April 2015

Students Visit Grand Cayman

Professor Julie A. Hill and 19 Law School 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. 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. Students 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.

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.

Law School Hosts Public Interest Career Fair

The Law School hosted its second annual Public Interest Career Fair in March. Twenty-one employers from throughout Alabama set up tables at the law school and interviewed students for summer internships and entry-level jobs.  More than 80 students participated; 68 interviews were conducted in one day; and 16 UA Law alums were among the participating employers, with graduates ranging from 1980 to 2014.

Admitted Students Attend Open House

The Law School hosted its second admitted student open house March 6. Admitted students selected a class to observe and learned from students, faculty and alumni about the first year of law school, upper level classes, joint degrees, academic support, advocacy and clinical programs, international programs, the public interest program, career services and clerkships. The Law School appreciates the following graduates who served on an alumni panel and spent time talking with students throughout the day:

  • Ambria Lankford, ’12, Associate, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Birmingham
  • Anil Mujumdar, ’00, Partner, Zarzaur Mujumdar & Debrosse, Birmingham
  • Liz Whipple, ’07, Director of Domestic Violence and Guardian ad Litem Programs, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Atlanta
  • India Williams, ’12, Associate, Sidley Austin, Chicago
  • Wes Wintermyer, ’13, Clerk, Honorable Kenneth A. Marra, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach

Admitted students met U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler, ’84, who hosted the students at the Federal Building and Courthouse. Judge Coogler answered prospective students’ questions, spoke about the federal judiciary, and introduced his Alabama law clerks and interns. Judge Coogler concluded with a tour of the courthouse.

UA Moot Court Teams Compete Nationwide

Bryant National Health Law Transactional Moot Court Competition

Joe Aguirre, Amy Logan and Shalyn Smith participated in the Bryant National Health Law Transactional Moot Court Competition held in Chicago. The competition required teams to provide written and oral business law advice to a mock board of directors of a hospital system considering whether to offer an insurance product. Aguirre, Logan, and Smith earned third-place honors for their oral presentation in a field of 20 teams.
39th Annual Robert F. Wagner Moot Court Competition

Brad Watts, Summer Lubart and Lane Morrison competed against 37 teams in the 39th Annual Robert F. Wagner Moot Court Competition in New York. The team placed second in the final round, and Judge Joseph Irenas noted they functioned at “the level of highly trained and skilled appellate litigators.” Watts was named Best Oral Advocate in the Final Round. The team is grateful to their coach, Roger Williams, for his guidance and support. They also appreciate the faculty and students who judged practice rounds for them.
Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition

Anna Davis, Andrew Swindle and Mark Husted participated in the Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition at St. John’s University School of Law.  The competition required briefing and arguing the question whether courts should abandon the strict Brunner standard for determining “undue hardship” in the discharge of  student loans. Weather delays prevented Davis, Swindle and Husted from participating in the first day of competition. While the team did not advance from a field of 60 teams to the octo-finals, team members demonstrated resolve and commitment by tripling up rounds on Sunday morning in an effort to salvage advancement from a set of difficult circumstances.
John A. Campbell Moot Court Competition

Chase Chesser, Elliott Bell, Michael Pepper and Fred Clarke competed in the final round of the John A. Campbell Moot Court. The competition required teams to argue whether an intern in a law firm violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by downloading documents from the firm’s database in violation of company policy and whether an unpaid intern at a for-profit law firm is an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Panelists were: Judge Diane Sykes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Abdul Kallon of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and Judge Leigh Martin May of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Chesser and Bell won the competition, and Chesser won the Reuben H. Wright Award for best advocate. Barrett Bowdre and Hilary Kustoff won the Walter P. Gewin Award for best brief.


Is this your reunion year? In conjunction with the University of Alabama A-Day weekend, we will celebrate the milestone classes of 1964, 1965,1974, 1975, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2004 and 2005 on April 17. Please join us! Register online.


Crosswhite_Mark_headshotMark 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.

Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

David Dinielli, deputy legal director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, delivered the keynote address at the symposium on LGBT Antidiscrimination Law and Policy After Hobby Lobby, sponsored by the Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review.
Dinielli said the Hobby Lobby decision is a symptom of a deliberate and strategic shift by the religious right and that the greatest damage of the decision will happen outside of the courts.
“I think that there are kids around the South whose lives have been made worse by Hobby Lobby in ways that no lawyer might ever see, no court will ever have the opportunity to evaluate and no law review article will ever reflect. They simply will be burdened, to borrow a phrase, by the decision.”

