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Ole Miss Law School deans will answer questions from prospective students in a Dial-a-Dean program Dec. 16 from 3-5 p.m.  The deans will field questions regarding Ole Miss Law programs, its curriculum, admissions process and more.

“Dial-a-Dean affords potential applicants an opportunity to speak directly with the leadership of our law school,” said Cary Cluck, assistant dean for admissions.  ”Anyone who is thinking of applying to law school or who is currently applying will come away with a more in-depth understanding of what Ole Miss Law is all about.”

Prospective students are welcome to call anytime from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Dec. 16th.  The following deans will be on hand to talk about these areas:

  • Richard Gershon, dean-General questions regarding the school of law and our mission for preparing students for practice
  • Debbie Bell, associate dean for clinical programs - Questions regarding our clinics and practical experience opportunities
  • Matthew Hall, senior associate dean for academic affairs-Questions regarding our new curriculum for first year students and our January Skill Session
  • Jack Nowlin, associate dean for faculty development-Questions regarding the admissions process and how to prepare for law school

Those interested in participating should call 1-662-915-3416.  Callers will then be transferred to the appropriate person based on the nature of their questions.


Students from the Criminal Appeals Clinic presented oral arguments on Wednesday in front of the Mississippi Court of Appeals on the Mississippi State campus in Starkville.  The event obtained press coverage from around the country.


Sun Herald

Beaumont Enterprise

Fort Mill Times

North Jersey

SF Gate

The 2013 CLEO Group at the School of Law

By: Allen Hamilton

OXFORD, Miss. – At a reception in September at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) recognized the University of Mississippi School of Law as one of 45 law schools named to the inaugural group of “William A. Blakey Diversity Pipeline Architects.”

“Our law school community is proud to be recognized for its contributions to promotion diversity in legal education,” said Richard Gershon, dean and professor of law at the University of Mississippi School of Law.  “We are proud of our relationship with CLEO.”

CLEO celebrated their 45th anniversary this year by awarding 45 law schools, 45 individuals and 45 associations for their generous support.

“CLEO is a very proud of our 45 years of helping ‘change the face’ of the legal profession,” said Cassandra Sneed Ogden, executive director of CLEO. “We are truly excited about acknowledging our inaugural group of ‘William A. Blakey Diversity Pipeline Architects’ in the nation’s capital. Without their ongoing support, it would have been difficult to carry out the important work the organization has done since 1968.”

The award is named in honor of William A. Blakey for his work in promoting and advancing historically black colleges and universities. He dedicated his life to ensuring that all students who exhibited potential and passion have the opportunity to receive a quality education.

According to their website, CLEO was founded in 1968 to expand the opportunities for minority and low-income students. Over 8,000 students have participated in CLEO’s programs and have excelled through law school, passed the bar and begun their careers in the legal profession.

Gershon said UM Law has hosted a six week summer institute for CLEO for the past two years.  The summer institute teaches students the skills necessary to succeed in law school.  They teach topics that range from writing skills and legal reasoning.

The University of Mississippi School of Law will continue to promote diversity within the student body, faculty and staff.

“Besides our affiliation with CLEO, we have many student organizations that promote diversity,” Gershon said. “We also strive to recruit a diverse student body, as well as a diverse faculty and staff.”

Sandra Cox-McCarty, associate dean for administration and diversity initiatives at UM Law, attended the reception in D.C. to accept the award on behalf of the university.

“I left the event feeling proud that the School of Law had made some small positive contribution to those students who attended the CLEO Summer Institute in their pursuit of a legal education,” McCarty said. “There were several testimonials given by students of color about the impact that CLEO had in their lives, but more importantly the role the CLEO program had in their gaining admissions into law school.”

McCarty mentioned that a student who attended the Summer 2013 Institute at Ole Miss was at the reception.

“He expressed his thanks in attending the program and was truly appreciative of the staff and faculty.”

Students Get Networking Opportunities with Practitioners

OXFORD, Miss.—The Business Law Institute’s (BLI) mission is to train great business lawyers.  And the model they have in place is the perfect design for just that.

Housed in the first floor of the law school, the new institute takes a holistic approach to educating its students in business law, combining both course work and experiential learning.

One visible way they’re doing this is through the Institute’s physical space, which houses the Institute’s directors Mercer Bullard and John Czarnetzky, both professors at the law school.

