November 2015

Law School Ranks in Top 10  for “Best Value” for Fifth Consecutive Year
The University of Alabama School of Law is ranked 5th among the nation’s “Best Value Law Schools,” according to The National Jurist magazine’s rankings for 2015.

This is the ninth time since 2004 The National Jurist magazine has published the list, and it is the fifth consecutive year the Law School has been ranked among the top 10 “Best Value Law Schools” across the country.
“We are pleased that this ranking recognizes two things that students and faculty at the School of Law have long known. We provide a program of high quality. And our program is affordable,” said Dean Mark E. Brandon. “These are important markers of an excellent law school.”

Legal Writing Director Receives Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award
Kimberly K. Boone, Director of the Legal Writing Program and Legal Writing Lecturer in UA’s School of Law, received the University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching – the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award – from The University of Alabama National Alumni Association.

Boone was honored because she has built the most rigorous and effective legal writing program in the nation, Dean Mark E. Brandon said.
“It is the only legal writing program I have ever been around that works as advertised. And it works splendidly,” Brandon said.  “It engages students, top to bottom, with instruction in legal institutions, with legal reasoning, and with the tools for building and clearly articulating legal arguments.”

Morris Dees Receives Courageous Advocacy Award
The American Board of Trial Advocates presented its Courageous Advocacy Award to Morris Dees (’60), founder and chief trial attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, at the organization’s National Board of Directors Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.

The organization presents the award to a judge or advocate anywhere in the world who has demonstrated exemplary courage in the representation of clients and a firm commitment to the rule of law, even at great risk to personal freedom and safety, according to a news release.

“ABOTA applauds Morris Dees and his staff of 75 lawyers for bringing systemic reforms — legally and peacefully — to society,” said Joel W. Collins, Jr., president of ABOTA. “Mr. Dees has served as a tireless champion for those who could not defend themselves. He has endured numerous death threats, had his offices burned to the ground and has opposed some of the most violent hate groups in America. All the while, he has adhered to the rule of law to fight against those who conspire against the very principles that provide freedom in our country,” Collins said.

Lee Copeland: Serving the State Alabama State Bar President Lee Copeland (’82) welcomed the bar’s newest members in October and said they were joining what he considers the “best profession in the world.”
“One of their duties is to keep it that way,” Copeland said, “and they can do that by having a high degree of professionalism.”
Copeland brings that pride and passion to his term as the 140th president of the 17,700-member association. As he crafted his goals for his term, he was mindful the association is one of a handful in the country that serves both as a regulatory body and that provides benefits to its members.


Dean Mark E. Brandon and the Farrah Law Alumni Society will host an alumni tailgate two hours before kickoff of the Alabama vs. LSU football game Saturday, November 7.
Join Dean Mark E. Brandon and Houston-area Alabama Law graduates for a special alumni reception 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, November 10. Register by November 4.
The University of Alabama School of Law will host a symposium on Legal Ethics Surrounding E-Discovery and Technology Law, co-sponsored by The Journal of the Legal Profession. The symposium is scheduled for 9:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Friday, November 13, in the Judge Seybourn H. Lynne Lecture Hall (A255).


On Campus Interviews  
Registration is now open for Fall 2015 On-Campus Interviews. The Career Services Office helps employers find 2Ls for summer positions and 3Ls and alumni for post-graduation employment. Please contact the Assistant Dean for Career Services, Lezlie A. Griffin (, for more information on recruitment opportunities. The CSO arranges on-campus and video-conference interviews, collects resumes and posts positions on its electronic job board. All CSO services are free of charge.

Employer registration for the University of Alabama School of Law’s STAR (Short-Term Assistance in Research) Program is now open.
The STAR program provides legal research assistants for solo practitioners, small law firms, and other legal employers from a pool of third-year law students. Once we receive your research request, we will connect you with a third-year law student with a minimum 3.0 GPA who has signed up to accept research assignments through the STAR program. You and the student can then correspond directly for more specific details about your assignment.  The assignments can be large or small, depending upon your need, and in accordance with the rules of the program detailed here: No advance sign-up is required.  When a research need arises, simply complete and submit the online form, and we’ll connect you with a student.
If you have questions about the STAR Program please contact Todd Engelhardt, Assistant Director for Career Services.

