News

January 22, 2016

Australian National University College of Law Students Arrive at the Law School

ANU2016

Nine incredibly gifted and inquisitive Australian National University College of Law students arrived in Tuscaloosa on January 2 for a five-week program in which they take a Survey of U.S. Law and a class on Comparative Gender Law, said William Andreen, Director of the Exchange Program.  The comparative class also has Alabama Law students in it, and the course is being team-taught by UA’s Martha Morgan and two faculty members from the ANU, Anne Macduff and Skye Saunders.

During their stay in Tuscaloosa, the Australians will visit the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, the Alabama Supreme Court, the Tuscaloosa County Jail, and the Rosa Parks Museum – in addition, of course, to Bryant-Denny Stadium.

For five weeks in July-August, a group of 10 Alabama students will, in turn, travel to the ANU in Canberra where they will take a Survey of Australian Law as well as a course on Comparative Gender Law.  During their trip, the UA students will visit the Australian High Court, the local Supreme Court, Parliament, the local legal aid office, and the U.S. Embassy – in addition, of course, to the kangaroos, koalas, and emus at the Tidbinbilla Wildlife Reserve.

January 22, 2016

Law School Welcomes Business of Being a Lawyer Faculty

BBL2016

Business of Being a Lawyer faculty will spend Friday talking with students about economic trends in the legal market and strategies for adapting to the changes ahead.

BBL speakers share their time and experience, as well as provide practical and candid advice so that students will thrive in the legal profession.

The Business of Being a Lawyer is based on the premise that each lawyer is a business – her own business. Whether working for a law firm or in solo practice, in a public interest or government office, or in a law-related field, lawyers need to understand their own balance sheets – their assets, liabilities, strengths, weaknesses, investments made in themselves, and investments needed.

BBL faculty are:

Brett Adair (‘95) , Adair Law Firm, LLC

Katie Britt (‘13), Butler Snow, LLP

Lee Copeland (‘82), Copeland Franco; President, Alabama State Bar

Charles Fry, Jr. (‘99), General Counsel, University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C.

Tripp Haston (‘93), Bradley Arant Boult & Cummings, LLP

Tony McLain, General Counsel, Alabama State Bar

Cole Portis (‘90), Beasley Allen, P.C.; President-Elect, Alabama State Bar

Joyce Vance, United States Attorney, N.D. AL

January 20, 2016

Professor Carroll Weighs in on Acquittal of Alabama Police Officer

Professor Jenny Carroll weighed in on the acquittal of a north Alabama police officer who was accused of using excessive force on an Indian man.

Federal prosecutors failed to prove Eric Parker willfully violated the rights of Sureshbhai Patel when he slammed him to the ground during a suspicious person investigation in a Huntsville suburb, according to the Associated Press

“That burden of proof is higher than in a civil case, so it’s entirely possible for someone to be acquitted in a criminal matter, but be found civilly liable,” said Carroll, whose specialties include criminal defense and criminal procedure.

For more, read “Officer’s Civil, State Cases Loom after Federal Acquittal.”

January 14, 2016

Alabama Law Alumni Selected as Members of Alabama State Bar’s 2016 Leadership Forum

The Alabama State Bar announced the names of 17 Alabama Law Alumni who were selected as members of the 2016 Leadership Forum Class 12.

Created in 2005, the forum has produced 318 graduates. Attorneys participate in a rigorous education and training process, focusing on servant leadership, ethics and career development. Candidates are required to attend five separate sessions, including a three-day orientation program.

“The Leadership Forum has a proven track record for catapulting its graduates further down a path of success in their careers and their personal lives,” said Alabama State Bar President Lee H. Copeland of Copeland Franco Screws & Gill, P.A. in Montgomery. “The program brings out the natural leader within each of the members, while also creating and fostering strong relationships among the participants.”

Participants have practiced law for at least five years and no more than 15 years. Candidates are selected based on demonstrated leadership qualities and service to their communities.

