Miami Law Headlines

Miami Law News Headlines: October 2011

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Miami Law Celebrates Alumni Weekend and Homecoming

With all the fanfare it can muster, the University of Miami's Homecoming 2011 is set to launch across campus, with most events taking place later in the week. As usual, there will be receptions, dinners, sports events and other activities to mark the occasion.

13th Annual HOPE auction at the University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum

Miami Law Celebrates 13th Annual Hope Auction

As the legal community brings National Pro Bono Week celebrations to a close, Miami Law solidified its commitment to giving back with the 13th Annual HOPE auction at the University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum.

Pro bono and public interest lawyers

Pro Bono and Public Interest Lawyers Give Advice to Miami Law Students

Miami Law hosted a special "Pro Bono and Public Interest Law" panel discussion on Wednesday, October 26, to discuss the benefits of pursuing public interest and pro bono legal opportunities, and to examine the challenges attorneys face in pursuing such work. The discussion was co-sponsored by the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center, the Center for Ethics and Public Service, and the Career Development Office.

Student Activities Center

Special Groundbreaking Ceremony for new Student Activities Center

The University of Miami held a ceremony on October 28th to break ground on construction of the new Student Activities Center, to be located across the street from the Law School. An extraordinary lead gift of $20 million from the Fairholme Foundation is helping build this new, state of the art, 119,000-square-foot complex on the Coral Gables campus.

Diana Correa

Colombian Professor Drawn by Miami Law Expertise

Diana Correa thought about coming to Miami Law to finish her Ph.D. thesis because she was looking for a peaceful place to work. After visiting the school's website, she discovered the wealth of experts here and her mind was made up.

Moot Court Board Breathes New Life into Student Competitions

There is a welcoming change taking place with the Charles C. Papy, Jr. Moot Court Board. Historically, the student-run organization is well known for recruiting and training the finest oral and written advocates at the law school.

Charles Haskell

Miami Herald Selects Miami Law Student for Haiti Scholarship Project

The Miami Herald has chosen Miami Law student Charles Haskell to assist the paper in covering the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Haskell, a JD/MA student, has been asked to write an article that explores the aftermath of the Jan. 12, 2010, disaster, which left an estimated 316,000 people dead, 300,000 injured and more than 1 million homeless.

From left to right: Laurence 'Lonny' Rose, H.T. Smith, JD '73, and Marni Lennon

HOPE Honors H.T. Smith for Pro Bono Service

The HOPE Public Resource Center honored the noted trial lawyer H.T. Smith, JD '73, with its first Distinguished Leader in Public Service award on Thursday, October 27th. The award was presented during HOPE's annual auction.

Students Represent Miami Law at International Law Weekend in New York City

Three Miami Law students traveled to Fordham University School of Law in New York last weekend to attend the International Law Weekend, a three-day conference that explores the intersection of international rules and norms, and domestic politics and policymaking. The students had the opportunity to take part in panel discussions and network with scholars and public and private legal professionals who gathered at the conference to discuss international law and national politics.

Wrongful Convictions Panel to Focus on Confessions, Corruption

Law students from around South Florida are expected to attend Friday's Wrongful Convictions event. The lunchtime panel, which will be held in room E352, will explore the ramifications of faulty eye-witness statements, confessions, police corruption and more.

Orchard Villa Elementary School student

'Canes Carnival Welcomes Orchard Villa Elementary Students to Miami Law

The annual 'Canes Carnival brought busloads of elementary school students last Friday from Liberty City to the Bricks at Miami Law for an afternoon of games, food, music, and arts and crafts. The Society of Bar & Gavel transformed the campus midway – located in the heart of Miami Law – into a fun-filled play zone. The event promotes community service within the law school, allowing students to give back to low-income communities in the Miami-Dade area without even leaving the campus.

