February 2020

News

Yusef Salaam, Member of Exonerated Five, Speaks at Alabama Law

Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated Five, formerly known as the Central Park Five, discussed his legal case on Monday with Judge John H. England, Jr. (’74)  in the Bedsole Moot Court Room.

On April 19, 1989, a young woman was raped and left for dead in New York City’s Central Park. Five boys — four black and one Latino — were tried and convicted of the crime.  They became known collectively as the Central Park Five.

Looking back on the case, Salaam said the evidence didn’t point to the five boys. He and others didn’t have a drop of blood on them. There was no skin under the woman’s fingernails that linked them to the crime. A photo that was introduced into evidence showed “a single dragline.” If several people had been dragging the woman, other parts of the scene would have been disturbed, he said.

“I think — and I truly think — they knew that they had the wrong people. And I don’t think it mattered,” he said. Prosecutors and others were trying to quickly ensure the public that the city was safe and protecting their careers, he said.

The convictions of the men were vacated in 2002 after another man who was in prison for similar crimes confessed to the attack. That man’s DNA matched evidence from the crime scene. The exonerated men served between seven and 13 years for crimes they did not commit. In 2003, they sued the city for their wrongful convictions. In 2014, the city settled the case and agreed to pay them a total of $41 million.

Alabama Law Review to Host Symposium on Civil Asset Forfeiture

The Alabama Law Review has scheduled a one-day symposium, Timbs v. Indiana One Year Later: The Future of Civil Asset Forfeiture, on March 6 at the Law School. The symposium will explore the consequences of the U.S. Supreme Court case.

In its landmark 2019 opinion, Timbs v. Indiana, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause is an incorporated protection applicable to the states and may, as a result, regulate state civil asset forfeiture. This symposium will feature three panel discussions with prominent law professors and practitioners and a keynote address from Wesley Hottot, the senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, who argued the Timbs case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The symposium will address crucial questions that remain about the decision’s impact in the context of civil asset forfeiture. While the Court said that the Excessive Fines Clause applies to Mr. Timbs’s civil asset forfeiture case, it did not say that his case violates the Excessive Fines Clause. Nor did the court’s decision set any standards regarding the regulation of such forfeiture. Since the Timbs decision, civil asset forfeiture practices have come under sharp criticism, especially in Alabama, where the practice is regularly used to fund law enforcement operations. Some organizations and lawmakers have called for reform, including the possible outright appeal of the practice.

In addition to Hottot, confirmed presenters are:

  • Kevin Arlyck, Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Tom Borton, Assistant U.S. Attorney​ for the Northern District of Alabama
  • Anita Cream, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Asset Recovery Division for the Middle District of Florida
  • Carla Crowder (’09), Executive Director, Alabama Appleseed
  • Emily Early, Senior Staff Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center Economic Justice Project
  • Brian Kelly, Associate Professor, Economics, Seattle University
  • Louis Rulli, Practice Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law

For more information or to RSVP, please visit law.ua.edu/TimbsvIndianaRSVP

Alabama Law Announces Call for Entries for 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

The University of Alabama School of Law is now accepting submissions for the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The Prize, authorized by Ms. Lee, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.  Recent winners include “Gone Again by James Grippando, “Proof by C. E. Tobisman, and “The Boat Peopleby Sharon Bala.

To qualify, the work must be:

  • A published book-length work of fiction
  • Published originally in 2019
  • 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. All entries must be submitted by Friday, March 31, 2020. There is no entry fee.

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

For more information, visit HarperLeePrize.com.

Events

Alabama Law Alumni Society Banquet

Justice Robert Bernard Harwood, Jr. will receive the Pipes Award at the 2020 Alabama Law Alumni Society Banquet. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, February 21, at The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook. All alumni are invited to attend the Banquet. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Cindy Rice at crice@law.ua.edu or at 205-348-6775.

Gifts

Frank M. Bainbridge (’56) donated $100,00 to the Bainbridge Mims Professorship Fund.