Alabama Law Alumni selected for the 2016 Leadership Forum Class 12 are:

Mary Margaret P. Carroll (’10), Fine Geddie & Associates, LLC (Montgomery)

Latisha V. Colvin (’01), Federal Defenders Office, Southern District of Alabama (Mobile)

Thomas G. DeLawrence (’06), Balch & Bingham, LLP (Birmingham)

Starr T. Drum (’09), Maynard Cooper & Gale, PC (Birmingham)

Christopher J. England (’02), City of Tuscaloosa (Tuscaloosa)

Heather R. Fann (’06), Boyd, Fernambucq, Dunn & Fann (Birmingham)

D. Brent Hargett (’08), Sasser, Sefton & Brown PC (Montgomery)

David W. Holt (’10), Bradley Arant Boult Cummings (Huntsville)

Carmen F. Howell (’12), Law Firm of Carmen F. Howell, LLC (Enterprise)

E. Wilson Hunter (’10), U.S. Attorney’s Office (Birmingham)

Adam K. Israel (’09), Balch & Bingham, LLP (Birmingham)

Tamara W. Neeley (’06), Watson & Neeley, LLC (Fort Payne)

Kathryn J. Osburne (’07), The University of Alabama System (Tuscaloosa)

Ryan P. Robichaux (’09), Bradley Arant Boult Cummings (Birmingham)

Stephen A. Stetson (’07), Alabama Arise (Montgomery)

C. Samuel Todd (’08), Vulcan Materials Company (Birmingham)

J. Bennett White (’06), Starnes Davis Florie LLP (Birmingham)

January 11, 2016

Law School Student Named Schwarzman Scholar

DeProspoAtticus DeProspo (1L) has been selected as one of 111 members of the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars.

DeProspo will be awarded a fully funded year of study and leadership training at Tsinghua University in Beijing and will take classes and live at the newly constructed Schwarzman College on the Tsinghua campus. DeProspo and scholars from 32 countries and 75 universities were selected for their intellectual and academic ability, leadership potential and strength of character. 

Inspired by the Rhodes Scholarships, Schwarzman Scholars is designed to prepare its graduates to build stronger relationships with China and to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century.

DeProspo interned at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Sonia Sotomayor in 2015, and he will take a year off from law school to study public policy in China. Ultimately, he plans to pursue a career as a public servant in the federal government and as an inclusion ambassador for professional sport leagues.

“The caliber of this first class of Schwarzman Scholars is truly exceptional. Each scholar has demonstrated tremendous leadership potential at a young age and differentiated themselves through a myriad of academic and non-academic pursuits,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, the program’s founder. “It is my intention that the Schwarzman Scholars will return home and provide leadership in a changing, complex and dynamic world. I have every confidence that this class will be such leaders.”

More than 3,000 applications were reviewed by a team of readers from around the world, with 300 semi-finalists invited for in-person interviews in Beijing, Bangkok, London or New York before international panels composed of CEOs, former heads of state, university presidents, non-profit executives, journalists and other leaders.

January 8, 2016

Professor Carroll Comments on Attorneys’ Motion to Leave Hubbard Case

Professor Jenny Carroll recently told The Montgomery Advertiser the move by Mark White and his co-counsels to withdraw from Mike Hubbard’s case could delay the trial.

Carroll said there “was no evidence Hubbard is going to be left at a huge disadvantage,” due in part to the defense continuity in his case.

White, Hubbard’s lead attorney since 2013, recently filed a motion in court to leave the case. The motion did not state a reason for the withdrawal, but it was signed by Hubbard.

A grand jury indicted Hubbard in 2014 on 23 counts of using public office for private gain.

For more, read “Judge to Hear Hubbard Attorneys’ Motion to Leave Case.” 

January 7, 2016

Professor Krotoszynski Discusses Chief Justice Roy Moore’s Order to Halt Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Professor Ronald Krotoszynski told The New York Times Chief Justice Roy S. Moore’s order to Alabama probate judges to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses is “an exercise in futility.”

 “At best, it sows chaos and confusion; at worst, it forces couples to bring federal court litigation in order to exercise a clearly established federal constitutional right,” Krotoszynski said.

For more, read:

“Top Alabama Judge Orders Halt to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses”

“Roy Moore: No Gay Marriage in Alabama.”

“Alabama Probate Judges Should Obey U.S. Supreme Court on Gay Marriage, Federal Prosecutors Say”

“Roy Moore: the Alabama Judge Who ‘Relishes” Gay Marriage Fight” 

January 6, 2016

Professor Vars Weighs in on President Obama’s Announced Executive Action on Guns

Professor Fred Vars weighed in on President Barack Obama’s announced executive action, saying it could curb gun violence.

“I’m not going to say that’s going to happen a lot, right, that we’re really going to make a significant reduction in gun violence,” Vars said. “I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think Obama would say that’s true but again, it’s just clarifying the existing law.”

