September 2018

News

Alabama Law Welcomes the Class of 2021

Dean Mark E. Brandon welcomed the Class of 2021 during First-Year Orientation.

Brandon said the class is joining a long list of former law students who have made a positive mark on the community, the nation, and the world, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., Nelle Harper Lee, Millard Fuller, and Judge John England, Jr.

“Each of them left a trace that is still visible, still meaningful,” he said. “In your own way, I hope that you will do the same.”

Forty-seven percent of the 119 class members are women, and 20 percent identify as members of a racial or ethnic minority. The members of the Class of 2021 have lived, worked, or studied in 35 countries outside of the United States, including those in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

“Individually and collectively, you are impressive, and we’re excited to welcome you to the community that is Alabama Law,” Brandon said.

Proof Wins 2018 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal awarded C. E. Tobisman, author of Proof, with the 2018 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Tobisman is the eighth winner of the Prize. The award, authorized by Lee, is given to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

“I am honored, humbled, and frankly, totally stunned,” Tobisman said. “The spirit of To Kill a Mockingbird is the spirit of one person’s ability to make the world a little more fair. That the selection committee saw that spirit in my book is something that I will treasure forever.”

Eight years ago, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, and to honor former law student and author Harper Lee, the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal partnered to create the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

Tobisman received a signed special edition of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Library of Congress.  The event was held in conjunction with the National Book Festival.

ABA’s Law Student Division Elects Alabama Law Student as Vice Chair

Taurus Myhand, 3L, was recently elected as the 2018-2019 national Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division.

Myhand will lead the ABA’s efforts to reach, recruit, and engage law students across the country through meaningful events, programming, and content. He will serve on the greater ABA’s Standing Committee on Membership and will travel to Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco to attend conferences as he represents the 110,000 students of the nation’s 204 ABA-accredited law schools.

Law Student Division delegates serve as a voting member of the ABA House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the association. The House meets twice each year, at ABA Annual and Mid-year Meetings. They are responsible for representing the interests of the Division.

“The ABA gave me my first internship through the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program,” Myhand said. “A judge that would otherwise not have even known my name called and asked me to intern in Miami, Florida. Now, it is my turn to help connect others to job opportunities that will change their lives.”

Myhand is completing work as a summer associate at Copeland, Franco, Screws & Gill, P.A. in Montgomery. He clerked for the Honorable Barbara Areces of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami in 2017.

Class Notes

Annemarie Carney Axon (‘99) was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.

Jere L. Beasley (‘62) was awarded the inaugural Charles Jinright Community Service Award by the Montgomery Capital Rotary Club.

Joe Bird (‘82), a registered patent attorney, joined Maynard Cooper as a Shareholder. His patent prosecution experience includes optical and audio devices, software and manufacturing processes, cognitive neuroscience inventions, neurotechnology, biotechnology, and mechanical devices.

Lindsey C Boney, IV (‘09) was elevated to Partner at Bradley. He is based in the firm’s Birmingham office and is a member of Bradley’s Litigation Practice Group and Life Sciences Industry team.

Scott Cogar (’16) joined Robinson Bradshaw as a Corporate Attorney. He works out of the firm’s Charlotte office.

Greg Cusimano (‘68) has authored a new book, Winning Case Preparation. The release by publisher, Trial Guides, demonstrates how to analyze a case to determine its strengths and weaknesses, how to avoid being blindsided, and outlines a proven way of increasing the likelihood of success at trial.

Brandon K. Essig (‘02) was appointed to the Alabama State Bar Cyber Security Task Force.

Kevin D. Finley (‘15)  joined Klinedinst in the firm’s Los Angeles office as an Associate. Finley focuses his practice on employment litigation, commercial litigation, and business-related issues.

Samuel H. Franklin (‘72) was installed as the 68th President of the the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Dale Gipson (‘08) joined Maynard Cooper & Gale as a Shareholder in the firm’s Huntsville office. Gipson has more than 10 years of experience representing government contractors.