Miami Law Remembers Thomas Randolph Cox, JD '76

Thomas Randolph Cox, JD '76, who practiced law in West Virginia and worked in the administration of Gov. John D. Rockefeller IV three decades ago, died on Wednesday. He was 62. Cox's colleagues often referred to him as the people's advocate. Since 1983, Cox had worked at the law firm of Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, in Charleston W. Va., where he died. His practice was in government relations, insurance regulatory work and environmental, telecommunications and corporate law.

Election Results Prompt Frustrations

Two weeks after special elections for second-year Student Bar Association seats were clouded by reports of violations, newly elected senators Cristin Comiskey and Nefra-Ann MacDonald on Thursday began serving in their new roles.

Miami Law Alumna Who Interned for Florida Supreme Court Shares Words of Wisdom

Jobs were disappearing when Miami Law graduate Joanna Thomson, JD '08, entered the legal profession. Only one day after she took the Florida Bar, her clerkship with the First District Court of Appeals was revoked due to a lack in funding. After three months without work, she was hired as a contract attorney at an antitrust law firm where she had clerked during school.

German Student Who Participated in our Leipzig Exchange Program is now a Visiting Scholar at Miami Law

Valentin Pfisterer, a visiting scholar at Miami Law who hails from Germany, has made a library carousel his main office as he works to complete his Ph.D. thesis. Pfisterer's dissertation is concerned with the juncture at which European Corporate Law and European Constitutional Law meet.

Miami Law Students Present Ethics Training at Catholic Charities Legal Services

Miami Law's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program (PREP) recently presented an ethics training at Catholic Charities Legal Services. Under the supervision of director Jan L. Jacobowitz, law students Charles Muniz, 3L, and Amanda LeCheminant, 2L, presented a training that addressed professional responsibility issues in the area of immigration law and hotly debated ethical issues faced by lawyers in an electronic age.

Katherine Fernández Rundle

State Attorney Fernández Rundle to Receive Hoeveler Award

Miami Law's Center for Ethics and Public Service selected State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle to receive the 10th annual William M. Hoeveler Award. The prestigious prize celebrates ethics, leadership and public service in the legal profession.

Miami Law students Saul Cardenas, Jessica Marroquin, Estefania Nasielski and Carlos Nunez

Students from International Moot Court Program Compete in Spanish-Speaking Competition in Buenos Aires

For the first time, Miami Law's International Moot Court Program participated in the UBA International Commercial Arbitration. The competition, organized by the University of Buenos Aires, is popularly regarded as the biggest Moot exercise in Latin America.

Miami Law Awards the 2011 Alumnus of Distinction Award to Robert "Bob" Traurig, JD '50

For more than three decades, Robert "Bob" Traurig, a Miami Law alumnus who is now 86, was the "go to" lawyer for developers who sought to build in Miami-Dade county, especially on Miami's Brickell Avenue, in Coconut Grove or even as far as the edge of the Everglades. On November 3, he will be awarded the 2011 Alumnus of Distinction by the Law Alumni Association.

Miami Law Welcomes Leading Student Loan Expert

Heather Jarvis, a national student-loan expert, will speak to students from the University of Miami, FIU, St. Thomas and NOVA law about public service loan forgiveness at Miami Law on Oct. 24. Jarvis is a former capital defense attorney who now dedicates her expertise to helping student-loan borrowers better understand the repayment system under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Promoting Coping Skills for Miami Law Students and Staff

When Mitchell Rosen took his own life at the age of 24, his parents, Jackie and Harry Rosen, JD '61, began dedicating their lives to stopping others from doing the same. More than a decade ago, they established the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention, a non-profit organization committed to spreading the message of suicide prevention through education, survivor support, research and advocacy.

Alumni Received Awards at Miami-Dade Judicial Reception

Real estate professionals, attorneys, academics and Florida state officials plan to convene for three days later this month in Coral Gables to discuss the future of growth management, planned development communities, new federal regulations prompted by the foreclosure debacle, and whether a real economic recovery is plausible.