CLE Alabama

Alumni are invited to participate in training opportunities throughout the state.

November 6
Healthcare Law Birmingham

November 13
Bankruptcy Law Update Birmingham

November 13
Legal Ethics Surrounding E-Discovery and Technology Law Tuscaloosa

November 20
Social Security Disability Law Tuscaloosa


Class Notes

  • Danielle Blevins (’12) has been named a U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for Talk Radio News Service in Washington, D.C.
  • Robert E. Cooper (’77) has joined White Arnold & Dowd P.C. as a shareholder.
  • Kasee Sparks Heisterhagen (’09) has been selected to serve on the Special Committee on Cybersecurity for The Maritime Law Association of the United States.
  • Arthur Andrew Jenkins (’12) will oversee operations at the new Atlanta office of Gray, Lawrence & Jenkins.
  • David A. Kimberley (’85) has been reappointed by the Alabama Supreme Court for second terms on the Alabama Pattern Criminal Jury Instruction Committee and the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision Committee.
  • James A. Potts, II (’03) has joined White Arnold & Dowd P.C. as a shareholder.
  • Thomas Watson (’13) has joined Butler Snow as a member of the business department.

Send Class Notes to Alumni News.


  • Carey J. Chitwood (’57) has designated the Law School as a beneficiary in his estate plans. His generous contribution will establish the Carey J. Chitwood Endowed Scholarship.
  • Gregory S. Cusimano (’68) pledged a $50,000 donation to establish the Gregory S. Cusimano Scholarship.
  • Maynard Cooper & Gale contributed $18,450 on behalf of its 102 UA Law graduates to the Farrah Law Alumni Society.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Powell (’75) donated $20,000 to The Jerry Powell Technology Fund through The Jerry W. and Carolyn Powell Family Fund.

Faculty Notes

PROFESSOR BILL ANDREEN spoke at the University of Virginia Environmental Law Journal’s Annual Symposium on October 31.  The Symposium addressed Eastern Water Law, and the panel on which Professor Andreen participated dealt with “The Tri-State Water War: Untangling the Dispute between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.”

DEAN MARK E. BRANDON published an essay on “Constitutionalism” as part of The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution (Mark Tushnet, Mark A. Graber, and Sanford Levinson, eds., Oxford University Press, 2015).

JUDGE JOSEPH COLQUITT participated in an “expert roundtable discussion” at the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building in Washington D.C. at the request of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.  The Commission is studying ways to simplify the Federal Sentencing Guidelines system. The multi-year undertaking will study simplification of the guidelines, promotion of proportionality, reduction of disparities, appropriately accounting for the role, culpability and relevant conduct of the defendant, and the use of alternatives to incarceration. This roundtable matched 15 panelists with Commissioners and Commission staff members to explore the various states’ structured sentencing schemes and experiences.

Judge Colquitt was invited to participate in the Criminal History Enhancements Sourcebook Conference sponsored by the Robina Institute for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. The two-day program was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the Hubert H. Humphrey School for Public Affairs. In conjunction with the Conference, participants attended the Stein Lecture, which was delivered by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Judge Colquitt submitted for committee review the proposed final drafts of both the Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act and the Uniform Unsworn Domestic Declarations Act. As Reporter, Judge Colquitt prepared the Acts for the Uniform Law Commission. Upon approval of the drafts by the drafting committee, the proposed Acts will be submitted to the Commissioners for approval at the 2016 Uniform Law Commission Annual Conference in Stowe, Vermont. Once approved at the Annual Conference, the proposed uniform Acts will be submitted to the states for their consideration. Previously, Judge Colquitt served as Reporter on the Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act. That Act was approved and has been enacted in over 20 states to date. The new Acts expand the reach of the Foreign Declarations Act to cover domestic declarations. Following his work on the Foreign Declarations Act, Judge Colquitt served as Associate Reporter on the ULC’s Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking, which has been enacted in three states and is under review in a number of other states.

