Volume 4, Issue 21, February 21, 2014



What’s Going On

February 20: 

Joint Degree Graduation Registration (Deadline)

February 21 & 22:

International Conference on Contracts

February 26: 

Law School Web Chat
March 12, 13, & 14: 

Graduation Expo (Pictures & Announcements) Bobcat Hall

Professor Alfredo Garcia, has been appointed to be the next Dean of St. Thomas Law. Professor Garcia is an eminent scholar and experienced legal administrator. Professor Garcia will assume his new duties on July 15, 2014 at which time Dean Douglas Ray will join the law school faculty.

Professor Alfredo Garcia previously served as Dean of St. Thomas University School of Law from January 2007 until August 2010. He brings to the position a wealth of experience as an administrator, faculty member, and legal practitioner. Professor Garcia also previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2003-2006 and as Interim Associate Dean from 1993-1994.

In addition to his vast administrative experience, Professor Garcia also brings to the position more than two decades of higher education teaching experience. As a member of the St. Thomas University School of Law faculty, he has taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Torts, Sixth Amendment Seminar, and Clinics. Professor Garcia has been a visiting professor at American University College of Law, College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law, and Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad Law Center, among others.

Professor Garcia’s publications include three books, Criminal Law: Concepts and Practice, with Podgor, Henning, and Taslitz (Carolina Press, 2005); The Fifth Amendment: A Comprehensive Approach (Greenwood, 2002); and The Sixth Amendment in Modern American Jurisprudence: A Critical Perspective (Greenwood, 2002); as well as three entries in the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Law and extensive law review articles for journals including Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy and the University of Toledo Law Review. He has also served as Vice Chair of the Race and Racism in Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Committee and on the Editorial Board of Human Rights Magazine, published by the ABA.

Prior to entering academia, Professor Garcia was an Assistant State Attorney in Miami, trying felony and narcotics-related cases including attempted murder, solicitation to commit murder, burglary, kidnapping, trafficking, and white collar crimes. He also served as a criminal defense attorney in private practice in Miami. In addition to his extensive trial and motion experience, Professor Garcia has extensive appellate experience preparing briefs and arguing cases at the United States 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Third District Court of Appeals (Florida).

Born in Cuba, Professor Garcia earned his B.A. from Jacksonville University and earned both his M.A. and his J.D. from the University of Florida.

Eneami Bestman, Joanne Dautruche, and Domingo Lopez (coach) represented St. Thomas Law in the Regionals of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition held in Jacksonville, Florida from February 12 to 16, 2014. The St. Thomas Law team won the Best Brief Award and finished in the top eight. All three students are 2L's students which makes their success even more impressive.

Eneami Bestman said “Representing St. Thomas Law in the Southern Regional Black Law Student Association Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition has been the highlight of my law school career. Preparing for the competition was a lot of hard work, but I am blessed to have had my efforts rewarded by winning the Best Petitioner’s Brief award and finishing in the top eight.”

Team members offered a special thanks to Professor Stephen Plass, who served as their faculty coach Professor Howard Blumberg, who directs our Moot Court efforts Keila Weekes, who served as alumna coach; and the members of the Moot Court Executive Board-for all the time they put in to help our students succeed. Keila's hard work coaching the team is yet another example of how our former students continue to help our Moot Court program after they graduate.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is committed to fostering diversity in law school and the legal profession through its Diversity Committee. The LSAC is pleased to announce the first LSACD Diversity Committee Writing Competition. There are three $5,000 scholarships available for each of the following categories: 1L, 2L, and 3L students. Students must submit their papers by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, 2014. More information.

The Palm Beach County Bar Association Committee for Diversity and Inclusion will present a Diversity Session for Law Students Forum and Networking Event in conjunction with the Palm Beach County Bar Association. The event will take place on March 7, 2014, from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. in the Palm Beach County Convention Center, and it is free to all laws students. Immediately following the forum, students are invited to attend a networking reception with local attorneys and judges. This is a great opportunity for students to ask questions about areas of the law they may be interested in from a practical perspective. Students must register by the deadline of February 28, 2014, to attend this event. Register here.

The National Jewish Law Students Association will sponsor a Mock Seder in the open area in the Career Services Building on April 8, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. It will have a full meal prepared with a Rabbi who will provide information on the background of the holiday. The Seder is a service which symbolizes the beginning of the Jewish Passover, a holiday that retells the Exodus story. Many of the symbols of this story will be displayed on the Seder plate, which will be the centerpiece at the table.

Kaysia Earley, a 2013 alumna, recently received the William H. Holland Scholarship from the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr., Bar Association. This scholarship will assist her with the cost associated with bar preparations. She will be presented the scholarship at the 13th Annual William H. Holland Scholarship Luncheon on February 21, 2014, at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Cohen Pavilion; the guest speaker for the luncheon will be former governor of Florida, Charlie Crist.

Faculty Announcements
Professor Roza Pati was invited to present at the University of Miami School of Law’s National Security and Armed Conflict Symposium: Illicit Trafficking and National Security, to be held at University of Miami Law on February 28, 2014. Her presentation will be on Trafficking in Human Beings: A Matter of Human & National Security.

Professor Leonard Pertnoy has an upcoming lecture on EQUITY scheduled for Themis Bar Review.

Professor Amy Ronner has a new article published, “Recreating Dead House: The Ouster of Miranda from Our Prisons.” It appears in 50 Criminal Law Bulletin 1 (2014). Students will probably know that Prof. Ronner is an expert on criminal law, sexual orientation law, and constitutional law. They will be pleased to know that she also possesses a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. “Recreating Dead House” deftly and creatively combines Prof. Ronner’s knowledge of criminal law with her brilliant work on the Russian novelist Dostoevsky, work for which she is a sought-after speaker nationally. Read article here

Professor Michael Vastine spoke at the annual CLE conference hosted by the South Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association on February 6-7. The topic of his panel was Detention, Bond, Habeas: When Is “Mandatory” Custody Really “Mandatory?” and addressed constitutional challenges and cutting-edge federal court litigation to free detained immigrants. The entire Immigration Clinic attended the two-day conference, along with approximately 450 members of the bar. Among other subject coverage of the conference was a panel of attorneys and judge that discussed the impact of Prof. Vastine’s successful appeal in the Eleventh Circuit, Donawa v. U.S. Att’y Gen., that construed the proper analysis for determining deportable criminal offenses. Prof. Vastine also was part of a group of honorees for his role in the Krome Mental Incompetency Project, a novel pro bono initiative that provides representation to regional mentally incompetent immigrant detainees.