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Each year the Dean of the Law School and the President of the Law School Student Body select a law professor for the Ben Hardy Faculty Excellence Award. This year’s recipient is Professor Ronald Rychlak.

“Professor Rychlak embodies the characteristics of outstanding teaching and service of the Ben Hardy Faculty Excellence Award,” said Gregory Alston, president of the Law School Student Body. “His commitment to ensure our students succeed not only at Ole Miss but in our professional careers is seen day to day at the law school. I will always cherish Professor Rychlak’s love for Ole Miss and his selfless service to this great institution.”

Upon hearing he was selected for the award, Rychlak was very honored to be chosen.

“I love this law school. I am continually impressed by its students and amazed by my colleagues,” said Rychlak. “I am humbled to be singled out from such an outstanding community.”

Established in 2006 by Ben A. Hardy, Jr. of Mentone, AL, this award recognizes outstanding teaching, scholarship and service by a faculty member at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

OXFORD, MS — “If it’s a boy,” Bill Strong announced to a crowded courtroom in Louisville, Mississippi, “I’ll send up black smoke; if it’s a girl, I’ll send up white.”

A few hours later, white smoke was billowing from the Strong’s chimney. This smoke — determined by gender — would come to define Mary Ann Strong Connell’s life in ways she never could have expected.

Neil White, publisher of An Unforeseen Life, said, “Readers are going to love this story of loss, faith, tragedy, and perseverance.”

When Connell was eight, fire took the life of her younger brother. She blamed herself for the accident, and guilt became a motivator for the remainder of her remarkable life.

In An Unforeseen Life readers will share with Connell her experiences, as she faced a different kind of firestorm, when she became one of the first women practicing law in Oxford, Mississippi. The scenes continue to unfold when she convinces the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan to move their march off of the Ole Miss campus.

Her readers will share in her pain as she is called as an adverse witness in the wrongful termination trial of football coach Billy Brewer, who had once been her classmate at Ole Miss, and the exhaustion and difficulty of two NCAA investigations.

There are moments of humor when she warns a first-year law student named John Grisham “if you don’t get serious, you’ll never succeed at the practice of law” to a battle with Oxford’s colorful mayor John Leslie (who took to calling her “The Sewer Queen”) to a client who paid her with a sack of coons.

We witness the character growth of those around her, including her husband whose conservative beliefs about women, began to erode as he saw her succeed. We applaud her when she enrolls in law school with four young children, and when she attends Harvard Law School for an advanced degree (alongside fellow classmate Barack Obama).

An Unforeseen Life, set to be released April 11, 2017, is a powerful memoir about a woman, who embraced what she could, and tried to make the most of her life, despite an underlying sadness. Her story is a funny at times, touching, and an account of a life “most richly blessed” if sometimes in unexpected ways.

Mary Ann Connell practices law with Mayo Mallette, PLLC. She served as university attorney for the University of Mississippi from 1982 to 2003. She served as the school board attorney for the Oxford, Mississippi School District from 2003 to 2013. She has taught courses in higher education law, school law, legal research and writing; business law and employment law. She is a frequent presenter at national conferences on subjects involving higher education and school law. She is a past president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys; past president of the Mississippi Council of School Board Attorneys, and a fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys; the NAACP Freedom Award for life-long service in the area of education and civil rights; the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association Outstanding Woman Lawyer in Mississippi Award; the University of Mississippi Chancellor’s Award for outstanding contributions toward increasing diversity, and the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society Award for outstanding teacher of the year. In 2015, she was inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame.

 

 

The Mississippi Law Journal and the Sherman L. Muths, Jr., Lecture Series are hosting a Peer Review Forum Lecture Webinar on Monday, February 27th at 12:00 p.m. in Weems Auditorium. The event is also part of Black History Month.

This year’s lecture will feature Alfred Brophy, the John J. Parker Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Prof. Brophy’s lecture is entitled “Twenty-One Months a Slave,” and is based on an article that will appear in the Mississippi Law Journal later this year. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A panel featuring Professors Michele Alexandre and Chris Green, and Dean Jack Nowlin.

Professor Brophy’s lecture will center on the story of Cornelius Sinclair, a free person, kidnapped in Philadelphia, and enslaved in Alabama. While in Tuscaloosa, a local minister filed a lawsuit on Sinclair’s behalf, to ask for his freedom. Professor Brophy and panelists will discuss the difficulties experienced by southern jurists and litigants with the central tendencies of slave law in the American south in 1825.

