Volume 4, Issue 7, October 3, 2013



What’s Going On

October 8: 

Lunch & Learn: Lexis Nexis Interview Preparation | Room CPD @ Noon

October 9:

Prayer and Reflection | Room 202 @ 12:20 p.m.

October 15:

Lunch & Learn: Department of State | Room CPD @ Noon

October 16:

Career Services Sponsors Breezeway Chatter | Breezeway @11:00 a.m.

October 17:

Distinguished Speaker Professor Hiroshi Motomura | Moot Courtroom @ Noon

Following in a tradition created by Assistant Dean Peter Kelly, St. Thomas Law hosted it second annual (fall) induction ceremony on September 24, 2013, for our recent graduates who passed the July Florida Bar examination. The event included Assistant Dean Singer recommending the candidates for induction, an invocation by Father Rivero, comments by President of St. Thomas University Monsignor Casale and Dean Ray and Judge Peter Lopez presiding over the ceremony, swearing in approximately thirty-five alumni (ae). Judge Lopez then took the time to sign each newly admitted lawyer’s sworn statement and to take pictures with the graduate and his or her family members and guests. A reception was held in the Breezeway following the ceremony.

Hiroshi Motomura the Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law will be our Distinguished Speaker on October 17, 2013, in the Moot Courtroom from noon to 1:00 pm. Professor Motomura will be speaking on “Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Getting from There to Here and Beyond.”

Professor Motomura will discuss current immigration reform debates. He will examine the connections among key topics that draw the most legislative attention - the DREAM Act, broad–scale legalization, enforcement, temporary workers, and reform of the lawful admission system – and he also will address the implications of these topics for U.S. immigration and citizenship beyond the current political and legislative moment. All students are encouraged to attend.

On September 19, St. Thomas Law held its second annual “Professionalism Day” for its first-year students, a day in which the students heard about the legal profession in general as well as the importance of ethics and professionalism in one’s practice. Dean Ray began the day by providing an overview of the legal profession, including the important responsibilities and obligations one has as an attorney to clients, members of the judiciary, and fellow members of the Bar. Also during the program, the law students were honored to hear from two distinguished members of the South Florida legal community: the Honorable Wifredo “Willy” Ferrer, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Ervin A. Gonzalez, Esq., a partner at Colson Hicks Eidson in Miami.

After sharing his own story about growing up with humble beginning and in nearby Hialeah, his job interview with former Attorney General Janet Reno, and his continued career path, Mr. Ferrer told the students that they too could achieve their goals if they believed in themselves. He also emphasized the importance of a good reputation and the need to treat everyone with respect.

Mr. Gonzalez, who received his undergraduate degree from St. Thomas University, currently serves as a member of its Board of Trustees of St. Thomas University and was named one of the nation’s top attorneys, spoke about the importance of students finding an area of the law in which they practice with passion. He also emphasized that combining professionalism and passion is the path most likely to lead to a successful, fulfilling career.

The program also included guidance and advice from Lars Soreide, Esq. (a St. Thomas Law alumnus), and Steven Pickert, Esq., two lawyers who provide representation with regard to Bar Admission and Professional Responsibility issues for Bar applicants and practicing lawyers. The program concluded with a brief presentation by Dr. Scott Weinstein from the Florida Lawyer’s Assistance program who stressed the need for law students (and lawyers) to find and maintain a balance in their life to maximize life and career satisfaction and happiness.

The 10th Annual Minority Mentoring Picnic will be held November 9, 2013. This is a widely attended event open to students from all of the local law schools. Students are encouraged to plan ahead and save the date. The picnic will take place at Amelia Earhart Park in Miami-Dade County. The St. Thomas Law participation is being coordinated through our Career Services Office. So, you can stop in there for more information. You also can get general information about the event by going to www.kmmfoundation.org

The 2013-2014 Law School Catalog is now available online and can be accessed from the St. Thomas Law Website. You can get to the catalog by going to the following link: www.stu.edu/Portals/Law/SOLC.pdf. This catalog contains the latest information regarding graduation requirements, course description, and other relevant information about the J.D., LL.M., J.S.D., and joint degree programs.

