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UA Law Shines at Puerto Rico Trial Advocacy Competition

The trial team of Elizabeth Blair, Shellie Street, Alex Masterson, Brandy Grondin and Ben Ford gave a successful showing in the recently held Puerto Rico Trial Advocacy Competition, sponsored by the Federal Bar Association of Puerto Rico and the Inter American University School of Law.

UA Law’s team advanced to the semi final round, along with teams from Harvard, Catholic and Temple.

In the awards ceremony Elizabeth Blair and Alex Masterson were recognized for achieving a perfect score during a preliminary round.


Arms Control Law Expert Dan Joyner Releases New NPT Book

In Non-proliferation Law as a Special Regime: A contribution to fragmentation theory in international law (Cambridge University Press, 2012), co-editors Dan Joyner and Marco Roscini explore the conflicting rules, principles and institutions that relate to the fragmentation of international law, with emphasis on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The book aims to identify whether there are specific secondary rules applying to this area of law that depart from the general rules of international law and/or from the rules of other special regimes, in particular with regard to the law of treaties and the law of state responsibility. In providing a systematic analysis of this one substantive area of international law and applying the theory of fragmentation and special regimes, the book contributes to understanding both of nonproliferation treaties and of fragmentation theory.

About the book, Bruno Simma, former Member of the International Law Commission, former Judge at the International Court of Justice, and Professor of Law at University of Michigan Law School, said:

“Fragmentation of international law has become a favorite topic in the literature, all too often dealt with in the same worn, tired way, referring to the same few cases and usually ending up with authors making more or less solemn over-generalizations in one direction or the other.  Against this background, it is a true pleasure to follow a group of experts both on non-proliferation law and the relevant international law around the Non-Proliferation Treaty on their analysis of the ways in which this treaty regime is “special” without, however, essentially detaching itself from the general law in which it remains embedded. The book thus sets an admirable example of how the ever-increasing number of specialized treaty regimes ought to be subjected to a profound dialogue between experts in the respective subject areas and international law generalists to the profit of both.”

Dan Joyner is Professor of Law at The University of Alabama School of Law. Previously, he was on the faculty of the University of Warwick School of Law in the United Kingdom, and a Senior Associate Member of St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University. He is the author of International Law and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Oxford University Press, 2009), and Interpreting the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Marco Roscini is Reader in International Law at the University of Westminster. He specializes in the international law of armed conflict (both jus ad bellum and jus in bello) and WMD non-proliferation law. He is the author of Le zone denuclearizzate (Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones, 2003)



Michael Connelly Wins 2012 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

For his work in The Fifth Witness, New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly will receive the 2012 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The Prize, co-sponsored by The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal, celebrates the role of lawyers in society and the ideals represented by Atticus Finch.

The Fifth Witness was chosen by a distinguished selection committee, including New York Times bestselling novelist Linda Fairstein, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, New York Times bestselling novelist Lisa Scottoline, NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg and FOX News Political Analyst Juan Williams.

“When I was 13 and spending hot summer days in the air conditioning afforded by the Fort Lauderdale public library, a librarian made me read To Kill a Mockingbird,” says Connelly. “I discovered a story about a lawyer who was forthright and willing to do the right thing, even at great risk and cost to himself and those he loved. That is the definition of hero I have endeavored to capture in my own work. This honor tells me I’m on the right track.”

Connelly will receive the award during a special ceremony September 20, at 2 p.m., at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Following the award presentation, Ron Charles, fiction editor of The Washington Post, will lead a discussion of The Fifth Witness, in relationship to Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, including guest panelists Linda Fairstein, Lisa Scottoline, Nina Totenberg and Juan Williams.

About Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of twenty-five novels and one work of non-fiction. With over forty-five million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into thirty-six foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today.

A former newspaper reporter who worked the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Connelly has won numerous awards for his journalism and his fiction. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992.

In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, hit theaters worldwide, starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller.

His most recent #1 New York Times bestsellers include: The Drop, The Fifth Witness, The Reversal, The Scarecrow, and The Brass Verdict. Connelly’s next Harry Bosch novel, The Black Box, will be published November 26, 2012. He spends his time in California and Florida.

Alabama Law Wins 2012 CLEA Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Project

May 1, 2012 – In recognition of its efforts through the Tornado Relief Assistance Project, The University of Alabama School of Law Clinical Program will receive the 2012 Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Project, sponsored by the Clinical Legal Education Association.