Like most American law reviews, the Mississippi Law Journal is a student-edited journal. The majority of its articles are selected by student editors. However, a few of its articles are now selected and workshopped through an alternative process involving formal review by faculty peer reviewers. These articles are published in the Mississippi Law Journal as peer reviewed articles. The Peer Review Forum Lecture gives students, professors, and community members the opportunity to discuss these works in depth with Peer Review authors firsthand.

Students in the Tax Practicum at the University of Mississippi School of Law are getting real-world experience by assisting Oxford residents with their taxes this season. The students in the law school’s Tax Clinic manage and staff an IRS-funded Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at the Oxford-Lafayette Public Library twice a week.

Sessions are being held very Tuesday and Thursday, with the exception of March 14 and 16 (due to Spring Break), from 3:30 to 6:30. There are fourteen students that are members of the tax clinic this fall. Each student is IRS certified, and Professor Donna Davis oversees the clinic.

“Personally, my favorite part of the clinic is how Professor Davis encourages the project to be student-led,” said John George Archer, site coordinator and third-year law student. “It is very much a team effort each clinic day to complete tax returns and resolve the gamut of issues that we can encounter any given day. It’s pretty fast paced and engaging. At the end of the day, it feels good to help people understand their taxes and maximize any refunds they may have.”

The clinic is geared towards low-income clients. Participants need to bring a photo ID, Social Security card, and any tax documents. The students take it from there.

“I really appreciate how the clinic has given us the opportunity to interact with the taxpayers who rely on us to do our jobs well,” said Peter Liddell, site coordinator and third-year student. “The nature of our work requires us to handle sensitive information and ask personal questions. It has been an excellent opportunity to learn how to engage people in a professional manner which will be an invaluable skill for our careers as attorneys.”

The clinic will continue until April 6. The students hope to hold a special Friday clinic March 31 at the Law School.

The University of Mississippi School of Law is hosting the 2017 Boyce Holleman Debate Series Wednesday, March 1 at 12:45 p.m. in Weems Auditorium. This year’s debate will feature Robert Howse, law professor at New York University School of Law and Ole Miss Law’s own Professor Antonia Eliason.

The subject of the debate is “Globalization and its Institutions: Reset, Reform, or Reject.”

“Globalization has become something of an epithet in recent years, both in the Global North and in the Global South,” said Eliason. “Recently, calls for disruption of institutions linked with globalization, like the WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF have increased.

“This debate engages with questions of how the legal frameworks of global institutions can be used to address concerns with globalization, and to what extent disruption is necessary to address inequality and to save globalization from itself.”

Howse is the Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law at NYU School of Law and the 2017 Boyce Holleman Lecturer. Eliason is as assistant professor of law at Ole Miss where she teaches International Trade Law, International Business Transactions, EU Law, the Law of Armed Conflict and Contracts. Her research focuses on international trade law, international finance, EU law and Roma rights.

The Boyce Holleman Debate Series was established in 2003 by Tim and Dean Holleman in memory of their father. Boyce Holleman earned both undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from Ole Miss. He enjoyed a long and successful law career as a district attorney and a criminal defense attorney on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The Boyce Holleman Debate Series is open to contributions from individuals and organizations. Those wanting to provide support may do so at http://www.umfoundation.com/makeagift or by mailing checks to the University of Mississippi Foundation, P.O. Box 249, University, MS 38677. Checks should be made payable to the foundation, and donors should note “Boyce Holleman Debate Series.”

The University of Mississippi School of Law welcomed a newly founded student organization this fall. The Richard L. Barnes Native American Law Student Association was approved by the Dean of Student’s Office May 19, 2016, and the founding members began promoting the organization at the Fall Student Organization Fair.

“The majority of states, including Mississippi, have at least one federally recognized tribe within them, so the likelihood that you’ll practice law in a state where part of the citizenship also belongs to a sovereign tribe is pretty high,” said Alain Garland, president and found of the organization. “I think it’s important to have some knowledge of how the law, and your practice, might be impacted by that, and that’s something that Ole Miss doesn’t currently offer any curriculum on.”

The organization is named for Professor Richard L. Barnes, who taught at Ole Miss Law from 1989 until he passed away in 2013. Barnes was the only Indian Law professor at the time, and since his passing, no Indian Law courses have been offered. Noticing the lack of representation, Garland and co-founder W. Diane Maxwell (vice president) and April Chaney (treasurer) began taking the steps to form an official organization.

