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Yusef Salaam to Visit Alabama Law

Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated Five, formerly known as the Central Park Five, will participate in a lunch discussion at noon on Monday, January 27 in the Bedsole Moot Court Room. Judge John H. England, Jr. (’74) will moderate the discussion.

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 in a frenzied case that rocked the city. They became known collectively as the Central Park Five.

Yusef Salaam standing in front of a building

Yusef Salaam

Their convictions were vacated in 2002 after spending between seven and 13 years of their lives behind bars. The unidentified DNA in the Central Park Jogger Case, unlinked to any of the five, had finally met its owner, a convicted murderer and serial rapist who confessed. The convictions of the boys, now men, were overturned and they were exonerated. One of those boys, Yusef Salaam, was just 15 years old when his life was upended and changed forever.

Since his release, Salaam has been committed to advocating and educating people on the issues of false confessions, police brutality and misconduct, press ethics and bias, race and law, and the disparities in America’s criminal justice system. In 2013, documentarians Ken and Sarah Burns released the documentary “The Central Park Five,” which told the event from the perspective of Salaam and his cohorts.

In 2014, The Central Park Five received a multimillion-dollar settlement from the city of New York. Salaam was awarded an honorary doctorate that same year and received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 from then-President Barack Obama.

He was appointed to the board of the Innocence Project in 2018. He released a Netflix feature limited series called “When They See Us” based on the true story of the Central Park Five with Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey and Robert De Niro in May 2019.

In addition to the discussion, Salaam will deliver the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 27 in the Ferguson Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. After the lecture, there will be a signing of his book, “Words of a Man: my right to be,” which can be purchased at the Supply Store.

RSVP is required. Space is limited for this Law School event. Please register here.

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 this symposium, a distinguished group of legal scholars and practitioners will discuss the future of civil asset forfeiture by analyzing the history of the practice and its current use, both on a federal and state level. The symposium will feature three panel discussions and a luncheon with keynote speaker Hottot. 

The three panel discussions will cover the following topics: the history of civil asset forfeiture and its current practices, civil asset forfeiture’s impact on race and class, and the future of civil asset forfeiture in Alabama, specifically. Panelists will include esteemed law professors from around the country, practicing Department of Justice attorneys, and reform advocates.

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

Professor Krotoszynski Weighs in on Trump’s Privilege Claim on Witnesses

Professor Ronald Krotoszynski, Jr. writes an op-ed for The New York Times about President Trump’s executive privilege claim on witnesses at his impeachment trial.

For more, read “The Senate Must Reject Trump’s Privilege Claim on Witnesses: Failing to Do So Would Be an Abdication of Its Responsibilities as a Separate But Equal Branch of Government.”

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 People by 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

Australian Students Visit Alabama Law for Exchange Program

The Law School’s Summer Exchange Program with the Australian National University (ANU) College of Law has entered its 20th year with the arrival of 10 law students from the ANU.  They arrived in Tuscaloosa on January 4 for a five-week visit at the Law School.

The ANU students are taking a class on Comparative Approaches to International Law and a Survey of U.S. Law, said Professor Bill Andreen, Director of the UA-ANU Exchange Program. The comparative law class, which is also being offered to Alabama Law students, is being taught by Alabama Law Professor Dan Joyner.  

In addition to their classes at the Law School, the Australian students will visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Alabama Supreme Court (including a meeting with Justice Will Sellers), the federal Courthouse in Tuscaloosa (including a meeting with Judge L. Scott Coogler), the Tuscaloosa County Jail, the Rosa Parks Museum, and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery.

For five weeks this summer, a group of 10 UA law students will travel to the ANU in Canberra, where they will take a Survey of Australian Law as well as the Comparative Approaches to International Law class.  During their trip, the UA students will visit the Australian High Court, the local Supreme Court, the Commonwealth Parliament, and the local Legislative Assembly – in addition to meeting some kangaroos, koalas, and emus at a nearby nature preserve.

ALI Elects Professor Vance as Member

The American Law Institute has elected Professor Joyce White Vance as one of its 45 new members, who will bring their expertise to the Institute’s work of clarifying the law through Restatements, Principles, and Model Codes.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected for membership with ALI and I am looking forward to being involved in projects that focus on both criminal justice reform and the rule of law,” said Vance, who joined the Law School in 2017. “The opportunity for scholarly engagement that will also offer the opportunity to impact and advance the law is very meaningful for me.”

profile photo of Joyce White Vance

Joyce White Vance

The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. The Institute drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes, and Principles of Law that are influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.