Professor Roy Balleste’s article, “Signs and Portents in Cyberspace: The Rise of Jus Internet as a New Order in International Law,” was published in 23 Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 1311 (2013). Professor Balleste co-authored the article with Dr. Joanna Kulesza, Assistant Professor of Law, at the University of Łodz, Poland.

Professor Marc-Tizoc González will attend the biennial convention of Latina & Latino Critical Legal (LatCrit) Theory, October 4 through 6, in Chicago, Illinois, where he will moderate the panel, "Overcoming Isolation and Exclusion: Promoting Access to Justice for Language Minorities"; participate in a workshop, "Designing a Text From Critical Theory to Legal Action," regarding a social justice course book under development; present on his current work in progress, "Disciplining Solidarity: United States Cities Criminalize Food Sharing"; and participate in the workshop, "Forbidden Knowledge & the Arizona Ethnic Studies Amicus Brief," regarding Arizona's targeting of the Mexican American Studies program of Tucson Unified School District.

Professor John Kang’s article “Does Manly Courage Exist?” was published at 13 Nevada LJ 467 (2013). The article arose as part of Professor Kang’s involvement in an invited symposium on “Masculinities and Law” at the University of Nevada Law School.

Professor Fred Light will participate in the Board of Directors of the Association of Climate Changes Officers meeting as a member of the Board at ACCO’s Climate Strategies Forum in Washington, D.C., on October 17, 2013.

Professor Jennifer Martin published the following: Commercial and Consumer Warranties (2013 revision) Electing Revocation of Acceptance as a Remedy: Pitfalls for Buyers that Preclude Return of Defective Goods, 28-6; Commercial Damages Reporter 1 (forthcoming 2013) The Repo Man Did What? A Secured Creditor’s Article 9 Right to Repossess Collateral and When Lenders Have Liability for Repossessions Gone Awry, 28-5 COMMERCIAL Damages Reporter 1 (2013) Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Introduction, 68 BUS. LAW. (forthcoming 2013) (with Hakes and Friedman); and Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Sales of Goods, 68 BUS. LAW. (forthcoming 2013).

Professor Leonard Pertnoy had the second part of a four-part series article titled “Lions, Tigers, and Motions to Disqualify. Oh My!” published in the September/October 2013 publication of the Friendly Passages Magazine.

Professor Keith Rizzardi will be chairing the meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee on October 22 through October 24, 2013. Among its topics for the next meeting will be whether the National Marine Fisheries Service should develop a sustainability certification program, a topic that was recently the subject of a U.S. Senate Committee hearing.

Professor Michael Vastine authored an amicus curiae brief at the Florida Supreme Court, Bernard Storey v. State of Florida, Case No. SC12-2504, as counsel for amicus curiae Catholic Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc. His brief urged the Florida courts to retain jurisdiction in criminal post-conviction (including appellate) matters notwithstanding the physical deportation of a defendant, outlining the immigration scheme permitting motions to reopen and the return of immigrant respondents to the United States in instances of successful litigation.

Professor Vastine also has major litigation pending in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the culmination of two years of Clinic litigation), with oral argument scheduled for October 11, 2013, at the Circuit’s branch court in Miami: Donawa v. United States Attorney General.

The case presents a challenge to a finding of deportability relating to a conviction under Florida Statute §§ 893.13(1)(a)(2) and 893.101, specifically whether such a conviction constitutes a drug trafficking “aggravated felony” under Lopez v. Gonzales (2006). The Florida scheme does not require the State to prove the defendant knowingly delivered a controlled substance, conduct distinctly less culpable than enumerated in the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The case also challenges whether a removal charge can be predicated upon a state conviction under a “strict liability” statutory scheme.

Professor Vastine was re-elected to Board of Directors, American Immigration Lawyers Association, South Florida Chapter (AILA S.FL)