Now with 11 members, NALSA continues to grow in membership as well as involvement. The organization plans to host webinars with Indian Law professors from other universities and hopes to have events surrounding current legal problems for Native Americans as well as issues in Indian Law that have been present for many years.

Students interested in joining NALSA should contact the organization at olemisslawnalsa@gmail.com for more information.

The Business Law program at the University of Mississippi School of Law was featured recently in preLaw Magazine as one of the country’s top programs. In an article entitled “Top schools for business and corporate law,” UM was one of only four schools to earn a perfect score of A+ in the area of business law.

Members of the Negotiation Board

“We appreciate the recognition of our extraordinary program, which provides a broad range of practical learning opportunities and unprecedented student-faculty interaction,” said Mercer Bullard, professor of law and director of the Business Law Institute. “With four wins this year, our Negotiation Board is cementing its position as one of the nation’s best, and our student-taught CLE program is unique among U.S. law schools.”

Students in the Business Law Institute

At the heart of the law school’s stellar business law program is the Business Law Institute. The institute offers interested students a chance to obtain a concentration in business law during their legal education careers.

After completing all requirements, students can graduate with the concentration to give them an edge in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

Also housed in the Business Law Institute is the Negotiation Board, an advocacy board that focuses on developing essential lawyering skills in a simulated environment. The Negotiation Board was formed to compete in negotiation but has since expanded to include arbitration and mediation. Members of the board compete in competitions all over the country.

“The competitions typically consist of each team strategizing and analyzing their client’s interest in order to reach an agreement to build a new business relationship or mend an existing relationship in conflict,” said Rachel Smith, a third-year law student from Grenada and chair of the Negotiation Board. “Members are challenged to draft contracts, proposals and exhibits to aid judges in understanding their respective client’s position in seeking a resolution.”

Elizabeth Hiatt and Roy Smith competing in the Negotiation Board’s Spring Competition

The Negotiation Board is composed of 20 members who are chosen through internal competitions. The board has won numerous awards, including four national championships this year.

Another standout component of the Business Law Institute is the Business Law Network, a student organization with the primary mission to connect members with practitioners in the field of business law. With more than 50 members, the Business Law Network is one of the school’s most active organizations.

Business Law Officers: Clinton Myers, Chief Technology Officer; Ned Nelson, Public Relations Director; Ryan Cook, Chief Financial Officer; Gregory Alston, Chief Executive Officer

“The Business Law Network is one of the premier student organizations at the University of Mississippi School of Law and provides an excellent platform for network members to meet with attorneys, businessmen and political leaders,” said Hattiesburg native Gregory Alston, a third-year law student and CEO of the Business Law Network.

The organization brings in successful individuals in the business law arena for monthly flash classes. Members not only get a chance to hear these success stories, but they also have opportunities to network following the presentations.

Students also can present to practicing attorneys during the network’s CLE conferences. CLE conferences are held each year in Oxford, Memphis and Jackson, and network members present their written pieces in relevant areas from the Business Law Newsletter at the sessions.

“The Business Law Network provides a unique and rare opportunity among law schools across the country for students to offer CLE credit to practicing attorneys through student presentation,” Alston said.

Rounding out the opportunities students have in the business law program is the Transactional Clinic. Students in the Transactional Clinic get real-world experience by assisting low-income entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations to foster economic development, increase access to capital and promote job growth in the state.

Cissy Bacon, a third year law student, presents at the Business Law Network Fall Conference

Duties of the students include entity formation, contract negotiation, commercial leasing and other legal matters.

“Students learn that the legal world goes far beyond the world of lawsuits and litigation,” said Marie Cope, clinical assistant professor of law. “Lawyers play an important role in advising clients about business development and navigating the complex world of compliance with state and federal regulations.

“The Transactional Clinic brings nonprofit corporations into existence and gives our students experience in contract drafting and anticipating the pitfalls that may lie ahead for their clients.”

For more information on the Business Law Institute, visit http://law.olemiss.edu/organizer/business-law-institute/.

Oxford, Miss.—The Mississippi Sports Law Review is hosting a Symposium on the Current Fate of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on Friday, Feb. 24.

Moderated by Ronald J. Rychlak, a professor at UM Law, the Symposium will feature five guest speakers from across the United States. Speakers include Mike Bruffey, David Purdum, Cathy Beeding, Erik Balsbaugh and Brian Barrio, each with an extensive background dealing with the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

“We are all very excited to have our distinguished speakers join us for this Symposium,” says John Noonan, vice president of the Sports Law Society. “They all bring incredible insight into the world of gambling law with years of experience dealing with PASPA. We invite all to this upcoming event.”