Condo building

Conference to Address Legal Issues in Real Estate and Development

Real estate professionals, attorneys, academics and Florida state officials plan to convene for three days later this month in Coral Gables to discuss the future of growth management, planned development communities, new federal regulations prompted by the foreclosure debacle, and whether a real economic recovery is plausible.

Celebrating Miami Law's Commitment to Pro Bono Service

The American Bar Association recently presented the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center with the 2011 National Achievement Award in Public Interest. HOPE was honored by the ABA's Law School Division for its contributions to underrepresented groups and public interest causes, both within and outside the law school.

President Barack Obama

Legal Corps to Host Viewing of Live-Stream Event from White House

Law students who have not left town for the fall break are being invited to watch a live-stream transmission of an event at the White House on Thursday as part of President Obama's Champions of Change initiative. The viewing will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 in the downtown Miami offices of Legal Corps, which is hosting the event.

Admiring the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Last week's investiture of Fred S. McChesney as the de la Cruz-Mentschikoff Endowed Chair in Law and Economics prompted many tributes, not only for Professor McChesney but for the two people whose names grace the chair, Carlos M. de la Cruz, JD '79, and Soia Mentschikoff, who in 1974 became the first female dean at the University of Miami School of Law. One of the tributes came from Alexandria Mentschikoff Levedahl, the late dean's niece, who was unable to attend but who sent a written statement. It is reproduced here:

Professor Kunal Parker

Understanding the Law's Role in a Democracy

In his new book, Miami Law Professor Kunal Parker argues that 19th century Americans had quite different views about the role of common-law judges from those we hold today. Unlike elected representatives, common-law judges are not directly accountable to the electorate. These days, some people see common-law judges as engaging in social engineering, which might be considered an encroachment on democratic principles.

Professor Fred S. McChesney

Honoring the Spirit of Scholarship

The de la Cruz-Mentschikoff Endowed Chair in Law and Economics is not just another honor. It is a legacy of talented people whose lives intersected at the University of Miami more than three decades ago.

Timothy J. Muris and Fred S. McChesney

Friend Recalls McChesney's Scholarship and Love of Baseball

One of the speakers at Thursday's investiture of Fred S. McChesney as the de la Cruz-Mentschikoff Endowed Chair in Law and Economics was Timothy J. Muris, a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission who taught at Miami Law and is now on the faculty at George Mason University. He is also a close friend of the honoree. In introducing Professor Muris to the audience, Miami Law Dean Patricia D. White said he might best be remembered for allowing Americans to have their dinners in peace, a reference to his introduction of the Do-Not-Call Registry during his tenure at the FTC.

Professor Fred S. McChesney (back, center) with Vice Dean Patrick Gudridge (back, left), Dean Patricia D. White (front, left) and UM President Donna Shalala, among others, at Professor McChesney's Investiture

Fred S. McChesney on Intersection of Economics and Law

The audience attending the investiture on Thursday evening of Fred S. McChesney, JD '78, as the de la Cruz-Mentschikoff Endowed Chair in Law and Economics was treated to remarks not only by Prof. McChesney himself but by University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, Miami Law Dean Patricia D. White, Carlos M. de la Cruz Sr., JD '79, and Timothy J. Muris, a George Mason University School Foundation Professor of Law.

PREP Students Conduct Ethics & Technology Training for the Dade County Bar Association

Students from Miami Law's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program (PREP) – Daniel Casamayor, Matthew Friendly, and Candice Lazar – recently presented an interactive ethics and technology program at the Dade County Bar Association's Professionalism CLE. Under the supervision of Jan Jacobowitz, director of PREP, the students created a lively hypothetical format, which focused on ethical issues pertaining to Facebook, cutting-edge advertising formats, and proposed changes to Florida's advertising rules.

