The Susan J. Ferrell Intercultural Human Rights Moot Court Competition, organized at St. Thomas Law this past weekend, was a most memorable intellectual and intercultural event. Based on a most complex problem at the cutting edge of law and electronic technology, drafted by some of our ablest law students Amber Bounelis
, Zachary Smith
, and Cathleen Ward
, this competition allowed students from all over the world the creation and skillful presentation of adversarial arguments before a hypothetical International Court of Justice.
Enthusiastic teams from India and Italy met with experienced teams from the United States, including Duke, Howard, FIU, and Valparaiso – all with a passion for the problem of cyber-war, privacy, human trafficking, and indigenous rights that they had contemplated since its publication in September 2013. The best memorial was written by the team from Hidayatullah National Law Center in central India, winning with a fraction of a point over the team from Christ University in the southern city of Bangalore. Alexandra Audate
, Talle Gilmore
, and Professor Sylvia Ospina
did an outstanding job in reviewing and scoring the memorials. Oral argument was presented in four rounds on Saturday, February 1, 2014. Excellent knowledge of international law was presented; we also saw quite diverse mooting styles. The best oralist was Devon Cox from Howard Law School, followed by Ryan Deutmyer (Valparaiso), Kelly Moras (FIU), Arjun Chandran (Duke), and Dana Simon (FIU).
This event constituted a veritable homecoming for many former international law students those who performed in the Jessup Competition, such as Professor Peter Barone
(as far back as 1991!), A. Dax Bello
, Senen Garcia
, Talle Gilmore
, Jennifer Gordon
, and Stephanie Villacencio
, as well as those who earned an LL.M., or J.S.D., or both, in Intercultural Human Rights Dr. Olugbenga Ademodi
, Alexandra Audate
, Danielle Boaz
, Nadine Gedeon
, Professor Mark Kielsgard
, Frank Minton
, Kseniya Smychkouskaya
, Edward Tapanes
, Ana Vallejo
, and Jasna Vujin
. Special thanks are due our dedicated faculty judges Professors Howard Blumberg
, Jessica Fonseca-Nader
, Lauren Gilbert
, John Kang
, Marvin Klein
, Gary Kravitz
, Bob Mensel
, Kenneth Noto
, Sylvia Ospina
, Jay Silver
, and Susan Warheit
who sacrificed their Saturday and more for this important school event. Our deep appreciation also goes to Associate Dean Cece Dykas
who, on behalf of the Law School, extended a warm welcome to all participants and congratulated them on their achievements at the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening.
The final round was held on Sunday, February 2, pitted Hidayatullah National Law Center against Howard Law School before a hot bench consisting of The Honorable Fausto Pocar, former President, and present Appeals Court Judge, of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Professor Ira Nathenson
(who is also due a debt of gratitude for his expert advice to the problem drafting team on issues of cybertechnology and the law), and Denise Wallace
, LL.M., and J.S.D. Candidate in Intercultural Human Rights. It was a fascinating exchange. Coached by Professor Waris Husain, a former Ferrell competitor, Howard Law School won the Ferrell Trophy. The DVD of the final round is available in the St. Thomas Law Library.
Participants were most impressed this year with the complexity and integration of cutting-edge technology, including social media and computer virus aggression, into a problem that exceeded, in their minds, the challenges faced in other international law moot court competitions. Kudos to our students on the drafting team who wrote both the problem and the bench brief, as well as to the organizing team under the direction of Competition Coordinator Shaun Quinn
, the student bailiffs, and the team liaisons involved, who made this event a resounding success.
DADE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION BENCH AND BAR CONFERENCE
The Dade County Bar Association’s Bench and Bar Conference is scheduled for Friday, February 28, at the Biltmore Hotel. They are expecting nearly 900 federal, state, and appellate judges, general counsels, government attorneys, elected officials, and private practice attorneys to participate in the conference. This will be the largest and most diverse conference that the DCBA has held in its 98-year history.
In fact, the program features courses ranging from litigation and family law to criminal, corporate, bankruptcy, and real estate, among some 26 offerings. In addition to designing a set of informative courses for judges and attorneys in attendance, they also have endeavored to enhance the conference with social and networking opportunities throughout the day. To that end, they have invited multiple General Counsels of some of the largest companies in the nation as well as some of the most distinguished jurists in the country to lecture.
This year, the DCBA wants to ensure that law students are able to participate in the program by subsidizing a limited number of tickets. We believe that this will be helpful for students seeking information and opportunities regarding judicial and law firm clerkships this summer and following graduation, as well as students looking to meet hundreds of attorneys from across practice areas in South Florida. Although the program is nearly sold-out, they have set aside student tickets for attendance to two afternoon sessions and admission to the cocktail reception following the program.
Student members of the DCBA (those who have paid the $30 fee for the 2013-2014 DCBA fiscal year) may register for $15.00. Students who are not members may register for $25.00. They may do so directly at the following website: https://www.dadecountybar.org/dade-county-bar-association-bench-bar-student-admission/
Students should be aware of the opportunity given this tremendous discount by the DCBA and the limited number of student tickets available.
If you have any questions or need additional information, go to the website.
JD STUDENTS GRADUATING IN MAY
In order to better provide our graduates access to the Bar Review Programs they will use upon graduation, we need some feedback on the Bar Review Program selection process. All 3L students graduating in May will need to make a final selection in the next few weeks. We want to get this done as soon as possible. A survey has been sent to all 3L students; please complete the survey by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 7, 2014. It will take less than one minute. The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/STUBARPREP
Adjunct Professor Maggie Abdo-Gomez
appeared as a tax expert on local news station NBC6 on January 24, 2013. NBC6 was engaged in an investigative report concerning tax return preparer fraud and Professor Gomez provided advice on how customers can avoid confronting fraudulent tax return preparers.
Professor Fred Light
presented a paper, “LEED Neighborhood Development as Climate Change/Sea-Level Rise Adaptation: Many a Slip (or a Long Trip) Twixt the Cup and the Lip,” as part of a panel on Land Use, Development, and Property Rights Issues at the Symposium on “Energy, Climate Disruption, and Sea-Level Rise: New Directions in Law and Policy,” sponsored by Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, on February 6, 2014. The symposium took place at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel, in Dania, Florida.
Professor Patricia Moore
has submitted public comments to The Advisory Committee on Civil Rules in opposition to the recently-proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Her comments are posted at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=USC-RULES-CV-2013-0002-0491
Professor Ira Nathenson
has been invited by the Journal of Legal Education
to write a book review on the book "The New Digital Age" by Google Chair Eric Schmidt and former Washington insider Jared Cohen. Professor Nathenson also has been invited to speak at the upcoming SEALS conference on Intellectual Property.
On January 30, 2014, Professor Roza Pati
spoke at the conference on Human Trafficking: Exposing the Crisis, Devising Strategies and Solutions
. The one-day conference was organized by the world-renowned international abolitionist organization Free The Slaves and Broward College. The panel in which Professor Pati presented focused on human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Professor Jay Silver’s
commentary on Edward Snowden and the NSA appeared recently in The Huffington Post
. “Taking Snowden’s Christmas Message Seriously” was the third piece he has published in The Huffington Post
on the topic. His commentary on law and politics also has appeared in The New York Times, The National Law Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle
, and other national and local media.