Archie Grubb (‘03) has been appointed by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee for the multidistrict litigation regarding Apple’s battery performance on old iPhones.

Jordan Hennig (‘15) joined Maynard Cooper & Gale as an Associate in the firm’s Huntsville office.

Paula Hinton (’79) received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Texas Lawyer magazine.

Warner Hornsby (‘16) joined Beasley Allen as an Associate. He handles cases involving serious injury and death related to automobile accidents, dangerous machinery, defective products, and negligence.

Elizabeth H. Huntley (‘97) was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Women’s Committee of 100 for Birmingham and a “Woman of Impact” by Yellowhammer Media. She was inducted as a Fellow into the Birmingham Bar Foundation.

William Lane (‘80) serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Katherine McGuire (‘15) joined Maynard Cooper & Gale as an Associate in the firm’s Huntsville office.

Melissa B. McKie (’05) was elected Vice President of the Alabama Council of School Board Attorneys for 2018-19.

Steve Nicholas (‘84) was elected as President of the Alabama Association for Justice, an association of plaintiffs’ attorneys representing consumers and businesses seeking redress through the courts.  

David W. Owen (‘00) was named a 2018 BTI Client Service All-Star for providing superior client service. He was recognized in the practice area of Construction Litigation and Disputes.

Richard A. Powers (‘09) was named Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ryan Robichaux (‘09) has been elected a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. The ABF Fellows is an honorary organization that recognizes attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principals of the legal profession.  

Krystle Roper Savage (‘16) joined the City of Birmingham’s Legal Department as an Assistant City Attorney. Prior to joining the City of Birmingham, Savage served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Judge Annetta Verin, 10th Judicial Circuit, in Bessemer, Alabama.

Tom Scroggins (‘99) joined Constangy as Partner in the firm’s Birmingham office. Scroggins has 20 years of experience in employment litigation, labor relations, and workplace safety issues.

Quin Segall (‘06) was appointed to the Industrial Development Board of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Circuit Judge Roman Shaul (‘98) was selected as General Counsel for the Alabama State Bar.

Elizabeth B. Shirley (‘00) received the Certified Information Privacy Professional certification, which is offered by the International Association of Privacy Professions.

Caroline Sims (‘15) joined Huie as an Associate. She concentrates her law practice in the areas of municipal/governmental litigation, workers’ compensation, and employment litigation.

Shalyn C. Smith (‘16) was named Co-chair of the Minorities in the Law Section of Ohio’s Columbus Bar Association. She also was elected as a member of the CBA’s 2018 Barrister Leadership Class.

Lauren Davis Tice (‘07) was appointed as a Director of the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Organization.

Scott Tindle (‘09) joined the University of Mobile as Director of Athletic Partnerships and Innovation. Tindle works alongside coaches and athletic department staff to identify and implement new revenue opportunities and community engagement initiatives.

Mary Wu Tullis (‘12) was selected to participate in the 2018 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Pathfinders Program.

Ashley N. Wicks (‘10 LL.M.) was named one of the Nation’s Best Advocates: Top 40 under 40 by the National Bar Association. The nation’s oldest and largest association of predominantly African-American lawyers, judges, educators, and law students recognizes America’s top 40 lawyers under the age of 40 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement in the legal field.

James W. Wright, Jr(‘10) was elevated to Partner at Bradley. He is based in the firm’s Birmingham office and is a member of Bradley’s Financial Services, General Litigation, and Environmental Litigation Practice Groups.

Events

Homecoming

Join us on the School of Law Front Lawn to celebrate Homecoming. The Annual Homecoming Pre-game Reception is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and last until 2 p.m. Saturday, October 13. Event time may change based kickoff time.

Gifts

University of Alabama Federal Tax Clinic donated $30,000 to The University of Alabama Federal Tax Clinic Scholarship.

Louise P. Hairston contributed $115,900 toward the renovation of a classroom to be named in memory of her husband, William B. Hairston, Jr. (’50).