By participating in the Institute’s work, its distinguished members have the opportunity to influence the development of the law in both existing and emerging areas, to work with other eminent lawyers, judges, and academics, to give back to a profession to which they are deeply dedicated, and to contribute to the public good.

“The reach and brilliance of our accomplished membership body enables ALI to produce work at a consistently high level of excellence as we carry on the Institute’s mission to promote the rule of law and improve the administration of justice,” said David F. Levi, President of the American Law Institute. “We have a diverse group of distinguished practicing lawyers, top academics, and thoughtful state and federal judges. I am delighted to welcome our newest members and look forward to the contribution their insight and expertise will provide to our important work.”

The election of the new members raises the Institute’s total number of elected members to 2,816.

Professor Boone Wins 2020 AALS Scholarly Papers Competition

The Association of American Law Schools has chosen Assistant Professor Meghan M. Boone as one of two recipients of the 2020 AALS Scholarly Papers Competition for law school faculty members in the field for five years or fewer.

Professor Meghan M. Boone

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.

“I am surprised and humbled to receive this award from AALS,” Professor Boone said. “My hope is that the paper contributes to the already robust scholarly conversation about gender, reproduction, and the nature of rights. I am especially thankful to those who encouraged this non-traditional project and helped me to shepherd it to completion.”

Jonathan S. Gould, an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, also received the award for his article, “Law within Congress.”

The competition is now in its 34th year. Professor Boone received her award during the 114th AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.



Alabama Law to Host Symposium on Risk-Based Gun Regulation

The Law & Psychology Review has scheduled a one-day symposium on February 21 at the Law School that will examine the recent trend of state-enacted “red flag” laws.

The symposium, Seeing Red: Risk-based Gun Regulation, will address many of the most prominent issues and concerns with red-flag legislation, including constitutional and due process concerns, the importance of language when discussing mental health and red flags, the success and efficacy of red-flag laws, the differences among reporting standards in different states, and current proposed red-flag legislation in Alabama.

Presently, seventeen states and the District of Columbia have adopted some form of law allowing the courts to issue protection orders which permit law enforcement officers to temporarily confiscate firearms or otherwise limit firearm ownership and access by persons deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. Many other state legislatures are currently considering similar bills. The rapid growth of this area of law has created a unique and pressing set of constitutional, procedural, and psychological questions to which judges, attorneys, and law enforcement alike need answers.

Confirmed presenters:

  • Joseph Blocher, Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law, Duke University School of Law
  • Jake Charles, Executive Director, Center for Firearms Law and a Lecturing Fellow at Duke University School of Law.
  • Brannon Denning, Associate Dean and Starnes Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law
  • David B. Kopel, Author, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, and Adjunct Professor at Denver University, Sturm College of Law
  • Matthew Larosiere, Director of Legal Policy, Firearms Policy Coalition
  • Chana Sacks, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Jeffery Swanson, Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Fredrick Vars, the Ira Drayton Pruitt, Sr. Professor of Law, The University of Alabama School of Law
  • Carolyn Reinach Wolf, Executive Partner, Director of Mental Health Law practice, Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP

For more information, visit

Justice Harwood to Receive 2020 Pipes Award

Justice Robert Bernard Harwood, Jr., founder of Rosen Harwood in Tuscaloosa, has been selected to receive the 2020 Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The award is given by The Law School Foundation to an outstanding alumnus who has distinguished himself or herself through service to the bar, The University of Alabama, and the School of Law. The award is named for the late Samuel Wesley Pipes (’38), who was a partner in the Mobile law firm of Lyons, Pipes & Cook until his death in 1982.

profile photo of Justice Harwood

Justice Harwood

Justice Harwood (’63) joined Gordon Rosen to form the law firm of Rosen and Harwood in 1967.  During his years in private practice, he also served as Deputy City Judge of Tuscaloosa, as a member of the Tuscaloosa County Civil Service Board, as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama, and as a Lecturer in Law at the School of Law, teaching courses in trial advocacy. He was President of the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association, President of the Farrah Law Society/Order of the Coif for The University of Alabama School of Law, President of the Tuscaloosa Inn of Court, and Chairman of the Litigation Section of the Alabama State Bar.

In 1991, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County.  He was elected to a full six-year term in 1992 and was re-elected in 1998.  In November 2000, he was elected as an Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and served in that position from January 2001 to January 2007, when he voluntarily retired to return to Tuscaloosa.

Justice Harwood will receive the Pipes Award at the 2020 Alabama Law Alumni Society Banquet. The event is scheduled for 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 or at 205-348-6775.