Volume 4, Issue 18, January 31, 2014



What’s Going On

February 1: 

General Law School Open House @ 9:00 a.m.

February 4:

Prayer and Reflection, Room 215 @ 12:10 p.m.

February 5: 

Pro Bono & Public Service Fair @ 11:00 a.m.
February 10-14: 

Graduation Registration, Registrar’s Office

February 17:

President’s Day (Holiday)

February 18:
Monday Classes Meet

February 20:

Joint Degree Graduation Registration (Deadline)

February 12:
Graduation Expo (Pictures & Announcements) Convocation Hall

St. Thomas University School of Law and Barry University School of Law are pleased to announce the 20th annual Summer in Spain Program, scheduled for May 31 through July 1, 2014. The venue is El Escorial, a beautiful university and visitor-oriented village seated in the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains, about 45 minutes northwest of Madrid. Transportation into Madrid (and elsewhere) is readily available by bus and train service. El Escorial is one of the Spanish royal sites, and functions as a monastery, royal palace, and museum. The monastery is the second largest stone structure in the world, and has been the burial site for most of the Spanish kings of the last five centuries. With an elevation of 3,432 feet, El Escorial enjoys a pleasant year-round temperature. Students and faculty stay in a 3-star hotel (managed by Best Western) and enjoy a full buffet breakfast and multi-course mid-day meal as part of the cost of the program. Also included is access to the large community sports facility (with weight room, gym, swimming pools, etc.).

Four 3-credit courses will be offered, and each student may enroll in two of them. Enrollment is limited. The four courses being offered this year are Comparative Law, International Criminal Law, International Law of the Sea, and Comparative Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law.

All courses comply with the standards of the American Bar Association, and the program has been approved by the Accreditation Committee of the ABA Section on Legal Education.

Grades earned in the Summer in Spain courses are factored into the grade point average of St. Thomas Law students. The application fee is $75.00. Payment of the application fee secures a place in the program. The cost of the program, including six credits, and room and board (double occupancy) is $5,900.00. Students can get a single room by paying an additional $900.00. Students are eligible to receive financial aid to cover the cost of the program, travel to and from Spain, and other necessary expenses.

In addition to, or instead of, the Summer in Spain program, there is also the opportunity to study for one-week in the Netherlands. The Netherlands Water Law Program is May 19 through May 23, 2014, in Delft, Netherlands. The program offers a one-credit course on Comparative Water Law. This program cost $1,500, which includes tuition, room, and board. Students taking only the Netherlands component are not eligible for financial aid. However, the Netherlands component can be added to the cost of the Spain program, and would, in that case, be eligible for financial aid. It is also possible for a student to take Appellate Advocacy at St. Thomas Law and add the Netherlands Program and qualify for financial aid.

A booklet with more information is available online at the St. Thomas Law website. Hard copies are also available at the Law School Student Affairs Office. The application and payment of the deposit also are processed electronically. Space is limited, and filled on a first come-first served basis. In the past few years, this program filled to capacity, so interested students are encouraged to pay the registration fee as soon as possible to secure a position. If you have any questions, see the Program Director, Monsignor Anderson, or Catherine Hayes in the Student Affairs Office.

The Office of Career Services is coordinating the Pro Bono & Public Service Fair, which is scheduled on Wednesday, February 5, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the law school breezeway. Attending the Pro Bono & Public Service Fair is a great way for students to learn more about organizations, and about the different pro bono, internship, and employment opportunities available. This year, 52 federal, state, and local public service organizations will be represented at the fair.

Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation is accepting applications for its 2014 Summer Fellowship program: Kozyak will provide four summer 2014 fellowships to first- and second-year law students who are either enrolled in South Florida law schools, or who are verified Florida residents attending an out- of-state law school.

The Scholarship Committee’s selection criteria will include evidence of performance indicative of likely future success in the field of law. The Scholarship Committee will consider, among other things, academic excellence, commitment to community service, commitment to diversity, and leadership skills.

