May 2018


Alabama Law Confers 135 Juris Doctor degrees; Frank S. James (’78) Delivers Commencement Address

Frank S. James (’78) congratulated The University of Alabama School of Law’s Class of 2018 for having a median a LSAT score of 163 and an overall grade-point average of 3.76.

“I can say that I, and many of my classmates, should be happy that we did not have to compete for a place in this class,” said James, a retired attorney.

The Law School conferred 135 Juris Doctor degrees at Coleman Coliseum on May 6. Three J.D. students received joint Master’s degrees in Business Administration, and one J.D. student received a joint Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. Three J.D. students and four others received the LL.M. degree in Taxation or Business Transactions, while two students — one from Nigeria and the other from Cameroon — received the LL.M. degree from the Law School’s International Program.

Alabama Law, ABA Journal Announce Finalists for Harper Lee Prize

The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have named the finalists for the 2018 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The three books chosen to compete for the prize are: “Exposed” by Lisa Scottoline, “Proof” by C.E. Tobisman and “Testimony” by Scott Turow.

“The winnowing committee has chosen three great novels that you can add to your summer reading list, all written by lawyers and with timely topics,” said Molly McDonough, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal. “This year’s grouping includes drama and intrigue surrounding international justice, elder law, legal ethics and protections for people with disabilities. As legal journalists we see the essential role of lawyers in the real world and think now, more than ever, it’s important to have genuine and inspiring depictions of their work in pop culture.”

Ceremony Celebrates Research by Alabama Law Faculty

Two members of The University of Alabama School of Law faculty were honored for their research contributions at Faculty Research Day.

As part of the celebration, Professors Jenny Carroll and Heather Elliott were recognized as recipients of the President’s Faculty Research Award during a ceremony April 17 in the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus.

Professor Carroll is a nationally visible scholar of juvenile justice. She also studies the role of juries in criminal cases.

“Professor Carroll argues that juries are not merely instruments for procedural fairness in criminal proceedings, but are also an expression of democracy, extending from the political sphere into the judicial,” said Dean Mark E. Brandon.

Professor Elliott is a nationally noted expert on the rules of standing–the rules that allow a plaintiff to press a civil claim for relief in a court of law. She also studies the availability and use of water in Alabama.

“As it happens, the State of Alabama presently relies on 19th-century legal regime to regulate 21st-century problems,” Brandon said. “Professor Elliott’s scholarship aims to nudge the state into the 21st century — so that we may deal effectively both with problems in the here-and-now and problems that we may reasonably expect to arise as products of changes in the earth’s climate.”

Alabama Law Hosts Symposium on Gender Inequality

Legal scholars visited The University of Alabama School of Law April 13 to discuss gender inequality.

The symposium on Gender Inequality after 55 Years of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 recognized the broader goals of the Equal Pay Act, celebrated the successes achieved since its enactment, and invited leading scholars to lay the foundation in the fight for gender equality.

“The Equal Pay Act commanded that material compensation be based on ability and merit, for the most part, and it implied a promise of equality of economic opportunity to complement the 19th Amendment’s political opportunity,” Dean Mark E. Brandon said during his introduction.

More than a half century after the enactment, the gender wage gap continues to be a stark reality for many—particularly women of color and transgender people. With those realities in mind, the editors of the Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review invited scholars who could address gender inequality in broad terms.

Alabama Law Clinic, Alumni Win Case That Expands Access to Justice for Tenants in Alabama

The University of Alabama School of Law’s Civil Law Clinic, along with Alabama Law alumni at Winston & Strawn, LLP, scored a critical win for a Tuscaloosa single mother. In the process, they changed the law to better protect vulnerable tenants statewide.

Civil Law Clinic students, supervised by Clinic Director Yuri Linetsky and Staff Attorney Caryn Roseman, along with Winston & Strawn Partner Paula Hinton (‘79) and Associate and Law Clinic alumnus William Logan (‘17), represented Bridgette Morrow on appeal. Legal Services Alabama and Alabama Appleseed filed an invaluable amici brief in support of Ms. Morrow’s position. The team argued that a tenant’s monetary counterclaims are not mandatory when a landlord sues for possession, and that a dismissal just because a tenant has moved is not sufficient to support a res judicata bar, even where the dismissal was with prejudice. A unanimous Alabama Court of Civil Appeals agreed, allowing Ms. Morrow’s suit against her former landlord to proceed, in the process ensuring that courthouse doors across Alabama are no longer barred to similarly situated tenants. This decision is binding precedent for trial courts statewide.

Civil Law Clinic Wins Visitation Rights for Grandmother

After almost three years of litigation in Alabama trial and appellate courts, The University of Alabama School of Law Civil Law Clinic secured and defended a grandmother’s right to visitation with her grandchild. Under Alabama law, when a child is adopted by a close relative, a grandparent is entitled to visitation when maintaining the familial relationship is in the child’s best interest. The Civil Law Clinic’s client is the paternal grandmother whose granddaughter was adopted by the child’s maternal grandmother. After the adoption, the maternal grandmother cutoff the paternal grandmother’s longstanding relationship with the child, not allowing her to see her granddaughter for two years.

Reorganized Alumni Society – Coming Soon!

The Directors of the Law School Foundation recently approved a new structure for both the Foundation and the Alumni Society. The restructure includes new leadership opportunities within the Foundation and Alumni Society.  It also includes a new name for the Alumni Society: the Alabama Law Alumni Society (ALAS). The new name will take effect July 1, 2018.

Going forward, ALAS will be governed by a broad-based Leadership Council and will provide opportunities for alumni to mentor current students, engage recent graduates, assist with the annual fund drive, and participate in planning alumni events.