Honoring 50 Years of Service


The Mobile Bar Association honored members of the Law School’s Class of 1965 who have been practicing for more than 50 years. From left to right: Irving Silver, Ralph G. Holberg, III; Ira David Cherniak; Justice Champ Lyons, Jr.; Larry U. Sims; John L. Lawler and Judge Dominick J. Matranga.

Remembering Dom

A year ago, the Law School lost one of its own when Hector Dominic Desimone, 23, an outgoing and selfless second-year law student, died in a motorcycle accident. Dominic, or Dom as his friends knew him, was born and raised in West Blocton, Alabama, where his family owns the Mighty Oak Farm.

To honor his memory, the Class of 2015 has initiated a campaign to raise $10,000 to establish an endowed scholarship in Desimone’s name. The scholarship will help students offset the costs of attending a top tier law school. More importantly, it preserves Desimone’s lasting impression: compassion and selflessness.

The Law School will host “Dom Fit” 1-3 p.m. April 11 in the Law School courtyard. Fitness instructors will guide participants through a series of “boot camp” exercises and provide fitness advice. A suggested donation of $20 will help fund the scholarship. All are welcome to attend.


On Campus Interviews

Registration is now open for Spring 2015 On-Campus Interviews. The Career Services Office helps find 1Ls and 2Ls for summer positions or 3Ls and alumni for post-graduation employment. Please contact the Assistant Dean for Career Services, Tom Ksobiech (tksobiech@law.ua.edu), for placement opportunities. The CSO arranges on campus interviews, collects resumes and posts positions on its electronic job board. All CSO services are free of charge.


The Best Thing For Your Resume Since Spellcheck:

LL.M. Concentrations in Taxation and Business Transactions Offered Online

The Law School offers two exceptional LL.M. programs through live, interactive Internet technologies. Students receive skills-based instruction, taught by respected professors and practitioners throughout the country, without having to leave their offices.
The tax program permits students to focus on courses in estate planning or business tax. The course of study for the business program is interdisciplinary in fields of law and business – including tax, finance, intellectual property, entrepreneurship and traditional corporate classes.   For more information, or to apply to either concentration, visit www.alabamallm.com or contact Assistant Dean for Graduate Law Programs Daniel Powell.

CLE Alabama
Alumni are invited to participate in training opportunities throughout the state.
April 10
Imagining a More Just World, Tuscaloosa
May 8
Legal Issues Facing City and County Governments, Orange Beach

Class Notes

  • Jack Bethay, III, ’07, has been named a shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale PC.
  • J. Marland Hayes, ’91, has formed J. Marland Hayes LLC in Northport.
  • Ellen T. Mathews, ’07, has been named partner at Burr & Forman LLP in Birmingham.
  • Kevin McKie, ’05, was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Birmingham Water Works Board by the Birmingham City Council.
  • Brenton Cooper McWilliams, ’12, has been named a shareholder at Espy, Nettles & Scogin PC.
  • J. Blair Newman, ’06, has been named a member of McDowell Knight Roedder & Sledge LLC in Mobile.
  • Christopher R. Reader, ’14, has joined Holtsford Gilliland Higgins Hitson & Howard PC in Montgomery as an associate.
  • Christopher L. Shaeffer, ’05, is a shareholder in Hagwood Adelman Tipton in Birmingham.
  • Emilee H. Scheef, ’13, has joined Sydney Cook & Associates LLC as an associate.
  • John W. Sheffield, ’92,  has opened John W. Sheffield LLC in Birmingham.
  • Jason R. Watkins, ’99, has been named partner at Jones Walker in Mobile.
  • Richard Whitaker, ’06, has been named partner at Hale Sides LLC in Birmingham.
  • Ronald D. “Scott” Williams, ’07, has been named partner at Burr & Forman LLP in Birmingham.