Carlos de la Cruz

Carlos de la Cruz Speaks at McChesney Investiture

On Thursday evening, the de la Cruz-Mentschikoff Endowed Chair in Law and Economics was formally granted to Fred S. McChesney, JD '78, in an investiture ceremony at the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center. Among the speakers were University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, Miami Law Dean Patricia D. White and Timothy J. Muris, a George Mason University School Foundation Professor of Law.

Miami Law 1L Caroline Milewski

The Fifth Annual Wellness Week Lived Up to the Hype

Ask Us Post Graduate Student Service Fellows (along with the help of the the Dean of Students office, Scott Rogers, Gloria Garcia and Iris Morera) successfully hosted the fifth annual Wellness Week at Miami Law. The five-day event delivered food, fun, physical fitness and even puppies.

SBA members Claire Rumler, Jason Emert, Jenna Winchester

Six Senators Join Student Bar Association

Six 1L senators were sworn into service today at the 16th Student Bar Association senate general meeting. Speaker Justin Diner inducted the following students into office: Jason Emert, Netaly Masica, Ryan Blicher, Jessica Gorra, Jenna Winchester and Claire Rumler.

OUTLaw co-president Dale Noll

2L Special Election Results Announced

Only one of two senator-election results was announced today. The list of first-year winners was posted in the student lounge during lunch. However, the outcome of the 2L special election is not available due to ongoing investigations by the election commission.

U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Ponders Major Religion Case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a case that could have wide repercussions on the government's ability to influence relationships between religious organizations and the people who work for them.

Miami Law Women board members

Miami Law Women Step it Up During October

With a membership of 125 strong, Miami Law Women (MLW) board members say this year is going to be the best one yet. Following the inception of the chapter at the School of Law in 2004 participation was strong, but it had taken a hit during the recession. The recent adjustment to dues, which has dropped to $10 from last year's $40 rate, may be one of the reasons more students are joining now.

Miami Law Mourns the Passing of Professor Emeritus Walter Beckham

Walter H. Beckham, former Miami Law professor and trial attorney, died Tuesday at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. Beckham, who served as a professor of law from 1968-1982, was a legendary and much-loved torts teacher at Miami Law.

Voting for Student Bar Association Senators: A Matter of Seconds

Joe Wasserkrug, a first-year student at Miami Law, voted Monday in the SBA elections. Two young men sitting with him on The Bricks were too pressed for time. For some first-year students, heavy workloads take precedence over casting ballots. "I'll get to it tomorrow," Jesse Klein said as he prepared for an evening Torts class.

Miami Law Faculty and Alumni to be Honored for Pro Bono Work

Two dozen Miami Law faculty and alumni will be recognized next week for their donations of legal expertise to the Ensuring Equal Justice Pro Bono Initiative. The program, developed by Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez, JD '90, creates a pipeline between the legal community and clients who need an attorney.

Director of Financial Aid Brenda Brown

Director of Financial Aid Provides Testimony to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance

Historically, foreclosures were relatively rare and legally simple. The plaintiff was the lender and the defendant was the defaulted homeowner. But now it's often borrowers, even those clearly in default, who claim to be the aggrieved parties, victims of predatory lending and unscrupulous business practices.

Professor Sergio Campos

Miami Law Professor Sergio Campos quoted in Daily Business Review article on foreclosure debacle

Historically, foreclosures were relatively rare and legally simple. The plaintiff was the lender and the defendant was the defaulted homeowner. But now it's often borrowers, even those clearly in default, who claim to be the aggrieved parties, victims of predatory lending and unscrupulous business practices.

Bar and Gavel members Rachel Kipnis and Dale Noll Bar

The Society of Bar and Gavel Raises Money and Awareness During Wellness Week

Given the choice, many would rather stay in bed instead of run a race on Sunday morning. But for 214 attorneys, judges, professors and students, the option was easy. They decided to run or walk in this year's Race Judicata. The 5k race, hosted by The Society of Bar and Gavel, raised $3,531 to benefit Miami Children's Hospital.