ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW NEWSLETTER
2014 BARRISTER’S BALL
This year’s Barrister’s Ball held on Saturday, March 15, 2014, was a night at the circus! The night began with circus acts during the reception, which included performers on stilts, an acrobat suspended from the ceiling, a contortionist, a pet-handler with a monkey, and a mime making balloon animals. In addition, there was a photo booth and a station for caricatures.
Once the ballroom was opened, students and faculty were invited to take their seats, and the officers of the SBA presented the following awards. For the first time in St. Thomas Law history, there was a three-way tie for 1L Professor of the Year - Professors John Makdisi
, Gary Kravitz
, and Robert Mensel
were the recognized professors. Professor John Kang
was presented with Upper Level Professor of the Year. Additionally, Amar Patel
was again presented with the Staff Member of the Year Award.
Moreover, the Moot Court was recognized as the Honors Organization of the Year and the Entertainment and Sports Law Society was chosen as the Organization of the Year. The SBA also presented 1L James R. Williams with the Senator of the Year Award. Then, the SBA President, Ulyana Altbregen, gave a special award to Professor Enrique Zamora for his continuous involvement in sponsoring Barrister’s Ball numerous years in a row. Dean Douglas E. Ray also was recognized for his excellent service as Dean from 2010. Alfredo Garcia was introduced to the students as the new Dean and presented with an “I am the Law” SBA t-shirt. The awards ceremony was followed by live entertainment provided by a juggler, a contortionist, a duo of acrobats, and a fire dancer.
ST. THOMAS LAW FACULTY LEAD NATIONAL POLICY DISCUSSIONS
Two members of the St. Thomas Law faculty have been selected to help lead national policy. Professor Keith Rizzardi is leading policy discussions on important issues concerning the future of our oceans, fisheries, and marine resources. Professor Marcia Narine is helping guide policies for protecting employees from retaliation for reporting violations of various statutes concerning workplace safety; airline; commercial motor carrier; consumer, product, and environmental safety, securities laws; and a dozen other protective statutes.
Appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Professor Keith Rizzardi serves as Chairman of the National Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, advising the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on living marine resources policy. The appointment was based on Professor Rizzardi’s expertise in environmental law and his past experience working for the U.S. Department of Justice on state and federal water law matters. Under his leadership, the Committee generates specific recommendations on how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can implement a business-to-business sustainable fishery certification program, and how National Marine Fisheries Service can improve the Endangered Species Act consultation process with regional fishery management councils. In 2014, his Committee is expected to make additional recommendations on the definition of aquaculture, and on potential legislative changes to be considered during the debate over Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act reauthorization. More information on the Committee can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/
Nominated by the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Professor Marcia Narine serves on the National Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC). The appointment was based on her past experience as a deputy general counsel/compliance officer and her previous testimony before Congress on whistleblower issues and compliance programs. The Committee is comprised of management, labor, and public representatives and will examine more than two dozen laws that impact employers and employees across industries. Professor Narine’s subcommittee will provide recommendations to the Secretary of Labor regarding the developing improved customer service models, enhancing the investigative and enforcement processes, training, and regulations governing investigations. More information on the WPAC can be found at https://www.osha.gov/dep/oia/wpac.html
MASS TORT VS. CLASS ACTION: WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT
The American Association for Justice (AAJ) is hosting guest speaker, Hunter Shkolnik, on Monday, March 24, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. in the Moot Courtroom. The topic of discussion is: “Mass Tort vs. Class Action: What it is and What it is Not.”
Hunter Shkolnik is senior partner of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Shkolnik LLP. He has served on several high profile Multi-District Litigations and class actions lawsuits such as Phen Fen, Toyota Motor Corp., DePuy, Pepsico, Nuvaring, Yaz, Medtronic, and Pom Wonderful.
Further, the firm was lead counsel in Costa Concordia Disaster Litigation, the 2012 Aurora Colorado Cinemark Shooting Litigation, and 9/11 World Trade Center Disaster Litigation.
DEAN RAY’S JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES & ADVANCED INTERVIEW SKILLS
Dean Ray held two sessions with students on March 13 and March 18, 2014, to discuss job search strategies and advanced interview skills; the meetings were well attended. At these meetings, Dean Ray provided students with several handouts, and he had a Powerpoint presentation.
The Advanced Interview Skills presentation was designed to prepare the student for both screening interviews and call-back interviews. Dean Ray also provided tips for networking and making a good first impression. The presentation included guidance on informal interview requests.
Dean Ray provided many useful, practical tips to follow when seeking employment and stressed that networking is an essential lawyering skill.
ST THOMAS LAW INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND CYBER LAW SOCIETY SPRING SYMPOSIUM
St. Thomas Law Intellectual Property and Cyber Law Society invites the St. Thomas Law Community to its spring symposium, scheduled for March 24, 2014, at 5:30 p.m., in Room 202.
Topics that will be addressed at the symposium are getting jobs, and Intellectual Property and Cyberspace laws. The symposium speakers are Professor J. Janewa OseiTutu, from Florida International University College of Law, and Attorney Danny Simons, co-founder, Lalchandani Simon PL. There will be a wine and cheese reception following the symposium.
The New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Immigration and Nationality has invited Professor Lauren Gilbert
to participate in a panel discussion on June 24, 2014, on “Intro 410,” a proposal before the New York City Council, that would allow noncitizens with legal status to vote in municipal New York City elections, such as for mayor, city counselor, borough president, etc. She will be speaking in New York City about the full legal dimensions of immigrant integration as they pertain to noncitizen suffrage, building on her previous field research on the Somalis in Lewiston and her current research on state and local efforts to integrate immigrants, both those legally here as well as noncitizens in unauthorized status.
also has been invited to participate as a panelist at the Immigration Law Teachers Workshop this May at the University of California, Irvine. She will be participating in a breakout session the organizers are loosely calling “Innovative intersectionality” or “some very outside the box teaching.” She will discuss her use in Constitutional Law I of a case file on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) (the Obama Administration’s policy of granting deferred action to certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were children) to introduce and explore throughout the semester the themes of justiciability, separation of powers, and federalism as well as to raise the Constitutional Law II themes of individual rights and to get her students to start thinking from Day 1 about evolving and competing concepts of “We the People.” Her co-panelist will be Jayesh Rathod from American University’s Washington College of Law. The Immigration Law Teachers Workshop is held every other year, and brings together clinical and classroom teachers and scholars. The 2008 Workshop, which Professor Gilbert coordinated, was co-hosted by St. Thomas University School of Law and the University of Miami School of Law.