On May 29, 2015, Professor Phil Broadhead argued a Criminal Appeals Clinic case from the Fall 2014 semester, Flynt v. State, pending before the Mississippi Supreme Court and involving issues of the Castle Doctrine statutes. Presiding Justice Michael Randolph allowed brief-writers Sullivan Banks and David Fletcher, who graduated in the class of 2015, the honor of sitting at counsel table during the arguments.
Law School Events
OXFORD, Miss.–Professors Ben Cooper and Desiree Hensley were presenters on a panel of distinguished academics who gathered at Texas A&M University School of Law for a discourse on “Reconsidering Access to Justice” on May 1, 2015. The focus in their panel was “Access to Justice in Context”, which brought the real-world consequences for unrepresented and under-represented citizens who are routinely denied the right of entry to our courts to seek redress of wrongs. Professors Cooper and Hensley presented an empirical study they plan to conduct regarding characteristics of small claims courts that may have the effect of limiting the fairness of those courts, and, in particular, how civil proceedings in the Mississippi Justice Court system affect access to justice in this state.Learn more about the conference.
When Dean Stephen Gorove began the space law program 45 years ago at the University of Mississippi School of Law, he took a bold, forward-thinking step into an emerging field of study. The program has grown and evolved, and the Moot Court team recently won the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court championship at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
Professor Bullard appeared on a panel broadcast by C-Span recently. The panel addressed the Department of Labor’s pending rule proposal on IRA regulation. His remarks were quoted in MarketWatch.
Professor Mercer Bullard testified Wednesday, May 13 before the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. He spoke on various bills relating to the securities industry.
Bullard was also quoted on NPR radio recently on the developing crowdfunding market, and in a MarketWatch article on market structure and investor protection issues.
OXFORD,Miss.–Jess Waltman, a native of Quitman, Miss., has been elected the 2015-2016 president of the Law School Student Body Association (LSSB). Five other officers will also assume responsibility for the upcoming school year.
The LSSB President oversees the functions of the other members of the LSSB Executive Board and represents the law school student body to the school and university’s administrations.
Jess is the son of Walt and Cheryl Waltman and a 2009 graduate of Quitman High School. He earned a Bachelor of Accountancy Degree from the E. H. Patterson School of Accountancy at the University of Mississippi in 2013 and graduated from the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. While at Ole Miss, Jess served as an Ole Miss Ambassador and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame.
In addition to his responsibilities as president, Jess serves as the executive online editor and alumni coordinator for the Mississippi Law Journal and as editor-in-chief of the University of Mississippi Business Law Newsletter. Jess is also a member of the University of Mississippi School of Law Trial Advocacy Board, the Dean’s Leadership Council, the Gorove Society for International Law and the Business Law Network. Before his election in 2015, Jess served as the 2014-2015 LSSB treasurer and as a 2013-2014 1L senator.
Jess will be completing summer associateships with the firms of Davis & Crump in Gulfport, and Martin Tate Morrow & Marston in Memphis. Jess expects to graduate in May of 2016 and plans to pursue a career in commercial and civil litigation.
Rodgrick Glen Hickman, a native of Shuqualak, Miss., has been elected to serve as the 2015-2016 LSSB vice-president. The vice-president is responsible for presiding over the meetings of the LSSB Senate. Rod is the son of Glen and Lucille Hickman and is a 2007 graduate of Noxubee County High School. He received a Bachelor of General Studies Degree in History, Sociology and Legal Studies from the University of Mississippi – Grenada in 2014 where he was a Lyceum Scholar. Rod is a member of the American Constitution Society and Phi Delta Phi, and he serves as the treasurer for the Black Law Student Association, special events coordinator for the Public Interest Law Foundations, as a staff member for the law school yearbook. Before being elected to serve as vice-president, Rod served as an LSSB senator for his class.
Rod will be a summer associate with Glover, Young, Hammack, Walton and Simmons, PLLC, in Meridian and expects to graduate in May of 2017 and pursue a career in corporate litigation.
Gregory James Alston Jr., a native of Hattiesburg, was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 LSSB treasurer. The LSSB treasurer is responsible for conducting the financial business of the LSSB and maintaining its financial records. Gregory is the son of Betsy and Greg Alston and is a 2010 graduate of Presbyterian Christian School. Gregory earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Policy Leadership from the University of Mississippi in 2014. While at Ole Miss, Gregory served as the 2013-2014 president of the Associated Student Body and was inducted into the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame.