Pictured are (from left to right): Nader Jarun,3L; Professor John Czarnetzky; Professor Mercer Bullard, Institute Director; and Cory Ferraez, 3L. Jarun and Ferraez helped start the Business Law Network, the student arm of the Institute.

“The Business Law Institute gives students the opportunity to work with Professor Bullard and Czarnetzky on a daily basis,” said Richard Gershon, UM Law dean.

“These professors are outstanding teachers, and recognized leaders in business law. The faculty members are truly enjoying working closely with the students.”

Bullard, an expert in the corporate securities field, has testified before Congress on more than 20 occasions and regularly provides insight for some of the nation’s top media outlets.

Czarnetzky is a veteran of the law school, commonly referred to as the school’s “senior most business law expert” and is a nationally recognized expert in bankruptcy law.

Both provide significant oversight and mentoring to students who participate in the Institute through the Negotiation Board, Business Law Network and Tax Clinic, the student arms of the Institute.  These offer negotiation competitions, professional outreach and real-world practice opportunities.

 “BLI students are immersed in an environment that fosters formal and informal discussions about cutting edge business law issues,” Gershon said.  “They are exposed to leading experts and professionals in the field on a regular basis. This will have a positive impact on their learning and their career opportunities.”

The Network keeps students engaged in business law issues through Flash Classes, where business law practitioners share their expertise, and through a new online business law publication with articles co-written by attorneys.

“The melding of students and faculty in one office suite has already yielded the Business Law Reporter, a new student run publication,” said Gershon.

Two students who have been involved in getting the Network off the ground are Nader Jarun, 3L, and Cory Ferraez, 3L.  The two were responsible for starting the Reporter.

“Professor Bullard put the idea in our head and we just ran with it,” said Jarun.

“Students do the bulk of the work,” Ferraez said.  “But they find the attorney to fine tune the written piece.  They can work with attorneys wherever they’d like to practice.”

The Network also holds an annual symposium and student led projects with firms and companies.

“We have transitioned the Business Law Society to the Business Law Network, and it has been much more about creating networking opportunities for students with practicing attorneys in their specific areas of interest,” Jarun said.

In addition to experiential learning the Institute offers, students can also obtain a new Business Law certificate by completing a core set of business law classes.  Classes focus on accounting, finance and insurance.

The holistic approach also ensures students learn skills necessary to become competent lawyers.

“Too often, speaking, interviewing, negotiating and writing opportunities are overwhelmed by the legal content,” Bullard said. “The Institute is highlighting each as a separate skill to be developed through exercises focused on mastering the art of effective communication.”

The Institute is also attracting support and attention from alumni.  Honorable David W. Houston, III and the Mississippi Bankruptcy Conference made a joint donation to the Institute in the name of David W. Houston III.


Judge David Houston, III (center) and members of the Mississippi Bankruptcy Conference (represented by Terre Vardaman and Kristina Johnson) pictured with law school representatives (from left) Matthew Hall, senior associate dean for academic affairs, Professor John Czarnetzky, Richard Gershon, dean, and Professor Mercer Bullard.

In addition, the Business Law Section of The Mississippi Bar made a donation to the Negotiation Board to help with participation in two competitions:  the national Entertainment Law Competition in Los Angeles, and the regional meet of the Fourth Annual Transactional LawMeet in Kansas City, Mo.

Stan Smith, chair of the Business Law Section of The Mississippi Bar, and Dean Richard Gershon.


The Wall Street Journal included Professor Mercer Bullard’s comments in a recent article on mutual funds. The article discussed information that is not disclosed in a fund’s prospectus. Professor Bullard recommended that investors check their broker’s website for information on payments that create conflicts of interest.

Read the article.

Debra Brown, Ole Miss Law alumna (JD 97) and Jackson attorney, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a federal judgeship in north Mississippi.  Brown’s appointment makes her the first black woman to be a U.S. district judge in the state. Read more.

Michèle Alexandre, associate professor of law and Jessie D. Puckett, Jr., lecturer, was named to Ebony magazine’s “Power 100″ list, which is the magazine’s pick for the nation’s most influential African Americans. According to the magazine, the list includes those who are “game-changers, including spiritualist Iyanla Vanzant, chef Marcus Samuelsson, fashion guru André Leon Talley, actresses Kerry Washington and Condola Rashad, filmmaker Lee Daniels and director-producer Shonda Rimes.”

