage Question

Prof. Ronald Krotoszynski said he disagrees with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s notion that Alabama and other states wouldn’t have to automatically follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Moore recently told that he hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the issue in favor of the rights of states under the 10th Amendment.

Prof. Krotoszynski said: “Simply put, either we have a system of binding precedents, and hierarchical courts, or we do not. And, if we do not, the entire system of common law adjudication will collapse because it relies on judges serving on lower courts, both state and federal, regularly making good faith applications of binding precedents issued by higher courts.”

For more, read “U.S. Supreme Court takes up gay marriage question Tuesday; what does it mean for Alabama?”

April 14, 2015

Professor Hill Receives President’s Faculty Research Award

Julie A. Hill was one of thirteen faculty members who recently received the President’s Faculty Research Award.

Prof. Hill has published about the examination process regulators use to police banking practices, analyzed the appeals process and made recommendations for improvement. She also has written about the banking issues that arise when states legalize marijuana.

Award winners, selected by their individual colleges, were profiled at the event that was sponsored by UA’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and organized by UA’s faculty-led Research Advisory Committee.

April 14, 2015

Law Students Raise Money For Memorial Scholarship

The Law School recently hosted “Dom Fit” in the Law School’s courtyard, where fitness instructors guided participants through a series of “boot camp” exercises and provided fitness advice.

The event honored Hector Dominic DeSimone, an outgoing and selfless second-year law student, who died in April 2014 motorcycle accident.

To honor DeSimone’s memory, the Class of 2015 established a campaign to raise $10,000 for an endowed scholarship.

Visit for more information or to donate.

April 10, 2015

Professor Linetsky Discusses Cell Phone Video Used In Criminal Cases

Prof. Yuri Linetsky recently told WVUA that cell phone video can provide crucial information in criminal cases.

“I’ve seen a number of cases where it has helped police officers, exonerated them against unsubstantiated or improper citizen complaints,” Linetsky said. “It is a helpful thing.”


April 7, 2015

Professor Joyner Says Iran Made ‘Significant Concessions’ In Nuclear Deal Framework

Prof. Joyner recently told Mother Jones that Iran made “significant concessions” in the Iranian nuclear deal.

Joyner said: “Overall I think the framework of agreement is a very good one. Iran definitely made some very significant concessions. In fact, one might be forgiven for thinking that, with all of the specificity placed on Iranian concessions, and really only fairly vague wording on the lifting of unilateral and multilateral sanctions (i.e., regarding timing) in the joint statement, Iran showed the most diplomatic courage in agreeing to this framework. I’m sure there is much that was agreed to that we don’t know about, and I have no doubt that [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif and his team reached a satisfactory understanding with their negotiating partners on the sanctions question from their perspective. But I suppose I just wanted to highlight that Iran is the party that made the most obvious significant concessions in this framework agreement.”

For more, read “The Iranian Nuclear Deal: What The Experts Are Saying.”

April 6, 2015

Law School To Host Rights of States In International Law Workshop and Symposium

The University of Alabama School of Law will host a Rights of States in International Law workshop and symposium April 13-14.

The Law School will welcome eight distinguished visitors:


Dr. Helmut Aust, Humboldt University of Berlin

Professor Niki Aloupi, University of Strasbourg

Professor Jean d’Aspremont – University of Manchester

Dr. Stephen Neff, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Marco Roscini, University of Westminster

Associate Professor Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Oxford University

Professor Jure Vidmar, University of Maastricht

Professor Yogesh Tiyagi, Jawaharlal Nehru University

The scholars will participate in the Current Issues in International Law Symposium at 1:30 p.m. April 14 in Room A255.

They also will workshop their papers, which are to comprise a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of International & Comparative Law, which is being organized by Professor Joyner and Dr. Marco Roscini.

This project is devoted to the question of whether fundamental rights of states, which appear to be recognized in the provisions of a number of conventional and customary sources of international law, actually exist. These purported rights include the right to self-defense, the right to existence, the right to private life/noninterference, the right to permanent sovereignty over natural resources; the right to be free from economic coercion, and the right to peaceful nuclear energy. If in fact they do exist, what is their source and legal character? What are their juridical implications – e.g. when they come into conflict with the legal obligations of the right holder, or with the actions of other states and international organizations? The papers in this special issue seek to examine these questions both theoretically and doctrinally, and to provide a framework for understanding the fundamental rights of states, and their role in the international legal system.




Please contact Professor Dan Joyner at for questions concerning the workshop/seminar.


April 2, 2015

Alabama Power CEO To Deliver Law School Commencement Address


Mark Crosswhite, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alabama Power Company, will deliver the University of Alabama School of Law commencement address at 5:30 p.m. May 2 at Coleman Coliseum.

Crosswhite, ’87,  joined Alabama Power in 2006 as senior vice president and counsel, where he oversaw the company’s legal matters. Two years later, he was named executive vice president for External Affairs, where he directed regulatory affairs, economic and community development, public relations, environmental affairs, and governmental affairs. In 2011, Crosswhite became president and chief executive officer of Gulf Power, a Southern Company subsidiary based in Pensacola, Florida.
March 27, 2015

Public Interest Institute, Student Board Organize Pro Bono Spring Break

Nineteen students participated in five pro bono legal clinics during Spring Break, 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 wide variety of legal needs. The Public Interest Institute and Public Interest Student Board organized the event.