Gregory serves as the C.E.O of the University of Mississippi School of Law Business Law Network and is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council. Before being elected to serve as LSSB treasurer, Gregory served as an LSSB senator for his class. This summer, Gregory will be working for Treasurer Lynn Fitch’s re-election campaign. He expects to graduate in May of 2017 and pursue a career in politics and government relations.
Fredricka Jatarya Brown, a native of Greenville, Miss., was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 LSSB secretary. The LSSB secretary takes the minutes at each LSSB Senate meeting and maintains the LSSB roster. Fredricka is the daughter of Minnie Stone and Fredricka Brown and graduated from Riverside High School in 2010. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Mississippi State University in 2014. At Mississippi State, Fredricka received the President’s Service Award in 2013 and the Spirit of Service Award in 2014.
Fredricka expects to graduate in May of 2017, and she is a member of the law school yearbook staff, Public Interest Law Foundation, Black Law Students Association, Law Association for Women and the Dean’s Leadership Council. This summer, Fredricka will be serving as a teaching assistant for the Center for Legal Education Opportunity at the University of Mississippi School of Law. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in criminal litigation.
Margaret Wright, a native of Jackson, was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 LSSB social chair. As social chair, Margaret will be responsible for planning social functions for law students, including the annual Barristers’ Ball. Margaret is the daughter of Timothy and Suzanne Wright and graduated from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in 2009. She attended the University of Mississippi and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish in 2013. While at Ole Miss, Margaret was a member of the Chancellor’s Honor Role and Order of Omega.
Margaret expects to graduate in May of 2016, and she serves as an executive articles editor for the Mississippi Law Journal and is a member of the University of Mississippi School of Law Moot Court Board, Dean’s Leadership Council, Space Law Society, Law Association for Women and the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association.
Margaret will work as a summer associate with the firms of Blair & Bondurant and Wise, Carter, Child & Carraway in Jackson, Miss. After graduation, Margaret plans to pursue a career in civil defense litigation.
Jessica LeAnn Rice was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 LSSB attorney general. The LSSB attorney general participates in student Honor Council proceedings and maintains the LSSB Code and Constitution. Jessica is from Flowood, Miss., and is the daughter of Marvin and Ann Rice. Jessica graduated form Northwest Rankin High School in 2010 and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Alabama in 2014. At the University of Alabama, Jessica was a member of the Mortar Board national senior honor society.
Jessica expects to graduate in May of 2017, and she is a member of Law Association for Women and served as a 1L honor council representative. During the summer of 2015, Jessica will participate in the University of Mississippi School of Law summer study abroad program at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. After graduation, Jessica plans to practice health law.
Karen Peairs, Esq., Assistant Director of the University of Mississippi Career Services Office was elected to serve as President-Elect of the Magnolia Bar Association for the 2015-2016 term. The Magnolia Bar Association, having recently celebrated its 60th Anniversary, is an organization which addresses the perspectives of African-American attorneys in the state. Previously, Peairs has served as Northeastern District Director for the Association for the past three years.In addition to her election, she was also awarded both the Executive Board Member of the Year award and the Community Service Award.
Professor Cliff Johnson, Director of the MacArthur Justice Center, was interviewed by WJTV news in Jackson, MS regarding the events unfolding in Baltimore.
Professor Tucker Carrington, Director of the Mississippi Innocence Project, was one of just twenty law professors nationwide elected to membership in the American Law Institute.
Bloomberg Law interviews Professor Will Berry on the Supreme Court’s consideration of United States v. Johnson, a case involving sentencing felons for multiple felonies.
After inspecting Mississippi’s Death Row and conducting cell-side interviews of inmates as part of their litigation challenging the conditions of confinement on Death Row, MacArthur Justice Clinic students visited the gravesite of Fannie Lou Hamer, one of Mississippi’s greatest heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. The MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law pursues civil rights litigation on behalf of those Mississippians Mrs. Hamer championed – the poor, disenfranchised, and marginalized.
The University of Mississippi Clinical Programs recently provided assistance to the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts (AOC) to support their application for a Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS) grant, which was awarded this week. The MS Supreme Court and AOC were only one of five courts in the country to receive this grant.
Spearheaded by Professor Desiree Hensley, with help from Professor David Calder and Professor Kilgore (Director of the Elder Law Project at North Mississippi Rural Legal Services), the Clinical Programs helped the Supreme Court and AOC plan the work it would undertake as a WINGS recipient. “It has been a real pleasure to support the Mississippi Supreme Court’s and the Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts’ application for a WINGS grant. Now that they have received the grant, I’ll shift to working with UM Law Legislation Clinic students to provide the Court and the AOC with high quality legal and policy research and writing. The Legislation Clinic students’ overall goal will be to give the Court and the AOC the best advice they can about what steps the Court and AOC should take to protect vulnerable adults in Mississippi from abuse and neglect. That’s a big deal and hard work, but the students are entirely capable of doing it,” says Professor Desiree Hensley.