The list is included in the December/January edition of the magazine.

Find out more>

Student lawyers Adrienne S. Moore and Rashawn N. Jones (JD 12) wrote the brief of the Appellant for the case of Anthony Carothers v. State, which was reversed on October 29, 2013, by the Court of Appeals of Mississippi.  This reversal marks the second in two weeks by Criminal Appeals Clinic students, who are under the direction of Professor Phil Broadhead.  The Court reversed on grounds that the prosecution improperly attempted to impeach its own complaining witness’ testimony.  The Court said: “A review of the record indicates that Sheena’s testimony from the bond hearing essentially mirrors her testimony at trial. Additionally, no blatant hostile behavior had been exhibited at the trial prior to the State’s request that Sheena be treated as a hostile witness. We find that the State did not lay the proper foundation for proving that Sheena was a hostile witness. Accordingly, the circuit court committed error in deeming her an adverse or hostile witness.”

Read the opinion.

Read about the previous reversal.

Professor Bullard

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Mercer Bullard, associate professor and Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association Distinguished Lecturer, on a recent SEC proposal to permit relatively unregulated offerings of securities to unsophisticated investors.  The proposal was authorized by legislation on which Professor Bullard had previously testified before Congress.

Read the article.

Professor Bullard gave an interview to Bloomberg radio on Wednesday, Oct. 23 in which he discussed a recent SEC proposal. The proposal relates to small securities offerings known as “crowdfunding” offerings. Professor Bullard had previously testified before Congress on the legislation that authorized the rulemaking.

On October 17, 2013, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the case of Rodrique Deshaun Watson v. State.  Student lawyers Ben C. Lewis and Laci McCullough Bonner (Class of 2013) wrote the brief of the Appellant.  The case was reversed on the grounds that the jury was mistakenly instructed that an open garage does not constitute a “constructive breaking” under the Court’s interpretation of the burglary statute.  “The Ladd court overruled its previous holding in Chaney, stating that the case was “wrongly decided.” Because the jury was improperly instructed on the requirements for satisfying the “breaking” element of burglary of a dwelling, a new trial was requested.

Link to opinion:

On October 26, at Franciscan University, the Society of Catholic Social Scientists will present its Pope Pius XI Award to University of Mississippi Law Professor Ronald J. Rychlak. This award is given annually by the SCSS to scholars whose efforts have significantly contributed to building up a true Catholic social science, resuming the charge given to scholars by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.

The Pope Pius XI Award will be presented to Prof. Rychlak at the SCSS annual meeting in recognition of his scholarship on the Christian Churches in World War II and his work as an advisor to the Holy See Mission to the United Nations, where he has particularly focused on the International Criminal Court. Rychlak will give the keynote address on international diplomacy at the opening dinner on Friday, October 25, and he will speak on two panels the following day.

Rychlak is the Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada Lecturer and Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi, and he has been on the faculty since 1987. He serves as the university’s Faculty Athletic Representative, and he is the former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the law school. He is a graduate of Wabash College (BA, cum laude) and Vanderbilt University (JD, Order of the Coif).

Previous recipients of the Pope Pius XI Award include:  Prof. Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law School; Dr. Robert P. George of Princeton, Prof. Gerald V. Bradley of Notre Dame Law School, Francis Canavan, S.J. of Fordham, and Dr. Paul C. Vitz of New York University.

The National Law Journal published a story recently about Dean Gershon’s participation in a new legal blog, Law Deans on Legal Education, whose content focuses on national issues in legal education.

Read the story.

If you’re unable to join us in person for the Sports Law Symposium, “Amateurism and the Future of the NCAA”, watch via U-Stream from 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. CST today.

Visit the event listing for a description of the event.

Film explores growing global concerns over privacy and technology BY 

University of Mississippi School of Law

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Law will host a public screening of a futuristic psychological and political thriller that explores legal issues surrounding a speculative new medical technology that can read people’s memories in video form.

“Justice Is Mind,” an independently produced Hollywood film, takes a look at what happens when a new technology provides evidence that a person has committed murder. The screening is set for 3 p.m. Monday (Oct. 14) in the UM law school, Room 1078.

Inspired by a 2009 ”60 Minutes” segment that addressed mind-reading technology, ”Justice Is Mind” premiered Tuesday (Oct. 8) at the Boston University School of Law. The film is produced, directed and written by Mark Lund, an award-winning magazine publisher and award-nominated screenwriter.