The Symposium will be held at 1 p.m. at the Robert C. Khayat Law Center, room 1078. Those who attend will be able to receive 1.5 hours of free CLE credit.

For more information on the Symposium, visit the website or contact John Noonan at 423-314-6852 or jtnoonan@go.olemiss.edu.

 

James B. Kelly has been elected as Editor-in-Chief of Volume 87 of the Mississippi Law Journal. Kelly is a second-year law student from Brandon, MS and a member of the law school’s Moot Court Board. He received his bachelor’s degree in government from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

“It is an honor to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Mississippi Law Journal,” said Kelly. “I look forward to working with our members, subscribers, alumni, faculty, and other partners to build on the Journal‘s strong foundation, and I am excited about the opportunities ahead!”

After his first year of law school, Kelly worked as a summer associate at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Wise Carter Child & Caraway, P.A., and Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson, LLC, all in Jackson. Additionally, he has served as a judicial extern to United States District Judge Michael P. Mills in Oxford and United States Bankruptcy Judge Neil P. Olack in Jackson. This summer, Kelly will be working as a summer associate at Sidley Austin LLP in Dallas, and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Jackson.

On February 8, 2017, students in the MacArthur Justice Clinic inspected the conditions on Death Row and interviewed Death Row inmates at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi.  Their visit was part of the Clinic’s ongoing monitoring of Mississippi’s compliance with a settlement agreement entered into as the result of litigation brought by the MacArthur Justice Center alleging that the conditions on Mississippi’s Death Row violated the constitutional rights of inmates housed there.  Since 2015, more than 30 students from Ole Miss Law have participated in this monitoring effort.

Pictured from left to right are Josh Horton, Kyla Clark, Nathan Barnhill, Sarah Richerme, Cliff Johnson (Assistant Professor and Director of the MacArthur Justice Center), Haley Grantham, Alexis Russell, April Garrett, Tonell Jones, and Kelley Killorin 

As a public international research institution of higher education, the University of Mississippi is focused upon education and the success of our students in a global society.  We are a community of scholars committed to fostering a diverse environment, and we benefit greatly from a strong international and multicultural presence.

One of our top priorities is a safe and welcoming environment for all our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  However, we recognize that for many in our community, there is significant anxiety, fear, and uncertainty related to recent Presidential Executive Orders.

We are currently gathering information and evaluating the impact of the executive orders upon members of our university community.  If you believe you are affected, or are uncertain about whether these orders affect you, please contact the Office of International Programs.

We value all members of our university community and extend our support to our international students, faculty, and staff during this uncertain time. We call upon all members of our community to support one another.  We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and keep the university community updated as more information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey S. Vitter

John McCullouch, Associate Dean Metro Jackson, will retire from his position effective March 1, 2017. He has served the law school in that capacity for five years.

“As the face of the law school in the capital city tri-county area, John has greatly increased the visibility and participation of  the law school with the Mississippi Bar and the local bar associations and we owe him a debt of gratitude,” said Interim Dean Debbie Bell.

McCullouch received his law degree from Ole Miss in December of 1978, had a successful legal and then managerial career with BellSouth and AT&T, retiring in 2007.

“I want to thank former Dean Richard Gershon for his idea that the law school needed a presence in the Jackson area, for asking me to join his staff and for being one of the nicest people I have ever worked with. In addition, it’s been great working with Debbie Bell, a former law school classmate,  as she has superbly lead the law school this past  year and a half,” said McCullouch.

The University of Mississippi School of Law will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration Panel Wednesday, February 1, at 12:45 p.m. in Weems Auditorium. The program is entitled “Race and Civil Rights,” and panelists will discuss issues of race and civil rights central to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“This is the Law School’s seventh annual Martin Luther King Day commemoration event,” said Jack Nowlin, senior associate dean of the Law School and the event’s moderator. “We organize this each year to honor and celebrate Dr. King through an academic panel dedicated to discussing issues central to his life and legacy.”

Panelists for the event are Professor Michele Alexandre from the School of Law, Professor Paul Polgar from the History Department, and Professor Cliff Johnson from the School of Law. The event is free and open to the public. Off campus attendees will need to obtain a visitor parking permit before arriving.

For more information, click here.

Tyler Jackson presents his Virtual Housing Tour business to the Transactional Clinic at the University of Mississippi.

The Transactional Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law recently helped Ole Miss Graduate Tyler Jackson get his business off the ground. Jackson, who graduated last May, created a virtual reality program to give students a three dimensional representation of the dorm rooms available at Ole Miss.