The Honorable Hardie B. Kimbrough (’68) donated $112,900 to establish The Judge Hardie B. Kimbrough Endowed Scholarship.

The Scholarship Foundation, Inc., facilitated by H. Thomas Heflin, Jr., (’79) contributed $7,000 to the Howell T. Heflin Fund.

Bradley contributed $13,000 to the Bradley Arant Boult Cummings Endowed Scholarship.

Faculty Notes

PROFESSOR JENNY CARROLL received the Presidential Research Award from The University of Alabama. Professor Carroll also presented papers at the Eighth Annual Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference at Yale Law School in April and at the annual Law and Society Conference in Toronto, Canada, in May.  Her article, “The Problem with Inference for Juvenile Defendants,” which explores the failure of criminal law to account for adolescent brain development in mental state elements, was published in the Florida State Law Review.

PROFESSOR RICHARD DELGADO’s article, “Rodrigo and Ressentiment: I Don’t Want It If You Are Going to Get It, Too–Why Classical Economic and Political Theory Fails to Explain the Obamacare Vote, But Legal Realism and CLS Can” was accepted by UC-Davis Law Review The article addresses why many impoverished citizens reject measures that would help them and their families. NYU Press accepted Delgado’s and Jean Stefancic’s proposal for a new book series titled Resistance in the Age of Trump. The series aims to publish books by leading scholars on issues of our times. Professors Delgado Stefancic are currently in the top 10% of authors on SSRN, measured by all-time downloads.

Professor Delgado published an essay that replied to an article by Michael Louis Seidman questioning whether the First Amendment can be progressive. The symposium appeared in First Amendment News/Watch and contains essays by Ronald Collins, Jane Bambauer, Floyd Abrams, and others.

Delgado’s book, co-authored  with Professor Stefancic, Must We Defend Nazis?:  Why the First Amendment Should Not Protect Hate Speech and White Supremacy, was reviewed by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and First Amendment News.

NYU professor Ulrich C. Baer interviewed Professor Delgado about free speech and equality.  The interview will appear in a series of podcasts aimed at introducing civil liberties and civil rights to a wide audience. 2Leaf Press (distributed by University of Chicago Press) published Claire Milliken’s Substance of Fire:  Gender and Race in the College Classroom, with a final chapter by Professor Delgado.  https://2leafpress.org/online/2018/07/2lp-releases-2-new-titles/https://2leafpress.org/online/2018/07/2lp-releases-2-new-titles/ 

PROFESSOR SHAHAR DILLBARY and his co-author, Professor Griffin Edwards, met with the Director of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity and the Chief Research Director in July at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) in Washington, D.C. They also presented their empirical findings on sexual orientation discrimination in mortgage lending at the CFPB’s combined Workshop of Fair Lending and the Office of Research. The findings will be published in their forthcoming article, “An Empirical Analysis of Sexual Orientation Discrimination (Lead Article, University of Chicago Law Review). The article is the first to empirically find widespread discrimination across the United States based on perceived sexual orientation, sex, and race in the mortgage lending process.  The article is available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3152015.

Professor Dillbary was invited to present his experimental scholarship on torts and causation at George Mason School of Law’s Faculty Workshop and the European Law and Economics Conference. In addition, together with Professor Yonathan Arbel, Professor Dillbary is organizing the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Law & Economics Association, which will be hosted by the University of Alabama School of Law September 14-15.

PROFESSOR MIRIT EYAL-COHEN presented “Identifying the Causal Impact of Taxation on Innovation Efforts,” at the Law & Society Association, Toronto, Canada,  in June and at the International Tax Roundtable, Netanya, Israel, in July. This project will require a rigorous multi-site empirical study that combines two legal disciplines: innovation theory and taxation. It will begin by mapping and investigating the policy behind various tax rules and tax incentives. It will then observe the causal impact on private innovation efforts in different types of agents and industries. It will use surveys as well as personal interviews with owners, managers, employees, tax professionals, and legal counsel, presenting a unique opportunity to learn about the effect of taxation from the demand side by the end users. It will recommend design features to incorporate into current tax rules so that they will help foster and remove barriers to innovation efforts. This project will also expand the current scope of innovation research by breaking out of the traditional focus on the size of the firms, thereby limiting opportunities for investigation to artificial measures, rather than entrepreneurial character.