Business of Being a Lawyer

  • Cynthia Almond, ’90, Private Practice, Cynthia Lee Almond, LLC and Tuscaloosa City Council Member
  • Noel Amason, ’00, General Counsel for Amason & Associates, Inc.
  • Nicholas Armstrong, ’07, Partner, Price Armstrong, L.L.C.
  • Tenley Armstrong, ’06, Associate, Lightfoot, Franklin & White, L.L.C.
  • Brooke Bacak, ’05, Senior Policy Advisor to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
  • David Benck, ’93, Vice President and General Counsel, Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc.
  • Michael Bownes, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor and Deputy General Counsel for The University of Alabama System
  • David Boyd, ’76, Partner, Balch and Bingham, L.L.P.
  • Lee Copeland, ’82, Partner, Copeland Franco, President-Elect, Alabama State Bar
  • Sam Crosby, ’78, Partner, Stone, Granade & Crosby, P.C., President, Alabama State Bar, 2007-2008
  • Bert Guy, ’88, Partner, Campbell, Guin, Williams, Guy & Gidiere, L.L.C.
  • David Hodge, ’00, Attorney, Morris, King & Hodge, P.C.
  • Laura Hodge, ’00, Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of Alabama
  • Heath Holden, ’04, Partner, Newell & Holden, L.L.C.
  • Elizabeth Huntley, ’97, Of Counsel, Lightfoot Franklin & White, LLP
  • Anthony Joseph, Shareholder of Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C., President, Alabama State Bar, 2013-2014
  • Deborah Long, ’80, Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of Protective Life Corporation
  • Katie Osburne, ’07, Deputy General Counsel, University of Alabama System
  • Jessica Powers, ’06, Attorney, King Simmons, P.C.
  • Emily Price, ’08, Of Counsel, Price Armstrong, L.L.C.
  • Oscar Price, ’07, Partner, Price Armstrong, L.L.C.
  • Dena Prince, ’80, Of Counsel, Prince, Glover & Hayes, P.C.
  • Richard Raleigh, ’95, Managing Shareholder of Wilmer & Lee P.A., President, Alabama State Bar
  • Philip Reich, ’74, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, Director of Special Programs and  Deputy General Counsel for The University of Alabama System; Circuit Court Judge (36th Circuit), Retired
  • Cooper Shattuck, ’90, General Counsel, The University of Alabama System
  • Chad Tindol, Director of Risk Management for The University of Alabama System
  • Katharine Weber, ’89, Shareholder, Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C.