Christian & Small, LLP contributed $5,000 to the Christian & Small Annual Diversity Scholarship.

Frank Daily contributed $5,000 to public interest law fellowships for the Equal Justice Initiative Externship Program.  This contribution makes it possible for Alabama Law students to work at the institute.

James W. Hart contributed $5,000 to the Dominic DeSimone Memorial Endowed Book Scholarship.

The Honorable Robert B. Harwood, Jr. (’63) donated $5,000 to the Judge Robert B. Harwood Memorial Scholarship.

David E. Vann, Jr. contributed $5,000 to the Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. and Mrs. Ruth Jenkins Johnson Memorial Endowed Scholarship and $5,000 to the Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Endowed Lecture Fund on Constitutional Rights & Liberties.

Vulcan Materials contributed a total of $19,000 in matching funds to the Jerry and Suzanne Perkins Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Alabama Law Alumni Society.

Manning G. Warren III made a testamentary bequest of $50,000 to establish the Manning G. Warren Endowed Scholarship.

Career Services Office

Are you looking for a summer law clerk or a post-graduate associate? Our Spring 2020 Recruitment Program is now open. The Career Services Office can also place a job advertisement for you on our internal job board or connect you with a student through our STAR Program for help with research. Please contact Assistant Dean Megan Walsh for more information.

Class Notes

Sarah Glover (‘11) has been elevated to Shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham.

Larry Golston (‘98) was sworn in as President of the Montgomery County Bar Association.

Clinton H. Hyde (‘98) was sworn in as District Judge in Conecuh County.

Justin Ladner (‘10) has been named President of Illinois American Water.

James Lester (‘11) has been elevated to Shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham.

Larry Smith (‘84) has returned to RumbergerKirk as Of Counsel in the firm’s Orlando office. He had been a Partner at the firm.

Finis E. St. John V (‘12) has been elevated to Shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham.

Stephen W. Still (‘78) has joined Balch & Bingham as Partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. and Birmingham offices.

Jesse S. Vogtle, Jr. (‘88) has joined Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis as Partner in the firm’s Birmingham office.

Faculty Notes

PROFESSOR DEEPA DAS ACEVEDO published an op-ed, “Republic at 70: The Unique Goals and Challenges of Indian Secularism,” in the Hindustan Times on January 29, 2020, about the 70th Anniversary of India’s constitution.

PROFESSOR JOHN FELIPE ACEVEDO‘s essay, “The Model Speaks?: Obscenity Laws in the United States,” was accepted for inclusion in a volume edited by Elaine Wood, Gender and Justice: Theoretical Practices of Intersectional Identity. The essay draws on subaltern studies and postmodern theory to argue that models are silenced in legal discourse of sexualized speech in general and obscenity in particular. The essay points to several factors that contribute to the silencing including structure of the legal system, historical development of obscenity law, and the hegemony of middle-class culture that devalues models.

Professor Acevedo also has a textbook, Alcohol Regulation: Cases, Materials, and Problems, forthcoming with Carolina Academic Press. The textbook is co-authored with Tom Ginsberg of the University of Chicago School of Law. It is the first comprehensive textbook on alcohol regulation for law school courses.

PROFESSOR MEGHAN BOONE won the AALS Scholarly Papers Competition for law school faculty members in the field for five years or fewer. In her article, “Reproductive Due Process,” Professor Boone explores whether additional procedural due process protections might be constitutionally required as a precondition to the criminalization of abortion. The article will be published in an upcoming issue of The George Washington University Law Review.

PROFESSORS RICHARD DELGADO AND JEAN STEFANCIC had two chapters accepted for publication in an upcoming book by Steve Bender et al., titled Critical Justice: Systemic Advocacy in Law and Society (West Publishing).  One chapter is Professor Delgado’s Images of the Outsider in American Law and Culture: Can Free Expression Remedy Systemic Social Ills? 77 Cornell L. Rev. 1258 (1992)the other is Why do We Ask the Same Questions? The Triple Helix Dilemma Revisited,99 Law Libr. J. 307, 319-320, 328 (2007) by Professors Delgado and Stefancic. 