Currently, there are no collaborative efforts in Mississippi that address adult guardianship issues or other, less restrictive, decision-making options for incapacitated people. There are entities and individuals in the State who advocate for incapacitated people within their own spheres of influence and these stakeholders can be brought together to effectively accomplish the goals set out by the National Guardian Network. Examples of these stakeholders whom the Court either has asked or will ask to participate in the Mississippi WINGS program include Representatives of Veterans Affairs, the Health Department, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Mental Health, Adult Protective Services, the Long Term Care Ombudsman, and Area Agencies on Aging; Members of the private bar who practice elder-related Law, legal aid organizations, pro bono organizations, law school legal clinics, judges, court administrators, legislators, and law enforcement; University of Mississippi faculty from various departments, including sociology, psychology, gerontology, law, applied sciences, and medicine; and individuals who have experienced these issues first-hand.
“By enrolling in Professor Hensley’s Legislative Clinic, UM law students have a unique opportunity to work directly with the MS Supreme Court and the MS AOC to help design good policy for the State of Mississippi to take better care of its most vulnerable citizens” says Debbie Bell, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs.
The University of Mississippi School of Law just won its second national moot court championship for 2015. This victory came in the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court on March 21 at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. Technically, Ole Miss earned the title of North American Champion and with it the right to represent the continent at the World Finals in Jerusalem, Israel, in October.
“A success like this, in the world’s oldest and most prestigious space law competition, stands out as a highlight on a student’s resume,” says Dean Richard Gershon. “As an international leader in this unique emerging area of law, Ole Miss helps propel students into careers at government agencies like NASA and the CIA, as well as position students for opportunities in the growing private space industry and at companies like Bigelow Aerospace and SpaceX.”
This victory builds on a string of successes for Ole Miss Law’s advocacy programs, which include recently winning the nation’s pre-eminent environmental law moot court competition for the fourth time in five years; winning four national championships in 2014 alone; earning a top-14 national ranking for the school’s moot court board in 2014; receiving second place at the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition this past fall; and achieving a top-8 finish at the moot court National Championship hosted by the University of Houston Law Center this past January.
As North American space law champions, Ole Miss Law will compete in the World Finals against law schools from Africa, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Three members of the International Court of Justice will serve as judges and will hear arguments in a hypothetical case involving an asteroid mining dispute and liability for a failed attempt to divert an asteroid from colliding with the Earth. In its 24th year, the competition takes place under the auspices of the International Institute of Space Law, headquartered in Paris, France, and attracts over 60 law schools from around the globe.
On the road to the championship, the University of Mississippi School of Law triumphed over a field that included teams from Georgetown, Nebraska, Hawaii, Temple, St. Thomas, Florida State, UC Davis, Arizona State, George Washington University, McGill (Montreal, Canada), and Universidad Sergio Arboleda (Bogota, Columbia).
While all of these law schools focus on international law, Ole Miss stands out as one of just a few schools to offer a program devoted to the law governing aviation, space exploration, and satellites. In fact, the School of Law pioneered the field of space law over 45 years ago and the New York Times has recognized the school as “an international center for space law studies.” The school’s expertise is embodied in its Journal of Space Law, the conferences it hosts, the service of its graduates in the field, and in its curricular programs.
Notably, the School of Law features both a J.D.-level certificate program on remote sensing, air, and space law and an advanced LL.M. degree in air and space law. Indeed, Ole Miss Law offers the only advanced law degree program in the United States combining both aviation law and space law. For more information on these programs, please visit http://law.olemiss.edu/academics-programs/llm/ and http://law.olemiss.edu/academics-programs/certificate-programs/remote-sensing-air-space-law-certificate/
The championship team from Ole Miss Law includes Olivia Hoff of Gulfport, MS, and C.J. Robison from Lubbock, TX, both of whom are second-year law students from the space law certificate program. Joining them is Ian Perry of Ellis County, TX, a 2013 J.D. recipient currently working on his space law LL.M.
“I believe a great deal of our success stems from our knowledge of general international law and space law,” said Robison. “Ole Miss has some of the best resources and professors in the country for such study. Our success is definitely a testament to the University’s leadership in this area.”
“I am extremely proud of these students,” says Professor Jacquie Serrao, the Director of the LL.M. program. “I know they will represent North America and our law school brilliantly at the Finals in October. C.J., Ian, and Olivia are each examples of the caliber of space law scholars and future attorneys which the J.D. and LL.M. programs produce.”