The idea started as part of his senior capstone project. Jackson needed to develop a program within his major, computer science that would give back to the University or Oxford community. After meeting with the Department of Housing and developing the preliminary design of the program, he realized he had a viable business model. Discussions with the University led to expanding the program. However, Jackson knew he needed to create a legal entity before entering into any official agreement.

“I went to the transactional clinic hoping to get some information about what legal documents needed to be put into place in order to officially operate as a company,” said Jackson. “Not only did they help me understand the process, but they were even able to help me draft and file all the documents needed to form a Limited Liability Company, get a Federal Tax Identification Number, and set up an Operating Agreement for my company.”

Jackson worked with third year attorneys, Rachel Smith and Gregory Sechrist, as well as Professor Marie Cope to form his business, VACE Technologies LLC.

“I appreciated the students hard work, frequent communication, and patience with me throughout the process and the several questions I had,” said Jackson. “It was great to work with Ms. Cope’s mentorship and guidance as a group of young professionals.”

Jackson, a native of New Albany, is a 2016 graduate of the University of Mississippi.

Ben Griffith, adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law, was chosen for the American Bar Association Board of Governors. Griffith has been an active member of the ABA since elected for the House of Delegates in August 2009.

Griffith was formally elected to the Board of Governors in August 2016. The ABA Section of State and Local Government Law for the Board of Governors nominated him.

“This required a clear commitment to the goals and ideals of the American Bar Association,” Griffith said. “As I turned 63, I felt that the time was right to begin this level of service to the Association that had given me so many opportunities for professional growth.”

Griffith serves on the Finance and Internal Operations Committee of the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors meets four times a year and often uses conference calls to conduct business.

In previous years, Griffith served as Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Election Law, Chair of his Section, and task forces and entities.

Delegate members are elected at- large and can be elected from their own state bar association or from the ABA Section of which they are a member. The Section of State and Local Government Law elected Griffith where he held the Chair position.

The ABA was organized in 1878. It is the preeminent voice for the legal profession. The ABA sets academic standards for law schools and provides the law schools with recommendations for persons nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court and various courts of appeals.

The ABA serves as a leadership and advisory organization on legislative issues related to the legal profession. It is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and has over 400,000 members.

Grady Tollison (JD 1971) always dreamed of going to Law School. Through hard work and determination, Tollison made his dream a reality. As an alumnus, he is now helping current law students at the University of Mississippi School of Law achieve their goals of becoming attorneys by providing scholarship dollars to deserving students.

Tollison’s gift of $200,000 over three years helped fund five scholarships for first year law students. The senior partner at Tollison Law Firm, P.A. in Oxford recently had the chance to meet with the five recipients.

“They were really an impressive group of students,” said Tollison. “I was impressed with the diversity of the recipients and their interest in the law.”

The students were very quick to express their gratitude for Tollison.

“I am incredibly blessed to have received the Tollison Scholarship,” said Kelsey Nicholas, of Marion, IL. “It is truly an honor to have someone so generously invest in your future career from the very first day of law school, and it speaks volumes over just how much Mr. Tollison cares for Ole Miss School of Law.” Nicholas received her Bachelors degree in forestry with a concentration in wildlife management from Mississippi State University.

David Rucker, a graduate of the University of Mississippi from Germantown, TN, is another recipient of the scholarship.

“This scholarship is an unbelievable generosity on the part of Mr. Tollison, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity.”

Scholarships provide financial relief to many law students. Without this support, law school would not be possible for some.

“Mr. Tollison’s generosity allows me to pursue a legal education without having to worry about the burden of debt that so many students have to stress about,” said Addison Watson, a graduate of Missouri State University with a degree in criminology. “This scholarship affords me the opportunity to explore different career paths that won’t revolve around paying back students loans.”

Tollison visited with the scholarship recipients and gave them advice and moral support for their law school career.

“This scholarship is an indescribable honor,” said Nia Wilson, a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in communications from Jackson. “Law school is a challenging endeavor, but with the support and encouragement of Mr. Tollison, I’m motivated to face this challenge head on.”

Michael Williams, one of the scholarship recipients from Richland, MS, hopes that one day he will be able to help students just as Tollison helped him.

“The Tollison Scholarship was a blessing to me because it helped make my dream of being a lawyer financially feasible, and I hope one day I have the chance to give back to the University like Mr. Grady Tollison,” said Williams, a University of Mississippi graduate with a degree in accounting.