The application and all required documentation must be received by the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation no later than Friday, February 28, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Students interested in applying for the summer fellowship can download the application at www.kmmfoundation.org.

Houson LaFrance’s (3L) article, entitled “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: An Argument for Why Kansas Must Rewrite its Artificial Insemination Statute,” was accepted for publication in the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Journal on Gender, Race, and Justice.

The St. Thomas More Catholic Law Society invites the law school community to join them for ten minutes of prayer and reflection every Tuesday, at 12:10 p.m., in Room 215. All faiths are welcome.

Faculty Announcements
Professor Raúl Fernández-Calienes, of the STU School of Law, and Professor Hagai Gringarten, of the STU School of Business, have co-authored an article that has been accepted for publication by the Strategic Management Review, a double-blind, peer-reviewed journal based at the University of Texas.

Professor Marc-Tizoc González was reelected to the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Poverty Law, and agreed to join a new national network of law professors to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the “War on Poverty,” declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson in his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964. Also Professor González is now under contract with West Academic Publishing as a co-editor of the forthcoming interdisciplinary course book, “Critical Justice: Identities, Theories, and Action.” Finally, last month, as an officer of LatCrit, Inc., the organization of Latina & Latino Critical Legal Theory, Professor González co-authored an amicus curiae brief in Arce v. Huppenthal, supporting the appellants’ challenge to an Arizona statute outlawing the Mexican American Studies Program of Tucson Unified School District. Seattle-based K&L Gates LLC helped develop and filed the brief pro bono with the United States Court for the Ninth Circuit. http://goo.gl/rP3kAX

Professor Anthony Musto is serving as Chair of The Florida Bar's Public Interest Law Section. Jennifer Portwood Gordon, (Director of Pro Bono Programs and Public Service Career Counselor) is an Executive Editor of The Florida Public Interest Journal (the Section newsletter), and regularly involves St. Thomas Law students’ in writing for the newsletter.

Last November, Professor Roza Pati participated in the 2013 Colloquium of the Nova Southeastern University School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her presentation was entitled: The Societal Problem of Human Trafficking Through Local, Regional and Global Lenses.

Professor Keith Rizzardi attended The Florida Bar Mid-Year Meeting as an invited presenter on "Appealing Administrative Action." He discussed the critical legal and strategic questions a lawyer should ask before seeking appellate review of a final agency action pursuant to Florida administrative law.

Professor Michael Vastine has authored amicus curiae briefs in significant litigation regarding immigration and Sixth Amendment issues, particularly the right of immigrant defendants to proper advice of the immigration consequences of their conviction, per the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Padilla v. Kentucky. Prof. Vastine argued the lead Florida case, Hernandez v. State, construing Padilla at the Florida Supreme court in 2012. In August 2013, he authored a brief in Storey v. State, Case No. SC12-2504, on behalf of Catholic Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc. The brief drew upon legal bases from immigration procedure to urge the Florida Supreme court not to find appeals moot in cases where the defendant was deported during the pendency of the appeal. On January 9, 2014, the Court (in a 5-2 decision) agreed with Mr. Storey, and ordered the Fifth District Court of Appeals to adjudicate the merits of Mr. Storey’s claim, notwithstanding his deportation.

In December 2013, Vastine co-authored an amicus curiae brief at the Connecticut Supreme Court in another case considering the retroactive application of Padilla. The brief, written on behalf the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, is in support of the petitioner in Thiersaint v. Commissioner of Correction S.C. 19134. Theirsaint was a defendant who entered a plea that unknowingly doomed him to deportation, in a process that, post-Padilla, would clearly be in violation of his Sixth Amendment rights. Petitioner Thiersaint is represented by the Yale Law School Immigration Clinic. The Connecticut Supreme Court has accepted the amicus brief, and the case is expected to be argued in late Spring.

Professor Siegfried Wiessner published Culture and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Ch. 4 of the Cultural Dimension of Human Rights, at 117 et seq. (Oxford University Press 2013) and The Powers of the President, 1 Lincoln Memorial University Law Review 103 (December 2013).