For questions or more information, contact Candice Robbins at

 Camille Wright Cook Scholarship Fund

After Professor Camille Cook passed away earlier this year, many Alabama Law alumni contributed to the Camille Wright Cook Scholarship Fund in her memory. If you have not had the opportunity and would like to contribute to the scholarship, you may do so online at and search for the “Camille Wright Cook” fund. We are immensely grateful for these contributions that will benefit students for years to come and will honor the memory and legacy of Camille.

Class Notes for Capstone Lawyer

The Law School is accepting alumni news and photographs for the 2018 Capstone Lawyer until June 30. Please send brief announcements about accomplishments to

Class Notes

Anna Fron (’03) and Leanna Pittard (’03) launched Legal Scout, an online platform that matches legal professionals with potential clients.

Liz Huntley (’97) was named Citizen of the Year by the Women’s Committee of 100 for Birmingham. She received the award for her “outstanding contributions to the people of the Birmingham metro area” during the organization’s annual awards luncheon on April 17.

Joe Letzer (’75) was named to Burr & Forman’s executive committee. The committee brings together leaders within the firm from various practice areas and office locations to represent the firm as a whole.

Brittney Wormely (’15) has joined Dan Crane Accident & Injury Law in Birmingham.


Larry W. Harper (‘75) contributed $5,000 to the Larry and Nancy Harper Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Richard S. Manley (’58) donated $7,500 to The Manley Servicemen & Veterans Program Fund.

The Albert G. Rives Charitable Trust contributed $8,250 to the Albert G. and Hester Rives Fund.

Faculty Notes

PROFESSOR RICHARD DELGADO published an article, “La Dixieme Chronique de Rodrigo:  le Merite et L’action Positive,” in Critical Race Theory:  Une Introduction aux Grands Textes Fondateurs (2018).  The first book on Critical Race Theory in French, the volume reproduces Delgado’s article, translated from English, along with a comment by Emilia Roig, Founder & Executive Director at Center for Intersectional Justice in Berlin.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) awarded Professor Gloria Ladson-Billings (Wisconsin) its top prize for excellence in education research at its 2018 annual meeting in New York.  Ladson-Billings introduced critical race theory in the field of education in a landmark article, “Toward a Critical Race Theory of Education,” co-authored with William Tate IV.  The article relies heavily on Delgado’s work and has been cited over 3,800 times.

Delgado and Professor Jean Stefancic spoke at the Midwest People of Color in the Law annual meeting in Cleveland on the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Derrick Bell. Their papers are scheduled to be published in Case Western Law Review.

PROFESSOR SHAHAR DILLBARY’s article (written with Griffin Edwards), “An Empirical Analysis of Sexual Orientation Discrimination,” will be published as the lead article in the University of Chicago Law Review (volume 86, forthcoming 2018). The article is the first to empirically demonstrate widespread discrimination across the United States based on perceived sexual orientation, sex and race in the mortgage lending process. The analysis of over five million mortgage applications reveals a unique discriminatory pattern which is present in every region, transcends party lines, exists in small and large banks, and is present in rural and urban environments. The article has been attracting much attention and is now available at

Professor Dillbary’s additional new research includes a number of theoretical, experimental, and empirical projects. In February, he presented his new experimental study on torts and causation at the University of Alabama Business School Faculty Workshop. Professor Dillbary has also secured IRB approval to conduct another set of experiments in the coming months. These experiments are designed to evaluate the efficacy of different liability regimes on actors who are involved in mass torts. Professor Dillbary has been invited to present his scholarship at the 5th International Meeting in Law & Economics (Paris, France). He was also nominated by the European Law and Economics Association as a tort scholarship referee for the 2018 Annual Conference.

PROFESSOR HEATHER ELLIOTT presented her paper, “The Limits of Associational Standing,” to the Program in Regulation and Coordination at Tulane University on April 10, 2018.

PROFESSOR ALLYSON GOLD spoke about community interventions and policies to eliminate environmental hazards and improve health for low-income and minority communities at the American University Washington College of Law as part of the Economic Justice Program’s poverty law conference on March 23, 2018. The panel, which explored the intersection between poverty and health law, also included speakers on Medicaid and legal responses to social determinants of health.

PROFESSOR RONALD KROTOSZYNSKI participated on a plenary panel considering “Privacy versus Free Speech:  Perspectives from the U.S., Europe, and Brazil,” on April 20, 2018, at a symposium on Technology, Media, and Privacy. The symposium was sponsored by the Center for Governmental Responsibility at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Gainesville, Florida.  On April 11, Professor Krotoszynski presented chapters one and seven of his current book project, The Disappearing First Amendment:  On the Decline of Freedom of Speech and the Growing Problem of Inequality among Speakers, at a faculty workshop hosted by the law faculty at the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law.  On April 5, the law faculty at the Indiana University-Indianapolis McKinney School of Law hosted him at a faculty workshop, where he shared chapters one and six of his forthcoming book.  Professor Krotoszynski recently has published, “Our Shrinking First Amendment: On the Growing Problem of Reduced Access to Public Property for Speech Activity and Some Suggestions for a Better Way Forward,” 78 Ohio State Law Journal 779 (2017).  This article constitutes his somewhat contrarian contribution to a symposium that the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University hosted that considered “The Expanding First Amendment.”

PROFESSOR ADAM STEINMAN published his essay, “Non-majority Opinions and Biconditional Rules,” 128 Yale L.J. F. 1 (2018). It was featured on SCOTUSblog ( and the Legal Theory Blog (

Professor Steinman’s article, “Access to Justice, Rationality, and Personal Jurisdiction,” was accepted for publication in the Vanderbilt Law Review.

PROFESSOR FREDRICK VARS was an invited speaker at a Yale Law School panel on creative public health approaches for combating gun violence.

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.