Faculty Notes

PROFESSOR BILL ANDREEN has published a chapter on Alabama Water Law in the 2015 edition of Waters and Water Rights (LexisNexis) and a CPR Issue Alert on Integrator Liability at CAFOs.  In addition, the National Environmental Law Moot Court Team, which Professor Andreen coaches, did quite well at the national competition which was held at Pace University Law School in February.  The team, comprised of Ben Richardson, Brandi Soper, and Tiffany Ray (with Chris Becker serving as student coach), wrote the fourth best brief overall out of 65 teams and advanced to the quarter final round.
PROFESSOR BILL BREWBAKER recently made a presentation at an Emory Law School roundtable on the relationship between Christian theology and law, and he spoke to the Montgomery chapter of the Federalist Society on the topic “What is Christian Legal Thought?”  He accompanied a team of three UA Law School students to the Bryant Health Care Law Transactional Moot Court Competition in Chicago March 19-20.  Professor Brewbaker also was recently named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
JUDGE JOSEPH COLQUITT, acting as a Reporter for the Uniform Law Commission, completed his drafts of two proposed uniform acts. The drafts were submitted to the ULC drafting committee. Colquitt will meet with the drafting committee in Chicago during April for a two-day review of the drafts. The proposed acts will be presented to the Uniform Law Commission at its annual conference in Summer 2016. Colquitt also was interviewed by several news entities (e.g., the Associated Press and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) on national and regional criminal law and criminal procedure issues.
PROFESSOR TANYA ASIM COOPER conducted a domestic violence training session for new UAPD officers. Her proposal to present her work in progress, “Breaking the Code of Silence About Domestic Violence in Greek Life on College Campuses,” was accepted at the AALS Clinical Conference, which will take place in May. Professor Cooper also presented this paper and her research to the Jefferson Coordinated Community Response (Birmingham’s Domestic Violence Task Force) in March. She submitted a federal grant proposal for legal assistance for victims of domestic violence to the Office of Violence Against Women, and she traveled to Atlanta to study the Safe Families Program that serves domestic violence victims in Fulton County Superior Court.
PROFESSOR RICHARD DELGADO published two articles in the John Marshall Law Review and completed a third, co-authored with Jean Stefancic, for a symposium issue of Emory Law Journal on developments in First Amendment theory. He was nominated, one of eight finalists, for The Last Lecture series that features one Alabama professor per year delivering remarks in the nature of parting words to the next generation.  It is one of a number of such events at campuses around the nation continuing a tradition that began at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 when Randy Pausch, a computer science professor, delivered an inspiring lecture to an overflow crowd while ill with a fatal form of cancer.
PROFESSOR MIRIT EYAL-COHEN presented “Lessons in Fiscal Activism” at the Tulane University Tax Roundtable in New Orleans. She also presented “Through the Lens of Innovation” in the Law and Entrepreneurship Retreat held at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, and at the University of Alabama Entrepreneurship Scholarly Exchange held at Culverhouse School of Business.
PROFESSOR JOHN GROSS wrote an amicus brief for the National Association of Public Defense on a case before the Mississippi Supreme Court. Here is the press release: http://www.publicdefenders.us/?q=node/742
PROFESSOR JULIE A. HILL took a group of 19 University of Alabama J.D. and LL.M. students to Grand Cayman for a week to learn about offshore financial transactions.  The group met with more than a dozen attorneys, accountants, bankers, regulators, and finance professionals who work in Cayman. The course focused on captive insurance, catastrophe bonds, securitizations and investment funds.
PROFESSOR RONALD J. KROTOSZYNSKI, JR. published “Partisan Balance Requirements in the Age of New Formalism,” 90 Notre Dame L. Rev. 941 (2015) (co-authored with Johnjerica Hodge and Wes Wintermyer), and also “The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Challenge of Resisting — or Engaging — Transnational Constitutional Law,” 66 Ala. L. Rev. 105 (2014).   In addition, he has authored op-eds appearing in the New York Times (March 6, 2015), the Washington Post (February 6, 2015), and the Los Angeles Times (March 8, 2015).  On February 6, 2015, Krotoszynski presented “Transcending  Formalism and Functionalism in Separation-of-Powers Analysis:  Reframing the Appointments Power After Noel Canning,” at the Duke Law Journal’s 44th Annual Administrative Law Symposium.  The article associated with his presentation will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Duke Law Journal.  Professor Krotoszynski helped organize and host a reunion of the former law clerks to Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., which took place at the University of Alabama School of Law, on February 27-28. 2015.   Finally, AALS President Blake Morant has appointed Krotoszynski to serve on the program committee for the 2016 AALS Annual Meeting, to be held January 6-10, 2016, in New York City.
PROFESSOR MICHAEL PARDO’s book, Minds, Brains, and Law: The Conceptual Foundations of Law and Neuroscience (Oxford University Press), co-authored with Dennis Patterson, will be published in paperback later this spring.  The book will be the subject of a forthcoming symposium in the journal Jurisprudence and the focus of an “Author Meets Critics” panel at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.  Professor Pardo is currently part of a working group on the neuroscience of pain and its legal implications, hosted by Harvard Law School and Massachusetts General Hospital.  The group will present a report at a conference later this summer.  Professor Pardo was invited to present his scholarship at a workshop on evidence theory at the XXVII World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy.  Professor Pardo’s forthcoming scholarship includes:  “Group Agency and Legal Proof; or, Why the Jury is an ‘It’,” William & Mary Law Review (2015); “Accuracy, Optimality, and the Preponderance Standard,” Law, Probability & Risk (2015) (with Cheng); “Symposium on Minds, Brains, and Law: A Reply,” Jurisprudence (2015); “Risk, Uncertainty, and ‘Super-Risk’,” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy (2015 symposium on Law and Science) (with Bermudez); and “The Law of Evidence and the Practice of Theory,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online (2015) (symposium on Legal Doctrine and Legal Realism).
PROFESSOR PAM PIERSON’s article, “Unbundling in the New Legal Marketplace,” was published in the March 2015 issue of the ABA Student Lawyer.  This article discusses limited scope representation, a new way of delivering legal services made feasible in the past few years with amendments by all fifty states to rules of civil procedure and codes of professional responsibility.  The 2014-2015 course, The Business of Being a Lawyer (BBL), which Professor Pierson teaches began in March and will continue through April. Twenty-nine renowned lawyers throughout Alabama are serving as 2015 BBL Faculty.
PROFESSOR JEAN STEFANCIC published “Reflections on Reform Litigation: Strategic Intervention in Arizona’s Ethnic Studies Ban,” 47 John Marshall L. Rev. 1181 (2014).
PROFESSOR FREDRICK VARS‘s latest article, “Self-Defense Against Gun Suicide,” will be published by Boston College Law Review.