Tollison was recognized as the 1988-1989 Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Mississippi School of Law, and he is a previous Chairman of the prestigious Lamar Order. In 1978-79 and 1989-90, he taught as an adjunct professor at Ole Miss Law.

He is a member of the Lafayette County Bar (President, 1985), American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association (President, 1993), Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association (Parliamentarian in 1986-87, Secretary in 1987, and Treasurer in 1988-90), and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (State Delegate from 1984-86 and Governor to the National Board in 1990).

Tollison is a charter member of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a recipient of the Masters in Trial Award given by ABOTA.

 

 

 

 

 

The Criminal Appeals Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law recently received good news regarding one of their current cases. On October 26, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the case of Donald Bell a/k/a Donald Wayne Bell v. State of Mississippi on grounds that the trial judge’s comments to the jury after they announced they were deadlocked were improper, and deviated from the procedures dictated in Sharplin v. State. Bell will receive a new trial.

The appellate brief was written by former law students Valierie Moss (JD 2015) and Philip Summa (JD 2015), who were in the Criminal Appeals Clinic at the time.

“I am thrilled by the reversal of this case,” said Moss. “It was clear from the precedent in this state that a judge cannot deviate from certain jury instructions and the trial judge clearly did here. I’m glad the Mississippi Supreme Court saw it this way too, and I’m glad our hard work paid off.”

Summa echoed Moss’ sentiments. “We were pleased to hear that the Court recognized that the trial court’s instructions to this deadlocked jury were inconsistent with the Sharplin standard,” he said.

According the opinion written by Presiding Justice Michael K. Randolph, “Sharplin curbs loose language from a trial judge which may have an unwitting coercive effect or influence on a juror. Without assigning an impermissible intent to the trial judge, we find his comments to the jurors before sending them back for further deliberations could be interpreted as improperly coercive and designed to produce a verdict. Therefore, we reverse Bell’s conviction and remand for a new trial.”

Phillip Broadhead, director of the Criminal Appeals Clinic, supervised Moss and Summa in this case. The Criminal Appeals Clinic offers advanced appellate training in the highly specialized area of appellate advocacy skills and provides third-year students with practical experience in criminal law and procedure. The students represent indigent persons as counsel of record in Mississippi appellate courts.

Senior Association Dean Jack Nowlin has been selected to participate in the Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP). Nowlin was one of four faculty members from the University of Mississippi chosen this year as an SEC fellow.

The SEC ALDP was created in 2008 to prepare academic faculty and administrators for future leadership roles. The program takes a two-prong approach. Each institution creates a university-level development program for its fellows, and the SEC hosts two meetings for all program participants. Each meeting is hosted by a different SEC School.

The University of Alabama hosted the fall meeting this October, a three-day set of workshops and other events.

“This is a tremendously valuable program,” said Nowlin. “It brings together rising academic leaders from all over the SEC to meet each other, discuss important issues, and learn how to improve in their work. I met some wonderful people at Alabama, and I learned a lot of new and important things about administration.”

Dr. John M. Bruce, chair of the Department of Political Science; Dr. Daphne S. Cain, chair of the Department of Social Work in the School of Applied Sciences; and Dr. Cristiane Queiroz Surbeck, associate dean of the School of Engineering, were also selected as fellows this year. Associate Provost Tony Ammeter, a former SEC fellow, serves as the UM liaison and program leader.

“It is our strong belief that helping to prepare administrators for the next phase of their careers has the potential to impact all of higher education, both now and in the future,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “Our universities make a significant investment in these individuals, and we are proud to work with them through this program.”

The next SEC ALDP workshop is February 22-24 at Mississippi State University.

About the Program: The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program is part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference. The SEC supports and promotes the endeavors and achievements of the students and faculty at its 14 member universities.

The University of Mississippi School of Law supports Chancellor Vitter’s recent statements emphasizing the University’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, and academic freedom. The Law School shares a deep commitment to these values as part of the University community, welcoming persons regardless of race, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, age disability, veteran status, or genetic information. (The University’s nondiscrimination policy can be found here.) We hope to foster a community of inclusion, an atmosphere of open, reflective, and respectful debate, and a home where all feel welcomed.

Deborah Bell
Interim Dean

The University of Mississippi School of Law was one of only four law schools that received a ranking of A+ in the area of Business Law. The Business Law Program was featured in the article “Top schools for business and corporate law.” The University of Mississippi School of Law was also ranked a “Best Value Law School” and earned a ranking of B+.

 

View the magazine.

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