PROFESSOR RICHARD DELGADO was quoted in a special issue of Time magazine on the Supreme Court.

PROFESSOR SHAHAR DILLBARY is on sabbatical during the fall semester to complete an ongoing project that offers a novel approach to actual and proximate cause issues arising in cases involving multiple tortfeasors. In September 2015 he presented his recent scholarship on causation in a number of conferences, including the European (Vienna) and Canadian (Toronto) Law and Economics Conferences and at the University of Kansas School of Law. He was also invited and presented at Emory School of Law Faculty Workshop.
More recently Professor Dillbary attended the Law and Economics Workshop on Austrian Economics at George Mason University (Washington D.C.). He will spend the next month in Tel Aviv where he is scheduled to present in a number of fora, including at the Tel Aviv Faculty Workshop. Professor Dillbary was recently invited to present his new articles at the University of Chicago and the Southeastern Economic Association conference.

PROFESSOR SUSAN DONOVAN provided legal services October 31 at the Homeless Connect Event at Central High School as part of the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association’s events for Pro Bono month.

PROFESSOR HEATHER ELLIOTT is an invited participant in an online Supreme Court Roundtable hosted by the Vanderbilt Law Review. The Roundtable focuses on the case Spokeo v. Robins, which asks whether Congress has the authority to enact statutes that recognize legal rights not predicated on an underlying injury in fact. Her essay, “Balancing and Separating Power: Congress’s Authority to Recognize New Legal Rights,” will be published in En Banc, the online companion to the Vanderbilt Law Review, on November 2, the day of the Spokeo arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On September 30, Professor Elliott attended the first working meeting of the Focus Area Panel on Riparian Rights and Other Legal Issues, convened at the request of Governor Robert Bentley to make recommendations about Alabama water law and policy. The meeting, which was held in Montgomery, included representatives of a wide variety of stakeholders from Alabama. Professor Elliott also attended, along with other members of the Faculty Appointments Committee, the Association of American Law School’s Faculty Recruitment Conference in Washington, D.C., October 16-17.

PROFESSOR MIRIT EYAL-COHEN was invited to present her paper “Through the Lens of Innovation” at the Texas A&M Faculty Colloquium Series. The paper focuses on the discrepancy between the nature of the law and the nature of entrepreneurship.

Professor Eyal-Cohen will present her paper “Taxing Economies of Scale, Scope, and Age” in the National Tax Association Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The paper is the first to conceptualize the combined effect of regulation and structural market effects as a form of regressive taxation on entrepreneurial firms. Founded in 1907, the National Tax Association (NTA) is the leading association of tax professionals dedicated to advancing the understanding of the theory and practice of public finance.  NTA is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical educational association that fosters the study and discussion of complex and controversial issues in tax theory, practice and policy, and other aspects of public finance. The enormous diversity of the participants in NTA events includes but is not limited to government officials, IRS agents, economists, policymakers, practitioners, legal scholars, and accounting professors.

PROFESSOR RON KROTOSZYNSKI, JR. participated in the 2016 annual meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law, held at the SMU Dedman School of Law, in Dallas, Texas, from October 1-3, 2015.  Krotoszynski serves as a member of the ASCL’s Finance Committee and also as an editor of the American Journal of Comparative Law.

PROFESSOR PAM PIERSON’s article, “How to be a Star Performer in the Legal World,” will be published in the ABA’s Student Lawyer February, 2016 issue. This is Professor Pierson’s third article published in an ABA publication this past year. This recent article builds on research discussed in Professor Pierson’s book, The Business of Being a Lawyer (BBL), about the work strategies  industrial psychologists have found separate “star performers” and “average performers” in the science field. Professor Pierson’s book, the BBL course, and this short summary article, discuss how such strategies apply in the legal profession, taking into account dramatic recent changes in the legal marketplace. Professor Pierson provided a BBL CLE to law school alumni in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 20, 2015.

PROFESSOR FREDRICK VARS presented his proposal for preventing suicide by firearm at the annual meeting of ASPARC, the Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resources Coalition. Professor Vars also placed a trusts and estates article with the Temple Law Review Online.