Volume 4, Issue 11, October 31, 2013



What’s Going On

October 31: 

Lunch and Learn Department of State, Room CPD 113 @ 12:00p.m.

November 5:

Civility and Professionalism Room CPD 113 @ 12:00 p.m.

November 6:

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

November 6:

Elder Law Symposium, Moot Courtroom @ 9:00 a.m.

November 7: 
Lunch and Learn International Human Rights Room CPD 113 @ 12:00 p.m. 

November 11:

Veteran’s Recognition Reception Atrium Conference Room @ 6:00 p.m.

Registration for the Spring 2014 term will begin in early November.  Here are some guidelines you should keep in mind when you begin to register for classes.  Except for students in one of the joint degree programs or students who have obtained prior approval from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or the Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Scholarships, all students are required to take at least 12 J.D. credits (and can take no more than 18 credits).  Joint degree students cannot take more than a combined total of 21 credits from both programs during the course of the semester.

Fall 2013 entrants, other than “flex time” students, are required to take Civil Procedure II, Contracts II, Torts II, Property II, and Advanced Legal Research and Writing.  Fall 2013 entrants remain in their same section and are automatically registered by the Registrar (unless they have a transcript hold or outstanding balance).

All other students are provided a registration date and time.  Students register online by logging on to “My Bobcat.”  Students must register during their assigned time or otherwise wait until the open registration session that follows the designated registration times.  Fall 2012 entrants are required to take Constitutional Law II.  All second-year students who have not already done so should also take Professional Responsibility and plan to take the MPRE in April.

Any student with an outstanding balance of $1,000 or more is blocked from registration and cannot register until he or she reduces his or her balance below $1,000.  Students with outstanding balances should be working now with Andy Marrero and the Business Office to make sure they will be cleared for registration.

Some classes will reach capacity during the regular registration session.  No overrides or exceptions are provided during the regular registration session.  Students needing to take a particular class should attempt to register for another section of the class (even if the time is less convenient).  Any student who wants to register for a class that is full will need to submit an override request form to the Registrar.  On this form, you will need to explain why you need (or want) to take the class that is full.  You need not seek the approval of the professor regarding the override.  Shortly after the week of registration is over, the override request forms will be processed, and students will be advised when their request has been granted.  Please note some classes are limited in size due to the seats available, or the format in which the class is to be taught, or both, so not all requests can be granted.  Students should register for any section of any required course they need to take that is available.  Remember that a student can modify his or her schedule at any time during the drop-add period.  So, students should continue to monitor class availability.

Students planning to take the Florida Bar should consider taking Sales, Remedies, Family Law, Florida Constitutional Law, Florida Practice and Procedure, Commercial Law Survey, and Juvenile Law as elective courses.  These topics are tested always (or frequently) on the Florida State Bar Examination.  Students needing academic advisement or assistance should contact Assistant Dean John Hernandez or Assistant Dean Barbara Singer and schedule an appointment.  First-year students also can seek advice and guidance from their faculty mentors.

St. Thomas Law is pleased to have added Teresita Chavez Pedrosa as a new Career Counselor and Outreach Coordinator.  Ms. Chavez Pedrosa has a Juris Doctor, cum laude, with a certificate of specialty in Maritime Law from Tulane University.  She also has a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Miami.  Prior to joining St. Thomas Law, she litigated for more than 16 years.  Ms. Chavez Pedrosa was a partner at Adorno & Yoss, where she specialized in products and premise liability.  Her clients included R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Pfeizer, Johnson & Johnson, Shell, and ExxonMobil.  Prior to this, Ms. Chavez Pedrosa worked at the law offices of Rivkind & Pedraza, representing seamen and passengers in lawsuits against the major cruise lines.  Ms. Chavez Pedrosa has also taught legal research and writing as an adjunct professor at Florida International University’s School of Law. 

Ms. Chavez Pedrosa is also a dedicated child advocate. As an Attorney ad Litem, she has represented abused and neglected children in dependency proceedings.  In 2012, Lawyers for Children America recognized her work representing the surviving twin in the Barahona case and her dedication to foster children by awarding her the John Edward Smith Child Advocacy Award.  Ms. Chavez Pedrosa is a current director of Florida’s Children First – Florida’s premier independent child advocacy organization.