Highlights from the Tornado Relief Assistance Project include:

  • training law students in the intake process, placing clients in shelters and disaster assistance centers, and then pairing students with either clinic lawyers or local volunteer lawyers to handle client legal matters to conclusion;
  • hosting a training workshop calling for students and other law faculty to join the volunteer program (this resulted in 75 volunteers signing up);
  • performing intakes at the law school clinics each morning, then going out to three remote areas in the afternoon, each time staffed with at least two student volunteers, a clinic attorney, and a volunteer lawyer;
  • in less than one month, opening 200 tornado relief files –  approximately the number of files the school’s Civil Law Clinic typically handles in an entire year;
  • teaching a first-time summer clinic session to continue the relief efforts until the fall semester;
  • enlisting a new group of law student volunteers to do door-to-door canvassing for unmet legal needs (this resulted in more than 50 volunteers participating).

To date, the clinical program’s tornado relief effort has directly assisted more than 250 individual clients, reflecting well over 1,000 hours of student lawyer time, as well as hundreds of hours of clinic faculty and staff time.

“Their quick response to the disaster and creative efforts to find and remedy legal needs reflects the highest standards and aspirations of the legal profession,” says Bob Kuehn, professor of law at Washington University School of Law. “Beyond the hundreds of needy residents of Tuscaloosa served by this project, it has instilled in law students a professional ethic to help those in need, created important bonds between the school and the local bar, brought together faculty and staff from all parts of the law school, and displayed to the Tuscaloosa community the good work that lawyers are capable of doing in times of crisis.”

Alabama Law shares the award with Quinnipac University School of Law’s Civil Justice Clinic, which won for its work to abolish the death penalty in Connecticut.



Tornado Relief Clinic Receives 2012 Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Award

April 30, 2012 – The Alabama State Bar Committee on Volunteer Lawyer Programs selected the law students, staff and faculty affiliated with Alabama Law’s Tornado Relief Clinic as the recipients of the 2012 Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Award.

The award is given in recognition of the Clinic’s outstanding pro bono work in the wake of the April 2011 tornadoes.

Associate Dean for Clinical Programs Anne Hornsby will accept the award on the Clinic’s behalf, at the upcoming Alabama State Bar Annual Meeting, to be held at the Baytowne Conference Center in Sandestin, FL, this July.

Liz Huntley (’97) Confirmed as New Member of Auburn University Board of Trustees

On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, the Alabama Senate unanimously approved Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC attorney Liz Huntley as one of the five new members of Auburn University’s Board of Trustees.

 Read more about the new trustees here.




Meador Lecture: Yale’s Jules Coleman Visits Alabama Law

Established in 1994 to honor former Alabama Law Dean and Professor Daniel J. Meador, the Meador Lecture Series invites scholars to address a legal theme from an interdisciplinary perspective.

On April 17th, Jules Coleman, the Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Philosophy at Yale Law School. In this installment of the Meador Lecture Series on Morality, Professor Coleman will present on the topic of Liability and Assignability.


Director Behind Acclaimed Documentary, “Hot Coffee” Visits

Susan Saladoff visits Alabama Law on April 19th

Susan Saladoff, director of the film “Hot Coffee,” visited Alabama Law on Thursday, April 19th for a screening of the film, followed by a panel discussion with special guests including the Honorable Ralph Cook, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice, Dr. Bill Stewart, Professor Emeritus, UA Department of Political Studies, and Dr. Karla Gower, Director, Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.

The event was sponsored by the American Constitutional Society, the Federalist Society and the Law In Film Society at the Law School, as well as the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and The University of Alabama’s PRSSA Chapter.

Alabama Law Earns High Honors at the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition

Ambria Lankford (’12) and India Williams (’12) recently earned an impressive second place finish in the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition for the Southern Region. This year, twenty-two teams participated, making this strong overall team performance all the more impressive.

“Indeed, I have never seen better oral advocacy,” said Carodine. “Working with a challenging moot court problem, our team delivered superb oral arguments, round after round. It was an absolute pleasure to witness their command of the law, poised courtroom demeanor, and sheer intellectual stamina. I was extremely proud of their performance, and the entire law school community should be as well.”

Alabama Law’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team is sponsored by the Alabama Defense Lawyer’s Association.

Seven Alabama Law Graduates Named “Top 40 Under 40”

Congratulations to the following individuals, named to the Birmingham Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40”:

  • Jonathan Geisen (’00), shareholder with Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.
  • Kimberly Geisler (’00), shareholder with Scott Dukes & Geisler, P.C.
  • Ben Goldman (‘01), partner with Hand Arendall LLC
  • V.J. Graffeo (’03), partner with Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker LLC
  • Brent Irby (’95), managing partner with McCallum Hoaglund Cook & Irby LLP
  • Andrew Nix (’03), shareholder with Maynard Cooper & Gale PC
  • Jeff Windham (’03), general counsel with Forensic/Strategic Solutions PC.

Read the full story here.