The plan is intended to expand background checks for some gun purchases and increase federal enforcement of the nation’s gun laws.

For more, watch or read “Opponents and Supporters Weigh in on Obama’s Executive Action on Gun Control.

January 5, 2016

Law School Announces Call for Entries for 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

Harper-Lee-Prize

The University of Alabama School of Law is pleased to announce the official call for entries for the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The Prize, authorized by Ms. Lee, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction, published in the preceding year, that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.  Past winners include Havana Requiem by Paul Goldstein, Sycamore Row by John Grisham, and The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson.

The work must be:

  • A published book-length work of fiction.
  • Published originally in 2015.
  • Readily available to readers via commercial sources (retail or online bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or iTunes).
  • An electronically published work with an ISBN may be submitted but unpublished manuscripts may not.

The deadline for nominations is March 31. There is no entry fee.

The winning title will be honored at a ceremony and panel discussion, and the winner will receive a special edition of To Kill a Mockingbird, signed by Ms. Lee.

Visit HarperLeePrize.com for more information.

December 21, 2015

Scott Tindle: Serving the State

Scott Tindle: Serving the State

news logo crop

Scott Tindle (’09) uses innovation to drive profits and support the citizens of Mobile.

In 2013, Tindle was hired as the Executive Director of The Grounds, home of the Greater Gulf State Fairgrounds, to transform the organization.

Scott Tindle-IMG_4813-23-1The first stop on the entertainment venue’s turnaround was the Disney Institute in Orlando, where Tindle and his staff studied the success of The Walt Disney Company. They learned how Disney makes emotional connections with attendees and how to add value to admission. Tindle immediately hired 25 employees who were trained by the Disney College Program. As a result, members of the guest services staff at The Grounds are former Disney cast members.

“What we’re really trying to do is create a theme park destination,” Tindle said.

It is a substantial goal, and Dr. Grant Zarzour, a resident in orthopedic surgery at the University of South Alabama, said Tindle can achieve it.

“He not only dreams big, but he’s willing to act on the dream,” said Dr. Zarzour, co-founder and chairman of the Fuse Project, a nonprofit that invests in initiatives promoting the health, fitness, education and social responsibility for children along Alabama’s gulf coast.

Jeff Galle (’09), Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Idyllic, an entertainment company based in Mobile, is also confident Tindle will attain his goal. Galle said he has never seen anyone work a room better than Tindle can. What’s different about Tindle, Galle said, is that he wants to know how he can help other people.

“There are few individuals I know that display the kind of selfless community activism that Scott does,” he said.

When Tindle arrived at The Grounds, it had been losing money. In two years, the venue has improved its product by creating a new theme each year and raising ticket prices, allowing it to become profitable and invest $800,000 back into the community.

A product of public education – from kindergarten to his law degree – Tindle said education is the key to lifting up the nation and moving it forward. There must be educational opportunities for every child, not just those whose parents can afford to enroll them in a good school or move them to a good school district.

While at UA Law, Tindle learned how to manage his time more efficiently, exceed expectations and never settle. He also embraced the importance of building lifelong relationships with people, including his classmates.

“Had I not learned those things there, we would not be doing the things we’re doing today,” he said.

As Tindle has made The Grounds profitable, he has helped improved the community. Each year, more than 65,000 public school children sell tickets to the fair and keep 10 percent of those sales for their schools. Most schools use the money to improve their libraries, he said.

A $5,000 grant, provided by The Grounds to the Mobile Area Education Foundation for its Leadership Academy, helps high school juniors and seniors develop leadership skills. The Grounds has helped raise money for the Mitchell Cancer Institute Patients’ Assistance Fund, which helps offset household expenses when someone has cancer, and in 2015 The Grounds provided a home for Project Homeless Connect. The program, sponsored by Housing First, provides health, legal, employment and other services to the homeless.

“It’s really fascinating because we’re able to fund these things through entertainment,” Tindle said. “We want to go from entertainment to impact.”

When Tindle accepted the position as Executive Director, he didn’t know anything about fairs or theme parks. Now he’s setting goals to make The Grounds even more successful. The fair draws most of its attendance from the coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. In the near future, Tindle would like to expand the fair’s reach farther into Alabama and Florida, as well as continue to develop the fair.

“We want it to be a regional destination,” he said. “We have told the community we want to create the cleanest most family-friendly event in America.”