“Having ’Justice Is Mind’ start its law school tour with such prestigious law schools and legal scholars is a great beginning to a film that revolves around new science and law,” Lund said.

“Justice Is Mind” follows businessman and restaurant owner Henri Miller, who has been afflicted with unexplained headaches since childhood. When he has the new procedure called FVMRI, which can read a person’s long-term memories as videos, it reveals that he has allegedly shot and killed two people.

Soon, the trial of the century begins and Miller is faced with his own memory at trial. In addition, a dark family secret, held by Henri’s minister father, Joseph, reveals itself in the courtroom.

To see the movie’s official trailer, go to

The film is timely with growing global concerns about privacy and recent Supreme Court decisions, which could have wide-reaching implications in the rapidly evolving technology surrounding criminal procedure.

“Through the involvement of medical and legal ethicists, the filmmaker has shed a light on a developing an unchartered area of the law,” said Richard Gershon, dean of the UM law school. “We are thrilled to be part of the national law school tour for ’Justice Is Mind’ and look forward to engaging our faculty and students in a robust discussion of these cutting-edge issues.”

“Justice Is Mind” stars Vernon Aldershoff, Robin Ann Rapoport, Paul Lussier and Kim Gordon.

For more information, visit or call 662-915-342

An article in the October issue of National Jurist magazine ranks the University of Mississippi School of Law as 15th in the nation for best value.  The article looked at tuition, cost of living, bar passage rate, debt accumulation and employment success to determine the rankings.

Read the article.

Jack Ford

Public invited to learn more about award-winning legal news analyst, author’s storied career in legal and journalism fields

By: Sharon Morris

(OXFORD, Miss.) – Law and investigative journalism meet crime drama as CBS News legal analyst and award-winning journalist Jack Ford visits the University of Mississippi School of Law to present his latest novel, “The Walls of Jericho,” and discuss recent national cases that include themes of race and civil rights. Ford will explore his journey from attorney to news, where he covered major trials and legal issues of recent years, including the Trayvon Martin and Bradley Manning cases.

The presentation is co-sponsored by the UM School of Law and the Meek School of Journalism. It will take place in Room 1078 in the law school on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Ford’s career in TV news spans nearly three decades. He has won two Emmys and a coveted Peabody award, among others. Ford holds a law degree from Fordham University School of Law, where he later served as adjunct professor. Ford spent three years as a prosecutor in New Jersey before building his own prominent law practice.

“The Walls of Jericho,” Ford’s second novel, is a thriller that recounts the story of a brutal, unsolved civil rights murder from 1960. The unlikely duo of an Ole Miss law professor and a NY Times reporter stumble upon a source who reveals the long-buried secrets of the case, which leads to a dramatic trial of a powerful political figure.

For more information, visit or call 662-915-3424.

Third annual sports law symposium attracts professionals, experts from across the country

OXFORD, Miss. – The Mississippi Sports Law Review will host the latest installment of the John Paul Jones Speaker Series next week at the University of Mississippi School of Law. This third annual symposium will explore the future of the student-athlete model of amateurism in intercollegiate athletics.

The symposium, titled “Amateurism and the Future of the NCAA,” addresses the issues surrounding the high-profile class action filed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, in which current and former student-athletes are suing the NCAA for using their likenesses without compensating them. The outcome of this case could potentially change the landscape of college athletics and threaten the future of the NCAA.

The symposium begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 11 in the Robert Weems Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and participating attorneys can get two hours of Mississippi CLE credit for the session.

The symposium features a panel discussion with five prominent members of the sports law community.  The panelists are Richard Karcher, professor and director of the Center for Law and Sports at Florida Coastal School of Law; William King, partner at Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC in Birmingham, Ala.; Jason Levien, chief executive officer of the Memphis Grizzlies; Matthew Mitten, professor and director of the National Sports Law Institute and L.L.M. program in sports law at Marquette University Law School; and Maureen Weston, professor and director of the Entertainment Media and Sports Dispute Resolution Project at Pepperdine Law School.

“Our students have put together a fantastic panel of experts to address the legal and practical questions surrounding the propriety of compensating intercollegiate athletes,” said William W. Berry III, D.Phil., law faculty advisor to the Sports Law Review. “These controversial questions lie at the heart of the future of intercollegiate athletics. It should be a fascinating discussion.”