For team member Hoff, a physics and mathematics graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, the space law certificate program offered a path to become a lawyer, but still stay focused on the sciences. “To some degree pursuing the certificate makes me feel as if, even though I changed fields, I am still staying true to my roots.”
The team is coached by Professor Michael Dodge, who graduated from the School of Law’s space law program in 2008 and now teaches U.S. and international space law at Ole Miss. Joining Professor Dodge as assistant coach is Adjunct Professor Michael Mineiro, who holds a J.D. from North Carolina along with an LL.M. and D.C.L. from McGill University, and works on space law issues for numerous federal agencies and international organizations.
“I am tremendously proud of the team’s achievement,” states Professor Dodge. “In the upcoming months, I look forward to working to prepare them for the next stage of the competition. I know they will compete admirably, and skillfully represent the University of Mississippi and its long association with space law.”
More broadly, Dodge praises the promise of the students in Ole Miss’s space law programs. “They all have a passionate interest in aviation and space law issues.” He also speaks ardently of the school’s placement efforts. “Our professors have decades of contacts in academia, government, and private industry. Accordingly, many of our graduates have gone on to realize their dreams, working for such diverse employers as NASA, the FAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, congressional offices, Bigelow Aerospace, Spaceport America, consulting firms, higher education, and of course private law firms.”
On Thursday, March 19, MacArthur Justice Clinic law students, along with the clinic’s director, Professor Cliff Johnson, and Adjunct Professor Jake Howard, went to the Mississippi State Penitentiary to inspect Death Row (Unit 29) and to conduct cell-side interviews of Death Row inmates as part of their litigation challenging their prison conditions. “Very few lawyers have seen Death Row from the ‘inside,’ so this was a significant experience for all involved. I could not have been prouder of our students. They worked hard to prepare for the interviews, they acted professionally at all times, and they treated those they interviewed with respect and kindness,” says Professor Johnson.
The MacArthur Justice Clinic is one of the newest clinics within the Clinical Programs at the law school. Students in this clinic will be advocating for human rights and social justice through litigation. http://umlaw.macarthurjusticecenter.org/
Professor Stephanie Showalter-Otts, director of the National Sea Grant Law Center at the School of Law, is one of the distinguished scholars represented in a new Oxford University Press book focused on legal responses to the adverse effects of climate change on marine and coastal environments. The book is entitled Climate Change Impacts on Ocean and Coastal Law: U.S. and International Perspectives and Professor Showalter-Otts contributed a chapter devoted to the legal and practical challenges stemming from the threat to marine habitats posed by invasive species.
For more information on the National Sea Grant Law Center, please visit http://nsglc.olemiss.edu
For more information on the book and to obtain a copy, please visit https://global.oup.com/academic/product/climate-change-impacts-on-ocean-and-coastal-law-9780199368747?cc=ca&lang=en&#
Dear Members of the Law School Community,
I wanted you to know that I have decided to complete my service as dean of the School of Law onJune 30, 2015. At the point, I am pleased to report that Professor Debbie Bell will assume the role of Interim Dean while I will return to the faculty. It has been an honor serving the law school these past 5 years, and I am excited to work with Dean Bell and the law school community in my new capacity.
Thank you for your wonderful support and friendship,
For the fourth time in five years, the University of Mississippi School of Law has won the national environmental moot court competition. Triumphing over 61 other law schools, Ole Miss prevailed at the 27th annual Jeffrey G. Miller Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, February 19 to 21. Ole Miss Law previously brought home the title in 2011, 2012, and 2014.
This victory builds on a string of successes for Ole Miss Law’s advocacy programs, which include four national championships last year alone, a top-14 national ranking for the school’s moot court board in 2014, second place at the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition this past fall, and a top-8 finish last month at the moot court National Championship hosted by the University of Houston Law Center.
Collecting the trophy for Ole Miss was a team of two second-year law students, John Juricich of Anniston, Alabama, and Mary Margaret Roark of Cleveland, Mississippi. With elimination round victories over Vermont, Montana, Florida Coastal, Penn State, Florida State, and Northeastern, the pair advanced out of a tremendous field of law schools, which also included Yale, Columbia, Berkeley, and Penn.
“The best experience I have had in law school, hands down,” says Juricich. The victory, Roark and Juricich agree, happened only because of the help of many others. As Roark explains, “the entire school supported John and me throughout this process, and that’s simply not true for all schools with moot court teams.”