PROFESSOR SUSAN HAMILL was quoted by Emily Badger for the article, “Anonymous Owner LLC: Why It Has Become So Easy to Hide in the Housing Market,” New York Times, May 2, 2018. Professor Hamill was quoted by Phoebe Wall Howard for the article, “Property Law Expert: Ford Deal for Detroit Train Depot Seems Complete,” Detroit Free Press, May 31, 2018 (front page).

PROFESSOR ANITA KAY HEAD co-presented with Professor Mary Ksobiech at the Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute in Milwaukee. Their presentation, “Linking Through Logic:  Teaching First-Year Students to Orient Their Writing and Oral Advocacy Around the Deep Issue,” focused on syllogisms as useful tools for structuring and strengthening arguments.

PROFESSOR PAUL HORWITZ was the co-organizer of the ninth Annual Law and Religion Roundtable, held this year at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in late June. He also participated in a discussion panel on the use of evidence of unconstitutional motives in Establishment Clause law.

In the fall of 2017, Professor Horwitz co-organized a symposium on the ethics of legal scholarship, which was held at Marquette Law School. The Marquette Law Review has now published an issue devoted to that symposium, including an introduction co-authored by Professor Horwitz and his individual contribution to the symposium, “Institutional Pluralism and the (Hoped-For) Effects of Candor and Integrity in Legal Scholarship,” http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol101/iss4/5.

PROFESSOR MARY KSOBIECH presented “Using Two-Sentence Summaries to Introduce and Reinforce Core Concepts in the First Year” at the national conference of the Association of Academic Support Educators at Saint Louis University School of Law in May. Her presentation focused on teaching techniques designed to improve students’ overall understanding of the study of law and specific retention of case material.

PROFESSOR MICHAEL PARDO’s article, “Safety vs. Sensitivity: Possible Worlds and the Law of Evidence,” was recently published in Legal Theory.  During the summer, Professor Pardo presented a paper at the Seven Pines Symposium on “What Counts as Evidence?” The symposium was hosted by the Univ. of Minnesota Center for the Philosophy of Science.  Professor Pardo’s article, “The Paradoxes of Legal Proof: A Critical Guide,” is forthcoming in the Boston University Law Review.  

PROFESSOR PAM PIERSON, along with Ben Bucy (UA JD and MBA ’16), co-authored an article, “Trade Fraud: The Wild, New Frontier of White Collar Crime,” 19 Or. Rev. Int’l Law, 1 (2018). This article contains the only existing database of criminal and civil trade fraud cases pursued by the U.S. Department of Justice between 2000 and 2016. In June, Professor Pierson and Michael Pepper (UA JD ’16) were awarded a renewal of their IRB research project on lawyers and stress. The Defense Research Institute (DRI), a national professional organization of 22,000 civil defense attorneys, recently collaborated with Professor Pierson and Pepper to distribute their stress hardiness survey, which is part of this IRB, to DRI members. Earlier findings from this IRB were published in the spring, 2018, by Pierson, Hamilton, Pepper and Root, Stress Hardiness and Lawyers, 42 J. Legal Prof. 1 (2018).

PROFESSOR ADAM STEINMAN published “Human Rights Litigation and the States” in JOTWELL (2018). [Link here: https://courtslaw.jotwell.com/human-rights-litigation-and-the-states]

Professor Steinman presented his forthcoming Vanderbilt Law Review article, “Access to Justice, Rationality, and Personal Jurisdiction,” at the Remedies Discussion Forum, University of Aix-Marseille.

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.