Ms. Chavez Pedrosa is active in many community organizations, but particularly with the Hispanic National Bar Organization.  She has served the HNBA on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors, as National Vice President of Membership, as Vice Chair of the HNBA’s DREAM Initiative Task Force, as President of the Florida Region, on the Commission on the Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession, on the Editorial Board of Noticias and on the National Finance Committee. Her work with the HNBA has ranged from helping candidates achieve confirmation to the federal bench and other federal executive positions, to her favorite helping law students identify their infinite career options and achieve their potential.  As Founder and Co-Chair of the HNBA’s Tennis & Golf Tournaments, Ms. Chavez Pedrosa raised more than $150,000 for the HNBA and the HNBA’s Legal Education Fund, which awards scholarships to Hispanic students.  In 2011, the HNBA recognized Ms. Chavez Pedrosa as Regional President of the Year.

Ms. Chavez Pedrosa has a background in journalism and is interested in every aspect of communications, particularly the effective use of social media and social media law.  She regularly lectures to bloggers, marketers, public relations professionals, promoters, corporate employers, and others on legal compliance issues regarding social media.  She has contributed to news publications, including the Huffington Post; and has provided legal commentary on television in connection with breaking news. 

Ms. Chavez Pedrosa is the mother of two boys, Brandon (13) and Dean (9).  In her “free” time, she likes to practice martial arts, take online courses through Coursera, and interact on social media. You can follow her on Twitter at @CubanLawyer and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Dr. Patricia Mische is scheduled to speak at St. Thomas Law, on November 7, 2013, at noon, in Room CPD-113.  Dr. Mische is an award-winning pioneer in peace and global education. She worked as a teacher in Africa, where she assisted women’s groups in local self-help projects and helped broker partnerships for sustainable development between the women’s groups, UN agencies, and religious and non-governmental organizations. She is co-founder of Global Education Associates, and author of numerous articles on peace, human rights, women, economic development, ecological security, and global spirituality. She has led more than 1,000 workshops, presentations and courses in more than 50 countries. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants. 

This event is hosted by the International Law Society, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and the American Constitution Society with generous support from the Administration and the Career Services Office.  For more information, contact Haminy Silva at hsilva@stu.edu

The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee, St. Thomas University Elder Law Society and St. Thomas Law Review invite you attend the second annual Elder Law Symposium.  The symposium will take place on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in the Moot Courtroom.

The symposium will encompass a broad range of topics pertaining to the practice of elder law.  It will feature a diverse panel of speakers that will provide a unique learning opportunity to discuss emerging trends and the growing issues critical to the practice of Elder Law.  Please contact Sarah Rothenberg if you would like more information about the symposium.

L-1 Enrollment Services will be at St. Thomas Law campus on November 6, 2013, to capture your fingerprints, which is a part of your bar application process.  The fingerprinting company will be in the Career Service Suite.  You are required to schedule an appointment in advance to be fingerprinted on November 6.  You may schedule an appointment by going to www.identogo.com.  Please following the instruction provide to you by e-mail from Mercedes Pino, on October 28, 2013.  If you have questions or problems registering, contact L-1 Enrollment Services customer service at (800)528-1358.

Third-year student Kaysia Earley is the scholarship recipient for the Jamaican-American Bar Association Scholarship.  The Jamaican-American Bar Association Southeast Chapter will present Kaysia with the scholarship at its Grand Gala and Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 2, 2013, at the Sheraton Hotel in Dania, Florida.

We are pleased to announce that May 2013 Graduate Sean Gellis is now working as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida in the Fort Lauderdale Civil Division.  Sean participated in the St. Thomas Law Civil Clinic (full-time) during the Spring 2013 semester.  He passed the July 2013 Florida Bar and then was hired into a full-time position.

We are pleased to announce that recent St. Thomas Law graduate, Jason Petcovic, is now working full-time with the Florida Department of Department of Children & Families, Children's Legal Services.

Michael A. Mullen, Esq. managing partner of the Coral Gables firm of Gaebe, Mullen, Antonelli & DiMatteo will present a talk on “Civility and Professionalism” on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, in room CPD 113 from noon to 1:00 p.m.  Mr. Mullen’s talk is coordinated through the efforts of the St. Thomas Law Career Services Office and the Director of Professionalism, Judge David Levy.  Mr. Mullen is admitted to practice in all Florida state and federal courts including the United States Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.  He is a is an Advocate with the American Board of Trial Advocates, a Fellow of the Litigation Council of America, Order of Justitia, and a Member of the Council on Litigation Management. Mr. Mullen is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of Super Lawyers, The Annual List of the Top Attorneys in Florida.  He is also listed in the 2013 edition of Best Lawyers in America.  This is a unique opportunity to gain insight into practice from one of South Florida’s leading attorneys.  A light lunch also will be provided.  Please RSVP to Teresita Chavez Pedrosa at tchavez@stu.edu if you plan to attend.