“It changes your entire frame of mind when you have a moot court program and a student body that not only strives for winning titles like these, but to a certain extent, expects it as well,” says Roark, in describing how the law school’s high standards propelled them toward success. Juricich credits the coaches, Professor David Case and Professor Stephanie Showalter Otts, for their work honing the team for competition. “This championship wouldn’t have been possible” without the coaches, he explains. “It was an honor to make them proud at the competition by doing exactly what they taught us.”
“An accomplishment like this is the product of countless hours of work by the students and their coaches,” said Richard Gershon, Dean of the School of Law. “Our repeated success at this competition, and in our advocacy programs in general, says a great deal about the outstanding students we have at the University of Mississippi School of Law. This is the embodiment of their promise as lawyers.”
“It is an amazing feat for two second-year law students to win a national competition in a field of teams primarily made up of far more experienced third-year law students,” added Professor Case. “Their exhaustive preparation allowed them to succeed on such a well-known and respected national stage.”
The environmental law competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country, testing students on their ability to argue a mock case before a federal appellate court. The team commenced work on the competition four months ago, in October when they started writing their brief. After filing the brief in November, the team began to practice oral arguments with their coaches. In New York, the team argued in three preliminary oral argument rounds, before advancing to elimination matches in the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final rounds. Both Roark and Juricich garnered Best Oralist Awards at the competition.
The Ole Miss team faced a formidable panel of judges for the finals, including the Honorable Patricia M. Wald, Retired Chief Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; the Honorable Malachy E. Mannion, Judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; and the Honorable Barbara A. Gunning, Administrative Law Judge for the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Coaching the team were two national experts in environmental law from the University of Mississippi School of Law, Professors David Case and Stephanie Showalter Otts. Case’s scholarship focuses on environmental regulation and he holds a J.D. from Ole Miss and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Otts directs the National Sea Grant Law Center, a program devoted to wise stewardship of marine resources. Praising the work and devotion of the coaches, Dean Gershon said, “Professors Case and Otts once again proved that the faculty here are amazing.”
Ole Miss’s four victories at the environmental law competition come hand in hand with school’s growing reputation as a leader in the specialty. As Otts explains, “Ole Miss is a recognized leader in ocean and coastal law research due to the presence of the National Sea Grant Law Center and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program. The success of our Pace team establishes the growing strength of our academic program in environmental, ocean and coastal, and natural resources law.”
Agriculture in the Mid-South is uniquely impacted by changes and developments in state, federal, and international laws and policies. The National Sea Grant Law Center is pleased to co-sponsor this annual program, which is part of a long-term effort to provide relevant and timely agricultural and environmental legal research and information to attorneys, lenders, accountants, tax consultants, students and other agricultural professionals involved in the agriculture and aquaculture industries in the southern U.S. The CLE will be held at the University of Memphis School of Law on April 17, 2015.
To learn more and register, visit http://nationalaglawcenter.org/midsouthcle2015/.
The winner of this year’s $2,500 student writing prize is Garrett Wilkerson, a second year law student at the University of Mississippi School of Law, for his paper, Rigging Rights of Passage: Analyzing Subsurface Easements in Horizontal Drilling. As well as the $2,500 cash prize, Garrett will be the IEL’s guest at its 66th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference in Houston on February 19 and 20, and at its Symposium for Law Schools: Career Paths for Young Attorneys in the Energy Sector, co-hosted in Houston with the South Texas College of Law on March 27 and 28.
For more information:
The University of Mississippi School of Law has launched a legal technology skills program to teach the latest innovations in law practice. Led by a partnership between the law school’s Clinical Programs and the Grisham Law Library, this two-year program features outstanding attorneys and information technology specialists, who teach substantive skills law students will need. These skills will not only make Ole Miss Law graduates more “practice-ready,” they will provide a foundation for success with future advances in electronic media and hardware. The program has focused on technology for law office management, court document filing, and trial litigation simulations and demonstrations. Previous events have included: Dennis Joiner, Federal Public Defender for Mississippi, who spoke on the use of Trial Director, a document management software for litigation; Clint Penecost, Counsel with the Mississippi Supreme Court, who has presented four times on the Mississippi Electronic Courts (MEC), the new digital documents filing system for state courts; William Andrew Lewis, Electronic Discovery Counsel with Recommind and Vice President for Innovation with Paragon Legal Technology Support, LLC, who has spoken twice on predictive coding, electronic document security, and other cutting-edge law practice issues; and Rick Patt, past chair for the Mississippi Bar Technology Committee, who discussed small law office-friendly apps, digital information sharing platforms, and website design. Thanks to Clinical Professor Phil Broadhead, Director of the Criminal Appeals Clinic, and Professor Kris Gilliland, Director of the Grisham Law Library, for organizing this important series.