New Press will include a chapter by Professor Delgado in a forthcoming book based on The Derrick Bell lectures.  The chapter consists of Delgado’s contribution titled, “Derrick Bell’s Toolkit:  Fit to Dismantle that Famous House,” which was also published in the New York University Law Review. 

Delgado’s article, Rodrigo’s Rebuke: Originary Violence and U.S. Border Policy” (UC-Davis L. Rev., 2019), made four SSRN Top Ten download lists.  The article identifies two sources of violence in immigration law and practice and proposes means of mitigating it.

Professor Delgado publishedChildren’s Rights to a Livable Future in the Alabama Law Review.  The article discusses intergenerational aspects of the costs of global warming.

The Arizona State University Law Review accepted Delgado’s and Stefancic’s article, “Borders by Consent,” for publication in fall, 2020.  The article “flips” or reverses Peter Schuck’s and Rogers Smith’s argument for citizenship by consent, positing that borders, too, make sense only if they are negotiated—and found acceptable—by the people living on either side.

PROFESSOR ADAM STEINMAN received the Pound Institute’s 2020 Civil Justice Scholarship Award in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received the award for his article, “Access to Justice, Rationality, and Personal Jurisdiction,” 71 Vanderbilt Law Review 1401 (2018). http://www.poundinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Pound-Reception-Invitation-New-Orleans-2020.pdf

He published “The Forest, The Trees, and Lone Pine Orders” in the Courts Law section of JOTWELL in February 2020. https://courtslaw.jotwell.com/the-forest-the-trees-and-lone-pine-orders/

PROFESSOR JOYCE VANCE has published several essays: Along with Barb McQuade, Professor Vance wrote “United States of America v. Rudolph W. Giuliani” for Just Security on October 24, 2019. https://www.justsecurity.org/66705/united-states-of-america-v-rudolph-w-giuliani/

Two of her essays were published in Time Magazine: Why All of Trump’s Defenses Against Impeachment Are Doomed to Failon November 11, 2019,  https://time.com/5724220/donald-trump-impeachment-defense/ and Trump May Be Acquitted in a Senate Impeachment Trial. That’s Not the Same as Being Exonerated” on December 23, 2019. https://time.com/5754646/impeachment-senate-trial/

She also authored an opinion piece for The Washington Post on witness reciprocity, titled Witness ‘reciprocity’ isn’t a thing. So no, there can’t be a Biden for every Bolton,” on January 19, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/01/20/every-john-bolton-hunter-biden-no-witness-reciprocity-is-not-thing/

Professor Vance participated in a number of podcasts, including Talking Feds on December 20, 2019, with Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, Vice President of the New School Maya Wiley, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman. The to-be-released episode of Common Law is hosted by UVA Dean Risa Goluboff and Vice Dean Leslie Kendrick and addresses criminal justice reform.

She moderated a panel discussion at the UA School of Law on Alabama’s prisons. The panel was sponsored the Blackburn Institute on November 6, 2019. She also participated in a panel at Columbia Law School, moderated by Professor Bernard Harcourt, with Attorneys General Eric Holder and Sally Yates, Bruce Ackerman (Yale Law School) and Jelani Cobb (Columbia Journalism School) as part of the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative on November 12, 2019. https://holder.college.columbia.edu/events/american-voter-project-impeachment-inquiry

Professor Vance was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) on December 20, 2019, and received the Susan B. Livingston Leadership Award from the Birmingham Bar Association in December 2019​.

The views, opinions, and conclusions expressed by faculty in their publications or research activities are those of the author and not necessarily those of The University of Alabama or its officers and trustees. The content of faculty publications has not been approved by The University of Alabama, and the author is solely responsible for that content.